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Louisiana Boy Scouts get stranded In Arkansas, use “textbook survival skills.”

by Daniel Lawton

“I was afraid my parents were going to freak out,” said 13-year-old Louisiana Boy Scout Ian Fuselier, about being recently stranded in an Arkansas national park.

Fuselier, five of his Scout mates and two adults, spent 36 hours stranded in the wilderness after heavy rains made a river they had planned on crossing too tumultuous to ford.

The group hiked to higher ground, where they subsisted on eggs, jambalaya and other food.

According to Art Hawkins, executive director of the Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts in Lafayette, La., the Boy Scouts offered a “textbook” example of how to go camping.

The boys left a detailed plan of their trip with a Scout leader who stayed behind, making them easy to track. When they were faced with high water, they retreated to higher ground. There, their only real difficulty was finding dry wood, though they eventually managed to start a campfire that was key in their rescue.

Though rescuers located the boys on Monday night, they weren’t able to land a rescue helicopter until Tuesday morning. In the meantime, they tossed ponchos, food and blankets down to the Scouts.

The incident highlights the importance of knowing basic survival skills before heading off on a camping trip. Your chances of surviving inclement weather are dramatically higher when you are prepared for a sudden change in the elements. It’s also crucial to stay calm, which these Boy Scouts did.