Ransburg Scout Reservation

Ransburg Scout Reservation

Ransburg Scout Reservation, Crossroads of America Council

Horsepower is maximized at Ransburg Scout Reservation in the rolling hills of southern Indiana. Whether wakeboarding behind a boat with 200 horsepower or riding a horse with one, Scouts are in for an incredible week at one of the most beautiful camps in Scouting.

Ransburg sits on 624 acres and is surrounded by the Hoosier National Forest, an area first occupied by humans when American Indians hunted there 12,000 years ago.

ransburg-scout-reservation-001But Ransburg is more than just a pretty place. Here’s what draws Scouts year after year:

  • The Ransburg Wrangler Program, where Scouts climb aboard a steed for one-time trail rides or come back throughout the week to earn Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine or Horsemanship merit badges.
  • A new STEM Center (that’s science, technology, engineering and math) with a wacky program they call “Mad Science.”
  • A popular aquatics center on Lake Monroe, one of Indiana’s largest lakes. Here Scouts can do it all: paddleboard, sail, swim, canoe, kayak, water-ski and wakeboard.
  • Workerships for Scouts who are interested in spending a week at Ransburg but can’t afford the fee. Ransburg lets in-council participants perform a “Good Turn” project in exchange for half of the camp fee.
  •  unique to the Crossroads of America Council that motivates Scouts to come back year after year.

Adults, you’ll enjoy the chance to hone your Scouting skills by getting trained in aquatics, merit badge counseling, paddle craft, Leave No Trace and more. And you can test your culinary skills in a rousing Dutch oven bake-off.

Plan a visit at www.ransburgbsa.org.

View video of Ransburg Scout Reservation: http://youtu.be/UvsW06vPolc
– Bryan Wendell


  1. I am a concerned horsewoman and Scoutmom. It pains me to see what that boy is doing to that poor horse in the above picture. 1. He is pulling on his/her mouth in a severe, inhumane manner. 2. He is holding the reins too far back. For western riding, neck reining is the norm. Additionally, his heels are not down, but his toes are. I hope Scouts get more riding lessons before going on trail rides.

    • As a horsewoman, I’m sure you understand the difficulties that lie with teaching a completely new-to-horses beginner Scout to ride. The above pictures scout was riding for perhaps the first or second – at most, third or fourth – time in his life, clearly asking his horse to come down from the trot to the walk. He was getting instruction to sit up, put his heels down, and raise his hands but as I’m sure you understand since you were also a beginner once, those things take time and practice. You didn’t learn to keep your heels down on the first ride. Furthermore, this horse has a very NON severe snaffle bit in his mouth and is not being harmed in any way – if he stopped as he is being asked, the pressure would cease. And while many people do teach their western horses to neck rein, many of the horses at Ransburg are encouraged to lean plow or two-handed steering because it is more intuitive for our beginning riders and allows us to put the horses in milder snaffle bits so that when our beginners do get a little “hand”sy, the horses are not harmed like they would be with similar jerking in a curb bit. Ransburg’s trail rides are walk only on trail experienced, safe horses. This scout wouldn’t be trotting on the trail, and our horses are safe enough that anyone can go on one of our well-staffed, guided trail rides without more than the basic instruction.

  2. I am very glad to hear this about your camp. 🙂
    The first thing I noticed is just how long his reins are. I understand teaching plow reining first. It is easiest, I agree. We all started out like him.
    I’m sure my kids would NOT be very proficient either, as they have never ridden.
    How many levels of riding classes do you offer? I admire what you are doing, actually.

  3. Glad to hear you are interested! I came to Ransburg late in life as a staff member and not as a camper but I adore everything about it.

    The first thing we offer at the ranch is the Horsemanship merit badge – this group meets each day of the week, a couple hours in the morning, to do both the riding and non-riding components of the Horsemanship merit badge. Almost every single one of our scouts completes the badge!

    Secondly, scouts who have previously earned their Horsemanship merit badge (whether with us or before coming) can participate in the Wrangler program, which meets for an hour right after lunch each day of program. These scouts get to do more riding since there are no other badge requirements to complete – we play mounted games, trail ride, and go on an overnight horseback campout.

    Lastly, scouts and leaders at camp with any level of experience (first time riders and everyone else!) can choose to purchase trail ride tickets, and we offer guided trails each afternoon. This means that everyone can enjoy the horses, even if they can’t fit horsemanship into their schedule!

    This year I am unable to be at camp, but I believe that there is also a Venturing week where they are offering special horsemanship activities to Venturers, as well!

    The ranch also hosts a couple more of Ransburg’s many merit badges – Dog Care, Veterinary Medicine, and Animal Science.

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