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A message from the Editor . . .

Click Here to Take a Tour!
Click Here to Take a Tour!
Click Here to Take a Tour!

The Scout Camps USA Camp Tour 2001 Trail
The Camp Tour 2001 Map
11 States - 27 Camps - 8700 Miles - 20,000+ Photos
Grab your mouse and follow Camp Tour 2001 along the byways and the highways of the western United States.

Express to Photos


Each summer the editors of Scout Camps USA pack their gear and head off to visit Scout Camps. During the Summer 2000 camping season, we visited camps along a route from Chicago to Nova Scotia and back. This season, we decided to head west for an extended tour of southern, southwestern, and northwestern camps. In a 30-foot motorhome, we crossed the mighty Mississippi, sped along thousands of miles of interstate, bumped over hundreds of miles of dirt and gravel, teetered atop the ridges at the roof of the Rockies (at 12,700+ feet - not bad for a motorhome!), and followed the curving Pacific coastal highway to sea level to bring you news and views of 27 camps.

The summer tours began more as an afterthought than as anything else. In the summer of 2000, we were on our way to Nova Scotia (to escape the heat of Chicago), and while looking at the route noticed there were an awful lot of familiar names along the way. A few quick calls to camp directors gathered us invitations to visit a dozen camps. Camp Tour 2001 expands upon this idea but involved a bit more planning.

Warning - Warning - Warning

At this point we caution, please, please, please never just drop in on a summer camp in session, or, for that matter, any Scout camping property, without first contacting the Council and clearing your visit.

How We Do It

In general, we try to arrive at a camp in the afternoon around 2:00 or 3:00, so that we can get some photos of afternoon program, free time, evening flag ceremonies, dinner at camp sites or in the dining hall, and staff, lads, and dads (and moms, too!). We travel in our motorhome so that we have the flexibility of staying at the camp and being around when photo-worthy activities occur, rather than being holed up at the Holiday Inn 40 miles away. We're up with the sun the next morning to continue our photo activities (there's almost always a great shot at the lake at sunrise). We capture the morning flag ceremony, spend a couple of hours shooting morning activities, and then retire to the motorhome to produce a 10-page or so color photo thank-you book for the camp staff and transfer the 500, 800, or 1200 digital images we've shot (yes, that's right! we're photographin' fools) to CD to present to the camp director before we leave and go on to the next camp.

Our aim is to give you a fair idea of the facilities and property at the camp, along with lots of pictures of lads and dads and staff, so that each one of them can show their friends and families just what their camp looks like and some of the people with whom they spent their camping time. There's no way in the world we can catch someone at every activity, in every program area, or every corner of a 6000-acre property, but we do our best to give you a glimpse of what we saw in the eight to 12 hours we were at camp.

Last year we shot thousands of photos and we're still scanning them.....this year, we decided to go digital to make our lives easier and to get the photos onto the web site as quickly as possible. In fact, we planned (and, unfortunately, broadcast that plan to a number of folks!) to upload photos as we traveled. As it turns out, a camp in the middle of nowhere really is in the middle of nowhere! No Kinko's, no Internet cafes, sometimes no phones or electricity. So, we had to choose between keeping to a rather rigid (and brutal) tour schedule or dropping camps to detour to upload-friendly towns. We chose to stick to the schedule and bring you more photos, albeit at a bit slower pace. Now that we're home from the tour, we'll be updating the tour pages with new camps every few days until all 27 are available for your review. So, keep checking in often - there will be new photos all the time.

We hope you enjoy Camp Tour 2001 -- we certainly did. Some of the files can take a while to load, but that's the way it is with photos. We've tried to make your life easier by compressing the photos, dividing them into categories, and limiting them to about five photos per page.

Thank You

Finally, we want to thank the camp directors, program directors, rangers, staff, campers, parents, and friends who put up with us this summer. We were those awful photographers lurking in the bushes, getting in the way of the flag ceremonies, catching you as you got out of your tent in the morning, sneaking up and blinding you with our flash as you were carving a neckerchief slide with a very sharp knife, and just generally mucking about in your camp. We enjoyed meeting you all, sharing your adventures, and hearing your stories, if only for a very short time.

Camp Tour 2002 - The Old South

We're thinking about heading southeast next summer to explore the Old South and its great camping properties. People ask us all the time if we've visited each of the summer camps listed in Scout Camps USA. The fact is that's a hard task to complete. With over 400 BSA summer resident camps and with only a few short sun-filled days each summer to visit camps, you'd need a Lear Jet, helicopter, and the energy of 240 Scouts to do it. So, we'll settle for just visiting a few each summer. At this point, we've toured over 10 percent of the camps, and we've chosen those camps on the basis of proximity to a planned route, special features, invitations from friends in the Council, or, sometimes, just arbitrarily. Next year, we'd like to choose camps that you're interested in. We're always open to suggestions. If there's a summer camp in the southeastern U.S. that you'd like us to profile (Scout, Cub, Venture, or High Adventure) drop us a line, email us, or give us a call.


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