Ransburg Scout Reservation Summer Review


Camp Road welcomed 3,742 Scouts to enjoy a week of their summer at Ransburg Scout Reservation this year. Upon arrival, Scouts were given the opportunity to partake in many different merit badges as well as a plethora of other activities. Ryan Suiters, this year’s Summer Program Director, was particularly excited about the new programs and areas offered this year. A few of the new additions were geared more towards Venturing Crews and older Scouts.

Three new areas introduced this summer included, Communications, Ransburg X, and ATV Adventure. The Communications area held four merit badges, Photography, Moviemaking, Journalism, and Communications. Ransburg X and ATV were open to older Scouts, ages sixteen and older. Keith Korn directed the ATV program during the program’s opening summer. The Scouts earned ASI training and went on trail rides. Ransburg X offered extreme sports activities to the Scouts enrolled in the program. Mountain Boarding, Sailing, and Climbing were a few of the many activities the “X-Men” enjoyed during their week.

“We had three weeks of Venturing this year, as opposed to only one or two. Each week had it’s own unique theme,” Suiters said. The first week of Venturing took place July 12-18, and the program was named, “Surf and Turf.” This program gave Venturers the opportunity to do many different activities on water, as well as land.

The following week, July 19-25, Ransburg held Stem X. This program hosted activities that related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and even included a trip to Fermilab in Chicago to see the particle collider.


Finally, Saddle Up took place on the last week of Venturing. During the week of July 26-August1, Venturing Crews were taught advanced horseback techniques reserved for Ventures. Suiters believes the programs were successful, and hopes they will along with the new areas, keep older boys interested in coming back to camp.

*This post is a product of Journalism Merit Badge – where youth have written about events that have taken place in camp.

Ransburg summer wrap up!

Ransburg Scout Reservation has been showing us what camp fun looks like all summer. They have endured trials and triumphs which have been displayed through their entertaining YouTube videos which are made in efforts to achieve the movie making merit badge.

As you can see, it was yet another fantastic summer at the Ransburg Scout Reservation. Camp continues to give these young men and women valuable skills, friendships and memories that will forever impact their idea of summer camp. Thank you for showing the public a glimpse of the memories that are being made at Ransburg Scout Reservation.

Venturers Take to Land and Water at Ransburg

Surf & Turf

During the week of July 12-18, Venturing Crews; 209, 137 and 199 participated in Ransburg Scout Reservation’s very first, Surf and Turf Venturing Camp. A total of 10 Venturers arrived to Ransburg Scout Reservation where excited staff members were very eager to give the incoming crews an experience they wouldn’t soon forget. Dagny Gargas was one of the staff members who was along-side the crew all week, and one of the minds that made the program a possibility. “I wanted something that could continue on in the future, and be able to include all of the areas already in camp,” said Gargas. The crews combined into one large group and took part in a plethora of activities, including: kayaking, sailing, ATV, scuba, mountain boarding, and more.

Dani Gilles, Aquatics Director at Ransburg, coordinated all of the water-related activities. Gilles found it to be rewarding to help the crew become comfortable in the water. At the beginning of the week a few of the Venturers had little to no experience in the water, but by the end of the week, all were classified as swimmers. “We had a lot of fun, and I found it to be a very flexible program,” Gilles shared about the always changing weather during the week.

However, Gargas and Gilles both agreed that the Venturers were open and accepting of these sometimes rapid changes.

At the end of the week, not only did the crews leave Surf and Turf Camp with new experiences and memories, they left with smiles on their faces. “One Venturer came up to me and said she felt the camp treated her like family,” Gargas recalled. Advisors of another crew witnessed some of the activities the Venturers participated in and asked Gargas if they could be in the Surf and Turf Venturing Camp next year. “They wanted to sign up, right then and there,” said Gargas.

The biggest accomplishment felt by the staff was making the Venturers feel they were a real part of the Boy Scouts of America. Shane Toombs, Aquatics Coordinator at Ransburg had this to say, “I feel Surf and Turf has been an example of the bridge that is being established between Boy Scouts and Venturers.”

At this time, it is unclear if Surf and Turf Camp will be making a return next summer. Gargas says they may have the answer sometime in August or September of this year. Other Venture camps are in the works and may see fruition in the near future.

By: Brad Sebert

*This post is a product of Journalism Merit Badge – where youth have written about events that have taken place in camp.

Another Big Summer for Ransburg Firecrafter

This summer at Ransburg Scout Reservation, 195 Scouts completed the rank of Firecrafter and over 700 completed the Woodsman or Camper ranks. Thousands of Scouts camped at Ransburg this summer, enjoying the summer program. As a result, the numbers of participants were high in the Firecrafter area. “We found it to be difficult to give that one-on-one attention each Scout deserves,” said Justin “Sox” Scott, the Firecrafter area’s director. In order to combat this issue, Scott introduced evening hours, outside of program time. “This allowed us to not only fix the one-on-one difficulties, but allow Scouts who have full merit badge schedules, to get their requirements done.”

With a more experienced staff this year, Scott also feels helping the Scouts has become much smoother. “Seeing a scout work hard all week and finally be able to pop their first spark, it’s like a moment frozen in time.” Matthew Long, the Firecrafter area’s Coordinator, agreed, “It was the best feeling when I helped my first Scout bring his spark to flame.” Scott believes it has been a successful summer overall, and hopes to have the Firecrafter program continue to grow.

Many of those who candidated for Firecrafter will be attending the Grand Ritual at Belzer on August 14-16.  Over 200 are expected in attendance to seal their membership and another 400 Firecrafters are expected to attend and support the new members.

*This post is a product of Journalism Merit Badge – where youth have written about events that have taken place in camp.

New changes at Camp K!

Camp Kikthawenund, or Adventure Camp, has taken on a new persona this summer after new programming changes. For the first time, Camp K has increased its range of Scouts by adding Wolves and Bears to the existing program during the month of July. As an eight year returning staff member, I would say that this new experience has been a positive one for camp. I have seen the program change year in and year out and I would say that this has been the best addition to the program. As a camp staff, we have given many Webelos, who have advanced into the Boy Scouting program, their first experiences in camping.  Now, we are offering the same experience to younger, more influenced minds with the Wolves and Bears. 
Talking to an adult leader during our first week with the younger Cub Scouts, I was informed that this is the first time many of his Wolves and Bears have ever been away from their family; let alone camping. When asking how they were doing with camp, I was told that our staff had kept them “engaged, active, and excited,” to be at camp. The leader mentioned that one Wolf said he wanted to stay all summer because this was the best summer he has had. At camp, we strive every day for those kinds of results and it always feels good when you hear that in person.
With adding a new age level, we have designed the program to fit the needs of those younger Scouts. At camp, Scouts move as tribes which are created with a few different packs. We have formed tribes with the younger Scouts and have formed separate tribes so that we could focus more on their program and give them a better hands-on-experience. Those tribes have also been assisted by four staff members that are focused on transitioning those Scouts to camp and helping them get around. I would say those staff members have really stepped up this month and have engaged the Scouts in activities. 
This summer is coming to a close soon and next summer’s planning has begun. Please send your Cub Scouts to camp next summer and the summers after that. These are some of the best experiences and moments of their Scouting career. Why not start them off in a program designed to get them ready for Boy Scouts? Have a good summer and we will see you again, soon!
Justin “Hands” Bauerle
2015 Assistant Aquatics Director