I try to keep these postings on track following Nana’s Raid, but I often allow my other interests to distract me from that quest. One of those sidelines is in collecting what I classify as “Lost in the Woods” stories, as here and here. The latest of these to catch my eye is the curious tale of a young lady recently the subject of an extensive search in Wyoming. Although initial reports almost always get the facts wrong, it appears possible the girl was not in fact lost but may instead have taken French leave from a crew of teens working on a “trail project” in Grand Teton National Park.
I wonder what might have motivated her to go over the hill, as they used to say in the Army? If I were still a reporter, I’d want to take a closer look at Groundwork USA. My first thought was that it is one of those outfits despairing parents contract with to straighten out their troubled sons (or daughters) with a combination of tough love, hard work and healthy living in isolated and Spartan rural surroundings. A couple of those operations have surfaced in New Mexico over the years, usually amid allegations of mistreatment and abuse. From its website it’s not easy to guess exactly how Groundwork’s “Green Teams” go about providing “vehicles for young people to develop their abilities to lead and work with a team, hone their financial and emotional literacy, and strengthen their awareness of the intersection of local and global issues in our communities.” It could be young Fauna simply got fed up with listening to this kind of blather while raising blisters wielding a shovel in the back country and decided she’d rather take her chances with the grizzlies.