Camp Hale, Talihina, OK (Indian Nations Council)
2017 3.1 stars (average)
- Facilities (5*): “Camp Hale has a wonderful facility.” Many of the buildings are relatively new, spacious, and well-equipped. The dining hall is very well air-conditioned, and also has an indoor climbing wall. Newer bathroom and shower facilities worked well and were never far from camp.
- Staff (4*): “Staff was mostly wonderful.” The staff were generally friendly, knew the material and taught it well. Not a whole of scout spirit, though.
- Program (4.5*): “Program was very good. Scoutmaster reports were excellent.”
- Buddy System (1*): “We practiced the buddy system, but it was not practiced there.”
- Cleanliness (1*): “There were issues with sanitation in the common area restrooms and the dining hall hand washing station, where there was a lack of soap at these facilities.”
“Troop 509 thoroughly enjoyed Camp Hale, would recommend it and would go back.”
2015: 4 stars; 2016: 3 stars
- Campsites: There was electricity in the campsites, but the campsites very rocky & uneven, tents were in poor condition,.
- Latrines: There was hot water, but the latrines were getting out of date; not enough showers and not enough sinks.
- Mess Hall: The dining hall was overcrowded, served mediocre food, and there was not enough food for the adults.
- Program: Most of the merit badge counselors were good, the flag ceremonies were OK, and the campfire program was good; Trail to Eagle program not bad.
- Although overall the camp experience was better in 2015 than 2016, the Gaga Ball Pit was a big hit! (from a scouter in Troop 387)
Camp Pioneer, Hatfield, AR (Caddo Area Council)
2015: 4 stars. Some of the better aspects of the camp were the facilities, which included electrical outlets in the leader tents and showers in the campsites, reasonable program prices, great food, and fun and friendly staff, especially for the Trail to First Class program. All campers made to feel welcome and at home. Trail to First Class was very comprehensive, but almost too popular for its own good, and they were a little short-staffed for the program and some staff could have used additional training. Look out for ticks! (From a scouter with Troop 509)
Camp Rockefeller, Damascus, AR (Quapaw Area Council)
2016: 4 stars. PROS: Located about 400 miles from Bedford, Rockefeller has lots of shade, but limited power in the campsites. They had a great staff that offered a large selection of merit badges. Something special was a 50-mile canoe trip that left Monday and returned Friday. Excellent food (according to the scouts). Road to Eagle program (R.O.C.K.S.) is half-day, so scouts can also take up to three merit badges. The program is geared toward rank, so a Second Class scout can work on First Class requirements. COPE course for older scouts (also half-day). CONS: The tree frogs are LOUD! They go on till about 3am, and then the silence wakes you up. Avoid camping near the river (near the climbing tower) to stay away from the mosquitos. If you book early, it shouldn’t be an issue. Finally, at 400 miles, it is a bit of a haul. (From a scouter with Troop 250)
Kia Kima Scout Reservation, Hardy, AR (Chickasaw Council)
2016: 5 stars. Beautiful camp, with a wonderful program. The merit badges were well-handled (great job!). The prices were also good. The biggest down side to the camp was the heat (too hot!), and we wouldn’t go back because of that, but to be fair it was also in the 100’s in north Texas at the time. (From a scouter with Troop 254)
Camp Raymond, Parks, AZ (Grand Canyon Council)
2017: 4 stars. “Great weather, a good merit badge selection, and the food was great! It was a little too pricey, though. 20 adults and 29 scouts attended (49 total).” (From a scouter with Troop 254)
From another scouter with Troop 254 that same year:
- The initial information and registration process was poor (the Leaders’ Guide was not available until 5 weeks prior to start date).
- The camp was clean, large, and had a new dining hall. The food was outsourced. Very good.
- Merit Badge registration did not take place until the day of check-in, which is not until Monday morning.
- Camp Staff and Merit Badge Counselors were above average.
- Overall, a good experience.
- PS: Troop must supply their own tents.