Step back in time at North Carolina’s Camp Daniel Boone

Who needs a cellphone when you’ve got a time machine? At Boonesboro Village inside Camp Daniel Boone, Scouts step into the late 1700s on Sunday afternoon and don’t return to our world until the following Saturday morning. They live as villagers, wearing long-sleeved hunting shirts supplied by the camp. They sleep in barracks. They learn the art of blacksmithing, pottery and leatherworking.

Preparing food requires patience. Villagers cook over wood fires using the same type of equipment available in the late 18th century. The camp provides tools and raw food, but Scouts must do everything else. Those who strive to Be Prepared will practice chopping wood, starting fires and cooking over an open flame long before summer camp begins.

Living all week at Boonesboro isn’t the only way to experience the fun (though it’s hard to beat full immersion). Those staying at base camp are welcome to visit and earn merit badges during the day. Three nights a week — on what they call Tavern Nights — Boonesboro reopens to base campers for a night of fun by lamplight. Buy snacks and root beer for just a buck. Play tavern games and throw tomahawks. And if you bring your musical instrument and play for the crowd, your root beer’s free.

The rest of camp has plenty of heart-pounding fun rooted firmly in the 21st century. Rafting, climbing and backpacking trips are popular. The new dining hall is gorgeous. The staff is world-class, with more than 65 percent returning year after year. And the natural setting, among 5,000- and 6,000-foot mountains, is stunning. Must be why 90 percent of campers come from out of council.

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Scouting Magazine’s Cool Camps Series

Not all Boy Scout camps are created equal. Sure, each offers a terrific program to entertain and challenge Scouts, but every Scout camp has unique program elements that make it special. Scouting magazine has scoured the country to find some of the coolest Scout camps around. Check out the full list, and be sure to leave a comment if you’ve visited one of these Cool Camps.

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