What started as a five-day trip to the Louisiana Swamp Base ended with the memory of a lifetime for Osage Beach Boyscout Troop 232.

What started as a five-day trip to the Louisiana Swamp Base ended with the memory of a lifetime for Osage Beach Boyscout Troop 232.

During their second day of the trip, Assistant Scoutmaster Darrin Skinner says he and members of the Troop were in the midst of canoeing when alerts came in that storms branching from Hurricane Barry were headed their way. Vehicles were already in a location to pick up the group. However, as they made their way off the water and toward the vehicles, a local county dump truck was dropping off sand and bags for locals to use for barricading water. Instead of leaving them to fend for themselves, Skinner and the other nine members of 232 stopped in their tracks and started filling.

None of the process was in the troop’s plans. Even so, Skinner encouraged the scouts to take part as it would be not only beneficial to the locals in need, but also a reminder to do a good deed daily. Another troop from Pennsylvania also happened to be in the area and stopped as well to help. In just under an hour, nearly 200 sandbags were filled. The Swamp Base is a Boy Scouts of American program that helps educate the troops on swamp based landscapes. Skinner has taken part in the trek multiple times and says he thinks it’s important for the boys to demystify the mysterious and, at times, frightening nature of swamplands.

Evan Skinner, one of the Boyscouts taking part in the excursion, says it brought a positive feeling to the trip. He says that, by taking part, it helped the troops feel like they were truly helping others and made the trip about more than just himself.

Troop 232 was still able to make its way back to the swamp following the storm and enjoy learning about the area. Darrin says they saw some of the damage done during the storm on their way through and felt the intense winds firsthand during their night in the local hotel. Once they were back in the swamp, Darrin says the boys enjoyed their time and had a number of great experiences, including coming within feet of a wild gator.

The troop was able to complete their trip and are now back in the area, with a new memory they will likely never forget.