WAYNESVILLE, N.C. – Eight Boy Scouts who got lost while camping in the North Carolina mountains turned up Monday as searchers scoured the heavily wooded area, officials said.
"They're fine," said Donna Johnston of the Boy Scouts' Occoneechee Council in Raleigh. "They're out of the woods."
Johnston said the boys and their three leaders had gotten off a trail and decided to set up camp for another night. They waited until daylight rather than trying to walk out in the dark.
Rodney Jones, an assistant Scout master whose son was in the group, said they followed their training.
"I knew they would do as they were supposed to do and that is hunker down," Jones said. "Everybody's in good shape, a little tired. They said if they had cell service, they would have called us. They were, as the Scout motto says, they were prepared."
Kathryn Logan, whose brother was among the lost Scouts, said he was finally able to get cell phone service Monday morning and told her the troop had gotten off the trail.
The group started the trip Friday and was due home Sunday evening. The search was started after they failed to return as a precaution in case any of the boys, all age 12 or older, might be injured, said Charity Sharp, spokeswoman for the Cruso Fire Department.
Firefighters and search and rescue crew members checked a five-square-mile area near Black Balsam Knob in southern Haywood County overnight, and a fresh search team of 15 to 30 people with tracking dogs went out after dawn on Monday, Sharp said.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)