UPSTATE NEW YORK --- Master Guides from Pathfinder clubs across the United States have descended upon the area surrounding Clinton Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Dannemora, upstate New York, in an effort to use their outdoor pursuits skills to track down two escaped murderers, Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34.
Although law enforcement officials were initially reluctant to allow the Master Guides to join the hunt for the escaped convicts, they eventually consented to their leading a volunteer force.
"All we had to do was demonstrate our impeccable orienteering and knot-tying skills and we were in," said Tucker Chase, Pathfinder Director for Rochester, NY's Central SDA Church and head of the Master Guide convict tracking effort. "Our hard-earned Pathfinder honor patch skills showed that we knew our way around forests and had all kinds of knot-tying options should we come across the bad guys and have to restrain them."
Although he admits that finding the two convicts will be challenging, Chase is confident his team has a solid shot at success. "I just keep asking myself where I would hide around here in the time of trouble," he said. "That narrows down the choices some."
Chase said that his worst fear is that the criminals have escaped to Canada. "That would mean having to call up some of our Canadian Pathfinder clubs. And I'm just not sure if their skills are up to snuff."