Chisholm Trail General Information
Who Can Do Chisholm Trail
Crews of 9–15 older youth and adults from Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Teams, Venture Crews, and Explorer Posts. Coed crews with coed leadership are welcome. Girl Scout, American Heritage Girl Scout, chartered organization/church youth groups, and all adult crews are also welcome. Participants must be at least 13 years old or a graduate of the Seventh grade and must pass the BSA Swimmer’s test. Swimmer’s tests should be administered before camp by a qualified instructor or may be taken on arrival at camp. Do Pre-camp swim tests if you can – they save you a lot of time at check-in! Requirements are at the back of this booklet.
Adult Leadership Requirements
Each crew must have two registered adult leaders: one must be 21 or older, and one at least 18 or older. Every adult 18 or older must BRING a current BSA YPT card. Coed crews must have coed leadership. Crews with 2 or more boats that have less than 2 leaders per boat are required to keep their boats together at all times in a group to maintain BSA 2-Deep Leadership standards. We will pair crews as necessary to help meet these leadership requirements. Chisholm Trail has one camp fee: youth and adults all pay the same fee and do the same program.
What You Bring, What You Get
Each crew receives pontoon boats, fuel to travel between outposts, food, daily water and ice resupply, and all program supplies and equipment. All participants get the full color Chisholm Trail Adventure T-shirt and patch. Crews also get a large Chisholm Trail Wall Map to take home.
Each crew must provide its own tents, camping and cooking gear to carry on the pontoon boat. Treat this as a backpacking trip: PACK LIGHT!! We can provide cooking pots, utensils, tents, stoves and other camping gear if necessary, especially for units that fly in to DFW airport, which is 71 miles away.
We issue food kits regularly starting on Sunday evening at the opening program outpost. We will resupply your crew daily at each outpost and on request as necessary. Make sure your participants pack light! Overloaded boats are slow!
Your crew will fix its own lunch every day from the food provided in the food kits. Our outpost staffs at U.S. Cavalry, Texas Rangers, Vikings, Covert Ops, Climbing, Area 51, & Highland Games will prepare (or help you prepare) suppers and breakfasts. At the Fast Draw Competition Outpost on Friday night we provide steaks and grub for all and your crew will do the cookin.’
At the Sporting Clays outposts you will make your own suppers and breakfasts using your cooking gear and the backpacking food provided. We issue commercial backpacking meals for suppers (they’re not bad – our campers and staff have selected the best over the last 6 years!). We assemble breakfasts and lunches in-house. Please contact us well in advance to arrange for vegetarian meals or special dietary requirements!
Be sure to bring at least two 5-gallon water coolers to carry on each boat you have reserved. We can provide coolers if necessary. Our staff provides 2 bags of ice to each crew daily at the watersports bases. We have an ice machine for bagged ice at our marina. Staff bring ice to the Sailing Base (crews refuel daily at these two locations).
Chisholm Trail Program Schedule
Your crew will select an itinerary and do six high adventure outposts and watersports every afternoon, including the Blobs, tubing, & wakeboarding and our big Sailing Base. You may also choose to spend a program slot on your own. Please let us know if you want to skip any water or land outposts so we can design a custom schedule for you. Crew program schedules and detailed lake maps are issued to each crew during the opening orientation.
Unlike most camps, we continue our program through Friday evening and Saturday morning. All crews report to the Fast Draw outpost on Friday evening for the final program and our big closing steak feast. Please let us know in advance if your unit needs to leave early so that we can schedule you accordingly. It’s YOUR program and we will try to accommodate all requests!
Pontoon Boats and Crew Size
Trek reservations are done by boat, based on the carrying capacity of our pontoon boats. Chisholm Trail is designed for boat crews of 9, 12, 13, and 15 participants. The minimum fee is based on each boat’s rated capacity. Crews with a large number of small-sized participants may add one more person. Boat reservations are 1st-come 1st-served. Each week 1-2 boats may be available for Composite Crews for units with a smaller number of Chisholm Trail participants. Composite Crew boats are for units with 5 or less participants ONLY, and require at least one 21 y.o.. Please check with our office before reserving space in a Composite Crew Boat. Composite Crew Boats will not be available once a week fills up.
21-foot boats: 8 available. Holds 9, 10 if most are smaller.
24-foot boats: 2 available. Holds 12, 13 if most are smaller.
25-foot boats: 11 available. Holds 13, 14 if most are smaller.
25-foot boats: 2 available. Holds 14-15.
We hold three pontoon boats in reserve each week as instant replacements in case a boat needs to be taken out of service temporarily for repairs. These boats are not available for reservation.
Larger crews can reserve more than one boat. Crews from multiple units are always welcome. You can recruit participants from other units to fill boat slots. If your crew is unable to fill one of its boats, we will try to help pair you up with other small crews prior to camp (early registration is essential!). We can also help pair groups with openings on a boat with other partial crews on request. However, it is each crew’s responsibility to fill their boats.
End of Summer SPECIAL: participants get $10 off for Week 3 and $15 off for Week 4. Reservations are made by boat. Units registering a crew for Chisholm Trail must send a registration form with deposits for the boats they need in order to confirm a reservation. Each boat deposit reserves 1 boat for a Chisholm Trail crew. Our pontoon boats carry 9, 12, 13, or 15 participants. Crews with a majority of small-sized participants may add 1 more person per boat.
Boat reservations for each week are processed on a first-come first-served basis. Deposits are credited to your account as a part of your total camp fees; they are not an additional charge. Once you reserve Pontoon boats, those boats are no longer available for other units to reserve in that week. Deposits are $100 per person and are non-refundable, are separate from any reservation deposits made for our other camps, and may not be transferred to other camps or programs. NOTE: pontoon boats rent for over $50 per hour, plus gas, at private marinas on North Texas lakes.
We reserve 1-2 pontoon boats (only) for units with a small number of participants. Several small crews will be combined on the composite crew boats. Reservations for these boats will be made by participant. Each unit reserving spaces on a composite crew boat must provide at LEAST one 21 y.o. adult. Once these boats are filled all other reservations are by boat. If all other pontoon boats are taken in a particular week the two Composite Crew boats will be given to regular crews.
Chisholm Trail crews stop at the front ranger house at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch and receive detailed check-in directions and maps. You’ll set up your first night’s campsite at your first outpost. Pontoon Boat training for adults is done Sunday afternoon, and again on Monday for Monday morning arrivals. The program ends with an all-you-can-eat steak cookout on Friday night.
Boy Scout Troops with younger Scouts camping at Worth Ranch or Camp Tahuaya and a crew of older Scouts at Chisholm Trail should make separate transportation arrangements for their Chisholm Trail crew to get to our high adventure base. Sid Richardson Scout Ranch is 1 hour from Worth Ranch. Maps are available on request. Chisholm Trail Crews should do their swim checks prior to camp. Medical check in (and swim checks, when necessary) are done on arrival at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch. Check in details will be emailed to participating units.
Saturday or Monday Arrivals
Our staff is flexible. It’s YOUR adventure and we do our best to make it a great one! Monday morning and Saturday arrivals are welcome. Please contact us in advance to arrange Saturday or Monday morning arrivals. We recommend that you bring your own meals through Sunday lunch. For other arrangements contact the Camping Registrar.