Camping: Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch & High Adventure Camp
Horse Program - Horse Donations
Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch (BTSR) needs good horses and gentle mules for its year-round riding program. Horse owners who need to make a change and want to see their spare animals find a good home should consider the Scout ranch. Every equine received gets a full year to find a place in the diverse program offered on this nearly 9,500 acre property in the Davis Mountains.
BTSR offers a multi-level horse program to Scouts and Scouters throughout the year. Participants range in age and experience from 8 years old and never been on a horse, to trained, experienced volunteer wranglers who guide horseback treks through the mountains.
The backbone of the program is the remuda of gentle, sure-footed horses and mules. It takes about 36 working head to fulfill the demands of the program. Many of the animals in use today found their way to the Scout ranch from homes and ranches where they had become an unneeded expense.
The Scout ranch remuda roams free most of the year in the mountainous pastures of the Scout ranch. They are checked regularly for injury or illness. When necessary, animals are brought to the headquarters corral for medication and stall feeding. All equines are wormed routinely, have their teeth floated, hooves tended as needed, maintain current Coggins test, and are vaccinated for several diseases annually.
Horses and mules are gathered from pasture when needed, shod, and test ridden by qualified wranglers. Cub Scouts (aged 8-10 years) are lead by an adult or wrangler, while Boy Scouts may ride short guided trail rides after brief instruction. Training begins with Horsemanship Merit Badge, where 11-18 year olds learn to catch, bridle, saddle and ride. Overnight to week long horseback excursions, called cavalcades, are offered at various times of the year and require vigorous riding instruction and testing. BTSR wranglers are often found among the most enthusiastic of the Scouts who work their way through the program, although teenaged girls compete for wrangling positions after starting in equine-oriented Venture Scouting.
No one wants to look a gift horse in the mouth, but the Buffalo Trail Council, BSA has established the following policy for accepting equines:
- To the best of the donor's knowledge, the animal must be sound and free of disease;
- The donor surrenders completely clear title to the animal; there are no other parties with an interest in the animal; and
- The animal is donated forever, without reservation or condition, to the Buffalo Trail Council, BSA.
The Council agrees to do its best to maintain the animal in good health for 90 days from date of donation (unless the animal suffers catastrophic injury or illness), and will try during that time to find a purpose for the animal in the horse program of the Scout ranch. If, after 90 days the animal is found unsuitable for use on the Scout ranch, the Council will feel free to sell or trade the animal for something that can be used in the BTSR horse program.
The Scout ranch is always glad to accept tack, feed and fodder for the horse program. Lower program costs mean more opportunities for the boy, so any donation is appreciated. The animal science merit badge program also needs cattle, pigs, and goats. Finished meat animals are processed for use in the BTSR dining hall, which improves the menu and keeps overall costs to Scouts down as well.
Within two months of sending a donation to the Scout ranch, each donor will receive a letter of thanks that functions as a receipt, suitable for tax purposes, from the Buffalo Trail Council, BSA. The Council cannot place a value on any donation except cash, but the animal(s) and any tack, feed, fodder, or other material donated will be adequately described so that the donor can assign appropriate value. Cash donations are certainly welcome, and checks should be made payable to the Buffalo Trail Council, BSA: Equine Fund.
Today's youth needs the actual challenges of learning, riding, and adventuring beyond the virtual reality of a video game screen. Help them by sending your four-legged friends to a second chance and a new home in the Davis Mountains.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO HAVE LIVESTOCK PICKED UP, CALL DAN DAMON, CAMP RANGER (432) 426-3709 or e-mail email@example.com.