The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Camp Adventure: a flood and Helicopter ride


June 27, 2018

ictured are about half of the Big Sandy campers that were picked up at C Bar N camp last week in a National Guard helicopter do to massive flooding around Augusta. l to r: Evalina Wagoner, Mattie Gasvoda, Amy Gasvoda, Malasia Phillips, Kody Strutz, Lane Demontiney, Rusty Gasvoda, and Tannin Baumann. Campers that are not pictures who enjoyed the ride were Tosha Allderdice, Jake Darlington, Teagen Cochran, Kodi-Jo Phillips, and Lainey Terry.

Everybody should know by now that the Montana Army National Guard used two Chinook helicopters to rescue Big Sandy kids who were attending Montana Wilderness School of the Bible. The Dearborn River southwest of Augusta flooded and destroyed the road making it necessary to close the road and evacuate campers and staff who were stranded. There were 100 teenagers and 37 staff members attending the camp run by C Bar N Ministries.

During the storm and while at camp the kids were never told of the circumstance below them. They were high enough they never experienced any flooding. The first they knew about the issues below them was after they hiked up a small mountain side hill and saw the flooding and damage below. They were then told they would be rescued by helicopters in the morning and they would need to pack their bags so they could get on the helicopter when they landed and that their parents would meet them at Holman Aviation in Great Falls.

All of the kids I talked to repeated almost the exact same words, although they didn't give very many quotable sentences. Most gave one word answers. They were excited to have the experience, an experience they won't forget. Jake Darlington said, "It was really loud. I was really excited. I thought they were joking when they told us we were going on a helicopter."

"Evalina Wagoner said, "It was really cool. I've never done anything like it." 33 kids were put into harnesses along the sides of the helicopter. They were given ear plugs because the noise volume can damage ears and although there weren't many windows in the helicopter they left the back-door open so they could see everything.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, "Tannin Bauman, 13-year-old camper from Big Sandy, said, 'I'm super afraid of heights and when we were flying we would go up and then go down and up again. But it was still really fun."

They actually made national news! What a great ending for them to an unexpected natural disaster!


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