Circle H Ranching Adventure – Discontinued

Another great High-Adventure program for older Scouts, in addition to our many other outstanding opportunities for fun and excitement at the premier Boy Scout camp in the state of Texas!

Circle H brandTake a step back in time and live like a rancher and his family did in the early 1900s! On this adventure you will hike to the far reaches of BTSR to Madera Canyon. Here you will stay for a week and enjoy a wide range of activities. Live, eat, and sleep like the original ranchers did 100 years ago! You will also have the rare opportunity to explore the ruins and take part in an actual archaeological dig at the burned out Hunsaker mansion.


  • Live in old style wall tents on platforms
  • Country cooking chuck wagon style
  • Archeological exploration of mansion
  • Taking care of livestock and chickens
  • Black powder shooting and action archery
  • Cowboy campfires
  • Clear and work the land
  • Cowboy skills – roping and branding
  • Soap and candle making
  • And much, much more!!!


The Circle H Ranching Adventure is a weeklong high adventure experience for older Scouts and Venturers who would like to experience the life of a rancher and his family in the late 1800s. This new program promises to be a week of fun and adventure!

Scenic Circle HChuck wagon and Dutch oven cooking, roping and branding, black powder shooting and archery, caring for livestock and working the land, making soap and candles, gardening and churning butter, cowboy campfires and singing, are all activities that participants will get to enjoy during the week. Also, you will have the chance to perform an actual dig at the burned Hunsaker Mansion, where the program is located!


Participation in the Circle H Ranching Adventure is open to campers 13 years of age and older as well as adult leaders. The entire Troop may sign up for the program, individuals may sign up, or the Troop may send a small contingent from their base camp group. We require any groups of 4 or larger to send AT LEAST one adult leader with the group. The Circle H program may be coed, if female leadership is provided.


BTSR will provide the Circle H staff, chuck wagon cooking gear, program supplies, and food. Each participant will get to sleep in an authentic period wall tent with bunks. Due to the rugged terrain, a sturdy pair of shoes is a must. NO open toed shoes or sandals. Scouts are welcomed to wear cowboy and ranching regalia all week. See list of personal equipment to bring below.


All participants are expected to pitch in to accomplish necessary camp chores and to follow the leadership of the staff. Self-discipline is expected, the Scout Oath and Law will be the rule of the Circle H Ranching Adventure.

At the end of the week, all participants will hike back to base camp and get ready for the closing campfire. Here they will be recognized with a special award for their participation in this program. Also, only the participants of the Circle H program will be allowed to brand their boots, belts, and other souvenirs with the special Circle H brand!


The Circle H Ranching Adventure will be located in the new property in Madera Canyon. You will need a backpack to carry your personal gear to the camp, so weight and bulk must be minimized. Keep it simple and light. The hike will be over several miles, be prepared to hike!


The Circle H Ranch is located in Madera Canyon in some of the most scenic areas of BTSR. Vehicle access to the camp is via a road that begins on the back of Forbidden Mountain and is approximately 9 miles long. The hike is long and requires endurance, but there are several factors that will make this hike much easier!

Circle H from aboveFor one, BTSR will carry all of the participants’ heavy backpacks and gear via 4-wheel drive vehicles, both to and from the Circle H Ranch. Secondly, the hike stars early on Monday morning so the cooler parts of the day can be taken advantage of. Also, the hike to the camp is via a different trail instead of hiking the entire length of the road. It is almost three miles shorter, making the hike much more bearable!

Equipment needed for the hike includes the following: sturdy and broken in hiking boots, hat, two quarts of water per person, a day pack with necessary personal gear for the hike, and a personal first aid kit. A sturdy hiking stick is also recommended, but not required.

Old Circle H villaThe hike to the Circle H program will begin Monday morning at approximately 5:30 AM. Participants for the Circle H program will need to have their gear easy to access from the rest of the Troop’s gear on Sunday so it can be loaded on a 4×4 for transport to Circle H. Please have the gear you need for the hike easy to access as well, so that full packs don’t have to be unpacked and repacked. Sunday night, participants will stay in the high adventure campsite, then hike to Circle H first thing Monday morning. A nice Chuckwagon lunch will be waiting for you upon arrival to the Circle H Ranch!

While the week of program opportunities at the Circle H Ranch center mostly around historic ranching activities, there will be several opportunities to earn merit badges while there! One of the most exciting parts of the program is the excavation of the burned down mansion at the ranch headquarters. Many very special relics were found last summer, and many more are waiting to be found! Scouts will finish the Archaeology Merit Badge during the week while participating in this dig and a few class sessions.

A ranch wouldn’t be complete without animals! Longhorn Cattle, a real draft horse named “Elmo”, goats and chickens will be living at Circle H as well! Participants will be expected to learn and help with the daily chores of feeding, cleaning, collecting eggs, etc. for all of these animals. By doing this, the Scouts will earn the Animal Science Merit Badge, too!

The fish bite at Circle H, too! Be the only Scouts at BTSR to be able to earn the Fishing Merit Badge during the week! Several fishing poles will be available for Scouts interested in working on this badge.


The fee for the Circle H Program covers all food, program supplies, and a qualified staff. See Fees & Payment Schedule for current pricing information.

REQUIRED INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT (For Mtn. Man, Circle H, or Cavalry)

  • Long pants
  • Cap or Hat
  • Flashlight with Batteries
  • Blanket & Bed Roll
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • 4 -1qt. Water Bottles
  • Mess Kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Leather gloves
  • Pocket Knife
  • Rain gear
  • Hiking Backpack
  • Camera and film (optional)
  • Clothing of the era (Optional)


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