St. Martin

Jun 30, 2014 6:14 PM by Akeam Ashford

Texas Boy Scouts train in Atchafalaya Basin

The Lafayette Boy Scouts of America council is one step closer to creating a recreation area and adventure base camp in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The legislature approved a bill to lease nearly 450 acres of state-owned swamp land in St. Martin Parish to the Boy Scouts of America.

The state also approved $3.9 million for planning and other preliminary work on the project.

A group of boy scouts from Texas are taking part in the "Swamp Base High Adventure Summit" this week.

"The water is a lot different in Texas. In Texas it's more clear, here it kind of looks like chocolate milk," said boy scout David Yancey.

Having never been to Louisiana, scouts are asked to describe the area before heading out.

"The fact that they've never been here before we get one word responses like muddy, daunting, mosquitoes. They're kind of negative words," said Skip Andaya, Swamp Base director.

The words are negative until they've had a chance to eat, live and become part of the Cajun tradition.

Andaya said scouts don't realize how connected they are to the basin.

"What we try to do is teach the scouts we're dealing with 41 percent of the Mississippi watershed, so the trash that we pick up on our annual trash pick could potentially come from up north," said Andaya.

After the scouts have spent their time in the swamp, they come out with a whole new outlook.

"It's calm. You don't have as much commotion as in a city or something," said scout Sam Grumbles.



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