KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Dozens of friends and classmates mourned the loss of A.L. Brown High School student and Boy Scout Chris Overcash who fell to his death at Stone Mountain State Park Saturday.
The teens, some with their parents, hugged and cried in front of the school's spirit rock -- which was freshly painted with a message for Overcash early Monday morning.
"RIP Chris Overcash, c/o 2014," it said.
"Chris was one of those people that whenever you talk to him, no matter how bad of a day you were having, he could always made your day a thousand times better," said close friend Meghan Shapley.
She and a few others arrived early at the vigil to make sure the rock was painted to honor their friend.
Keith Nicholson helped Shapley with the paint and candles.
"You could tell him anything, you could trust him with anything, he was just a sweetheart to everybody," recalled Nicholson, who was best friends with Overcash.
State Park police said Overcash died during a hike with Boy Scout Troop 128 from Concord, near the top of the "dome," or rock. According to park police, Overcash was walking about 100 yards below a well-marked trail.
Sunday, Boy Scout spokesman Todd Walter said Overcash was one of 11 scouts, ages 11-18, hiking in the park. They were accompanied by three leaders, one of whom is the troop's former Scoutmaster and Overcash's foster father.
Friends said Overcash's foster parents were making plans to adopt Christopher, and his foster mother posted pictures of him on a memorial facebook page Sunday afternoon.
"I love you Chris," she simply wrote under one of the pictures.
At the rock, classmates described their reaction to hearing the news of Overcash's death.
"I wanted it to be some sort of sick joke," said Kaitlyn Dawkins, another close friend. "He doesn't seem like the kind to fall off a cliff -- he's so careful and strategic when it comes to stuff like that."
Dawkins wore Overcash's army dog tags and bracelets she said he gave her last week. Overcash was in the school's Navy ROTC, but was proud of his "army roots."
She echoed was so many other people at the vigil said. "He was probably the happiest person I ever met in my entire life!" she exclaimed, laughing.
Dawkins and a group of girls giggled as they shared stories of Overcash and his "goofiness," as they called it.
"It's not a laughing matter but the only way to cope is to joke," she said as the others nodded.
And they agreed Overcash would like it that way.
"Cuz that's what he would do if he were here," said another.
Scout leaders and counselors are meeting with the other boys who were on the trip, and principals at each of the boys' schools have been notified, said Walter, the Scout spokesman.
Funeral arrangements are not yet complete.
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