Missing Boy Scout troop found in Arkansas national forest
Arkansas authorities found the scouts Tuesday after they went missing in the Ouachita National Forest.
May 3rd, 2011
08:50 AM ET

Missing Boy Scout troop found in Arkansas national forest

A Boy Scout troop from Lafayette, Louisiana, which was missing after a weekend camping trip in an Arkansas national forest, was found safe on Tuesday, officials said.

The campsite of troop No. 162 in the Ouachita National Forest was spotted by a National Guard helicopter, said Jerry Elizandro, spokesman for the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency.

The scouts were being transferred by helicopter to a command post, said Art Hawkins, scout executive for the Evangeline Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. All the boys are fine, he said. Officials hope to find out what happened from the scout master later, he said.

Hawkins said Monday officials were confident the troop was safe, saying the scout master with the troop was very experienced and serves as a backpacking trainer. The average age of the youths is 14, he said.

Arkansas State Police were prevented from conducting an aerial search on Monday because of the weather, Hawkins said. A lack of cell service in the area was also hampering search efforts, he said.

The area being searched was near the scene of a fatal flood last year. Twenty people died in flash floods during the summer.

The Ouachita National Forest, the South's oldest and largest national forest, is a sprawling wilderness of 1.6 million acres, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. There are 480 miles of hiking trails and an abundance of campgrounds.

- CNN's Rick Martin and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.

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  1. RangerMike

    I respect the boyscout the program teaches many kids to do many thing. Working as a ranger in a boyscout camp i see thousand and thosand of kids become extradionary adults. The program works. Dont Knock it till you see it.

    May 7, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. evelyn

    Hello, I am not sure where to send this so I am sending it here. When hearing of missing scouts from time to time on the news, it breaks my heart, & I have often wondered if there is a reason why everyone attending an outing is not supplied with a whistle. The scouts could blow their whistles in times of distress early on in the event of straying away from their camp. The leaders could also reply with their whistles allowing the lost scout to know he is being heard. The organization could lay out the rules as needed for the whistles. The whistles could also be engraved with the scouts name & phone number/troop etc. Thanks, E

    May 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dechion

      Yes, I know I am a week late to the party, but I saw this and felt I should comment. Perhaps you will stop by sone day and see it.

      I am a Scout leader, and oddly enough my troop was on a wilderness survival themed campout on the weekend this happened. All the boys created and carried small survival kits, designed to keep you going for a few days yet be no more than a belt pouch.

      Along with many small things in that kit is a whistle. (Other items include at least one way to start a fire, a signal mirrior, compass, thick twine, a trash bag or two, basic first aid items, and other odds and ends.)

      They do carry these things and at least in the case of the troops in my area practice using them pretty frequently.

      May 17, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. evelyn

    Hello, I am not sure where to send this so I am sending it here. When hearing of missing scouts from time to time on the news, it breaks my heart, & I have often wondered if there is a reason why everyone attending an outing is not supplied with a whistle. The scouts could blow their whistles in times of distress early on in the event of straying away from their camp. The leaders could also reply with their whistles allowing the lost scout to know he is being heard. The organization could lay out the rules as needed for the whistles. The whistles could also be engraved with the scouts name & phone number/troop etc. Thanks, Ev

    May 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
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