Longs Peak Council
Boy Scouts of America
Mid-August Through May Use
The Ben Delatour Scout Ranch is an all-season Scouting outing facility for Scouts and adult leaders alike in the Longs Peak Council. However, with each season will come different use concerns and facility availability. During the summer season, usually the end of May through mid-August, the entire Scout Ranch is restricted to summer camping operations; and it is not available for independent unit or district use. At other times during the year parts or all of the Scout Ranch may or may not be available because of special uses related to council camping activities.
Scout Ranch History
The Ben Delatour Scout Ranch was purchased in 1958 from George Weaver who owned it as the Pinecroft Ranch. The first Longs Peak Council event was a camporee held by the Thompson-Poudre District in the spring of 1959. This was followed by the first summer camping season that same year. The original property acreage was somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 acres, and over the decades numerous plots have been added to where today the land owned by the council is 3,400 acres. Several plots within and at the edge of the Scout Ranch were "trade-outs" with the U.S. Forest Service. In these situations the council purchased pieces of ground the Forest Service wanted, and then traded them for pieces within the Scout Ranch.
The history of the Scout Ranch us very rich. The old Zimmerman Stage Trail followed the Elkhorn Creek as it made its way from Log Cabin (the current junction of County Roads 74E and 68C) to the mining town of Manhattan and down to the Poudre Canyon. Several sites of early settles can still be seen on Scout Ranch: the remains of the John Cooke cabin, the old prospect site on the Elkhorn Creek, the Halliday Gravesite, an early sawmill, the remains of the Ashley Grange, and - if you can find them - Native American teepee rings.
With the early Native American, European settler, and Scouting histories, the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch is a magnificent location for Scouting adventures.
Five Camping Locations
The Ben Delatour Scout Ranch is organized into seven geographical camping areas:
- Camp Charles Jeffrey Boy Scout Camp
- Soaring Eagle Boy Scout Camp at Camp Ruth Coffin
- Jack Nicol Cub Scout Family Camp
- Elkhorn High Adventure Base
- Kiwanis Family Campground
- Outpost Camping Area
- Camp Demming Area
Charles Jeffrey Boy Scout Camp
In the summer this camp serves meals out of the 350-seat Armstrong Coral Rock Lodge. At other times you cook on your own in your campsite. The camp has ten campsite areas with tent platforms and space for individual tents:
||Tower Rock Site
||Evans Ridge Site
||Broken Axe Site
||Jeffrey Staff Site
||Deer Trail Site
The camp also has the main campfire area: the Taylor Camp Fire Ring; and a smaller, Tower Rock Camp Fire Ring. The well appointed open air Grannon Chapel is also located here. An archery range is located uphill from the dining hall. Pit latrines are located in or near each campsite. Each campsite has a stone circle fire pit. The COPE Course is an Off Limits Area!
Camp Jeffrey also has two cabins for troop use. Both have wood stoves and metal bunks for sleeping:
Kola Lodge - capacity of 16 persons
Nuzum Shelter - capacity of 10 persons
Soaring Eagle Boy Scout Camp
In the summer this camp is a patrol cooking camp where all meals are prepared in the campsite. At other times of the year it is the same. The camp has thirteen campsites divided into several patrol sites. Each site has five tent platforms and there is usually room for individual tent set-up:
- Hideaway Site - 1 patrol site
- Lariat Site - 1 patrol site
- VanderNoorde Vale Site - 2 patrol sites
- Los Padros Site - 2 patrol sites
- Lands End Site - 2 patrol sites
- Buzzards Roost Site - 2 partol sites
- Wagon Wheel Site - 1 patrol site (wheelchair accessable)
- Bunkhouse Site - summer staff site near parking lot
- Cactus Site - 1 patrol site
- Dragoon Site - 1 patrol site
- Eyre Site - 2 patrol sites
- Rosser Site - 2 patrol sites
- BP's Gold Mine Site - 3 patrol sites
The camp also has the Flaming Arrow campfire area just southeast of the parking lot. In addition, it has the Cowpoke Chapel, Yucca Flats Archery Range, and Chuck Wagon Cooking area. Each campsite has a latrine located in or near the site. The COPE Course and Pancake Climbing Base are Off Limits Areas! Parking at the camp is limited, so overflow vehicles must go to the main parking lot.
Soaring Eagle is a Fires in Steel Fire Rings Only! camp.
Ruth Coffin Shelter
The Ruth Coffin Shelter is located in Soaring Eagle. It has a wood stove, and it can house up to ten campers on metal bunks. For district events it has the Kaufman Commissary, that can be used for food service, and it has a small office area. Several large (4ft long) charcoal grills for group cooking are mounted outside the building. A large picnic shelter was added in 2005.
Jack Nicol Cub Scout Family Camp
This camp is not available for pack, troop, or crew use. It is, however, available for limited district use, especially for training purposes. The Tointon Dining Hall can be used for large group training. The camp has a chapel, campfire ring (propane fires only), and campsites around the fort, castle, and seaport theme areas. Pit latrines are available at each campsite, and near the dining hall and camp entrance. The large parking lot can hold up to 125 vehicles. Two archery ranges and a BB rifle range are available for those with correct and current certifications. In addition there is a disc golf course and a croquet area. This is a No Camp Fire camp!
Elkhorn High Adventure Base
In the summer the base is the starting and ending place for high adventure treks that range as far as the Colorado State Forest in the 10,000 to 12,000 feet of elevation level. During the rest of the year it is a small camping location that can host up to one Scout unit at a time in the Boulder Rotary Lodge, and one or two more in surrounding meadow unmarked campsites. The Boulder Rotary Lodge was remodeled in 2003, and is now well insulated, heated with electricity, and with improved lighting. The building can hold up to ten campers on metal bunks with mattresses, and it is a fine location for a small group training session. A large (4ft long) charcoal grill is located outside for cooking purposes. The toilet rooms in the latrine/shower building are left unlocked for non-summer use. A limited number of vehicles can access near the Boulder Rotary Lodge; and a larger parking area, holding up to 25 vehicles, is located just north of the "big rock".
|Boulder Rotary Lodge
Following the standards of "Leave No Trace Camping", the Elkhorn Base is a Fires in Steel Fire Rings or Propane Fires Only! area. A daily electrical heating use fee is charged for use of the Boulder Rotary Lodge at the rate of $ 20.00 per day.
Kiwanis Family Campground
The Kiwanis Family Campground is located just across the road (Cty Rd 68C) from the main gate to the Boy Scout Camps. It has 12 campsites, each with a steel fire ring, picnic table, and tent area. Some of the tent areas can also hold a small to medium sized recreational vehicle. The area has a small shelter which - in the summer time only - has a shower and sink area. Also in the summer an outside water/sink is available for campers. Two pit latrines are available year round. When summer camp is in session sites rent for $5.00 per night. Reservations during summer camp are NOT accepted. This is a Fires in Steel Fire Rings Only! camp.
Out Post Camp Area
The Outpost Camp Area is accessed at a gate across from the Elkhorn High Adventure Base on County Road 68C. A parking lot just inside of the gate means that access to campsites will be on foot. This area is frequently used for district camporees, and can accommodate several hundred campers. The Out Post Camp is a part of the BDSR "backcountry", and this means that fires are not allowed. Cooking must be done using stoves.
Districts planning to use the Out Post Camp Area must also arrange for "porta-johns" as latrines are not available. Water is not available in this area, but depending on water supply conditions, it may be possible for the BDSR Ranger to provide a water truck. Please contact him at least two weeks prior to any event.
Camp Demming Area
The Camp Demming Area is located about one half mile past the Boy Scout Camps entrance gate on County Road 68C. It is on the northside of the road. Vehicle access is restricted to just inside of the gate, and camping areas are accessible by foot. The Camp Demming Area is a part of the BDSR "backcountry" where fires are prohibited. Cooking must be done using stoves.
Districts planning to use the Camp Demming Area must also arrange for "porta-johns" as latrines are not available. Water is not available in this area, but depending on water supply conditions, it may be possible for the BDSR Ranger to provide a water truck. Please contact him at least two weeks prior to any event.
General Use Information
Camp areas at the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch of the Longs Peak Council are available for Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Scout Teams, Venture Crews, Districts, and Council uses. During June, July, and a portion of August facilities come under the summer camp operations directive and may not be available to individual units. Units need to check with the Farr Service Center in Greeley for availability status.
Please note the following:
- All trash/garbage must be packed out and taken home. There is limited and expensive trash service at the Scout Ranch. District events desiring trash service can make arrangements for paying for this service.
- The latrines are not stocked with toilet paper. Please bring your own paper.
- At times a fire ban will be in effect. This depends on weather conditions, when the last rain fall was recorded, and government directives.
- Please park vehicles properly! Protect the fragile meadows by keeping vehicles off them. Park in designated parking areas only, and not in the campsites. Do not block roads.
- Do not cut trees. There is plenty of downed firewood available. Only authorized persons may use chainsaws.
- Keep out of restricted areas: COPE Courses, Pancake Climbing Base, Shooting ranges, water treatment plant, etc.
- Locked buildings and gates are locked for a reason. Please respect this, and do not tamper with them.
- Please see that campers use designated campsites only!
- Latrines have a purpose. Please see that Scouts and adults use them!
- No pets (dogs, cats or otherwise) are allowed in any of the Longs Peak Council Camps.
Unit Camp Program
When a Scout unit attends a camping weekend they are required to have a planned program. The adult and youth leadership must sit down and plan out the activities, meals, chapel services, games, training, etc. for the weekend. This is only mentioned because time and time again Scout units arrive in camp, and they just let their members wildly roam about and do whatever they please without supervision. This can be real trouble, and an accident waiting to happen. Adults must be in control, and supervise with responsibility.
Water is a rare commodity at the Scout Ranch. From about September 15th to June 1st of each year water systems are not available. In Camp Jeffrey the summer water comes from the Elkhorn Creek, and goes through a licensed treatment plant. This system and plant are not "winterized". In Soaring Eagle a spring feeds the water system, and it normally dries up by August 1st. This system is not winterized. Camp Nicol's water is from a poor 1,000 foot well, and this system is not winterized. The Elkhorn Base water is from a spring near the base, and this system is not winterized. The Family Camp water comes from the same spring that waters Soaring Eagle.
Why aren't systems winterized? The Scout Ranch is in the Rocky Mountains where water lines must be at least three to four feet below ground to keep them from freezing in winter temperatures that have been recorded as low as minus 40 degrees. To dig this deep in solid rock is simply beyond the council's financial means.
All Scout groups using the Scout Ranch in the early fall need to check before arrival on water conditions to see if a source is still available. All should plan to bring sufficient quantities for drinking and washing needs during their stay.
All overnight buildings are lighted with electric lights. When not in use all lights must be turned off. Limited outlets are available in most buildings. The recent Boulder Rotary Lodge remodel has improved electrical service in this facility. As funding allows, other buildings will have their electric service upgraded.
Cooking at the Scout Ranch must be accomplished OUTDOORS. Cooking of any kind is not allowed inside of the following structures: KOLA Lodge, Boulder Rotary Lodge, Nuzum Shelter, or the Ruth Coffin Shelter. Please use the grills and fire rings provided outside. The above listed buildings are not insured against loss due to cooking fires.
Several trails cross the Scout Ranch, and users should obtain a Scout Ranch Map (from the Farr Service Center in Greeley) prior to their arrival. The Gregg Boundary Trail makes a circle around the Scout Ranch, and is about 12 miles in length. It is marked with orange colored diamond markers. Request a BDSR Trail Guide brochure for additional trail routing information.
Backcountry camping is allowed at the Scout Ranch. Leave No Trace Camping rules must be followed. The Camp Ranger, or Campmaster, must be notified of overnight campsite locations and routing upon a unit's arrival. No camping within 300 feet of the Elkhorn Creek is allowed. Only stoves are allowed - NO FIRES!
During the non-summer months communications at the Scout Ranch are limited. With few exceptions, cellular telephones do not work. A pay telephone is located on the porch of the Armstrong Heritage Center at the main parking lot. A quarter is needed to make a call, but a 911 call should go through without payment. In all emergency situations the Scout Ranch Ranger should be contacted at his work area or at his home near the front gate to the Boy Scout Camps.
Pay Telephone Location
Armstrong Heritage Center
Fishing is available all year round. Weaver Lake on the road into the Boy Scout Camps is stocked at the beginning of the summer, but it is also fished hard all summer long. A license is not needed at Weaver Lake. The Elkhorn Creek can have some fine fishing spots, but the recent drought years have been really hard on fish, and few may be found. A state of Colorado Fishing License is required for creek fishing.
Many groups using the Scout Ranch desire to do a conservation project. With a minimum of three hours service Scouts can
earn the current year's Project SOAR patch.
Please contact a member of the Scout Ranch Conservation Team or the Scout Ranch Ranger (970-881-2144) to arrange for a project.
Weekend Use of Shooting Sports Ranges
Groups (with qualified/certified supervision) may reserve the shooting ranges at BDSR and CLP for weekend use.
(Reservation Form with More Info)
Wildlife is everywhere at the Scout Ranch. Black bears are normally active from early spring through late fall. They want food, and have broken out vehicle windows to get at a promising smell. Around November 1st until late spring a herd of up to 200 elk may be found grazing in meadows. Mountain lions and coyotes are active all year long as they hunt for mule deer and other tasty dishes. Ticks normally come out in early March, peak in June, and then lessen through the rest of the warm weather. Mosquitoes, and their potential West Nile Virus, come out as things warm up - especially around bodies of water - and last until the first heavy frost usually in September. Rattlesnakes can be found once spring arrives. Watch for them in rocky areas where they sun and hide in the crevices.
Mule Deer Are A Common Sight
All wildlife should be left alone. The Scout Ranch is a non-hunting area, and it is requested that all violations of this policy be reported to the Scout Ranch Ranger. Please do not feed or harass the wildlife!
During the summer and autumn months cattle can be found grazing on the Scout Ranch. The cattle belong to a contracted grazer who pays the council for right to the grass. The grazing cattle in turn keep the long grass cut down, provide some soil nutrients, and lessen potential fire danger. Cattle are not to be harassed, driven, or bothered in any manner. Injury or death to any animal will become a legal matter between the grazer and those involved.
Other domestic pets - dogs, cats, ferrets, whatever - are not allowed on the Scout Ranch. Exceptions are for those individuals requiring a seeing eye dog, and for dogs performing a specific duty such as a search and rescue dog.
Closed Dates *
There are times during the year when the Scout Ranch is closed to all use. These dates are - for the most part - based on the policy that the Scout Ranch Ranger must be on site when campers or day users are on the property, and the fact that the Scout Ranch Ranger is required by employment contract to have holidays off work. Most of these dates between September and May will be holidays, days when the Scout Ranch Ranger is on vacation, or days when a council or other activity require facility full use. These dates usually include:
Check the council calendar and the council website for details.
- Labor Day Weekend
- Order of the Arrow Fall Fellowship
- Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
- Christmas Day
- New Years Day and Eve
- Martin Luther King Day Weekend
- Presidents' Day Weekend
- Easter Weekend
- Memorial Day Weekend
* In the future when a Campmaster Corps has been organized coverage on holidays will allow for the opening of the Scout Ranch!
The Scout Ranch is a great place to camp during the winter months, but winter camping precautions found in the Guide to Safe Scouting must be followed. Remember, the Scout Ranch is at an altitude between 7,000 and 8,300 feet. In the winter months it can get really cold (lowest recorded is minus 40 degrees!). It can get really windy with gusts over 50 miles per hour. It can snow a great deal (5.5 feet recorded in one storm in March 2003 and 13 feet in one December storm in 1916!) , or the wind can blow all the snow to Kansas. It can get really dry, even with temperatures below freezing.
|Always check a weather forecast for the northern Colorado mountains before your departure. It can be sunny on the flat plains and snowing in the mountains, or reverse!
Winter activities could include: snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, snow caving, animal tracking, sledding, wildlife watching, orienteering, and star gazing. Please stay off of all bodies of water during the winter. The lakes and ponds tend to drain out during the winter, and the ice cover, with too much weight, can break and fall into a deep hole.
Snow Removal Policy
During the winter months every effort will be made to remove snow to keep BDSR roadways open so campers can access cabins and campsites. However, during heavy snow times access may only be available to selected locations that may include: the main parking lot, Coral Rock Lodge, or the KOLA Lodge area. The Scout Ranch Ranger will do his utmost to keep roads clear, but he is directed not to spend his entire week plowing snow and using up expensive fuel just to save a few hearty Scouts from a good invigorating hike.
Prior to making a reservation the following requirements must be met:
- Provide proof of a certified/trained adult first aider to be in attendance with the group or Scout unit.
- Provide proof of a trained BSA Youth Protection Trained adult leader to be with the group or Scout unit.
- Obtain an approved BSA Local Tour Permit from a Council Service Center.
See our Weekend Use page for information on fees and how to make reservations.
It is the policy of the Longs Peak Council that reservations are made on a "first come - first served basis". District or council events may not "bump" another district or council event or a unit from a reservation.
Scout units and other groups that have made a reservation and are a "no show" may not be allowed to make another reservation for the next 12 months.
Can a pack or troop or crew reserve the entire Scout Ranch? The answer is simply "no". You may have a very large group, and you may take up a great deal of space, but outside of summer camp programs no one gets to use the entire property. In recent years we have had as many as 1,500 campers in several different programs on the same weekend, and it was not crowded!
Damage Deposits Required
Scout units using the Scout Ranch are required to pay a damage deposit prior to arrival. This deposit is returned or credited to the unit account after it has been determined that use of a facility did not require special cleaning or repair. Groups that are a "no show" without having canceled their reservation in advance will forfeit their damage deposit.
There are several awards that Scouts and adult leaders can earn during their stay during the September to May time at the Scout Ranch. These can include:
Special Scheduled Activities
During the September through May time period some special activities may be scheduled. Depending on the activity, it may be a pack/troop/crew activity or an activity for individual youth and/or adults. These may include activities such as the following:
Check the Longs Peak Council News and Calendar for scheduled activities.
- Annual Fall Color Hike - September
- Tiger Cub Adventure Day
- Forestry Merit Badge Day
- BSA Climbing Instructor Course
- Venturing Climbing/COPE/Shooting Weekends
- Cub Scout Haunted Castle Weekends
- Elkhorn Base Fall Backpack Trek Weekends
Last Updated Thursday, 30-Jul-2009 13:56:54 MDT