8 Amazing Scout Summer Camps of 2017
Swim, climb, paddle, fish and earn lots of merit badges. At summer camp, you don’t have to pick just one awesome activity. But you do have to pick a summer camp — and with hundreds of incredible options, that isn’t easy. Here are just a few that stand out.
Click here to see more Scout Camps featured in previous years
TAHOSA HIGH ADVENTURE BASE
Denver Area Council
PEOPLE PUZZLE: Tahosa’s ropes courses are some of the nation’s best. Use your hands, feet and brains to conquer high-flying challenges — and your fears.
NICE CATCH: Fly fishing at 9,000 feet? Yes. Lessons in tying your own flies and making the perfect cast? You bet. Fishing licenses or experience needed? No, sir!
CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE: They call it “summer camp at your own pace.” Go all-inclusive, where the staff prepares meals and runs the program, or take the reins and plan your perfect week. The choice is yours.
Find out more: denverboyscouts.org
ONTEORA SCOUT RESERVATION
Theodore Roosevelt Council
Livingston Manor, New York
THE PAST: Giddyup and go back to the Wild West with lassoing demonstrations, horseshoe-throwing competitions and choice cowboy cuisine.
THE PRESENT: Get hands-on experience — and earn merit badges — in essential skilled trades like Home Repairs, Welding and Automotive Maintenance. Just don’t be surprised when Dad asks you to fix the family car.
THE FUTURE: Become an early adopter at the new STEM pavilion. Test a 3-D printer, build a robot from scratch or design a new game.
Find out more: trcbsa.org
Grand Canyon Council
DON’T LOOK DOWN: When stargazing, light pollution is your enemy. But Camp Raymond’s isolated location and elevation of 6,700 feet offer perfect conditions for seeing otherwise invisible stars and earning the Astronomy merit badge.
LEVELING UP: The Flintlock Trail Awards will make you want to return to Raymond every summer as you progress through the ranks: Pathfinder, Trailblazer, Frontiersman, Mountainman and Guide.
THAT’S COOL: Don’t forget your camera — and a jacket. During the day, you could spot elk, bears and deer. At night, temperatures can dip into the 40s. Hot cocoa at summer camp? Cool.
Find out more: grandcanyonbsa.org
HALE SCOUT RESERVATION
Indian Nations Council
A LAKE TO LIKE: Climb the floating iceberg. Speed down the waterslide. Get a friend to bounce you off the giant pillow affectionately known as the blob. At the Lake Bohannon Aquatic Center, everybody makes a splash.
THE ULTIMATE TEST: Scouts ages 14 to 17 can leave the traditional summer camp behind for a rugged 14-mile backpacking trip. You’ll hike, raft, rock-climb, cook your own food and purify your own water. Those who complete the trip become Kiamichi Warriors.
Find out more: halescoutreservation.org
PAMLICO SEA BASE
East Carolina Council
Blounts Creek, North Carolina
GO COASTAL: Explore the Carolina coast by kayak on Pamlico’s most popular trek. You choose the route, and Pamlico provides the equipment. Keep an eye out for wild horses, lighthouses and boatloads of fish.
SET SAIL: Even if you don’t know the difference between starboard and Star-Lord, Pamlico’s sailing treks will make you a first-rate sailor in no time. You’ll even learn celestial navigation, or the practice of finding your way using the stars.
SPOKES MEN: Prefer a land adventure? Pamlico’s cycling treks let you pick your distance, destinations and activities. Will you surf or bodyboard? Hunt for crabs or go fishing? The power is yours.
Find out more: pamlicoseabase.com
YAWGOOG SCOUT RESERVATION
Rockville, Rhode Island
READY, SET, H2O: With sailing, snorkeling, swimming, paddleboarding, basketball, volleyball and a campwide swim carnival, you’re in for a wild week at the waterfront.
ELEVATION GAINS: The second G is silent in Yawgoog, but you’ll shout for joy at the camp’s high-ropes course. Twenty-three different activities challenge you to climb, swing and balance — all 50 feet off the ground.
MAKING HISTORY: Yawgoog looks pretty great for 101 years old. It is actually three separate camps, each with unique songs and traditions for you to discover.
Find out more: yawgoog.org
Northern Star Council
St. Paul, Minnesota
BIG UPGRADE: What happens when you convert a 1907 cavalry drill hall into an adventure destination in the heart of the city? You get Base Camp, an innovative facility for overnight lock-ins, weekend retreats and summer camp.
INSIDE OUT: Most of Base Camp is indoors, meaning the climbing walls, archery range and space shuttle simulator can be used even on winter’s coldest day.
PERFECT PIT STOP: Make Base Camp a part of your trip to the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases in Ely, Minn. You can spend the night at Base Camp before making the five-hour drive to Ely.
Find out more: explorebasecamp.org
CAMP MELITA ISLAND
Flathead Lake, Montana
YOU’RE SURROUNDED: Where you’re going, you won’t need roads. That’s because Melita Island is an island. Literally. The only way to get to this camp is by boat. It’s just you, the trees and the water.
BIG LAKE: Speaking of water, the camp is on Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the lower 48 United States. Translation: Plenty of space for activities like waterskiing and windsurfing.
THAT’S CRAZY TALK: With daily camp themes — mustache Mondays, tall sock Tuesdays, wacky hat Wednesdays — you have a license to be silly.
Find out more: montanabsa.org
Many Point is my all-time favorite scout camp! The staff members were so fun to be around and there were so many fun activities to do during free time. The staff members always said hi to everyone and they kept things fun!
Camped at over 50 camps in 23 states. Camp Daniel Boone
Was the best I have been to, and I have been to a lot of great
Camps. “See the USA with the BSA.”
Cheers cheers for old Napawon…
Crystal clear lake water, Awesome staff, Great traditions throughout!
Best one we went to during my son’s scouting years was Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island. Amazing place!
What happened to Philmont?
Your Troop has got to check out Camp Hiawatha in Michigan’s Beautiful Upper Peninsula! Find it on Facebook and check it out!
Philmont (The Disneyland of Scout Camps)
Camp Tesomas (Samoset Council) is the best in the country!
Highlights include top notch staff, OA call out ceremony,
Lots of merit badges, dining hall, all nestled along a crystal clear lake in the tall pines of Northern Wisconsin!
Bring your bug spray and get ready for a week to remember for the rest of your life!
Time travel back to pre-flood Treasure Island!
thunder ridge scout camp is the best Utah national parks council
I have been to Woodruff and Rainey Mountain in Georgia, Powhatan in Virgina and Buck Toms in Tennessee. All had pros and cons and the troop had a great time at all of them but Woodruff to me stands out as the best.
Woodruff is the best
Been to Camp Raymond many times. A great camp for new or experienced Scouts. Come early or stay late to see the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater volcano or Indian ruins. Lots of places to camp nearby.
I personally like Camp T. Brady Saunders (Heart of Virginia Scout Reservation) just outside of Richmond, VA. They have done a lot of updating and renovations over the past few years to make the camping experience more fun and enjoyable.
You forgot about camp gieger in st joseph missouri it is been nationaly accredited for many years they have scout troops from all over the us and englang that come to camp geiger every year
All of my summer camps(many of them over 50 years ago) from Texas to the State of Washington were great . . now as an “ancient Eagle Scout” I’m going to summer camps with my grandsons and would love to try one of these . .Thanks for sharing the info!!
My favorite since 1965 has been Massawepie Scout Camps in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Massawepie (Seneca Waterways Council) has programs for all ages on 3770 acres including one lake, nine ponds, and a major bog! The large number of out-of-council troops attests to the program quality and creativity.
Been to a lot of camps over my 40 years in scouting. Nothing quite like Seven Ranges in Ohio.
The H.R.Bartle Scout camp is outstanding 4200 Acre camp in the ozarks
Check out the 10 wonderful camp options at the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation:
Camp Powhatan Base Camp, Camp Ottari Base Camp, Claytor Lake Aquatics Center, Mountain Man Camp (rustic early trappers), Voyager Trek (canoe camp), New River Adventure (rafting), Fish Camp (yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like), High Knoll Trail (think Philmont Treks, but on the east coast), National Youth Leadership Training (NLYT at a week long camp), and Brown Sea Island (a first year camper program at either base camp)… just search for BRSR and follow the links.
Yes it is!!!
At 17,500 acres it is the largest scout reservation in the US! We love Powhatan!
Camp June Norcross Webster in Ashford CT is excellent!
They’ll try anything you want there.
We love Base Camp, but the real gem of our councils camps is Many Point Scout Camp! And Tomahawk Scout Reservation is no slouch either! I don’t think any other council has such a fantastic 1-2 punch!!
Camp Daniel boone is my favorite
Partial to Seven Ranges Scout Reservation, myself
I highly recommend taking National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT)!!!
Camp Sequassen in Connecticut (Connecticut Yankee Council)
It’s where good scouts belong!
the BEST EVER!
How about Camp Hiawatha in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula!!
Raven Knob, Old Hickory Council camp.
Camp Wolfboro, In California is great.
Camp Cedar Valley, Pine Trail Reservation, Viola, Arkansas. Was the camp I spent time at. I even spent time there without my troop. (I think mother took me, just to keep me out of the house all summer).
How did Philmont not make this list!
I want to go to all of these!!!!
Has someone heard about Guajataka Scout Reservation in PR ?
Onteora is a great camp with a long history of serving Scouting! Make this a destination for your troop! You will not be disappointed.
Onteora is where I went as a scout in the early 70s
These all look great! I cut my teeth on Treasure Island Scout Camp in the middle of the Delaware River and my favorite now, although not on your list, is Wehinahpay Mountain Camp in New Mexico (totally sold out for 2017)!
I love Melita Island. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in boating or being away from the rest of the world. But they still have cell phone service, so you are not totally away!
Former Wehinapay staffer here- it is truly a great experience in the heart of the White mountains. Nothing beats a Wehinapay night!
ONTEORA SCOUT RESERVATION Is awesome. You need to go there to try the ATVs. The staff is fantastic
Loved Melita Island was fantastic, from 1965-1969.got my OA there too.