The Single Largest
"Tourist Attraction" For Scouting
Rarely has a single state
yielded so many heavy hitters in terms of summer camp excellence. Across the Commonwealth
of Virginia there are truly some incredible Boy Scout Camps.
In one sense, Virginia has perhaps become the single largest "tourist
attraction" for Scouting as once every four years & for the past five national
Jamborees tens of thousands of Scouts have descended on Fort A.P. Hill Virginia. Before
and after the Jambo event Scouts fan out across the state making a huge impact on the
local economy and visiting sites ranging from Mt. Vernon & Colonial Williamsburg to
Washington D.C. and amusement parks. Besides official participants thousands more Scouts
visit the Jamboree as part of day trips. Many of these visiting Scout groups will stay at
nearby campgrounds or even BSA summer camps.
Even in non Jamboree years Virginia can pack a full house of Scout campers from around
the nation. BLUE RIDGE SCOUT RESERVATION is absolutely at the top of this list. No Council
camp is larger, at 17,500 acres Scouts can literally hike hundreds of miles of trails and
never leave the camp property high in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia.
Geography and land size alone do not make this camp special, the Council has devoted
enormous resources to make one of the most comprehensive, challenging and innovative High
Adventure Programs in the Nation, rivaling, some say even surpassing those offered at
Philmont. The HIGH KNOLL TRAIL Program features staff in period costume and various camps
where Scouts can experience life in early America. The traditional High Adventure
activities are served in style with the New River George. The massive reservation also has
two traditional camps, Ottari & Powhatan as well as the Claytor Lake Aquatics Base. In
the tradition of a handful of other great camps that really don't need the promotion (the
Blue Ridge Reservation's summer programs routinely fill up, drawing Troops from all over
the USA & several foreign countries each summer) they have produced a slick video
(which they will send to unit leaders free), great leader's guides, and a fantastic web
At the top end of the state, one of the largest Councils in the nation, the National
Capital Area Council, operates GOSHEN SCOUT RESERVATION nestled in the historic Shenandoah
Valley. The three camps see upwards of 5,000 campers a summer. While the camp is three
hours from the Council boundary, many Troops from other places visit and make trips into
Another impressive camp, BRADY T. SAUNDERS is, unfortunately, internet silent.
Richmond's flagship camp & staff take great pains to design one of the finest leader's
guides in the nation. The camp is stepped in traditions, and also attracts many out of
CAMP ROCK ENON & CAMP SHENANDOAH make up the other two Appalachian based camps in
the state. Rock Enon in particular is a good example of a small Council again developing a
remarkable summer camp program that attracts Scouts from other states.
The two Southeastern Virginia Councils also have innovative programs. The Colonial
Virginia Council's CAMP CHICKAHOMINY has a special older Scout program that transports
Scouts to some of the most historic places in American history where Scouts can complete
their Hiking Merit Badges while also seeing up close and personal some of the nation's
most powerful landmarks. From Tidewater Council's PIPSICO SCOUT RESERVATION they go one
step further, the camp is so close to Jamestown Scouts can literally canoe over the this
historic community that marked the beginning of a permanent settlement in North America.