Recent Comments

Get Excited for Summertime at These 8 Cool Scout Camps

Collage of summer camp scenes

You’ll have a blast this summer at these amazing BSA council summer camps.

Click here to see more Scout Camps featured in previous years

Sailing and ATVs at Camp La-No-Che


Central Florida Council; Paisley, Florida

SLIP ’N’ SLIDE: Camp La-No-Che is situated a short drive from the ocean, which allows for off-site deep-sea fishing expeditions. You can stay at camp and find plenty of aquatic opportunities at La-No-Che’s two pools, one of which features a waterslide. The camp’s lake also offers chances for small-boat sailing, canoeing, rowing, watersports and fishing.

INTO THE MUCK: One camp tradition is hiking to the “Big Stump,” a tree stump that takes about an hour to reach. It might be quicker to get there if you didn’t have to trudge through mud and muck. Complete the hike through the muddy terrain and earn a special patch.

NATIVE HISTORY: The camp invites a Native American educator to teach the Indian Lore merit badge. You can learn about the tribes that inhabited Florida and see relics, regalia and toys that date back hundreds of years while earning a merit badge. On Thursday nights, the camp hosts a Native American powwow.

A climbing wall and landscape at Gorham Scout Ranch


Great Southwest Council; Chimayo, New Mexico

REV UP: Explore more than 10 miles of trails on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Gorham is one of a select group of camps nationwide that offers a course to learn to safely operate an ATV.

SLICE OF THE SOUTHWEST: At an elevation of 7,200 feet, expect cool temperatures during the day and even cooler ones at night. The nighttime skies are beautiful, and the camp hosts star parties, during which you can study the heavens with a telescope. Learn about the history of the 2,650-acre camp as it shows evidence of use by the neighboring Native American Pueblos for thousands of years.

ALL THAT GLITTERS: When you do your laundry after a week at Gorham, you might notice your clothes will be a little sparkly. That’s because the dirt at camp consists of mica flakes, which glitter in the sunlight. You’ll go home not only with great memories, but also little pieces of camp itself.

COPE course and NASA astronaut at Camp Strake


Sam Houston Area Council; Coldspring, Texas

BLAST OFF: Collaborating with NASA, Camp Strake is offering out-of-this-world experiences, including field trips to nearby Space Center Houston and Johnson Space Center. You can get a behind-the-scenes tour at the spaceflight training and control facilities. Meet an astronaut and communicate with astronauts on the International Space Station.

COOL DOWN: Revive yourself at Camp Strake’s one-of-a-kind cool zone by the lakefront. There’s plenty to do at the 27-acre lake, like fishing tournaments, kayaking, rowing, an obstacle course and riding a zip line over the water. You can also grab some ice cream at the trading post.

GO ON A HIKE: The 2,800-acre property is located near the 129-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, the longest trail in Texas. Off-site adventures include hiking part of this trail. You can also stay onsite and enjoy the 5 miles of hiking trails.

Riding bikes and a flag ceremony at Heritage Scout Reservation


Laurel Highlands Council; Farmington, Pennsylvania

THE AMERICAN SPIRIT: The three camps on this 2,000-acre property are patriotically named: Camp Independence, Camp Liberty and Camp Freedom. The surrounding area is rich in historical sites and forts from the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. At camp, the place to visit is Heritage Hub, where Scouts play games, ride a zip line and — on Wednesday nights — savor s’mores and deep-fried sandwich cookies.

RIDE A BIKE: Know how to ride a bike? Great! You can tackle the BMX dirt track. Don’t know how to ride? That’s OK: The camp staff will teach you, and — by the end of the week — you should be able to go on the track, too.

LAKE TIME: You can play tennis, hit the hiking trails or try the low-ropes COPE course. Another favorite activity spot is the 270-acre Lake Courage. Go motorboating, water-skiing and smallboat sailing. Each of the three camps has a waterfront, so aquatic fun is always close by.

Horseback riding at McNeil


Greater Colorado Council; Elbert, Colorado

FOLLOW THE STORY: Staff skits are a lot of fun to watch during a campfire, but at McNeil Scout Ranch, they’re part of an ongoing story. You won’t want to be late to the daily flag ceremonies as the skits continue and prompt related games and contests. You might be inspired to fine-tune your acting skills at the camp’s Hollywood-themed lodge where the Theater merit badge is offered.

READY, AIM … : If you want to try shooting sports, McNeil Scout Ranch has facilities for trap, skeet and five-stand shotgun. There’s also a place for rifle shooting, field archery and tomahawk throwing. One of the programs for older Scouts focuses on a weeklong shooting sports experience, which caps off with cowboy action shooting.

LET’S RIDE: The camp offers more than 40 merit badges, including Horsemanship. You can go on not only trail rides, but also dinner rides and overnighters, when available. You can go off-site to ride down Class III rapids in the camp’s whitewater program.

Horseback riding and campfire program at Camp Read


Greater Hudson Valley Council; Brant Lake, New York

GEM OF THE ADIRONDACKS: Set on 1,000 acres and surrounded by six lush, forested mountains, Camp Read features four sites: Waubeeka, Buckskin, Summit Base and STEM Ranch. Enjoy the natural settings at each, like the caves of Waubeeka or the lake at the Summit Base, where you can ride a zip line, splash into the lake, swim to shore — and do it all again.

LET’S EAT: You can choose your dining experience at Camp Read. In Buckskin, you head to the dining hall; in Waubeeka, you cook at your campsite. All the cooking equipment is provided, including a propane stove or a sheepherder stove. Don’t forget to stop by the trading post during the week to grab a refreshing slushie.

TO THE SUMMIT: The Summit Base focuses on high-adventure fun: canoe and backpacking treks, zip lining, mountain biking and climbing the 60-foot-tall tower. It’s for everyone, with first-year campers invited to try some of the activities, too. You’ll still have time to earn a few of the 50 merit badges offered and head over to the STEM Ranch to learn skilled trades and technical skills or even go for a horse ride.

Flag ceremony and the waterfront at Lost Valley


Orange County Council; Warner Springs, California

SOMEBODY’S GOTTA DO IT: Roll up your sleeves and get dirty in the camp’s Dirty Jobs program area. There, you’ll learn welding, metalworking and how to do home repairs. Not only will you work on those merit badges, but you could also discover a new hobby or career path.

CLIMB ON: Encircled by mountains, Lost Valley is a true wilderness camp. When you’re in the mountains, you might be tempted to conquer one. At Lost Valley, you can — or at least scale a real rock wall. Climbers can choose between a rugged outdoor rock face or an indoor climbing wall.

GAME TIME: Every Tuesday night is game night. As party music plays, you can play cornhole, giant chess and kubb, a Swedish lawn game. There are also aquatics competitions and later in the week, a Western-themed stage show and carnival, complete with sharpshooter events, roping contests and root beer floats. Daytime temps often stay in the 80s, perfect for a horseback ride or ATV drive.

Zip line and climbing tower at Camp Rockefeller


Quapaw Area Council; Damascus, Arkansas

EXPAND YOUR KNOWLEDGE: STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math, and Camp Rockefeller covers it all in its air-conditioned STEM complex. You can dive into learning about computers, 3D printing, robotics and photography. The camp offers around 70 merit badges with about a dozen of those focusing on STEM fields.

NEW EXPERIENCES: Rockefeller strives to offer new, fun merit badge and activity options. The camp recently added an advanced shooting sports program, in which you can fire black powder rifles and toss tomahawks. The camp will add a new zip line this year and an obstacle course next year.

FRY IT UP: On Wednesdays, burgers are served during a dance party at the parade field, where you can also play lawn games. On Fridays, eat some barbecue and, in exchange for participating in a small service project, grab some candy from the trading post and the camp staff will deep-fry it for you. Scouts have fried up cookies, cream-filled sponge cakes and more — yum!

1 Comment on Get Excited for Summertime at These 8 Cool Scout Camps

  1. Nice!

Leave a Comment

Please don't use your real name.