Your Scout can find their next ATV adventure at one of these council camps

Scouts have fun at summer camp, working on merit badges, trying new activities and immersing themselves into the camp’s traditions. At some council camps across the country, Scouts get the opportunity for a more exhilarating experience when they get older: driving all-terrain vehicles.

“The ATV program brought a new level of excitement to our Scouts at summer camp, especially for those that had been to camp for several years and were looking for something new to do,” says John Wayne Harris, camp director for Black Warrior Council’s Camp Horne. “For many of the campers we have now, the program is one that they set as a goal to get to when they reach the right age and can participate.”

Every year, Polaris Industries donates ATVs to select BSA council camps. It’s part of a partnership with the BSA, started in 2014, that provides top-of-the-line off-road vehicles, safety equipment and training to help deliver an exciting program for youth.

“First-time riders can expect to learn the ins-and-outs of all-terrain vehicles and master basic riding skills,” says Gregg Zdan, senior camping director for the Michigan Crossroads Council. “Our program is intentionally designed to take Scouts who have never ridden anything bigger than a bicycle and have them operating an ATV with confidence, properly, but more importantly safely.”

This year, the camps outfitted with ATVs will be:


Camp Horne (Black Warrior Council)


Camp Royaneh (Golden Gate Area Council)


June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation (Connecticut Rivers Council)


Camp Shands (North Florida Council)

Camp La-No-Che (Central Florida Council)

Spanish Trail Scout Reservation (Gulf Coast Council)


Camp Lowden (Blackhawk Area Council)

Camp Loud Thunder (Illowa Council)


Camp Dale Hansen (Coronado Council)


Camp Crooked Creek (Lincoln Heritage Council)


Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation (Western Massachusetts Council)

Treasure Valley Scout Reservation (Heart of New England Council)


Cole Canoe Base (Michigan Crossroads Council)


Many Point Scout Camp (Northern Star Council)

Camp Wilderness (Northern Lights Council)


Camp Lewallen (Greater St. Louis Area Council)


K-M Scout Ranch (Montana Council)


Camp Cedars (Mid-America Council)


Griswald Scout Reservation (Daniel Webster Council)


Gorham Scout Ranch (Great Southwest Council)


Ten Mile River Scout Camps (Greater New York Councils)

Camp Turrell (Northern New Jersey Council)

Onteora Scout Reservation (Theodore Roosevelt Council)


Camp John. J Barnhardt (Central North Carolina Council)

Cherokee Scout Reservation (Old North State Council)

Camp Raven Knob (Old Hickory Council)


Beaumont Scout Reservation (Lake Erie Council)


Hale Scout Reservation (Indian Nations Council)


Custaloga Town Scout Reservation (French Creek Council)

Heritage Reservation (Laurel Highlands Council)

Resica Falls Scout Reservation (Cradle of Liberty Council)

Goose Pond Scout Reservation (Northeastern Pennsylvania Council)


Yawgoog Scout Reservation (Narragansett Council)


Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch (Black Hills Area Council)

Lewis and Clark Scout Reservation (Sioux Council)


Skymont Scout Reservation (Cherokee Area Council)


Trevor Rees-Jones (Circle Ten Council)


Blue Ridge Scout Reservation (Blue Ridge Mountains Council)

Goshen Scout Reservation (National Capital Council)


Camp Parsons (Chief Seattle Council)


Summit Bechtel Reserve (National High Adventure Base)


Ed Bryant Scout Reservation (Glacier’s Edge Council)

Tomahawk Scout Camp (Northern Star Council)

Tesomas Scout Camp (Samoset Council)

Bear Paw Scout Camp (Bay-Lakes Council)


Camp Laramie Peak (Adventures West Council)

One of the great aspects of the program is that, depending on the camp, your unit could book a riding experience during other parts of the year.

“Over the last couple of years, we have had several out-of-council groups take advantage of the program in the off-season,” Harris says.

Just contact a council leader from the list of camps to see what options are available.

Riding safely

Polaris is a member of ATV Safety Institute and strongly encourages the institute’s “Golden Rules“:

  • Always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
  • Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV.
  • Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
  • Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
  • Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. Follow speed limits and trail conditions for which they are meant to operate.

“Like all camps, safety is our No. 1 priority,” says Alexander Farrell, camping executive for the Northern Star Council. “We start by making sure everyone, Scouts and staff included, have completed the ASI online training so they can have a basic knowledge. All of our staff who interact with our ATVs are also then put through the in-person part of the training before we even start instructing Scouts on the machines.”

Scouts and Venturers ages 14 and older may drive ATV equipment only at council-run ATV programs after receiving safety instruction from an institute-trained instructor. Trained instructors can be found at the camps listed above.

“The safety measures for the course are top-of-the-line,” Harris says. “Scouts are not allowed to participate if they don’t have the correct clothing on; they must always have safety gear in the correct location and understand all safety expectations.”

With the exception of council-run ATV programs, ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides are banned from program use, a restriction that includes their use within units. Read more at this BSA Safety Moment page.

About Michael Freeman 438 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.