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May 3, 2011 11:51 PM by Shawn Kline

Families find joy in Boy Scouts' return

Just after 6PM on Tuesday evening, Troop 162 finally returned home to Lafayette.
One-by-one, six boys stepped off the van to the sound of joy.
It was only the day before when Chester Stutes prayed for the safe return of his grandson, Caleb.

"I'm going to give him a big hug." Stutes says, "and thank the lord, that's the first thing I'm going to do."

As Caleb stepped off the van, Stutes got what he got what he prayed for. Those nearby could also hear him say, "thank the lord."

Grandson, Caleb was happy to tell his grandparents a truly wild story when he returned on the same day as his fourteenth birthday.

"We knew the river would rise so we tried to hurry," Caleb told his grandparents.

Scout leader Jeff Robinson says they just had to wait in the mountains of the Ouachita forest.

"The boys' spirits remained high because they knew we weren't lost," Robinson said. "They knew we weren't in danger."

But the wait was long enough for him. Another birthday in connection with the boy scouts' return; Robinson's homecoming was a birthday present for his wife.

Robinson told us, "she said, 'we'll just celebrate it another night.' So I think we'll have a little more of a celebration than we would have before."

A celebration just as special for those who've been home, waiting for their boy scouts to return.

"What was the first thing that you did when you saw (your grandson)?" KATC's Shawn Kline asked Caleb's grandmother, Delores Stutes.

"Hugged him!" She announced, "hugged him and kissed him and said, 'I missed you!'"

Both Robinson and his scouts say they had enough food to last another few days. In the forest, they were chowing down on some of their hometown favorites: gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya.
But their favorite part, the ride back in a helicopter.

 

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