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If you could go to any BSA Summer Camp, distance and money were not a problem, where would you go?


What Summer Camps have you heard that have truly outstanding programs?


I am not looking for the National areas, like Philmont, Seabase or Northern Tier, but council run camps that have a great summer camp program.


Is there a Web site that ranks or gives a good evaluation of Summer camp programs being run?


Ive been to BSACamps.org, but it only gives a small description of the camp. Not all of the councils web sites give a good description of the summer program they run.


I know that it will depend on what type of camp you are looking for; but I am just looking for ideas for where to attend and where not to attend.


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I know of a few...


I really like Camp Chawanakee (Sequoia Council) is a great camp on Shaver Lake. I was there as a boy, and have taken troops there as an adult. I have also served on staff there, and really like it.


I have inspected, and been inspired by Camp Whitset (Los Angeles Council). It is on Huntington Lake. They run a great program.


These two camps are really for troops that have a mix of boys that leans toward older scouts.


Camp Cherry Valley (LA Council) on Catalina Island is a GREAT camp. GREAT water front, actually better water front than Florida Sea Base. (This camp is geared more for a complete spread of ages)


A wonderful younger boy camp is Rancho Allegra (Los Padres Council... gee what to you the the "lpc" in my name stands for?) The Ranch is a great first or second year camp. About 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, up on the hills and out in the country. Not a good older boy camp, but they run a program that is aimed at the idea of "We know camp is fun. We know being away from your folks is hard, but come on, we're going to have fun!!" (As a program director, I knew that when I found homesick boys I could take them to the kitchen, and staff would help them make cookies with ice cold milk. Do you know how hard it is to stay homesick when you are having fun and staying busy??)


If you want any contact info on any of these camps, just let me know...

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Rodney has one of the best sailing programs in the country. Sits right on the upper Chesapeake Bay. In fact, all waterfront activities are superb.


But, good luck getting in. Once a troop finally secures an open spot, they rarely give it up.(This message has been edited by SemperParatus)

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Thanks everyone this is what I was looking for.


The Troop went to Camp Rodney last summer and we will try to go again in the future.

From what I have been told, everyone was very impressed with the camp but some thought it was a bit country clubish.

However, our council camp is very rustic and is in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. It is 20 miles off the main road down a dirt road into the backcountry.


I looked at the Camp Cherry Valley web site. This looks like it could be an awesome experience. I can understand why this camp would be difficult to book.

It is expensive to attend.

Even with the cost and the airfare is reasonable for us ($250-$300 from NY) still makes this a very attainable trip.


I can see a night stay on the Queen Mary and a side trip to Disneyland along with the ferry ride to get to Catalina Island and the 1 mile hike into camp would make this one heck of a experience.

Now if I just convince the scouts and committee





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I would like to recommed the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation in Virginia.




During the summer of 2005 we are set to close to 10,000 scouts and leaders on the reservation in three main base camps and 7 satelite programs. Though we are proud of the numbers we serve each summer, our true satisfaction is in the high percentage of returning units. One of the main reason they come is diversity. At the BRSR a scout can start in our Brownsea Island Adventure and continue coming to camp until he is 18 and never do the same program twice. This is also handy for larger troops who can bring 40 kids to one camp, and send them off to the four corners of the reservation for different programs. No need to go to 4 different camps at different times in one summer.


Here is a summary of the programs the BRSR offers:


The Brownsea Island Adventure - A program for first year scouts. It teaches the Basic Scouting Skills and Scouting methods using a program that National is now adopting and promoting through National Camp School. A fantastic start to a scouting career.


Base Camps Powhatan and Ottari - Both traditional camps offer strong merit badge program, exceptional facilities, and top-notch staffs. With 32+ merit badges offered at both camps, you could easily spend 2-3 years in the merit badge program, but you wont because of our many High Adventure opportunities:


The New River Adventure - A weeklong High Adventure program which includes 2 days of COPE, a day of Climbing/Rapelling/Mountain Biking, a day of Whitewater Canoeing, and a day spend on the Whitewater of West Virginia's New River Gorge, some of the best Rafting on the East Coast.


The High Knoll Trail - often referred to as the Philmont of the East, we have over 100 miles of trail on our 22,000 acres. You can push and get a 50 miler done, or take it easy with a 30-40 mile trek. You will spend each night at a manned outpost experiencing Indian Lore, Horsemanship, Early Appalachain living, Rock Climbing, and more!


Claytor Lake Acquatics Base - A smaller residential camping program on nearby Claytor lake where we offer Waterskiing, Sailing (small and large), Snorkeling, Lifesaving, Rowing, Sailboarding, Motorboating, and Scuba.


The Moutain Man Camp - A week spent in the Woods learning primitive living skills. Dress the part, add a knife and sheath made during the week, and see if you can make it to Saturday without taking a shower, well, maybe not that last part...


Fish Camp - Learn from fishing experts (or guys who just fish so much they lost their real job) about the many facets of Fishing. A week spent fishing, need I say more?


Voyager Trek - A week long Canoeing/Rafting Program based around the lives of early Frontier trappers.



As said earlier, this is kind of varietly lends well to Scouts who can come for many years and not see the same part of the reservation. It also makes life easy on units, who can bring all 40 scouts from their newest to their oldest to one camp, on one bus, for one week, and still give the little ones a model first year camper program, the 2nd years a strong merit badge camp with outstanding staff, and their older scouts a variety of High Adventure challenges that will leave them with stories to tell...


This is a biased report, having served on Camp Staff at the reservation for many years, but I think most will agree with my assessment! Hope to see you guys at the BRSR in 2006!


Scouting, A Way of Life...




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I can also recommend Blue Ridge Scout Reservation. We have taken our Troop to Ottari for the past two summers. Fantastic staff with an amazing level of Scout spirit. We sent a dozen to the Mountain Man program this summer. This got very good reviews from the boys as well as the two leaders we sent (They claimed to have done nothing for a week... the boys chooped the wood, cooked, and cleaned for them all week).

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I'm going to recommend four places:


First, the H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation near Osceola, Missouri:

Official site: http://hoac-bsa.org/Bartle.cfm


Some pictures:




Bartle has three individual camps. Each camp has an operating capacity of 500 Scouts and Scouters. Each camp has its own set of basic activities (pool, Scoutcraft, nature, shooting sports), while certain resources (honor camping, lakefront, and outposts) are supported for the whole reservation.


Bartle's camps have been running since 1930. The oldest camp, now called Lone Star, opened then. Camp Sawmill opened in 1955 (it was the original site of the sawmill used for the first construction), and Camp Piercing Arrow opened in the early 1960s.


We run six sessions annually. Bartle is the HOAC home of the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.


We are finishing up $5 million in recapitalization of Bartle.


Second, the Theodore Naish Scout Reservation:




Naish is about to be a wilderness island in Kansas City ... suburbia has encroached. That said, it's the better part of two square miles of Kansas River bluffs and undeveloped backcountry.


Naish runs four separate camping programs for the Heart of America Council:

- Boy Scout resident camp: 3 sessions of 300 Scouts/Scouters

- Webelos resident camp: 10 sessions of 300 Webelos/Scouters


Both of these programs are conducted in our Central Camp area. We hold the Boy Scout sessions, then the camp becomes a Webelos camp.


- Bear overnight "family" camp: 10 sessions of 200 (100 Cubs/100 parents). Bear camp is a project initiated by Jim Terry, our former SE. It is a separate physical camp on the Naish reservation. We give these young men a fun weekend of water park activities, crafts, shooting sports, and Indian lore.


- National Youth Leader Training: One session of 100 Scouts plus support staff. This is the latest iteration of Brownsea.


Like Bartle, Naish has just finished a $5 million recapitalization: New dining hall, trading post, pool, health lodge, campfire arena, and program areas.


And yes, the Heart of America Council put together a $14 million capital campaign, which funded the recapitalization AND set a perpetual maintenance endowment in place.


Please understand, in both the cases of Bartle and Naish: It's CAMP. There's a difference between CAMP and camping to my mind. I'm still mind-boggled, several seasons into serving as a leader or staffer, that youth have TENTS with FLOORS and COTS waiting for them, and that they eat in dining halls. (I grew up using my units' own equipment and cooking by unit in the campsite).


Third, there is the camp of my youth: Camp Whitsett, in the Sierra Nevada range of California:


Official web site:



The informal website:



Lake Ida: You just cannot say more! Swimming in a lake, doing the Mile Swim, and headquarters camp to three different trail activities: A four day adventure, the Silver Knapsack, and the Powderhorn.


Finally, there is Camp Geiger operated by the Pony Express Council, St Joseph, MO:


Official site:




http://www.kctroop61.org/ new_page_2.htm




Geiger is the Pony Express Council home for the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. It's a 7 day camp, and has shown huge flexibility accommodating Troops who have specific timing needs for attendance. My example here is the Troops from Fort Leavenworth and the Army Command and General Staff College. Every June, the graduate student officers complete their training and head back to the Army. Geiger has made sure they are up and running in time for the Scouts in these Army families to get a summer camp in!!


Different camps for different Scouts, but I'd recommend all four without hesitation.(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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i figured this would be a good topic to post this under.


our troop is looking at going to an out-of-council camp. we are located in NW PA. we would like to drive a max of 13-14 hours. it must have a good program, good staf, be reasonable priced, and most of all, have good food.


all ideas welcome

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Been to so many camps, I have found that it's what the boys are looking for and want. What sounds good to the adults mite not be what the scouts wanted. Having a boys committee that select several camps and if possible visit them ( this could be done as a senior patrol outing) helps. There are several books on councils camps and other camps too good write-ups. Knowing the facts can make or break a summer camp for all. Maine has some real nice camps , California Caliente Isl. or how about some camps in Alaska. If money was no problem trek along a mountain range or something on those lines.

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Of the camps you attended which do you recommend?


I agree that a good summer camp experience is up to what the scouts want to do, but with the amount of camps to select from it is hard to know which camps are well run and which are not.

I also agree that Knowing the facts can make or break a summer camp but I am having trouble finding the facts about each summer camp.


What are the names of the books on BSA Camps?

I have not been able to locate a book that gives a good evaluation on all the available BSA camps.


I know that I said that money was not an issue, but it is, and not having the $$$$$ to do trips to California, Alaska and Maine to check out all the camps there I was using this forum to find camps to present as options for our Troop to attend.


Can you recommend any good camps in Maine or Alaska?


I was not looking for high adventure ideas, but summer camps to attend for the whole troop.


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