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  • summer camp options?

    I am starting the process of searching for options for 2012, as just came back from BTSR yesterday. Great camp. Needs some tweaking, but overall well worth the miles to get there and the heat while there.

    But, I am looking for maybe something a little cooler for next year.

    My requirements are that the camp has

    1.Trail to Eagle or trail to first class programs.

    2. there are ample merit badge opportunities

    3. adequate dining hall and latrine/shower facilities

    4. high adventure programs for the older scouts, in a "residental type" program i.e.--the older guys leave base camp, spend the week with their mountain man or other type of program, returning to base camp at the end of the week. I want the high adventure activities to be at the same camp. I do not want them leaving the boundary of the camp the rest of the troop is in.

    any ideas? I have looked at some, but the above requirements likely knock out many camps. For those of you familiar with BTSR, I am looking for a BTSR but in a cooler climate, i.e. colorado, midwest to upper midwest, etc.

  • #2
    May I ask why you want your HA guys staying in camp? Most have an age limit that scouts should be able to go off site and take care of themselves.


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      It falls under what the boys want. Many boys love to return from excursions to the same campfire as the rest of the troop.
      Our scout camp ( offers day-trek programs that older boys can opt into. In fact, that seems to satisfy most boy's "itch."

  • #3
    I want them in the same location. They can go camp w the high adv guys just in the same camp.


    • #4
      Again, why?

      It is not like you can cut back on the number of leaders. You have to send leaders with the HA group, as well as keep leaders with the non-HA group.

      Why not allow your older Scouts to pick their own HA? Maybe they would rather canoe the Boundary Waters, or do Philmont.


      • #5
        Youth Lead????

        I wonder what the boys want??????


        • #6
          Check out the Chisholm Trail Adventure at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Bridgeport Texas, run by Lone Star Council. It is a regular Summer Camp with Dining Hall and a self contained High adventure program. We did it about 5 years ago and are contemplating going back next summer.


          • #7
            What's BTSR?

            Also, Colorado has five camps I am familiar with: Ben DeLatour, Peaceful Valley, Alexander, San Isabel, and Spanish Peaks. If you want a more SW feel to your experience, try the last two. If you want to be rained on each day in the afternoon, The second and third are your best options. If you like a rocky mountain area close to white water rapids, BDSR.

            Up to the boys ultimately, but the only camp I can say NOT to attend is Lewis and Clark in SD. And the midwest/upper midwest won't provide too much comfort from the climate and gets pretty buggy up north.


            • #8
              We are also doing philmont.

              The group going to philmont is also expected to attend camp.

              btsr is buffalo trails scout ranch in west Texas.

              Thanks for the informative responses. I have ignored the condescending ones.


              • #9
                Our troop did Peaceful Valley (Colorado) our first "break out" from the Council camp.

                Everyone loved it. Traditional Summer Camp experience for the younger Scouts, HA opportunities for the experienced Scouts and, most importantly, separate activities for the adults! Fortunately, this was only a few hours from us and well worth the drive, I'm not sure how far it would be from you.

                This camp was attended by many parents anxious their young men would be so far away. But the camp's organization and professionalism got everyone out of the way. The Scouts did their thing and the adults did their own thing, too.

                Truly a great experience and led to many opporunities for the Scouts in the future. Now Philmont, backpacking, National Jambo, etc are accepted norms - without parents.

                Acitivities included horseback riding, black-powder and rifle shooting, a lake with full aquatics and boating, trails and trails and trails, a ghost camp, etc. Large dining hall - plenty of food, definitely the menu is planned for the Scouts. Lots of options for campsites, if you plan early enough. The one drawback - their "Penquin Swim" is done in a _heated_ pool. All in all a great "transition" camp, if that is what you're looking for. There are actually TWO camps on site - one for dining hall meals one with Patrol cooking. Each offers their own program and a HA base (Tahosa?).


                • #10
                  Tks ntrog8r
                  I will look into it. Sounds promising and what we may be looking for as an option.
                  Distance is a concern for the gear but the troop has access to a couple of aircraft and a bus if the distance is to far.

                  You should look at btsr. Given your experience at this camp and being in Colorado you may enjoy the western style camp.


                  • #11
                    Who says scouting isn't for the rich.....especially when run by a dictator!


                    • #12
                      Airplane? That is very cool.

                      Who and where is BTSR?

                      We like most of the Colorado and New Mexico camps. They each have different program styles, so a little research is required. Several have excellent high adventure programs, but I'm not sure what you mean by keeping the boys inside the camp boundaries.

                      Camp Frank Rand in New Mexico has a good program with the best backpacking (Pecos wilderness) our troop has ever done. Far better than Phimont. Each crew can customize their trek to as many days as they want, but the treks finish into Camp Frank Rand. Is that what you mean by in the camp boundaries?

                      Another good camp is Spanish Peaks. Our troop has only used their High Adventure side which is backpacking in the Spanish Peaks wilderness. I understand that they have an excellent climbing and rappelling program they will mix into the back packing also, but we just backpacked. The reason our troop has not used their summer camp side is because that they don't have dinning halls. But we like what we saw.

                      Our favorite camp is Camp Alexander. We like it because it is, or was a few years ago, a very boy run style camp. Pressure was more on the activities than the number of MBs.

                      I have not heard anything bad about any of the Colorado camps. As I said, they each have a different style, so some research is required. But we like to visit the mountain camps every 3 or 4 years for a change of scenery from the hot Oklahoma Plans.



                      • #13
                        Let me suggest our own council camp, Camp Tom Hale, or Hale Scout Reservation, at Talahina, OK. It has trail to eagle, merit badges (lots of water stuff), dining hall, modern rest rooms and showers, a program called "Outbound" for older scouts tired of merit badge work, a good Philmont practice trail hike called the Bohannon Trail (all uphill both ways, lol). And it is close to Texas. In fact some weeks the majority of troops are from Texas.

                        We have done a few out of council camps. I liked Ben De La Trour's option of cooking in the camp site. They had not aquatics, but we went to enjoy the cool air of the mountains that year. They had a 12 hour a day chuck wagon demonstration where the dutch ovens were churning out goodies every hour. Very cool camp.

                        We also went to Camp Constintine in Fort Worth, where aquatics are king. The lake that this camp is on is huge, and the boys had a great time with the water just 10 feet from the tents. We did a proper swimming area with adults to lifeguard and buddy checks and everything. However the camp never did get our merit badge records right.

                        Good luck.


                        • #14
                          My Troop is in north Texas and we went to Camp Daniel Boone (CDB) this summer. Yes, it is a bit of a drive (972 miles) but we rented a bus. We usually do Alexander, Rand, Hale or Woodruff. Went out of Council this summer because, well let's face it, Texas is hotter than the surface of the Sun in June-August and after one summer at Constantin my boys were near ready to quit.

                          Back to CDB. They were AWESOME!!! Everything from the weather to the MB program to the Trail to First Class (called Goin'g Great) was top notch. Food and facilities were good too. Against your checklist, here are my comments:

                          1.Trail to Eagle or trail to first class programs:
                          Top shelf! The boys did hands on everything. It was not simply show-n-tell but actual hands-on everything. I even saw a Tot'n Chip card (properly) revoked and had to be re-earned.

                          2. there are ample merit badge opportunities:
                          CDB has tons of these. I will admit the water-based badges are a challenge because the water is around 58F most of the time. But I only had one boy drop out of lifesaving. It is not a mill, though some of the CC in (comm/nation/world) instructors could have been more formal...but staff were on hand to re-direct them.

                          3. adequate dining hall and latrine/shower facilities:
                          The dining hall is like a ski lodge. The food is pretty good. I don't remember ever pushing away a plate. My guys (40+) who went in Council in 2010 and hated it (weather and food) had ZERO complaints. Most latrine facilities were concrete slab and newly rennovated, same with showers. Even private showers (closed door, single stall). Some of the shared facilities in the common areas were more "rustic" and not as nice, but no where near the 1880s outhouse we had all week in Council last year. :-(

                          4. high adventure programs for the older scouts, in a "residental type" program:
                          High adventure guys at CDB *do* live seperately BUT they eat almost daily with the troop at each meal. So I think they might have a nice trade off for you. The older guys get to stay away from the younger guys BUT have to eat with them. I *will* note that one benefit my youngers guys got from the older guys being off on high adventure is that THEY had to step up and lead....and I found some excellent young leaders that way. Even lead us to win the troop award at camp.

                          As for getting to CDB, we chartered a bus. There was another camp from NTX that drove and over-nighted in TN along the way. Not sure what they paid for that but our cost for using the bus was only ~$150 more per Scout...more than worth it from a troop perspective.


                          • #15
                            Like the SM who started the thread, we are looking at three camps for 2012. The camps we are looking at are:

                            1) Ben Delator
                            2) Gorham SR (Chimayo, NM)
                            3) Medicine Mountain

                            I have searched and read through a few threads here where Ben Delator was critiqued back in 2008. Anyone been there more recently? A local troop was there this past summer and gave it high marks; higher than Alexander. Have not found any updated reports on Gorham or Medicine Man. Would appreciate any recent updates (since 2009) on these camps if anyone has any. All I can find is stuff going back to 2004.