12-year-old on hike runs into lost couple and injured dog, uses boy scout skills to help

A 12-year-old Boy Scout lad used his Boy Scout knowledge to rescue a couple and their dog that got lost on a hike on the Hawaii trail in August.

The couple, JD and Aimee were only planning to hike for two miles with their dog. However, they made a wrong turn and ended up going seven miles.

That might not have been a cause for worry, but it was getting dark at the time, and they hadn’t seen anyone for hours.


They also didn’t have any extra food or water and their phones had stopped working. Their blue nose pitbull Smokey had injured his feet and couldn’t walk. JD tried to transport him, but the 100-pound dog was just too heavy.

A Boy Scout named David King and Christine, his mother, ran into the group. The pair was just three miles from the end of a 15-mile hike along Waimano Trail to earn their Boy Scouts Merit Badge.

“We asked, ‘Oh, do you need any help?’ And they said, ‘Yeah,’” David recalled to KHON-TV. “They showed us the dog’s paws, it had some cuts on it. It hurt when the dog walked. When the dog would walk, it would just be really painful.”

The Waimano Trail in Hawaii

Although the Kings could show the couple the way out, Smokey was in too much pain to continue, and their cellphones didn’t have service.

David then remembered a tip he received from his older brother, who was an Eagle Scout.

“So we built them a stretcher using a, using a big tree branch that we broke in half and we used our shirts and like slid it on and used the armholes to fit the sticks through,” the boy told the outlet.

Although Christine wasn’t so sure about the plan at first, it was worth a try.

“It was [David’s] idea to make the stretcher,” Christine said. “We didn’t think it would work because we didn’t think the dog would get onto the stretcher. Smokey was happy to be on the stretcher. We just carried him out.”

A pitbull on a makeshift stretcher

Smokey sensed that they were trying help him so he cooperated with them and climbed onto the makeshift stretcher. It was a challenge to drag the large dog along the trail, but it was not impossible for the four of them.

David, who had played in a soccer match that morning, found it even more difficult.

“It was really tough, but we rotated,” he recalled. “So sometimes we did four people, one on each side, or two on each side, and then go to two people — like my mom and the man — and then we’d go back, and then the dog would get off and walk some which was really helpful and let us relax.”

The group made it safely to their trailhead, thanks to some good fortune. Smokey’s cuts were later treated, and he is doing well.

Many people who read about David’s heroic deed online commended the boy and his mother, saying that the hike he completed may be worth more than one merit badge.

David, Christine, JD, and Aimee carrying the stretcher where Smokey was on

But David wasn’t thinking about the badges he would earn. It was enough for David to feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that he had helped others.

“I think that when you help someone out it’s like there’s something, like joy in you, that’s just like, you know you did something good that day,” he said.

The Boy Scout gave some tips for adventurers.

“Make sure that whenever you’re doing an activity, always think of what can go wrong and how you can prevent it,” he said.

David also recommended that others bring the following essentials to hike: a flashlight (or pocket knife), first aid kit, rain gear and extra food.

Listen to Christine, David and the story of how the pair saved the hikers from being stranded.

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