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Photography by Williamsburg Community Chapel : Williamsburg, VA
For Nelson County Life Magazine Â©2007
Williamsburg Community Chapel
Wintergreen Mountain, Virginia
Above, the Williamsburg Community Chapel that helped locate 8 year old Sam Bacon over the weekend.
We first told you about an 8 year old missing boy at Wintergreen this past weekend. Original post here. It had a very happy ending. Since our original story the group leader of the Williamsburg Community Chapel sent us an e-mail with more details of the search that night. I’ll just let Mr. Ritter tell his wonderful story. Thank all of you at Williamsburg for your wonderful help to our community!
“My name is Jon Ritner, and I am the group leader from the Williamsburg Community Chapel in Williamsburg, VA. We had 175 men attending our annual Men’s Retreat at Wintergreen this weekend. Here is more information on the missing boy.
The boy, Sam Bacon, was 8 years old. Around 5 PM he got disoriented and was separated from his family while hiking near Lady Slip near the top of Wintergreen Resort.
At 9 PM, our group of men were finishing the evening’s session and the word began to spread that there was a missing boy on the mountain. We asked the front desk to call each of our units/homes and notify them that search parties were forming. Nearly every man showed up to help search and the men began praying for his safety. We were transported from the main lodge to Lady Slip in shuttle busses where we checked in with Emergency Services personnel. Around 10:15 PM, bloodhounds arrived and were sent into the woods with a team after smelling the boy’s seat in the car, and some clothes. The group of men, were told we were going to wait 20 minutes for the dogs to begin to locate the trail.
Around that time, police officers asked those not properly dressed to assist in the search by going door to door looking for the boy in or around the nearby condo units.
After 11, the police decided it was too dangerous for all of the men to head into the woods, and asked that only those with mountain hiking experience, proper clothing, to remain and be ready to search. Nearly half of the men stayed and half were sent home. Before splitting up the group, the men from the Chapel came together again to pray.
Around 11:30, one of the men from the Chapel, Dick Robins, was going unit to unit with a Cable Repair man who was volunteering in the search party as well. They came upon a cul de sac of houses in the area. Upon searching around one of the homes, they found a boy in an open utility room with a light on. They called out, “Is that you Sam?” After identifying him They took the boy back to the command post, where he was walked through the large group of volunteers and towards his families unit. His parents were notified and came running to greet him. His mother said to Sam, “I am more excited to see you now then on the day you were born!.” As the family embraced, the crowd of volunteers cheered.”
My name is Erin Bacon and my son, Sam, is the boy who was lost this past weekend at Wintergreen.
I am writing in hopes that you will pass along our deepest thanks to the hundreds of people who searched for him. We are so grateful that he was found safely and humbled by the kindness of strangers.
Sam is doing well and has even told us it was exciting to meet the Sheriff and ride in the ambulance. I think he is getting tired of us following him around, but heâ€™ll have to be patient with us. For Christmas, each of our 3 boys will be getting a whistle to wear in the woods.
There is no way we can adequately express how thankful we are for the wonderful people who brought our son back to us.