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- Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch (BTSR)
All classes are taught by a highly trained and qualified staff. Some programs have age and size limits, additional fees, and restrictions, please see the BTSR Leader Guide for more information!
There are over a dozen Trails at BTSR that wind through over 9,000 acres of rugged and beautiful
terrain. Many of these trails were established almost 6 decades ago and still see
traffic today as we continue to put hikers into our wonderful backcountry. They range from easy trails with little to no elevation change, to the most rugged and challenging trails that will test even the most experienced hikers. These are not roads or wide national park trails; they are very rustic trails that leave little impact on the surrounding beauty you will experience as you hike along these paths. Our itineraries are designed to utilize the most appropriate trail based on the experience level required for each program. Ranging from 4,400 ft. of elevation in base camp, to over 6,400 feet there is something for everyone!
The Cavalcade is a week long High-Adventure horseback experience. The program is designed for older Scouts, Ventures’, and Explorers who have achieved the horsemanship merit badge or equivalent training. Cavalcade participants will ride day to day traveling over extremely rugged terrain through canyons, up mountains, and across BTSR’s many trails. Cavalcade participants get the chance to experience the best of the Davis Mountains while in a saddle.
Take a step back in time and live like the 9th and 10th Cavalry stationed at Fort Davis in the late 1800’s! Learn how they lived and trained, eat Chuck-wagon cooking, ride and take care of horses, wear the uniforms and sleep in the same type tents. The camp is located on top of Forbidden Mountain, where you will enjoy the variety of programs along with the breathtaking beauty of the scenic overlooks. It promises to be a week that you will never forget!
The climbing programs at BTSR are second to none! The canyon walls and numerous rock formations create the perfect setting for a Scout to learn what it is like to climb “for real”. (No towers or climbing walls at our camp!). Several programs are offered, for varied levels of interest and
Following the war, increased hostility by the Indians hampered U.S. expansion westward, and it was felt necessary to build the fort. In 1867, units of the newly formed 9th Cavalry were sent to accomplish this task. Eventually, all four of the Buffalo Soldier units formed after the Civil War would serve at Fort Davis.
The old fort is now a part of the National Park system, and is considered the best preserved Indian Wars fort in the Southwest. It is the only preserved site commemorating the unique military origins of the Buffalo Soldiers.
We hope those who follow in the footsteps of the soldiers of the 1880’s will come to better understand how Fort Davis was a vital part of the rich history of Texas! As you tour the museum and hike the trail we encourage you to learn as much as possible about the lives of these soldiers.
The Mountain Man is a week long experience for older Scouts and Ventures’ who would like to experience
the life of a Mountain Man in the fur trade era of the 1840’s. Participants will experience the primitive lives
of men like Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, and Daniel Boone. Scouts will explore the contributions these men made to the growth of our country.
Participants will enjoy activities such as stories around the campfire, Dutch oven cooking, tomahawk and
knife throwing, black powder shooting, atl-atl spear throwing, archery, tanning deer hides, flint knapping,
making soap and rope from plants, and Mountain Man swimming. Scouts will learn about tracking in the Wilds and reading trail signs, as well as information on edible plants and plants for survival.
Enjoy the challenge and the sights of the most beautiful canyons, highest peaks, and tallest cliffs in Texas during your week in the BTSR Outback. Created thousands of years ago, during the formation of the earth, volcanic activity sent the Davis Mountains over sixty-five hundred feet above sea level. Calderas and erosion left the rocky peaks two thousand feet above the valley floor, creating the Outback that BTSR Rangers proudly call home.
Venturing Crews are welcome to spend a week at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch for their summer high adventure destination. When your Crew attends a week of camp, they can participate in a variety of Merit Badge & High Adventure programs that will help them to work on many of the requirements for the Ranger Award, the Outdoor Bronze Award, or just have fun with other Venturers and Scouts enjoying our programs and activities. Programs include climbing, shooting sports, equestrian, swimming, lifesaving, CPR training, SCUBA certification and of course, any of our High Adventure Programs.
A recent addition to the BTSR High Adventure program is the “Trailblazers”. This offers your Troop or Crew an opportunity to spend TWO weeks at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch! One week doing service projects in the back-country, and one week of participating in a BTSR High Adventure Program of your choice (excluding Cavalcade) for just a fraction of the cost!
Here is how it works: Your Troop or Crew will spend 5 days working in the BTSR back-country. You will complete projects such as new trail construction, maintenance on existing Trail at BTSR, clearing brush, building and installing trail signs and markers, as well as other miscellaneous projects that will improve the use of our back-country for many years to come. Once your work week is completed, you will have Saturday to rest and see the sights in the local areas around camp, and then come back on Sunday ready to embark on a high adventure journey of your own! You can go on a backpacking trip in the Outback Program, enjoy a week at Mountain Man camp, or spend your time at our newest programs, the Circle H or Cavalry Adventures!
BTSR will offer two different SCUBA courses as part of our Aquatics Program during the course of the summer. This has been an exciting addition to our programs, specially since the participants will get to dive at a favorite hot spot of divers from all over the state: Balmorhea State Park!
Scouts will have the opportunity to earn the SCUBA, BSA award during any of the nine weeks of camp. Those Scouts and Venturers wanting a little more training will be able to earn their open water diver certification during specific weeks. Check with the council for these dates.