May 2, 2011 11:36 AM by Kate Durio
A local boy scout troop has not been heard from since Wednesday while on a camping trip near Langley, Arkansas. Family members tell KATC that the six teenage boys and two scout leaders were expected to arrive home to Lafayette last night, but they did not return.
The Evangeline Council Boy Scout Troop 162 is based out of St. Edmond's Catholic Church in Lafayette. According to Bob Clements, the Eagle Scout Mentor for the troop, the six scouts are all about 14 years old and are trained as High Adventure Scouts and are well prepared for this type of trip. Clements also tells KATC that he feels confident that they are safe because of the highly skilled troop leaders and the High Adventure Scout training of the six scouts.
Parents tell KATC the troop is camping in the Albert Pike Recreational Area in Ouachita National Forest near Langley, Arkansas. An area Clements says has no cell phone towers and is a cell phone dead zone, though Clements is assured that the troop is safe and capable even if they cannot call out. Clements also says that the troop is required to fill out a tour permit listing every aspect of their trip including how long they will be there and what they will be doing while they are there, that has to be approved by the Boy Scout Council. Clements says that the troop met with a ranger on their way in, who knows all of the details about the tour permit including the location of the troops van. The troop would have backpacked in to the area to camp. Clements says that rivers in the area are high, and over bridges in some areas. However, Clements says, the scouts would camp on high ground, outside of any danger of flooding.
Local authorities are currently conducting a search for the troop.