Humboldt 4-H Leader to be Honored in D.C. Following Young Sisters’ Wilderness Survival Story

When 5-year-old Caroline Carrico and 8-year-old Leia Carrico were younger, they were taught wilderness survival tactics from their local 4-H club leader. While they were recently lost in the rugged Humboldt wilderness for 44 hours, gaining national attention as a massive rescue operation desperately searched for the girls, the training paid off.

Now, the man who taught them the survival skills will be honored in Washington D.C. next week.

Justin Lehnert is being flown to D.C. to be recognized for his stellar wilderness training after the young girls cited his teachings to how they were able to survive while they were lost in the forest. Along with his wife, Lehnert will be flown to the 4-H Legacy Award gala dinner where they honor “those who make life-changing experiences possible” for 4-H youth. It is unclear which honor he will be receiving.

Lehnert is the owner of Redwood Adventures Sports, a local Humboldt paddle sports company located on the South Fork of the Eel river. The company performs kayaking, paddle-boarding and hiking tours, as well as wilderness survival training.

He will be giving survival presentations this month in Miranda, California:

The young Carrico sisters were found on Sunday in the rugged wilderness of Humboldt County after being lost for nearly two days. They survived the terrifying weekend by eating granola bars as a massive operation to find the girls was underway. That search and rescue operation included a dozen agencies, including the National Guard, helicopters and tracking dogs.

The girls wandered away from their remote home in Benbow and into the rugged wilderness on Friday and were found 44 hours later and 1 1/2 miles away. They were finally located by a local volunteer firefighting crew that had followed their boot prints and granola bar wrappers. Once found, they were immediately reunited with their parents.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine


  1. What about honoring the girls as well? They were the ones who actually used survival tools!

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