But did you look everywhere?

I have a November memory that has stuck with me for many years.

I have a November memory that has stuck with me for many years.

My friend’s daughter was chosen in her community to be a Youth Justice Worker and, with about a dozen other young folks from communities all over the province, she was scheduled for a one-week training session on a military base about six hours from her home.

This was such an honour and the program was conducted under the guidance of the federal police force. It was a big deal!

She was about 11 years old and young to be away from home but her mom, my friend, agreed that she would/should be safe in the hands of such a large policing organization and that it would surely be the experience of a lifetime for her.  Oh, yes, it was the experience of a lifetime, for sure.

On evening two, my friend called her daughter to see how things were going.  The person answering the phone tried but couldn’t find her and told my friend she would give her daughter the message to call back.

My friend called again after an hour and asked again to speak to her daughter.

The troop leader came on the phone and reported that her daughter was, in fact, gone and they could not locate her.

What?!

They had apparently searched her room and the barracks but she was nowhere to be found.  Being a youth, they asked about her daughter’s drug use and whether she might run away.

My friend was fit to be tied — her daughter was missing from an Armed Forces base six hours away and, this being unusual behaviour for her daughter, she felt completely helpless.

Local and regional reinforcements were brought into the search, including helicopters.

My friend was called several times over the next hour and offered support by every top brass member of the local, regional and provincial police forces.

This was unprecedented as well as frightening but also truly embarrassing for the training organization, especially in view of the security in their jobs.

What could they mean saying she had just disappeared?

How could that possibly happen in such a facility with such implied security standards? My friend was on the phone constantly and reassured repeatedly that her daughter would be located. It was a very tense time.

On hour four, a call came to say she had been found. The caller was oddly hesitant and stumbled over his words as he gave her the news that her daughter was OK and, then, tried to explain, without sounding completely foolish, what had happened to activate the huge search of the evening.

It was simple, actually — her daughter, tired after her day in training, had gone off into one of the bedrooms (not her own because her roommates were gabbing and keeping her awake) and fallen asleep.

She had slept through all of the searching, calling out, the whirling helicopter lights of the ground search around the barracks, the dogs barking outside and, of course, all the frantic phone calls.  She had slept through it all and four hours later walked sleepily out of the room and into complete chaos!

How do you spell “relief?”

Oh, and maybe spell “oops” while you’re at it.

Colleen Crossley is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

Just Posted

Williams Lake Farmers’ Market manager Barb Scharf said Friday, May 7, she was glad to have everyone back for another season. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Farmers’ market season underway in Williams Lake

The Friday market goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lake City Secondary School Grade 7 Outdoor Education students Geordi Wonnacott (from left), Brody Brook, James Wilker, Ali Calabrese and Kaitlyn Brown explore a burned area at the top end of the trails at Bull Mountain Ski Area last year as part of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school program. (Martin Kruus photo)
Ski school glides to successful year at Bull Mountain

Avah Akeson, also in grade seven, said that just having the opportunity to ski was really fun

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred Friday

100 Mile RCMP dealing with serious accident at Highway 97 near 103 Mile (file photo)
Man, in distress, arrested after altercation with RCMP members in Lone Butte

The man is currently at the hospital with no pending charges

Scout Island Nature Centre. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
LETTER: Scout Island causeway important riparian habitat

We appreciate this opportunity to clarify how Scout Island Nature Centre lands is managed

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read