The older boys in BSA Troop 3 set out last weekend for a Junior Leadership Training weekend on the Cossatot River. We had no idea just how much fun it would be.

Troop 3 is a young but growing Boy Scout Troop here in Texarkana that meets near Sacred Heart Catholic Church. When I say "young," I don't mean the troop is young, it's been here almost 95 years. It's our current crop of scouts who are fairly young, the oldest being 15. So a few of our older boys have been undergoing Junior Leadership Training this summer to get them moving up the scout ladder a little faster.

Last weekend this training included a wonderful camping weekend near Wickes, Ark., called the Cossatot River State Park Natural Area.

It's purdy there!

Our scouts worked hard in their training sessions and earned a couple of romps in the river on Saturday. That's where the fun came in. We all have the bumps and bruises to prove it, too. They had a ball and the water was just right in temperature.

The rapids pictured below are not the rapids we rode with our bodies, those were pretty tame and can be attempted by strong swimmers with adult supervision. Those pictured below are much more serious at the end of the area where we were swimming and dodging boulders in the water. From what I read the Cossatot Falls area ranges from Class 2 to sometimes a raging and treacherous Class 5 rapid dropping 33 feet over a 1/3 mile area. Yikes!

If you haven't been camping in the Cossatot River State Park Natural Area, Troop 3 highly recommends it. Go to and check it out.


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