Jump to View Photos
Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, Longs Peak Council, near Red Feather Lake, Colorado
At Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, they think big, and with 3400 acres at 7500-8000 feet, they can afford to do so. The ranch comprises four camps with some shared facilities, plus a family campground near the Ranger's house. Two Scout camps, Jeffrey and Ruth Coffin, overlook the peaceful green valley sheltering the ranch office. Some distance away from the Scout camps are the Elkhorn High Adventure Base and the Jack Nicol Cub Scout Family Camp.
Council Properties Director, Terry Dunn, welcomed us to the ranch and, because he would be leaving shortly to visit some of the other council properties, turned us over to the directors of Camps Jeffrey and Ruth Coffin. We were given a tour of both camps and the Elkhorn High Adventure Base.
Elkhorn High Adventure Base offers treks into the surrounding wilderness, backpacking, rock climbing, 50-milers, alpine hikes--you name it, they've got it. The base is really just a building, a place for units to meet and collect gear and grub before they go on their treks. We were fortunate to arrive on a day when units were returning and met a group from Lake Bluff, Illinois, which is near our home. While we were visiting one of the other camps, we ran into an old friend from our Council who had hurt himself on a trek and had to call his adventure off a bit short. Troops and units from around the country attend Ben Delatour because of its close proximity to the Rockies and the adventures therein. Some Troops and units will bring a group of all-age boys, leaving the younger ones behind to work on merit badges at the Scout camps and sending the older ones off to Elkhorn for a week on their high adventure trek.
The two Scout camps, Jeffrey and Ruth Coffin, share program areas and a small lake, sufficient for teaching boating and doing a bit of swimming; but it's not for watersports that you come to Ben Delatour, you come for the mountain experience. The vistas from both camps are terrific and from either you can see a number of peaks: Coral Rock, Rainbow Ridge, and Monster Mountain. One of the more fun peaks, we think, is Whydontachtakea Peak. Units coming to Ben Delatour can choose between camps based, among other things, on dining preferences. Jeffrey is a dining hall camp; Ruth Coffin is a patrol cooking camp.
Boys may hike up the peaks, and we observed climbing classes on some fairly rugged rock faces. The ranch has an extensive and challenging C.O.P.E. course as well. The climbing staff was happy to put on a climbing demonstration for us at Weaver's Thumb, which we photographed at great length and distance.
One amenity both camps have in common are the terrific latrines. Yes, that's right, we're excited about these latrines! Hard as it might be to believe, these are the sweetest smelling outhouses we've come across anywhere anytime. It turns out that they're of a new design, a patented ventilation system that we're sure was designed by someone who must have truly cared about fresh mountain air.
Outstanding outhouses, vast vistas, and mammoth mountains all combine for truly unforgettable Scout camping experiences at Ben Delatour Scout Ranch.