Bellaire Boy Scouts forced to evacuate Colorado camp

June 13, 2013 4:48:32 PM PDT
Wildfires continue to rage across Colorado where hundreds of homes have been swallowed up by flames. The fires have forced numerous evacuations, including a Boy Scout camp hosting a Houston troop.

The Boy Scouts train for a variety of emergency scenarios, and when the call came to evacuate the Colorado campsite, they were ready. Now they have a real adventure to share with all of their friends.

There was thunderous applause from some relieved parents in Bellaire as 41 boy scouts from Troop 222 got off the bus after being evacuated from a Colorado camp after the state's largest ever wildfire came a little too close.

"It looked like a huge cloud of smoke," Boy Scout Zachary Caruthers said.

"The sky was all like brown, it looked like it was going to rain ash in the sky," Boy Scout Karis Cisneros said. "And then the next day during lunch, they sounded the alarm."

The boys were at the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch in Elbert County, Colorado where a thousand scouts and scout leaders were enjoying the great outdoors when a sound came that these boys all recognized -- thanks to an earlier drill.

"It was a couple days ago they told us there's 2 alarms -- a fire alarm flat and the tornado alarm, which was up and down, like a wavy, so we used our knowledge," Boy Scout Dominick Daniel said.

"We heard the fire alarm and we walked over to where we're supposed to go whenever there's a fire," Boy Scout Blake Deery said.

The boys had to leave their gear behind, but parents who were on the trip say the scouts followed instructions and were quickly taken to some nearby fairgrounds.

"It was just a very well-executed evacuation," scout leader Paul Arlinghaus said.

The Boy Scout motto is "be prepared," and since they were prepared for this emergency, one scout thinks there may be a badge in their future.

"I think there's a wildfire emergency badge or something?" Boy Scout Nicholas Arlinghaus said.

No one was injured at the scout ranch, and a neighboring JCC camp of about 250 people was also safely evacuated. Some more good news: As long as the camp is not destroyed, the scouts plan to coordinate with Colorado scouts to get their belongings back.

We contacted the local Boy Scouts headquarters which said it did not know of any other scouts from our area who were at the camp.

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