Jump to View Photos
Horseshoe Bend Camp at El Rancho Cima, Sam Houston Area Council, near San Marcos, Texas
Horseshoe Bend Camp is mostly uphill from Cockrell River Camp's valley, and we traded the towering live oak stands for scrubbier oaks and cedar, cactus, and spectacular views of the surrounding hills and mesas. Camp Director Alex Deschamp and Assistant Camp Director Andrew Aguirrie split the duties of showing us around camp and we're most thankful they did, because this camp, in contrast to the river camp, spreads far and wide with shooting sports at one end and the stables, corals, and camp's 40+ horses at the other, and it would have been a long, hot walk without their able assistance.
The camp offers all of the standard program areas found at camps throughout the country but prides itself on its horse program, offering trail rides through the surrounding countryside three to five times per day. It's one of a small number of camps that offers both Horsemanship and Animal Science merit badges, and that, in part, is the attraction of this camp.
A western theme prevails. The stockade offers room for horseshoe playing, branding demonstrations, and room for Scoutmasters and Scouts to gather to watch the weekly presentation of Follow Me, Boys. We caught a Scoutmasters Cook-Off at camp, and, while not selected as judges, we heard glowing reports on all the entries, including salads, lemon chicken, and an exceptional array of dutch oven desserts.
The floor of the building has horseshoes embedded in the cement contributing to the western character of the building, and, of course, ice-cold sasparilla is served.
Feeding style is the same as that at Cockrell River Camp with breakfast and lunch being made by the boys at the campsite from camp-provided food and dinner served in the open-air dining hall.
We appreciated the western-style hospitality of this agreeable Scout camp.