Westark Area Council

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Westark Area Council
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 Daniel Shewmaker
Council Commissioner Loren Kitterlin
Scout Executive Bryan Feather
Fort Smith Area Council

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The Westark Area Council is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America located in the North-Western portion of the state of Arkansas. It serves over 6,500 youth in seventeen counties.[1]

Council History

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 July of 1920, the WestArk Area Council was organized to serve scouts in the city of Fort Smith, Arkansas.[2][3]

Starting in July 1920, the Council original included only the city of Fort Smith and was name the Fort Smith Council. From 1922 to 1937 the council underwent a number of name changes and expansions. In 1922, the council the council expanded to include the city of Van Buren and was named the Fort Smith – Van Buren Council. Then in in 1927, the council incorporating all of Crawford and Sebastian Counties, and the portion of Franklin County south of the Arkansas River. In 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.[3]

The Westark Area Council, currently serves over 6,500 youth in seventeen counties in North-Western Arkansas.[4] The Council Scout Service Center is located at 1401 Old Greenwood Road Fort Smith, AR 72901 and was built in 1963.[4]

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 more forward. Through structured activities, this program aims to reduce the recidivism rate among these youth.[2]


The council is divided into five Districts and is headquartered in Fort|Smith. These are:

  1. Cornerstone District
  2. Razorback District
  3. Butterfield Trail District
  4. Ozark District
  5. Magazine Mountain District


In 1953 land for a Scout camp was purchased and developed in Camp Orr.[3] 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.[5]

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.[3] 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[6]

The council also owns Camp Spencer, a 100-acre primitive camping facility, located on the shore of Lake Norfork, east of Mountain Home.[7]


The Council is supported by the Wachtschu Mawachpo Lodge 16. The Lodge began in 1963[8] with 103 members.[3] The first Lodge Chapters were Butterfield, Northwest, Ozark, and Magazine Mountain, but now it has four chapters, Butterfield Trail, Magazine Mountain, Ozark, and Razorback.

See Also