An 11-year-old boy vanishes from a Boy Scout camp. Immediately, Boy Scout leaders jump into action, organizing the 1,400-plus scout campers into a search squad.
The sheriff?s department is advised and an intensive search gets under way.
Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds jumps to action. This is a search in which he wants success.
Coordination efforts begin. The sheriff?s department sets up camp. A call to volunteers is made. Thousands show up. The parents and family gather seeking comfort.
Everything goes as planned, and a four-day search effort is conducted.
Success occurs and the boy is found alive and in good condition in an area of the rugged Utah wilderness near Lily Lake.
Kay Godfrey, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts’ Great Salt Lake Council, pronounced the boy’s rescue a “modern-day miracle.”
The man who found the boy, volunteer Forrest Nunley, says it was ?being in the right place.?
Jody Hawkins, the boy?s mother, says, ?People say that the heavens are closed and God no longer answers prayers. We are here to unequivocally tell you that the heavens are not closed, prayers are answered and children come home.?
While the celebration goes on for the safe return of the child, there may be some criticism handed out to the scout leadership that fails to stress the importance of following the buddy system.
It was less than a year ago searchers returned after a weeklong search unable to find a 12-year-old Salem scout who wandered off the trail at a nearby lake.
While this search was successful, we shouldn?t rely on modern-day miracles, being in the right place, or answers to prayers to ensure the safety of our young scouts. Leaders must emphasize the importance of being prepared. They should take the time to explain why the system is warranted. They should take the time to give a lesson in being found after getting lost. They should take the time to issue strict warnings.
Scouting outing is a motto that is thrown freely by the leaders in the program, but mobilizing thousands of volunteers to get out for a search isn?t part of the outing.
** This editorial represents the opinion of The Daily Universe editorial board. Opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of BYU, its administration, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.