Stranded for two days, Louisiana troop survived by being smart and being prepared

The Scout Motto tells us to “Be Prepared,” and here’s why.

A Louisiana troop trapped for two days by a rising river in southwest Arkansas survived by making smart decisions and planning ahead.

Officials inside and outside the BSA praise the four six Scouts and two Scouters of Troop 162 for their impressive performance in the face of this ordeal.

According to an Associated Press report, the guys filed a detailed schedule and map of where they’d be, knew which areas to avoid in case of flash floods, and quickly moved to higher ground when necessary.

This planning might have saved the guys’ lives.

“They did exactly what they needed to do,” Montgomery County Sheriff David White told the Associated Press. “As long as they stayed on high ground, we figured they were going to be in good shape.”

The six were rescued by a National Guard helicopter early Tuesday morning, as the Associated Press video above shows.

The Albert Pike Recreation Area had no cell service available, so when the troop didn’t return home as planned on Monday, family members and friends took the seven-hour drive up from Lafayette, La., to the recreation area in southwest Arkansas.

After a nerve-racking evening that included a candlelight vigil for the parents, National Guardsmen spotted the troop’s campfire at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

It was too dangerous to land at that time, so Guardsmen tossed down supplies and walkie talkies.

After sunrise, the helicopter was able to land and rescue the troop—a happy ending made possible by the Scout Motto.

With the troop back safely, Art Hawkins, executive director of the Evangeline Area Council, took the chance to offer his own accolades.

“I wish I could videotape the whole thing,” he told the Associated Press. “This was the lesson of all the things you could do right. There was nothing that could have been done differently to change the outcome.”

3 thoughts on “Stranded for two days, Louisiana troop survived by being smart and being prepared

  1. Nice article. Just a head’s up. It was 6 Scouts between 13 and 15 and two adults. The Scoutmaster Jeff Robinson and Assistant Scoutmaster Andy Trahan handled everything by the proverbial book. This “High Adventure” outing was a 26 mile trek to prepare for the big one to be held later this year. Troop 162 is located in Lafayette, LA and has earned the National camping award annually for as long as I can remember. Minimally the troop has one outing each month, but generally does more than that since it has outings with the entire plus those with the “older” boys that make up the troop’s high adventure program. By the way, Jeff regularly gives back to the program by teaching those same backpacking and camping skills at our council’s “Outdoor Leader Program”, “Winter Camp, University of Scouting, and anywhere else he is needed.

    A proud member of Troop 162’s committee.
    Eagle Scout and Vigil Member Mike Hinson
    Evangeline Area Council 212

    • Thanks, Mike! I made the change you noted.

      We’re glad your troop made it out safely, and we appreciate the guys showing all of us how it’s done!

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