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Scouting in Arkansas
Map of Boy Scout Councils in Arkansas
Boy Scout Councils Serving Arkansas
Map of Girl Scout Councils in Arkansas

Scouting in Arkansas has a long history, from 1913 to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Boy Scouting in Arkansas

Early history (1910-1950)

Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut
Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut 001.jpg
Scouting in Arkansas is located in Arkansas
Scouting in Arkansas
Location in Arkansas
Location 8th St., Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Area less than one acre
Built 1939
Built by A.F. Bishop
Architect National Youth Administration
Architectural style Late 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements, Other, Rustic
NRHP reference No. 01001526
Added to NRHP January 28, 2002

The Boy Scouts of America began in Arkansas in 1913, when the Little Rock Council was chartered by the National Boy Scout Council and was directed by a volunteer commissioner. In 1920, the Little Rock Council was reclassified and W. G. Moseley became the first council executive in 1921. Two years later, the Little Rock Council was renamed to the Pulaski County Council.

In 1916, the De Soto Area Council was formed (#013). In 1916, the Blytheville Council was formed; disbanding in 1917. In 1916, the Westark Area Council (#016) was formed. In 1916, Kia Kima Scout Reservation opened in Hardy, Arkansas by the Chickasaw Council (#558).

In 1917, the Jonesboro Council (#019) was formed; changing its name to the Saint Francis Valley Council (#019) in 1923. The council disbanded in 1930.

In 1918, the Hot Springs Council (#014) was formed; changing its name to the Ouachita Area Council (#014) in 1925.

In 1919, the Jefferson County Council (#017) was formed; changing its name to the Kanawha Area Council (#017) in 1930.

In 1920, the Fort Smith Council (#016) was formed; changing its name to the Fort Smith-Van Buren Council (#016) in 1924. In 1928 the council merged into the Northwest Arkansas Council (#016). In 1926, the Ozark Council (#753) was formed; merging into Northwest Arkansas in 1928. In 1930, the council changed its name to the Fort Smith Area Council, changing again in 1936 to the Westark Area Council (#016) .

In 1922, the Fayetteville Council (#015) was formed; changing its name to the Eastern Arkansas Area Council (#015) in 1935.

In 1924, the Crowley Ridge Council (#677) was formed; changing its name to the Mohawk Council (#677) in 1926.

In 1930, the Kanawha Area Council was formed; disbanding in 1934. The council disbanded in 1930, with half of the council moving to the De Soto Area Council (#013) and the other half to the Quapaw Area Council (#018).

Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut

The Arkadelphia Boy Scout Hut, located in Central Park, Arkadelphia, Arkansas, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Since the roof and the original shutters and windows were replaced in 1953, in the Hut is preclude from being listed on the National Register under Criterion C. However, it listed under Criterion A as a "property that made a contribution to the major pattern of American history".

The Boy Scout Hut was constructed from 1938 to 1939 as a National Youth Administration (NYA) project. It is an example of the typical type of buildings constructed by the New Deal's Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) and NYA during the Great Depression. However, it is the only known building constructed by the NYA and the only building designed in a Rustic style that remains standing in Arkadelphia that was designed and constructed during the New Deal era.

In a press release by Aubrey Williams, Executive Director of the National Youth Administration, on 24 September 1937, Williams stated:

City recreation departments, children’s agencies, YMCA’s, YWCA’s , settlement houses, institutions for the blind, public schools, orphanages, hospitals for handicapped and crippled children, boy’s clubs, Boy Scouts, community centers and churches were reported as cooperating agencies in supervising the students and providing facilities for increased recreational programs to all young people in the community.

—Aubrey Williams

While the Boy Scout Hut was constructed specificity as a meeting place for two local Boy Scout troops, and its use is controlled by the Boy Scouts, the building is actually owned by the city of Arkadelphia. Starting around 1958, the Boy Scouts allowed the local Girls Scout troops to use the building and currently Cub Scout Pack 3024 and Girl Scout Troop 454 use the building.

Boy Scouting in Arkansas today

Currently, all boy Scouts in the State of Arkansas are served by five area councils. These are the Caddo Area Council, the De Soto Area Council, the Quapaw Area Council, the Westark Area Council, and the Chickasaw Council.

Caddo Area Council

Caddo Area Council (#584)
Caddo Area Council
   Cossatot     Double Eagle
   Long Horn
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Texarkana, Texas
Country United States

The Caddo Area Council, serves youth in ten counties in Southwest Arkansas and Northeast Texas.


The Council is divided into three districts, Cossatot, Double Eagle and Longhorn districts

Order of the Arrow

The Council is supported by the Akela Wahinapay Lodge #232.

  • Camp Pioneer in Hatfield, Arkansas, a regional Boy Scout Resident Summer Camp.
  • Camp Preston Hunt - Near Texarkana, Arkansas, a Cub Scout and Webelos Resident Camp, and year-round camping facility. Located outside Texarkana, Arkansas, Camp Preston Hunt is over 250 acres, with eleven campsites with cabins, as well as numerous areas for tent camping, swimming pool, large dining hall, lake with canoes, shower facilities, cub pirate ship, and COPE course. Camp Preston Hunt is used year-round for district camporees and Webelos Resident Camp.

Chickasaw Council

Chickasaw Council (#558)
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee
Country United States
Founded February 22, 1916
Membership 7,339 youth

4,135 adults

(as of January 13, 2015)

The Chickasaw Council serves Scouts in Crittenden County, Arkansas as well as in Shelby County, Tennessee and fifteen counties in northwest Mississippi. It was founded on February 22, 1916 to oversee the many Boy Scout troops already present in Memphis, Tennessee. The Chickasaw Council has two camps: Kia Kima Scout Reservation and Camp Currier. The Chickasaw Council is also home to the Order of the Arrow Ahoalan-Nachpikin Lodge 558.

De Soto Area Council

De Soto Area Council (#013)
De Soto Area Council
  Three Rivers     Conquistador
De Soto Area Council, Boy Scouts of America IMG 2621.JPG
De Soto Area Council office
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters El Dorado, Arkansas
Country United States

The De Soto Area Council, serves youth in eleven counties in South-Eastern Arkansas.


The Council is divided into three Districts.

  • Camp De Soto
Order of the Arrow

The Council is supported by the Abooikpaagun Lodge (#399). The Lodge's headquarters is located in El Dorado and was founded in 1948, the same year the Order of the Arrow became officially integrated into the national camping program of the Boy Scouts of America.

Quapaw Area Council

Quapaw Area Council (#018)
Quapaw Area Council
   Cherokee     Delta
   Diamond Lake     Foothills
   Mohawk     Saracen
   Nischa Sipo     Three Rivers
   Thunderbird     White River
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Little Rock, Arkansas
Country United States
Pulaski County Council

The Quapaw Area Council is the largest in Arkansas in both area and members and is headquartered in Little Rock. In 1927, the Pulaski County Council was renamed the Quapaw Area Council and covered several counties. In 1934, the Kanawha Area Council of Jefferson County was split between the Quapaw Area Council and the De Soto Area Council, which had a council office in El Dorado (Union County).

In 2002 and 2012 respectively, the Eastern Arkansas Area Council and Ouachita Area Council merged with the Quapaw Area Council. These mergers enlarged the Quapaw Area Council from seventeen counties to thirty-nine counties.

The council serves over 18,000 youth and 3,600 adults in thirty-nine counties divided into nine districts, and approximately 100 boys become Eagle Scouts each year.

Council members who have received national honors include Dr. Raymond V. Biondo and Dr. David Briscoe, both of whom received the Silver Buffalo Award.

Order of the Arrow

The Order of the Arrow Quapaw Lodge 160 was formed with fifteen members in June 1939 and inducted sixty-two members during the summer of 1939. Today, the lodge has about 500 members


Currently the Quapaw Area Council owns and operates the Gus Blass Scout Reservation, west of Damascus, Arkansas.

The first permanent camping facilities for the Quapaw council was Camp Quapaw, opened in 1925. It was located on the Saline River west of Benton in Saline County. This early facility was limited so between 1930 and 1931, fifty-five additional acres were purchased, and a mess hall was constructed. The numbers of scouts attending camp increased which led to an overuse of the facilities. Additionally, the Army Corps of Engineers was considering a dam on the Saline River. This would have flooded a section of the camp.

In 1975, the council acquired Camp Kiwanis, in order to accommodate more Scouts and camping activities. Camp Kiwanis was an unimproved site which included over 2,900 acres west of Damascus, Arkansas. It was renamed the Cove Creek Scout Reservation and opened in 1976. Camp Quapaw was then closed and later sold.

In 1981, the portion of Cove Creek that was used as a permanent summer camping was names Camp Montgomery, after Nile Montgomery a previous scout executive, and the lake was named Lake Butler, for Richard C. Butler Sr., a supporter of the local scouting program.

In 2001, the Cove Creek Scout Reservation and Camp Nile Montgomery where renamed the Gus Blass Scout Reservation and Camp Rockefeller in honor of Gus Blass II and Lieutenant Governor Winthrop P. Rockefeller both of whom were supporters of the Boy Scout program for many years.

The Gus Blass Scout Reservation also includes the Donald W. Reynolds Scout Training Center. This facilities include a 320-seat dining hall with commercial kitchen, 88 person/28 room sleeping wing including two ADA compliant rooms, 3 large classrooms, an area with a large fireplace, 2 large terraced areas and additional camping on the adjacent property.

Westark Area Council

Westark Area Council (#016)
Westark Area Council
  Cornerstone    Razorback
  Butterfield Trail    Ozark
  Magazine Mountain
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Fort Smith, Arkansas
Location 1401 Old Greenwood Road, Fort Smith, AR 72901
Country United States
Founded 1920
Membership 6500
President Sam Dunn
Council Commissioner Ben Huston
Scout Executive Bryan Feather
Assistant Scout Executive Christian Swain

The WestArk Area Council was originally organized July 1920. The council is divided into five Districts and is headquartered in Fort Smith. It serves over 6,500 youth in seventeen counties located in North-Western Arkansas.

Starting in July 1920, the Council originally included only the city of Fort Smith and was named the Fort Smith Council. From 1922 to 1937 the council underwent a number of name changes and expansions. In 1922, the council expanded to include the city of Van Buren and was named the Fort Smith – Van Buren Council. Then in 1927, the council incorporating all of Crawford and Sebastian Counties, and the portion of Franklin County south of the Arkansas River. In 1928, the Council took over an additional 13 counties, 10 of which had previously been part of the Ozark Council. From 1922 to 1930 the council was named the “Northwest Arkansas Council”, and From 1922 to 1937 it was named the Fort Smith Area Council. Finally, in 1937 name change to the Westark Area Council.

The Westark Area Council, currently serves over 6,500 youth in seventeen counties in North-Western Arkansas. The Council Scout Service Center is located at 1401 Old Greenwood Road Fort Smith, AR 72901 and was built in 1963.

In 2003, the Council began a Youth Diversion Program that provides an alternative to the formal court proceedings for the first-time offender and a second chance to those young adults who are willing to accept responsibility and move forward. Through structured activities, this program aims to reduce the recidivism rate among these youth.


The Council is supported by the Wachtschu Mawachpo Lodge 559. The Lodge began in 1963 with 103 members. The first Lodge Chapters were Butterfield, Northwest, Ozark, and Magazine Mountain, but now it has 5 chapters, Butterfield Trail, Magazine Mountain, Ozark, Razorback and Cornerstone


In 1953 land for a Scout camp was purchased and developed in Camp Orr. It has been in use since 1955 and covers nearly 600 acres of the Buffalo National River Wilderness Area. It is located south of Harrison, Arkansas, and is the only Boy Scout Camp situated within a National Park.

In 1973 the Arkansas State Legislature, permitting the Westark Area Council to purchase 2,842 acres of the Booneville Sanatorium, just south of Booneville, Arkansas, for a future camp development. The land development began in 1975 and completed in May 1976. Construction of the camp started in the spring of 1976. The Scout camp is now known as Rogers Scout Reservation

The council also owns Camp Spencer, a 100-acre primitive camping facility, located on the shore of Lake Norfork, east of Mountain Home.

High Adventure

There is one High Adventure Scouting Event in Arkansas

Girl Scouting in Arkansas

There are two Girl Scout councils in Arkansas.

Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas
Headquarters North Little Rock, Arkansas
Country United States
Chair of the Board Barbara Bethell
Chief Executive Officer Denise Stewart

The Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas serves girls in Adair, LeFlore, and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma, girls in Bowie and Cass counties in Texas and girls in all of Arkansas except Crittenden county. It was formed on October 1, 2008, by the merger of Arkansas Post Girl Scout Council, Girl Scouts of Conifer Council, Girl Scouts of Crowley's Ridge Council, Girl Scout Council of Mount Magazine Area, Noark Girl Scout Council, and Girl Scouts of Ouachita Council.

Service Centers


Former Camps

Camp Ouachita was used as a Girl Scout camp from 1937 until 1979 when the cost of providing potable water proved too much for the local council. It is now a National Historic District as the only surviving Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed Girl Scout Camp. It was built in the Ouachita National Forest for the Little Rock Area Girl Scout Council which before had only occasional use of a local Boy Scout camp.

Girl Scouts Heart of The South

Serves Crittenden County in Arkansas.

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