Ft. Worth Boy Scouts escape Colorado wildfire - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Ft. Worth Boy Scouts escape Colorado wildfire

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Members of a Fort Worth Boy Scout Troop are home after the Colorado fires forced them to evacuate their summer camp.

They had to leave about $10,000 worth of camping gear and supplies behind which could possibly be destroyed by the fire.

The Spanish Peaks Scout Ranch in Colorado had not had a fire in 120 years.

When Troop 18 and the other troops arrived, they got a briefing on the fire danger. They also listened to a demo of the emergency siren just in case. It was information they would immediately put to use. Wildfires would soon bear down on the troop.

"We knew it was serious because the flames were getting close to the gathering area where everybody was supposed to come and check in," said Assistant Scout Master Paul Taylor.

He said once he starting smelling smoke he knew it was bad. "We just started gathering the boys up and tried to settle ‘em down and let's start cooking dinner. If something bad happens, they'll blow the whistle. We already knew what the whistle sounded like from earlier in the week and about 5-minutes later they blew the whistle and it was time to line up and go," said Taylor.

Eleven scouts from this troop were supposed to earn merit badges. Instead, they were running from a fire.

"Me and Brooks started going down the hill to make sure the staff were aware of the fire," said Boy Scout Jacob Taylor.
"And they were all like I smell smoke look there's smoke over there," said Brooks Bronson, Jacob's friend and fellow Boy Scout.

It was 12-year-old Austin Perrin's first summer camp experience. "I was told to grab stuff, put something over my nose and mouth and just be prepared and get ready for anything that could happen," he said.

Once they left the camp, they went to a Red Cross shelter where they spent the night before driving back to North Texas.

They had to leave behind personal belongings including their American, Scout and Texas flags.

For the leaders, they were thankful they made it out alive. Once they got to the shelter, the adrenaline wore off and finally had time to realize how close they really were to the fire.

The troop has been following the Facebook page of the summer camp and the assumption is that the camp is a total loss. Once the camp staff is cleared to go back in there, they'll have a better idea of whether there's anything left.

The Boy Scouts say this was an adventure they'll never forget. Some say they were scared but they knew they were in good hands.

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