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Boy Scout Summer Camp

  • Camp De Soto 174 Camp Desoto Road El Dorado, AR, 71730 United States (map)
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Welcome to your greatest summer adventure!

Here you will find information about summer camp for 2018.  Below is the leaders guide which has all the information you could possibly want to know about Summer Camp.

Camp Leadership Team

This year's camp leadership team is:

  • Camp Director - Truitt Key
  • Program Director - Candy Phillips
  • Ranger - Michael Stratton
  • COPE Course - Michael Stratton
  • Shooting Sport - Mike Spears
  • Aquatics Director - Bradley Peltz
    • This list will be updated as leadership positions are filled.

Leaders Guide

The information below is also found in the Leaders Guide for Summer Camp.  We encourage you to download a copy so that you have all the information about summer camp and are prepared.

Camp Fees

Camp fees cover the cost of running camp which includes programs supplies, food and staff with other expenses as well.  Camp fees must be paid in full no later than May 31, 2018.

  • Scouts - $225.00
  • Leaders - $100.00

Late registration made after May 31th will be $250.00 and classes will be limited to a first come first serve basis.

  • Scouts - $250.00
  • Leaders - $115.00

Leader fees are: $100 per week, each Troop will receive 2 free leaders per 8 Scouts:

  • 1 – 8 boys  = 2 free leaders
  • 9 – 16 boys  = 3 free leaders
  • 17 – 24 boys = 4 free leaders


A limited number of camperships will be available for the De Soto Area Council Scouts whose families demonstrate a need.

The Campership program is available to help those Scouts and families who may not otherwise be able to attend summer camp.  Please read the information below to learn more about this option.

  • Only one Scout per application

  • De Soto Area Council Camperships are not available for out of council Scouts or adults

  • A confidential Campership Application has been provided to accompany this guide.

  • Camperships may be awarded for up to 50% of the camp fee for resident camping programs on a first come, first serve basis. This assistance is available council wide. The remaining percentage of cost then becomes the responsibility of the Scout’s unit and/or family.

  • Parents of Scouts requesting camperships should be given a copy of the form to complete. It must come back to the designated troop leadership for their permission and submission to the council. Camperships are due to the council office by May 31, 2018 at which time the review process will begin and will continue until funds are exhausted. Late applications will be accepted if funds remain available.

  • Camperships will not be deducted if units fail to list them on their roster and deducted at time of payment.


Below you will find information about the great programs that will be offered at camp this summer.  Make sure to check them out!  You can also click on the button below to download  copy of the daily schedule.

Note: Some programs have age and rank requirements. Some classes require more than one session period. These include Lifeguard, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Climbing, and C.O.P.E.

Nature/Ecology Conservation Area

Environmental Science Merit Badge is the place for all things natural and wild. This session is taught in the ecology/conservation area. In this area, Scouts can learn to be a responsible member of the ecosystem and learn more about Earth. Scouts must bring a notebook and a pencil or pen for all Eco-Con classes.


There is no better place to “chill out” than our two aquatic areas; the swimming pool and our lake waterfronts. Canoeing, Kayaking, Swimming, Lifesaving and BSA Lifeguard make up Camp De Soto’s Aquatics program. Scouts will beinstructed in basic water skills as well as what to do when someone is in distress and needs to be rescued. Scouts not only gain experience but have fun while cooling off. Aquatics areas are fully staffed to operate in complete compliance with all BSA aquatics standards. Aquatics merit badges have prerequisites. Please check the current Boy Scout Requirement Book.

BSA Lifeguard

To earn the BSA Lifeguard, it is an extreme test of an individual’s desire to go “above and beyond” the minimumrequirement of a Scout. To earn this honor, the candidates MUST BE AT LEAST 15 YEARS OLD and HOLD EITHER A CPR AND FIRST AID CARD EITHER BEFORE CAMP OR AFTER. These Scouts are encouraged to have completed rowing and canoeing, MUST have completed lifesaving, swimming and first aid merit badges. Candidates will spend a considerable amount of time training each day at Camp De Soto. Additional time spent on training will be at the discretion of the Aquatics Director. BSA LIFEGUARD IS AN ALL DAY CLASS.

Mile Swim

BSA’s Mile Swim is an award separate from merit badge and advancement programs. To earn the award, participants, both Scouts and leaders, must attend daily classes where they will get practice swims in and learn safety procedures and coaching on swimming as an exercise form. Camp De Soto offers the Mile Swim on Friday afternoon. Candidates for the Mile Swim should be strong and experienced swimmers and Mile Swim warm-ups must be successfully completed before the Mile Swim is attempted. Please make sure your Scouts attend the class from 3:00-4:00pm Monday-Thursday so they can get their practice.


Camp De Soto is known throughout the Council for its excellent fishing. At camp, Scouts can fish from the Waterfront, Blue Lake and Lost Lake. Giving Scouts and Scouters plenty of water opportunities to try their skill at landing a largemouth bass or a smallmouth bass, crappie, bream or catfish. The Trading Post has a limited supply of equipment to buy, so bring your own fishing equipment and tackle.


All handicraft sessions are scheduled*; however, Scouts and leaders can always take advantage of the tools and materials to be found at the Trading Post. Handicraft projects may be purchased at the Trading Post (typically $4-$10 each) or may be brought from home. Some merit badges require more than one project. *Basketry merit badge will be an optional session during free time.


The Scout Handbook comes alive for Scout craft merit badge classes. All the advanced Scout skills, introduced in the“Trail to Eagle”, are taught in depth at Scoutcraft. Scouts learn all the latest about camping gear and techniques. Special events-like “Dutch Oven Pizza Day”- are activities Scouts look forward to when enrolled in Scoutcraft. Scouts also learn all about advanced outdoor skills and modern camping technology. The merit badges are designed to build upon theskills taught in “Trail to Eagle” (or Scout, Tenderfoot and Second Class ranks). The merit badges offered in Scoutcraft for 2017 include: Camping, Wilderness Survival, Pioneering, Cooking and First-Aid.

Shooting Sports

Camp De Soto offers Archery, Rifle Shooting and Shotgun Shooting Sports Merit Badges. These sessions are taught under the direction of Boy Scout of America National Camping School Shooting Sports Directors. All instructors I the shooting sports program are certified according to BSA, NRA, and/or USA Archery standards. Shooting Sports Merit Badge Classes are taught throughout the day (Archery – 1 session period, Rifle/Shotgun – 2 session periods in length), with the opportunities to complete the shooting requirements available during open session time in the afternoon. In addition, during one of the afternoon sessions, scouts must provide time to either clean a rifle (30 minutes) for the rifle merit badge or make a bowstring (1 hour) for the archery merit badge.


Completion of Archery requires scouts to build an arrow: they should bring an unfinished arrow to camp, or buy an arrow kit at the Trading Post. For a better chance at completion, Scouts are advised to purchase and read the current Merit Badge book and be prepared to spend extra time practicing their shooting skills.

Rifle Shooting

For completion of Rifle Shooting Merit Badge, the Scout must demonstrate how to clean a rifle properly and safely. This will be done in one of the afternoon sessions and takes approximately 30 minutes. Also, the Scout must meet a minimum shooting score to complete the badge requirement.

Shotgun Shooting

For Shotgun shooting, a Scout that is not physically mature will have a very difficult time holding the shotgun for qualifying. It is suggested in addition to age and rank requirements, that the Scout’s physical strength and arm length areexamined to ensure he can handle a shotgun. Like other merit badges, shotgun shooting requires coordination and strength. This course should be encouraged for older Scouts.


Climbing Merit Badge will be offered at the Camp De Soto Climbing Tower. The newer tower is significantly higher than our previous climbing course and will present many new climbing opportunities and challenges. Climbing Merit Badge is a 3-hour session, which will cover all the requirements for the Merit Badge. There is a limited number of spots available. This program is designed for older Scouts who are at least First Class and 13 years old. Free Climb will beoffered during summer camp. This is open for anyone 12 years old and First Class or 13 years and older. Climbers must have closed-toe shoes and no slick material shorts.


C.O.P.E.(Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) consists of a series of elements and challenges designed to foster problem solving skills, leadership, teamwork, and group interaction. Seven key goals are developed during this experience: Leadership, Trust, Communication, Teamwork, Self Esteem, Problem Solving, and Decision Making. These goals are accomplished through a challenge by choice program designed to encourage the group to work together, communicate with each other, and trust the group decision as they attempt a solution to the objective. The C.O.P.E. program generally consists of Initiative Games, Low Course Elements, and High Course Elements. Each team of participants will move from one level to the next based on their abilities and understanding. The C.O.P.E. Program is restricted to Scouts age 13 and older by the time the Scout arrives at camp. Session size is limited and all participants MUST have a current medical form signed by a parent and a physician. Required clothing includes: closed-toe shoes and no slick material shorts. C.O.P.E. is a five-day program and all participants MUST attend all five days. No Exceptions. If a participant completes all requirements before Friday, he must attend all sessions to qualify for a completion certificate because the entire team is necessary to be successful. Project C.O.P.E. provides each participant the opportunity for success as an individual and as a member of a group. While this activity is challenge by choice, it is physically demanding and requires good endurance and stamina. Be prepared to meet the challenge. Although Scouts are excited to participate in C.O.P.E., this program is intended for older scouts. Leaders are encouraged to critically evaluate the maturity level of the Scouts interested in participating. If space is available, after all Scouts who wish to participate are signed up, a limited number of registered adult leaders will be accepted. Safety is the most important part of all C.O.P.E. courses. C.O.P.E. staff members are trained by a National Camp School Certified Director and attend regular training updates.

Medical Form

Parts A, B and C are all required to be completed in order to attend summer camp.  Use the button below to download a copy of the medical form.  This needs to be done on an annual basis.

Earlier Event: June 15
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