Ford, 72, lived part time at an 800-acre ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and flew his own helicopter as part of local search and rescue missions.
In 2001, a then-13-year-old Utah Boy Scout named Cody Clawson, spent a rainy night lost and alone outside in Yellowstone National Park, CBSNews.com reported at the time. He was eventually spotted by Ford and another searcher.
"Boy, you sure must have earned a merit badge for this one," Ford said, according to CBSNews.
"I already earned this badge last summer," Clawson replied.
"Cody said the kids asked if he got an autograph and he said, 'No, but I got a hug and a handshake, and that's better than an autograph,'" said his mother, Peggy Clawson.