Lost boy prays, then finds own way home

Nathan Mecham, 7, son of Bryan and Katrina Mecham of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, must have felt like Davy Crockett when he became lost in the mountains east of Mt. Pleasant recently and hiked his way through thick brush and mountains for four hours until he found his way home.

Nathan had gone along with his mother, who was one of the leaders at the Mt. Pleasant Boy Scout Merit Badge Pow Wow Camp, about 5 miles above the Mt. Pleasant power plant.While his mother was busy with a merit badge class, Nathan asked permission to go to the rest room which was located only about 100 yards away. On his way there, however, Nathan spotted a squirrel. With the natural curiosity of a young boy, Nathan began chasing the squirrel, which ran off the trail into thick brush. He continued following the squirrel and became lost.

"I yelled and yelled," Nathan said, "but no one answered."

Nathan had been taught well by his father, Bryan, what to do in the mountains. Nathan knew that, if he became lost, he should hug a tree. But when he came across a dead deer with cougar tracks all around it, he became frightened and knew he had to get out of there.

Nathan kneeled down and said a prayer to his Heavenly Father. He told Heavenly Father that if He would not let the animals get him, he would run away as fast as he could.

Nathan then climbed to the top of the highest point and looked for the Scout Camp. He could see no sign of the camp and thought they had all gone home. But, he could see the city of Mt. Pleasant and he decided to try to find his way home.

In the meantime, Sister Mecham became worried when her son did not return after about 10 minutes. She walked toward the rest room but noticed that Nathan's foot prints veered off into the brush. She knew then that he had wandered off. Her Boy Scout son, Justin, felt that Nathan was OK. After all, hadn't Dad taught them what they needed to know about camping?

The Scout troops, headed by their leaders, fanned out and scoured the area even searching a nearby pond to see if Nathan had fallen in. One troop found his tracks and followed them until dark.

"I never did feel that he was in the pond," said the mother. "We've always told the boys that, if they can't swim, stay away from the water."

When Nathan couldn't be found, Sister Mecham sent Farrel Marx, one of the Scout leaders, back to Mt. Pleasant to alert the Sanpete Search and Rescue, the police department, and Nathan's father, Bryan, who was coaching a Little League baseball team.

Oblivious to the excitement he had created, Nathan was concentrating on getting himself out of a serious predicament. He hiked a ways, then climbed the tallest hill to make sure he was still going in the direction toward Mt. Pleasant. One time he saw a man in a row boat on a pond but couldn't find a way to get to him.

In Mt. Pleasant, Mel Carr heard the word that Nathan Mecham was missing in the mountains. He relayed the message to his wife, Terri. She said, "Are you sure that it is Nathan who is missing? He's running past our place right now as fast as he can go!"

Terri and Mel went out and got the boy who was badly sunburned and dehydrated. They gave him water and alerted the rescuers that Nathan was found. Nathan was glad to be home. He was asked to tell about his adventure on Sunday during Sharing Time in Primary and; sure enough, his friends have given him a new nickname - Davy Crockett!

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