Scouting in Louisiana
Scouting in Louisiana has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.
Early history (1910-1950)
The first Boy Scouts of America 17 (BSA) Troop in Louisiana was founded in 1910 in Monroe, LA by Isaac Cowden. The group of boys had formed the year before as "The Newsboy's Club" and met Sundays in the Knights of Pythias Hall on St. John Street. This troop was among the first in the south. The first Scout Master to be commissioned in Louisiana was Osee W. Zeagler.
In the days of segregation, five of the seven Louisiana councils maintained a separate summer camp for Negro scouts and the other two ran a special session at the regular council camp in order that black scouts would not be denied a camping program. In the period 1957-1967, each of the "Negro Scout Camps" were closed and the regular councils camps were integrated. Negro camps in Louisiana were: Camp Pioneer (Norwela Council), Camp Britton (Ouachita Valley Council), Camp Chenier (Evangeline Area Council), Indian Village Scout Camp (New Orleans Area Council), and Camp Carver (Istrouma Area Council).
Boy Scouts of America Today
There are six BSA local councils in Louisiana.
Louisiana Purchase Council
The Louisiana Purchase Council was formed by the merger between the Ouachita Valley and Attakapas Councils to serve Scouts in Northeast and Central Louisiana.
- Pioneer District: Ouachita, Morehouse, East Carroll, West Carroll, Richland and Madison Parishes.
- Thunderbird District: Union, Lincoln, Jackson, and Winn Parishes.
- Attakapas District: Allen, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, and Rapides Parishes.
- Camp T.L. James near Downsville, Louisiana.
- Camp Attakapas approximately 35 miles NE of Alexandria, near Jena.
Calcasieu Area Council
The Calcasieu Area Council serves the families and youth in five Parishes of Southwest Louisiana. The Council Volunteer Service Center is located in Lake Charles, LA. The Council is divided into three districts: Pioneer District serves Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Jeff Davis Parish; Cypress Knee District serves Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes; Thunderbird District serves Beauregard and Vernon Parishes.
The Staff typically includes a Scout Executive, District Director and two District Executives. Support Staff includes an office staff and Camp Ranger.
The Council's Camp is Camp Edgewood, located near DeQuincy, Louisiana.
- Thunderbird District
- Pioneer District
- Cypress Knee District
Evangeline Area Council
The Evangeline Area Council was formed in 1924 and serves Scouts in Acadia, Evangeline, Lafayette, Iberia St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermillion Parishes.
- Bon Temps District
- Kuna Nisha District
- Lost Bayou Scout Camp
- Camp Brownell
- Camp Steen
- Camp Thistlethwaite
Istrouma Area Council
Istrouma Area Council serves Scouts in 13 parishes in Louisiana (Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Feliciana and West Baton Rouge) and in Wilkinson County, Mississippi. The Council is divided into six districts: Avondale, Bogue Tuchenna, Chappepeela, Cypress Chauve, Sewell-Eagle and Tunica. The Council Service center is located at 9644 Brookline Avenue in Baton Rouge. The "Council Key 3" Leadership team consists of Scout Executive Gary Mertz, Executive Board President Darrell Ourso and Council Commissioner Norman Bacon.
The Norwela Council of the BSA was established in 1923. It serves a nine-parish region: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, and Webster.
- Caddo District
- Netami District
- Yatasi District
- Cherokee District
Kinsey Scout Reservation South of Stonewall.
Southeast Louisiana Council
- Bayou District
- Cataouatche District
- Cypress District
- Emerging Markets District
- Fleur de Lis District
- Pelican District
Chilantakoba Lodge serves as the Order of the Arrow lodge for the Southeast Louisiana Council. Chilantakoba Lodge works as an integral part of the Southeast Louisiana Council in serving Scouting in Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemine, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint James, Saint Tammany, and Terrebonne Parishes, as well as a portion of Mississippi.
The lodge is governed by a group of youth (under 21) elected and appointed officers, with the aid of Lodge Advisers (adults 21 or over), appointed by the Council Scout Executive (Supreme Chief of the Fire). The elections are held annually, and the officers serve from January 1 to December 31, unless provided for otherwise by the Supreme Chief of the Fire.
The lodge officers are elected annually by the membership of the lodge. Each chapter is allotted 10 votes for each position, and the votes are allocated via chapter caucus.
- Lodge Chief
- Immediate Past Lodge Chief
- Lodge Vice Chief of Administration
- Lodge Vice Chief of Programs
- Lodge Treasurer
- Lodge Secretary
The Committee Chairmen are appointed by the Lodge Chief, with the approval of the Lodge Executive Committee. An asterisk (*) following the committee name indicates a Lodge Standing Committee, those committees without an asterisk are Operating Committees, and are created by the Lodge Vice Chiefs each year to aid them in the execution of their duties. All Operating Committees and their respective chairman must be approved by the Lodge Executive Committee.
- Unit Elections Committee
- Indian Affairs Committee
- Inductions Committee
- Training Committee
- Camping Committee
- Events Committee
- Service Committee
- Communications Committee
- Awards Committee
- Honor Neckerchief Committee*
- Founder's Award Committee*
- Vigil Honor Committee*
- Lodge Bylaws Committee*
The Chapter Chiefs are elected by the members of their chapters and serve until their successors are elected. All Chapter Chiefs serve as members of the Lodge Executive Committee. Below are the names of the five Chilantakoba Lodge chapters:
- Apeli Chapter
- Cataouatche Chapter
- Choctaw Chapter
- Houma Chapter
- Pelican Chapter
Hurricane Katrina and the Chilantakoba Tradition of Service
Before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Chilantakoba Lodge was the largest Order of the Arrow lodge in its section. The membership peaked around 600 but, following the storm, fell to nearly 100. The Council's camp, and much of the area it serves, was impacted severely. There were downed trees, damaged buildings, destroyed trails, and loss of many other assets on the council's property. Members of Chilantakoba Lodge helped in the resurrection of the Council Camp, Salmen Scout Reservation, and helped to staff the summer program, putting on three weeks of Boy Scout summer camp. It is this level of dedication, and desire to serve, that has caused Chilantakoba Lodge to produce five Lodge Chiefs who have later gone on to receive the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award for service to the Order.
Girl Scouting in Louisiana
Two Girl Scout Councils serve Louisiana.
Girl Scouts Louisiana East
Girl Scouts Louisiana East serves some 16,000 girls in 23 parishes. It was formed by the merger of Girl Scout Council of Southeast Louisiana and Girl Scouts-Audubon Council in April 2008.
Headquarters: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Camp Marydale is 400 acres (1.6 km2) in St. Francisville, LA
- Camp Whispering Pines is 600 acres (2.4 km2) in Independence, LA. It includes a 23-acre (93,000 m2) lake.
- Camp Covington is 23 acres (93,000 m2) in Covington, LA. It was founded in 1927.
- McFadden Cabin is located in City Park (New Orleans)
Girl Scouts of Louisiana - Pines to the Gulf
It was formed by the merger of Bayou Girl Scout Council, Central Louisiana Girl Scout Council, Inc., Girl Scouts Pelican Council, and Girl Scouts Silver Waters Council in January 2008.
Headquarters: Lafayette, Louisiana
- Camp Bon Temps is 106 acres (0.43 km2) in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
- Camp Wawbansee is 140 acres (0.57 km2) in Arcadia, Louisiana
- Camp Indian Creek is in Chatham, Louisiana
Baden-Powell Service Association
The Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) was formed in the U.S. in 2006 as an independent and traditional-style Scouting Association, perpetuating the principles and practices of Scouting laid down by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907. BPSA's aim is to promote good citizenship and physical, mental, and moral development, as well as training in habits of observation, discipline, self-reliance, loyalty, and useful skills.
The BPSA is totally independent of, and not affiliated with, either the Boy Scouts of America or the Girls Scouts of the USA, and are members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS). It is not in competition with other American Scouting associations, but rather offers an alternative that focuses on traditional scoutcraft, and is distinguished by wearing the traditional brown or dark green scout uniform with campaign hat. The BPSA is coed and accepts both boys and girls into its scouting ranks.
There is one Baden-Powell Service Association local group in Louisiana, the 39th Cypress Scouts located in New Orleans.
- The Times (Shreveport, LA) October 18, 1910, Page 2, Column 1.
- "Mr. Cowden initiated the movement in Monroe and I served as Scout Master, the first to be commissioned in Louisiana, my commission being signed by James E. West, Executive Secretary, and being No. 1" "Genealogy of William Brian, Jacob Humble and David Zeagler: 1700 - 1967" by Osee W. Zeagler, Page 339, c. 1967.
- This a link to the Cypress Knee District units at google maps. By Clicking on the marker for the Unit you can get the units contact information. Cub Scout Packs are in blue, troops are in red and crews are in yellow.