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va-scouter

Blue Ridge Camps

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Our troop is considering the Blue Ridge Mountains Scout Reservation in SW Virginia for the 2008 camping season. It's out of council for us, but 2 hours closer than the council camp, go figure.

 

Anybody ever been to Camp Powhatan or Camp Ottari? And what did you and your boys think?

 

Thanks in advance for your input.

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You mention only the two "base" camps. Both are outstanding. Above average facilities, but the Staff is outstanding. They work hard at helping to provide an outstanding program. It's the attention to details that is so remarkable.

 

We've recently been attending Camp Powhatan, so here are my comments:

There's so much to talk about. Our Troop has been going there for years, and participating in their various additional high adventure programs. I'm sure others will give you their details.

 

The dining hall is average, but the food is above average, and the portions ae adequate.

 

The lake is a bit cold, as it's fed by mountain streams. But the lake isn't cold enough to stop the Scouts from the full range of aquatic activities. Air temperature during the day is as hot as down in the "flatlands", so when you get out of the cool water, it's great. At night, the tents cool down and makes for a great night's sleep.

 

Their trading post is outstanding.

 

I could go into more details and explain each area of program, but it's simply too much. Overall, Camp Powhatan and Camp Ottari are excellent. And the real driving point is the Staff, pure and simple.

 

Reserve for 2008 soon, as they get booked up during the prior summer camp sessions. Enjoy your experiences.

 

We're set for 2007!

 

sst3rd

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va-scouter,

 

What is it that Tony the Tiger says...GGGGRRREAT! (?) Well 2007 will be our second year in a row...and it is farther from us than our council camp...In fact, we sort of drive by our council camp to get there..and can you say "Oh, So Much better". Last Year we had boys doing Powhatan, Boys doing the Mountain man adventure, boys doing the New River whitewater adventure camp and boys doing the long distance Hike (forgot the name of the session)- about40 boys in all.

 

These folks know how to do the summercamp "thing". Program is well planned..."Giving away" merit badges is not the primary goal of this camp complex (CAN YOU SAY FANTASTIC!). They are more program oriented...getting the boys active and involved in outdoors "stuff". The staff attitude is that of knowledgable "Pros" interested in your scouts good experience and not in their own (staff's)"good" time. (Have you ever experienced camps where the staff treats your scouts like they are someone "ruining" the staff's summer vacation? Let your scouts see the program (good web site) and if you can make it work for you ... let your older scouts do their own thing at some of the "higher level" camps...Mountain Man got five stars, two thumbs up and and a few high fives from our guys... As did the New river whitewater program and the boating camp. Good luck!

 

Anarchist

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Thanks for everyone's input so far.

 

Anarchist -- with our troop going in 2008, we'll only have two scouts over the age of 13. We're a ... rejuvenating troop, shall I say. That's why we'll probably stick with the base camps this go round.

 

My thought is to get them there once so they can see everything that's offered and that'll make them want to go back to try the areas designed for the older scouts as they advance in the troop. Give 'em something to look forward to. :D

 

 

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If you have anyone going to Mountain Man, my son is working there this summer after attending the last 2 years. Great program - they wear their own uniform of a pullover (linen-like) hunting shirt, cook all their meals over a campfire using cast-iron pots, make a knife, shoot black-powder rifles, blacksmith, and learn stories and lore of old west mountain men.

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I will be returning for my 11th year on camp staff. I feel that the leadership has always treated me with respect and acted like I was an important member of the staff. When I have had a problem with campers, including 'adults', the senior staff have backed me. I primarily work with the New River Adventure program, but I have contact with many of the staff members from the other programs and camps on the Reservation, and feel that everyone does thier best to provide an interesting and exciting camp program. I won't say that there are no disagreements, but they are usually solved in a civilized manner. Even rule breaking by staff is taken seriously.

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VA-SCOUTER,

 

 

Well, it's been awhile. How did your Troop's summer camp trip go this year? We've attended Blue Ridge camps for years. We love it up there.

 

 

Has anyone been through the canoeing program at Blue Ridge, I believe it's called the Voyaguer Adventure. We want to go next year, but I want to know more details before we make a final committment. Anyone?????

 

 

Thanks all,

 

sst3rd

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Voyaguer Trek is a week-long canoeing experience modelled in the 1700's that starts Sunday with the participants meeting staff members in period regalia. They camp Sunday evening about 1/4 mile from main camp, then Monday they travel to a location up river from Fries, VA. For the next four days they canoe down the river and get out near Hiwassee, VA on Thursday afternoon. I'm not sure if they return to camp for a short period or not, but they then travel to WV and camp overnight, then raft the New River Gorge (water level permitting) and return to camp late Friday. They have thier own campfire progam (Exception is OA tapout).

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On the trek we strive for boy leadership. As guides, we're there for safety, the unit's members will choose a crew leader, akin to a SPL for the week to honcho the crew.

 

Day One, the put in is near Independance, an easy section of water to knock off the rust for those who've not been at the paddle in a while. It's also the chance to work with those without the Canoeing merit badge, or little or no experience with canoes. We take out at Baywood, and provide an assisted portage to Fries. We've elected to forego paddling to Fries as the take out is difficult with considerable risk as it's near a dam.

 

Day Two, we push off from the small town of Fries. This a long day of intense canoeing. First off is Double Shoals, a 2 1/2 mile boulder garden rated as a technical 2 plus. Later in the day, a portage, and a run to Buck's rapid, a class 3 swimmer rapid.

 

Day Three. About a mile of dead water to the next portage. A long day to Foster Falls. Lots of ripples and Ones, at Sheeptown, the infamous Austinville pourover which tends to flip a few boats. A long deadwater paddle from Austinville to Shottower rapids. If Shottower is open this year, there will be a stop for a short vist. From there, the run into Foster Falls in all deadwater. The crew is formed up, and we run the upper falls to the State campground.

 

Day Four. We put in early to make Allisonia no later then 1300-1400hrs. This section is an easy run for the day. At Allisonia we load up for West Virginia for a half day of rafting on Friday. We strive to be back at Powhattan no later then 1500 hours...

 

 

 

 

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I find Powhatan to be a great camp. My only issue (for me) is the travel distance.(roughly 6 hours)as other camps are a fraction of the distance,and also have programs that my scouts like.I do like to keep it as a backup,and is in my loop(once in every 5 yrs.)

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