Fun continues at Camp Ransburg

Here is a sneak peak into what is happening at Camp Ransburg. The campers get to enjoy a multitude of different activities, which are shown in weekly videos created by campers. Make sure to stay updated on these happenings as the videos are posted.

A huge thank you goes out to the Scouts who are working toward their merit badges in either Moviemaking, Photography, Journalism, or Communication.  These videos are awesome and truly showcase the wide variety of talented Scouts. Keep up the good work!

“At Camp Kikthawenund we are all survivors”

DSCN3245            Survivor is the theme this year at Kikthawenund Adventure Camp, and given the trials we’ve faced, our program director couldn’t have made a better choice. The goal of this new program is to focus on the development of our campers’ survival skills in a way that allows us to balance the new Cub Scout program with the old. In addition to the introduction of a three-mile hike that takes our guests on a new trail through some of the most gorgeous locations at our camp. We have also added several new areas where young Scouts can learn and practice relevant activities such as fire building, water filtration and emergency signaling. At first, everybody involved was, a bit nervous about these changes to our old routine. As staff week came to a close, however, we felt prepared for the weeks ahead, and remained optimistic that we would have a successful and fun summer. While this has thus far proven to be the case due to the ever-uncooperative force that is Hoosier weather, our campers’ survival skills aren’t the only ones that have been tested.

Although our first three sessions of the year were rainier than we would’ve liked, they were otherwise relatively manageable. Programs that could continue despite the bad weather did so, and the area directors of those that could not function in the rain instead engaged the Scouts in alternative activities. Swim-checks had to be juggled around in order to accommodate for unfortunately timed lightning storms. The trails were muddier than campers and staff would have preferred, but these obstacles were easy enough to overcome. We were confident that at the end of each session scouts were going home happy and adult leaders satisfied. Then came the heavy rains of session four.

Friday, June 19, started out much like the other damp, overcast mornings of that particular week. The night before had seen significant rainfall, and we knew we’d be spending that day encouraging campers to bring extra socks and shoes with them as they traveled around the wet camp all day. Then, just before flags, one of our area directors reported that a small stream that crosses the property had flooded the path leading to the side of camp where most of our program areas are located. Our commissioners and program director immediately set out to evaluate the situation. They determined that crossing the stream posed a significant safety risk for anyone attempting to do so. The campsites were safe, and the dining hall and parade field were reachable without getting in harm’s way. Our management team decided not to altogether cancel the last day of the session, although the possibility was discussed. This decision left our program director in a particularly difficult situation. He could not continue with program as planned, but he did not want to leave the campers to their own devices all day. He rushed to come up with a contingency plan, and ultimately developed a schedule of alternate activities to be held in the parade field and dining hall. Certainly, the temptation to give up was there, but our staff’s flexibility and dedication to providing a quality experience to our patrons helped us to not only endure these unfortunate circumstances, but to also make the best of what we had. Ultimately that eventful Friday morning was a successful, though unexpected experience.

Soon the rains calmed, and by lunch, the waters had subsided. We were able to resume our regular routine following the afternoon meal. For the remainder of the day, adult leaders would periodically pop in at the office and thank management for adapting to the inclement weather and providing a morning programming option that was both safe and fun. We returned our gratitude to these leaders for their willingness to stay positive as we wrestled with the problem, and in the end our campers were still able to have an enjoyable experience. The staff learned that we are prepared to handle the situations that we do not expect. We are ready, even for those circumstances that we haven’t dealt with yet, because at Camp Kikthawenund we are all survivors.

–Josh “Cerebro” Day, Assistant Camp Director

Ransburg showcases merit badges

The Communications Area offers four merit badges at Ransburg Scout Reservation.  They include Moviemaking, Photography, Journalism, and Communication.  Scouts in these merit badges are creating videos, photos, and stories that take place in camp.

Make sure to keep watching. Each week’s videos are posted on YouTube:

Photographs are posted on Instagram and Facebook:
@RansburgBSA or #Ransburg2015

If you take and post any pictures on social media while at camp, be sure to tag us or use #Ransburg2015 for all to see!

Here is what they created last week.

Camp Belzer’s S.T.E.M. Program

Three…two…one…. BLAST OFF to the ADVENTURE! The Summer at Camp Belzer is kicking off with a variety of new program content. The favorite new area thus far has been our STEM program. Cub Scouts attending the hour of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) get to probe the cosmos unlike any experience they have ever had in science class.

The program starts with the kids learning about the history of science and how long it took for people to develop ideas applicable to space travel. Youth conduct several hands on experiments such as: film canister rockets and electromagnetic batteries. They use problem solving skills and the scientific method to make predictions and follow up with experiments to determine what works best in various experiments.

The instructional hour concludes with the kids participating in building a model of the solar system. This demonstrates the immense size of our universe and the tiny fraction of what people understand of it. SCIENCE ROCKS!


Archeology Pit Unearths 16 Merit Badges

This morning, Camp Krietenstein debuted an archaeology pit thanks to Novelis, a Terre Haute leader in aluminum rolling with strong community sustainability and STEM initiatives. The pit is located at the Ecology Center which also boasts a new shelter. This renovated area will offer 16 merit badges including but not limited to: archeology, nature, and conservation.

Ecology Center


Representatives from Novelis attended a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony on June 17, 2015.


Scouts have already begun using the pit to unearth geodes, turtle shells, and bones. Each visit offers 45 minutes of excavation time and includes an informational session on various types of archeology, how to report archeological finds, and what do to with uncovered artifacts. A special order of archeology tools such as brushes, screens, and specialized digging instruments will be added to the experience in the next couple of weeks.



The Ecology Center and archeology pit were created to offer Scouts exposure to fields of study pertaining to science, technology, engineering and math. Ultimately the hope is that they will be more open to the pursuit of careers in these areas as they begin to narrow their field of educational study.



There have been eight to ten Scouts each week who have participated in the Archeology Merit Badge since camp opened for the season. Staff are comfortable with that number, as it allows for longer excavation times. The area is expected to expand the archeology offering with a greater variety of items to locate, document and analyze.


The next time you’re at Camp Krietenstein, walk toward the waterfront and veer left for the Ecology Center to see this exciting STEM space for yourself!

Survivor Kikthawenund – The Legacy Series

Scouts at Adventure Camp this year are eager to learn wilderness survival skills on the brand new Survivor Kikthawenund Trek. This trek is a three-mile hike through some of the 300 acres of Camp Kikthawenund. Completely untouched before 2015, a brand new trail was developed just for this event.

This trek covers requirements for various Webelos adventures, like the Webelos Walkabout and Castaway, as well as Webelos Camper and Webelos Firelight. The Scouts look forward to doing activities like crafting a fire, building a shelter, making camp gadgets, purifying water, and so much more! Along the way, Scouts and staff also discuss the Outdoor Code, Leave No Trace, and animal track and plant identification. The trek would not be complete without a stop at the majestic Selfie Point. This captures the scene of the entire trek crew consisting of staff, scouts, and adult leaders in the middle of the woods, over a beautiful flowing river.

-Andrew “Slip” Rohrer

Adventure Camp Assistant Program Director

Ransburg Debuts New Programs

Several new programs and merit badges are being offered this summer at Ransburg Scout Reservation.  New program areas include an ATV Program, a new Communications area, and Ransburg X.

The ATV course is located just past the Ranch on Ridge 5.  In this course, Scouts work on completing the ASI Rider course.  They learn a variety of techniques and skills on how to safely operate and maintain ATVs.  The course also includes a trail ride that allows scouts to put their training to the test and ride on some trails.

Ransburg X is a program for older Scouts, which focuses on experiencing a variety of exciting activities.  The offered activities range from ATV training, mountain boarding, horseback riding, climbing, and sailing.  One group of Scouts who recently completed Ransburg X said it was the most fun they have ever had. Ransburg X’s presence was seen throughout camp creating a lot of excitement for Scouts next year.

In addition, a new “Communications Area” has been established at the campfire ring.  Building upon the success of Moviemaking merit badge last year, the Communication area now offers photography and journalism to allow scouts to earn some unique merit badges while improving their photography and writing skills.  The Communication merit badge is also offered at the Communications Area.

As the summer continues, Ransburg is very excited to see all the Scouts who go through these new program–in addition to our other exciting areas like Aquatics, STEM, Nature, Shooting Sports, Eagle Quest and the many… many more areas.