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Los Alamos Boy Scout dies in camping accident

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

A 17-year-old Los Alamos boy died Saturday when a snow cave he was making collapsed on top of him during a Boy Scout camping trip in Conejos County, Colorado, a Boy Scouts of America official confirmed.

Efforts to revive Josh Miko, a member of Boy Scout Troop 22 in Los Alamos, failed after fellow campers dug him out and took him to a medical clinic in Chama, according to KOAT-TV. The incident took place in the Rio Grande National Forest near the New Mexico-Colorado state line.

A snow cave is a domed structure made of snow that is used in winter-storm survival scenarios, according to Scout Life magazine. A snow cave is dug out of a snow drift or slope and is usually big enough to sleep in.

“This is an extremely sad time for our Scouting family following the death of one of our youth members after an incident while camping,” the Greater Southwest Council of Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. “We offer our deepest condolences to the Miko family, and we will support them in any way that we can. We appreciate the efforts of the Scouts, volunteers and emergency personnel who responded.”

Los Alamos High School Principal Carter Payne said that, in addition to Boy Scouts, Miko was also an active member of ROTC. He was well liked in the program and also participated in a number of other activities at school.

Miko was a member of the Sea Perch Team, which was involved in designing and computing an underwater robot. In addition, he was in the school choir program and all-in-all a “really well-rounded kid.”

Payne said grief counselors are available for students, and the school is supporting classes and programs in which he was directly involved.

The Conejos County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately return phone messages from the Journal on Monday.