When the school year ends, summer camp season begins. A week at one of these eight incredible Scout camps is time well spent.
SALMON RIVER HIGH ADVENTURE BASE
HIGH DEFINITION: They call it “The River of No Return.” But don’t worry. You’ll make it back from your Salmon River adventure just fine — and have plenty of GoPro footage to show your friends.
TOUGH OR TOUGHER: The most popular trip is a bumpy three-day ride down a 38-mile stretch of river. Want more challenge? Add on a two-day backpacking trip through Hells Canyon.
DAILY CATCH: Are there salmon in the Salmon River? Yes, indeed. Campers can catch bass, trout and pike, too. For a different kind of catching, the camp lends out flying discs and footballs.
Find out more: oreidascouting.org
CAMP DANIEL BOONE
Daniel Boone Council
Canton, North Carolina
KEEPING IT 1700: Step back in time at Boonesboro Village, a full-immersion summer camp experience. You’ll live all week as 1770s-era villagers, sleeping in barracks and learning blacksmithing, pottery and leatherworking.
FOOD AND FIRE: At Boonesboro, villagers cook over wood fires using only tools available in the late 18th century. No camp stoves here.
MODERN MARVELS: Daniel Boone offers plenty of 21st-century fun, too, including rafting, climbing and backpacking. There’s also Goin’ Great, a program that gets new Scouts on the path to Eagle.
Find out more: campdanielboone.org
MA-KA-JA-WAN SCOUT RESERVATION
Northeast Illinois Council
FASTEST WAY DOWN: Follow the sounds of joyful screams to the Black Hole, Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan’s enclosed side-by-side slides. Board a tiny sled, hold on tightly and zoom down the hill.
THIS MEANS WAR: Lake Killian is the place for aquatics awesomeness. Our favorite: war canoe races. Groups of 10 Scouts hop into extra-long canoes to paddle for the camp-wide crown.
LET IT BURN: The Order of the Arrow bonfire Friday night ends the week in spectacular fashion. It’s when Scouts elected by their troopmates get inducted into Scouting’s national honor society.
Find out more: makajawan.com
OWASIPPE SCOUT RESERVATION
Pathway to Adventure Council
Twin Lake, Michigan
DO IT ALL: It’s called the Ultimate Owasippe Adventure, and it’s not for Scouts who want to sit still. Your Monday through Friday will be packed with hiking, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing and more.
WHEELS UP: Owasippe’s new mountain-biking program might be the coolest way to explore the reservation’s 4,800 acres. Hop aboard to ride 23 miles of some of Michigan’s best trails.
KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Owasippe is one of the nation’s oldest Scout camps. While today’s Scouts arrive by SUV, Scouts in 1912 traveled by steamship across Lake Michigan. The camp isn’t on the lake, so Scouts had to carry all their gear the last 7 miles.
Find out more: owasippeadventure.com
MONTANA HIGH ADVENTURE BASE (MOHAB)
YOUR CHOICE: Treks at MOHAB come in two flavors: hiking or packrafting. If you pick packrafting, you’ll paddle the lakes and rivers, and hike the hills and valleys. When you aren’t paddling, you’ll carry your lightweight inflatable solo raft on your back.
LEVEL UP: MOHAB offers two adventure levels. Level I is a one-week trek covering up to 8 miles a day. Level II is two weeks, with up to 12 miles a day of travel.
SCENIC ROUTE: You won’t find these views at home. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, MOHAB offers panoramic vistas that make each step or paddle stroke worth the effort.
Find out more: montanahighadventurebase.com
TEN MILE RIVER (TMR) SCOUT CAMPS
Greater New York Councils
Narrowsburg, New York
TOUGHEN UP: The Ten Mile River High Adventure Trek is one of the most intense 50-mile treks out there. Over the course of the weeklong backpacking trip, you’ll stop at Philmont-style outposts to try target paintball, mountain boarding, rappelling and more.
A FULL MENU: TMR’s three summer camps allow you to choose your meal style. Camp Keowa and Camp Ranachqua have a traditional dining hall. Camp Aquehonga lets you cook with your patrol.
PICK ONE: All three camps offer activities like archery, canoeing, sailing and a nature center. But each has something unique: One has a twisty waterslide, another offers water skiing and the third has a deep-woods setting that feels more like “roughing it.”
Find out more: tenmileriver.org
NAISH SCOUT RESERVATION
Heart of America Council
Kansas City, Kansas
ON TARGET: Take aim at metal markers in Top Shot Chalk Ball, one of Naish’s newest offerings. The chalk pellets explode in a satisfying cloud of dust when you hit your target.
LET’S EAT: The “Critter Supper Club” isn’t what it sounds like. No, you won’t have to dine on lizards, rabbits and snakes, but you will get to watch some of Naish’s animal residents devour their dinner while you munch on yours. Bon appétit!
FILL YOUR SASH: Naish offers more than 40 different merit badges, including six Eagle-required badges. The Welding merit badge is taught by local ironworkers. Geology and Mining in Society include a tour of a local quarry.
Find out more: hoac-bsa.org/naish
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH ADVENTURE BASE
Rocky Mountain Council
Villa Grove, Colorado
HIGHS AND LOWS: From the time you show up Sunday, you’re in for a mountaintop experience in the rugged Rocky Mountains. You can try whitewater rafting, mountain trekking, mountain biking, climbing and rappelling.
RIVER ROAR: The powerful Arkansas River relentlessly churns down Browns Canyon, and you’ll feel every splash, dip and rise. Translation: You’re gonna get wet. Try to take your eyes off the rapids from time to time to look out for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
PEAK CONDITION: The Fourteener Challenge is only for Scouts in tip-top shape. You’ll try to summit Mount Shavano and/or Mount Antero. Each has an elevation higher than 14,000 feet, and each involves a strenuous climb to the top.
Find out more: rmcbsa.org/rmhab