FORT A.P. HILL, Va., July 31 (UPI) -- The Boy Scouts of America have combined their traditional "buddy system" with an electronic tracking device to ensure special needs Scouts don't get lost.
At the 2005 National Scout Jamboree, Troop 913 from Salt Lake City is showing other troops from across the country how high-tech devices can make Scouting more accommodating.
Troop 913 includes 10 boys with a variety of challenges from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to cerebral palsy, autism and Down syndrome. Other Scouts joined the troop specifically to be "buddies" to these Scouts and help them get around the 3,000-acre jamboree site.
Two fellow Scouts act as "buddies," and each of the 10 Scouts is equipped with an electronic tracking device that enables adult leaders to locate the Scout anywhere.
After a Scout was lost during an outing - and although the boy was found safe -- a Great Salt Lake Council member who trains falcons suggested using the tracking device for Scouts. A $50,000 donation made it possible to purchase 200 transmitters and four receivers, some of which are being used at the jamboree.