Greater Wyoming Council; Cody, Wyo.
Nestled in a valley just eight miles east of Yellowstone National Park, Camp Buffalo Bill offers big-time fun at a small, primitive site. The camp, which began in 1949, features 13 campsites on a 40-acre property, accommodating fewer than 250 Scouts at a time —that means campers can have more personalized instruction as they study the more than 35 available merit badges.
During a typical week at residential summer camp, Wednesday serves as a flex day. Scouts can seek additional merit badge help then; the camp recruits knowledgeable instructors from nearby colleges to teach. Scouts can also choose to go fishing, shooting and canoeing. However, most units opt to take a daytrip to Yellowstone, enjoying the beauty of one of America’s iconic national parks. Some spend a few extra days at camp to tour Yellowstone more.
You won’t get cellphone service at Camp Buffalo Bill; a week at camp will truly be a time to unplug. It’s also a time to feast as the camp’s kitchen staff often barbecues, serving succulent pork and smoked turkeys. And, of course, it’s a time to enjoy nature —moose and bison sometimes walk through camp.
Older youth can choose from a few high-adventure options, including backpacking in Yellowstone, the Washakie Wilderness or the Shoshone National Forest. They can also go whitewater rafting down 40 miles of the Shoshone River, navigating Class II to Class IV rapids. Or they complete the Climbing merit badge as they scale boulders in the Shoshone Canyon. The camp also has an indoor climbing wall in case of bad weather.
Photographs by W. Garth Dowling