Scouts receive funding to provide free summer camp opportunities

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council: Youth gather at Camp Geronimo.

Whether a scout or not, all youth can participate in five summer camps throughout Arizona

Contributed Article/Courtesy Boy Scouts of America

PHOENIX – The Boy Scouts of America’s Grand Canyon Council (GCC), an independent nonprofit organization chartered by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in Arizona, has been granted more than $1 million in funding from the State of Arizona to provide summer camp options free of cost for Arizona youth.  

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council: Camp Geronimo offers a variety of activities.

Launched by the Office of the Governor Doug Ducey, AZ OnTrack is an effort to overcome academic and social losses that Arizona youth suffered during the pandemic. With the funding provided by AZ OnTrack, GCC will host five AZ OnTrack Summer Camps, available for Scouts and non-Scouts alike, at no cost to families, including Adventure Day Camp, Fish Camp, Drone Flight School, and Spade Ranch Adventures at Camp Geronimo.

“The funding provided by AZ OnTrack and the office of the Governor provides an opportunity for Arizona students to have hands-on camping experiences and learn about STEM, arts, literature, and other academic subjects as well as life skills provided by the Grand Canyon Council,” says Gregory Harmon, Director of Support Services at GCC.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council: Youth gather at Camp Geronimo.

Each camp has a unique curriculum and focuses on important life skills. Camp Geronimo is a year-round facility hosting the Scouts BSA Summer Camp Programs located north of Payson in the Mogollon Rim on nearly 200 acres of forest and meadows and surrounded by over 5,000 acres of ponderosa pine forest.  In addition to the Scouts BSA Summer Camp Program, Camp Geronimo hosts a number of events ranging from unit camping opportunities to training courses and district events. Here campers build their own schedule around their interests.

The Drone Flight School, led by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University students, is an immersive program at Camp Geronimo that focuses on math, physics, career exploration, and mastering drone flight technology. Youth 13+ learn to tune the drones’ performance using software controls and fly in competitions with first-person viewer mode in real-time.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council: Rock climbing is one of the activities at Camp Geronimo.

At R-C Scout Ranch located in Payson, Fish Camp participants learn about fisheries management and master the art of provoking fish to attack your fly.

Youth 14 years and older looking for an exciting and challenging outdoor experience can join Spade Ranch Adventure. Campers will mountain bike, rock climb, go canyoneering, explore caves and so much more.

Adventure Day Camp, located in Phoenix at the Heard Scout Pueblo, is intended for kids ages 6 – 10, where they will participate in daily activities that inspire creativity, boost literacy, and develop critical thinking skills.

“AZ Outdoor Ed is a perfect opportunity for local students to experience camping for the first time with trained leaders and skilled older Scouts,” says Andy Price, Grand Canyon Council CEO. “We are looking forward to providing camping experiences to anyone who is interested regardless of their financial situation.”

Certain camp sessions begin as early as mid-June. For more information on camp dates, availability, and enrollment information for all five of the camp programs visit azoutdoored.org.

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