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Check Out 6 Cool Camporees From Around the Country

Scouts on a raft

The Toxic Arrows patrol of Troop 787 of Cassleberry, Florida, steer their “party barge” during a raft regatta camporee.

On some campouts, you pitch a tent, cook in a Dutch oven and belt out songs around a blazing fire. On others, you strap on a backpack or hop in a canoe and trek to amazing places of natural beauty. But typically, you won’t be screaming at the top of your lungs as you fall 130 feet and then race along 3,000 feet of track, twisting and turning at nearly 60 miles per hour.

Unless you attend the Jersey Shore Council’s annual Six Flags camporee.

Many councils and districts across the country host camporees. A camporee invites dozens — even hundreds — of Scouts for a weekend of camping and fun. Sometimes you’re competing against other units in skill contests. Other times you’re enjoying themed activities at places you wouldn’t expect to camp.

Scouts tying knots

Jack Weinberg, Jameson Lawless, Emmanuel Afentoulis and James Kimball, all from Troop 202 of Oakland, California, practice their knots at a mythological-themed camporee. Many of the stations were named for Greek heroes; this one, which tested Scouts’ basic skills, was named for Hephaestus, a blacksmith and craftsman.


For nearly three decades, Scouts have pitched tents at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. They’ve worked on merit badges, fished at the nearby lakes and, of course, ridden the thrilling roller coasters. About 600 Scouts attended last year’s event. Waiting in line wasn’t boring when you were with fellow Scouts.

“That’s what I like about Scouting,” says Angelo Amato, 18, a Venturer with Crew 66 of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. “You meet people you normally wouldn’t meet, and you can find a gold mine of things to talk about.”

Scouts in bumper cars

Scouts drive bumper cars at Six Flags Great Adventure during the Six Flags camporee

You can find a gold mine of fun, too. Scouts scooted around in bumper cars, battled comic book villains on an interactive ride and hopped on one of the fastest rides in the park — the Jersey Devil Coaster — again and again.

Your unit doesn’t necessarily have to belong to the same council or district to attend its camporee. Many troops and crews that go to the Six Flags camporee are from another council. If you find a fun camporee somewhere, check to see if your unit can go.

Scouts on inflatable horses

Scouts “serve in the cavalry” as they bounce on inflatable horses at a Civil War-themed camporee.


A quarter of a mile from the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania stands a 163-year-old barn on a family farm. About 900 Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA members walked into the building last year. When they came out, they had their Union Army marching orders.

Sporting navy blue kepi caps, the packs and troops stepped in line to different stations at a Civil War-themed camporee hosted by the Battlefield and Heritage Trails districts of the New Birth of Freedom Council.

bugle player

Battlefield District Executive Christopher Lontz plays the bugle at a Civil War-themed camporee, alerting Scouts to switch stations.

The Scouts built stretchers at the field hospital, played period games like marbles and enlisted in the cavalry (bounced around on inflatable horses). At the sound of a bugle, each brigade of Scouts rotated to a new station. They also snacked on hardtack, cheese and homemade butter.

You can learn a lot of local history from themed camporees.

Ax throwing at a camporee

Under adult supervision, Scouts throw tomahawks during a Mountain Man Rendezvous.

In Maryland, Scouts saw how fur trappers in the mid-1800s lived during the Mountain Man Rendezvous hosted by the Seneca District of the National Capital Area Council. They learned how to saw wood, built survival shelters and watched blacksmithing in action. Before working with tools, refer to the Guide to Safe Scouting as there are protocols for using tools safely.

The Scouts also applied knot-tying, fire-building and orienteering skills at contest stations as they vied for a trophy to take home, decorate and bring back to next year’s Rendezvous.

Scouts working on lashings

Nanako Frey of girls Troop 202 from Oakland, Calif., works on her lashings.


Oftentimes, camporees take place at council camps, like Rancho Los Mochos, a Golden Gate Area Council property in California. Last spring, Scouts met there for a mythological-themed camporee. The skills required for each station matched those of an ancient Greek hero or character.

For example, the Hercules Labors station featured a series of physical challenges, one of which required three Scouts to shuffle together on long skis. This challenge called for fitness as well as teamwork. Gabriel Webb with Troop 612 of San Leandro, Calif., helped run the station and recalled how one patrol struggled with the task.

Scouts doing an activity

Scouts from boys Troop 202 and girls Troop 202 walk together during a skis challenge at a Hercules-themed station.

“They just couldn’t get their feet straight,” the 17-year-old Life Scout says. “So they jumped off the skis, huddled together, jumped back onto the skis and — without missing a single step — yelled, ‘Chicken!’ for their left feet, and then ‘Nuggets!’ for their right feet. ‘Chicken! Nuggets! Chicken! Nuggets!’”

Scouts at the Tough as Nails spring camporee discovered skilled trade careers. The Lake Erie Council partnered with an Ohio-area contractor association to bring cement masons, carpenters and pipefitters to camp. The Scouts watched as the professionals demonstrated their work and equipment, including a mini excavator.

Scouts on a raft

More than 300 Scouts on 20 rafts sailed around Lake Norris at Camp La-No-Che.


Last spring, troops built rafts and hauled them to Central Florida Council’s Camp La-No-Che for a regatta camporee. Many Scouts intended to race around the camp’s lake. Not the Toxic Arrows.

“We just wanted to have a lot of fun,” says Rowan Greenly, 13, a First Class Scout with Troop 787 from Casselberry, Fla.

The Toxic Arrows patrol lashed together a barge from plastic barrels and covered it with an umbrella. The Scouts rigged a cooler full of water bottles to their barge and handed out cold drinks to parched Scouts on other rafts.

“We got the Scout Spirit Award,” says Tejas Gannu, 13, a Tenderfoot Scout.

Scouts play volleyball

Scouts play in a volleyball tournament at the mythological-themed camporee.

Scouts making a stretcher

Nanako Frey and Cole Chan carry Sammy Beardsley in a stretcher while Jessica Stevens of Troop 2612 from San Leandro, Calif., judges their technique.

2 Comments on Check Out 6 Cool Camporees From Around the Country

  1. You should write about the camporees that have been held at the Fort Vancouver National Historical Park. There have been camporees there every two years since 2018 (except 2020 due to the pandemic) leading up to the 200th Anniversary of Fort Vancouver and the settlement of the Pacific NW in 2024. It is a collaborative event involving multiple districts in the Cascade Pacific Council, the National Park Service, and Cowlitz Tribe.

  2. Sharing camporee theme ideas here would be great! The most fun ones I have been to with the troop were Medieval Times and Lord of the Forest camporees. How about you?

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