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mrkstvns

Texas Summer Camps

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Any thoughts on BSA summer camps in and around Texas?

I put together a list of all the camps I can find in Texas that are: 1) still operating, and 2) have real week-long camps for Boy Scouts, errr, sorry, Scouts BSA  (i.e., no cub day camps, weekend unit camps, etc.)

FYI:  The "biggies" here are Bear Creek, Buffalo Trail, and Sid Richardson (not in order of "bigness").  

Comments about any of them?  Know about a summer camp in Texas that I overlooked??


Bear Creek Scout Reservation
Hunt, TX
Alamo Area Council
Rugged, hill country terrain. 
Leader Guide:  http://www.alamoareabsa.org/files/d/usr/3395/2018 BC Leaders Guide.pdf

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Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch
Fort Davis, TX
Buffalo Trail Council
Leader Guide: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/4399aa_abe7de9a6d80402b9ee1bb0ad90a5b90.pdf

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Camp M.K. Brown
Mobeetie, TX
Golden Spread Council
Leader Guide: https://goldenspread.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2019-Summer-Camp-Leaders-Guide.pdf

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Camp Perry
Rio Hondo, TX
Rio Grande Council
Leader Guide: http://www.riograndecouncil.org/document/2018-camp-perry-leaders-guide/180629

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Camp Pirtle
Carthage, TX
East Texas Area Council

Leader Guide: http://www.etexscouts.org/Resources/Pirtle Summer Camp Leaders Guide 2018.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1

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Camp C.W.  Post
Post, TX
South Plains Council
Leader Guide: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/fb440e_fb992bcbecfa4bd4b8ded84cb3d93403.pdf

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Camp Tahuaya
Belton, TX
Longhorn Council
Leader Guide: https://www.longhorncouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Camp-Tahuaya2018.pdf

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Lost Pines Scout Reservation
Bastrop, TX
Capitol Area Council
400 acres, mostly flat,  heavily wooded (pine forest), large lake
Leader Guide: http://www.bsacac.org/my_files/sc_leader_guide_-_rev_10082018.pdf

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Sid Richardson Scout Ranch
Bridgeport, TX
Longhorn Council
2,500 acres, large lake, rugged hilly terrain, high adventure programs
Leader Guide: https://www.longhorncouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/SR2_2018_leaders_guide.pdf

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Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp
Athens, TX
Circle Ten Council
Leader Guide: http://circleten.org/sites/circleten.org/files/media/camping/trj_leaders_guide_2019_scouts_bsa.pdf 
 

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30 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

 

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Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch
Fort Davis, TX
Buffalo Trail Council
Leader Guide: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/4399aa_abe7de9a6d80402b9ee1bb0ad90a5b90.pdf

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Camp Tahuaya
Belton, TX
Longhorn Council
Leader Guide: https://www.longhorncouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Camp-Tahuaya2018.pdf

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Lost Pines Scout Reservation
Bastrop, TX
Capitol Area Council
400 acres, mostly flat,  heavily wooded (pine forest), large lake
Leader Guide: http://www.bsacac.org/my_files/sc_leader_guide_-_rev_10082018.pdf

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BTSR has gone through some rough times but it is beautiful.  It is hot, a) it is in Texas, b) it is in West Texas.  It is higher elevation that most think.  The first year program is up on top of a great big hill.  Not sure why that is but they manage.  Their high adventure program is really good.  When we went there were staffing issues but that was in 2017 so hopefully those have been resolved.

Tahuaya is wooded with mainly oaks and cedar trees.  It is pretty, and has some fun features like natural surface rappelling.  It is on the smaller side of camps.  But I have heard it is fun.

Lost Pines is our home camp here.  It is large, has lots of big pine trees and offers just about every program you can imagine.  The climbing tower is the biggest in Texas I think.   I know the camp director and she has a high bar for the staff so it is usually really good.

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27 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

BTSR has gone through some rough times but it is beautiful.  It is hot, a) it is in Texas, b) it is in West Texas.  It is higher elevation that most think.  The first year program is up on top of a great big hill.  Not sure why that is but they manage.  Their high adventure program is really good.  When we went there were staffing issues but that was in 2017 so hopefully those have been resolved.

One kid told me that he liked BTSR, but his "thorn" was that there was always a long, uphill walk involved to get to any activity. 

I also heard they have an awesome climbing program with lots of "real rock" climbing and rapelling (vs. climbing towers at most camps).  They also have an "advanced climbing" activity that goes above & beyond the basic merit badge skills.  (I think it would be great if more camps did this....not just for climbing, but also for paddle sports, archery, riflery, etc.)

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3 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

One kid told me that he liked BTSR, but his "thorn" was that there was always a long, uphill walk involved to get to any activity. 

I also heard they have an awesome climbing program with lots of "real rock" climbing and rapelling (vs. climbing towers at most camps).  They also have an "advanced climbing" activity that goes above & beyond the basic merit badge skills.  (I think it would be great if more camps did this....not just for climbing, but also for paddle sports, archery, riflery, etc.)

Yeah, everything is uphill there.  I forgot about the climbing, it is on real cliffs, pretty exciting.  If you go there spend the night before at Balmorea state park and swim in the newly re-opened pool.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, mashmaster said:

... If you go there spend the night before at Balmorea state park and swim in the newly re-opened pool.

There's a couple other options that might also be good for a troop (or even a patrol) to do the night before or after summer camp.  In addition to Balmorea, you could...

  • Observe the stars:
    The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. In West Texas, you only need to look up and be amazed at how full the night sky is when you have no nearby cities to cloud it with light pollution.  Visit the nearby McDonald Observatory. They do Star Party nights Friday and Saturday...plus, you can use it to meet partial requirements for Astronomy merit badge and/or Nova awards...perfect for the scout unit arriving or departing BTSR!     Info:  https://mcdonaldobservatory.org/
     
  • Hike U.S. history:
    Buffalo Trail Council has a historical trail that gives your scouts to earn a patch or medal (maybe also meeting a requirement for American Heritage merit badge).  Requirements to earn the award are on the BTSR web site. Fort Davis is a fascinating place. It was one of a series of frontier forts built in the mid 19th century to protect settlers from native americans.  The frontier forts in Texas were primarily manned by "buffalo soldiers" --- the famous "colored" units established by the U.S. Army during and following the Civil War. These units served with dignity despite frequent discrimination by the white settlers who often owed their lives to the black buffalo soldiers.  Info:  https://www.nps.gov/foda/  and http://buffalotrailbsa.org/btsr/high-adventure/ft-davis-historical-trail/    

 

Edited by mrkstvns

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1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

There's a couple other options that might also be good for a troop (or even a patrol) to do the night before or after summer camp.  In addition to Balmorea, you could...

  • Observe the stars:
    The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. In West Texas, you only need to look up and be amazed at how full the night sky is when you have no nearby cities to cloud it with light pollution.  Visit the nearby McDonald Observatory. They do Star Party nights Friday and Saturday...plus, you can use it to meet partial requirements for Astronomy merit badge and/or Nova awards...perfect for the scout unit arriving or departing BTSR!     Info:  https://mcdonaldobservatory.org/
     
  • Hike U.S. history:
    Buffalo Trail Council has a historical trail that gives your scouts to earn a patch or medal (maybe also meeting a requirement for American Heritage merit badge).  Requirements to earn the award are on the BTSR web site. Fort Davis is a fascinating place. It was one of a series of frontier forts built in the mid 19th century to protect settlers from native americans.  The frontier forts in Texas were primarily manned by "buffalo soldiers" --- the famous "colored" units established by the U.S. Army during and following the Civil War. These units served with dignity despite frequent discrimination by the white settlers who often owed their lives to the black buffalo soldiers.  Info:  https://www.nps.gov/foda/  and http://buffalotrailbsa.org/btsr/high-adventure/ft-davis-historical-trail/    

 

When you go to BTSR there is a night in the middle of the week reserved to go to the Observatory, you need to provide transportation but worth it vs. spending another night just for it.  The camp basically doesn't do much that night since they know a lot of people go tot the oservatory.  It is pretty awesome.  Buy your tickets to the star party early.

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3 hours ago, mashmaster said:

When you go to BTSR there is a night in the middle of the week reserved to go to the Observatory, you need to provide transportation but worth it vs. spending another night just for it.  The camp basically doesn't do much that night since they know a lot of people go tot the oservatory.  It is pretty awesome.  Buy your tickets to the star party early.

Hmmm.  That could be a problem for our troop since we typically have 40+ scouts going to summer camp so we charter a bus to get them to/from camp.  We wouldn't be able to transport scouts anywhere during the middle of the week. 

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6 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

Hmmm.  That could be a problem for our troop since we typically have 40+ scouts going to summer camp so we charter a bus to get them to/from camp.  We wouldn't be able to transport scouts anywhere during the middle of the week. 

Well, that would make the observatory visit difficult.  Plenty of chill time at camp that night, it is beautiful.

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