Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scout Camping in Northern Virginia

Youth group camping, primarily from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts is a great way for kids to have fun and learn great life lessons at the same time.

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority offers a number of wonderful places for scout camping. Our oldest site is Camp Wilson, which is part of Pohick Bay Regional Park in southern Fairfax County on Mason Neck. This site was owned and operated by the Boy Scouts from 1948 - 1969. In 1969 the Boy Scouts sold this land to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to help fund the purchase of Goshen. The Regional Park Authority has continued to run this site as a place for youth group camping, and it continues to be very popular with Scouts. This large site has accommodated well over 500 campers at one time. In the center of the site is a rest room facility with flush toilets, hot & cold water and showers. Camp Wilson offers a great trail network that connects it to the main park area which features boat ramp, and boat rentals (canoeing/kayaking the Pohick Marsh is always popular), Frisbee golf, and Pirate's Cove Waterpark. Mason Neck also features a great paved bike trail that connects Pohick Bay Regional Park with Gunston Hall Historic Site and Mason Neck State Park. Across the road from Camp Wilson is the Meadowood BLM facility with horses and miles of additional trails.
For some interesting historical infomation on Camp Wilson see: http://www.mnhc.net/wilson.htm

Bull Run Regional Park in Centerville VA has youth group camping at two sites that can each accommodate 35 campers and is adjacent to the family campground. These camp areas are served by a restroom with flush toilets, hot & cold water, showers, and laundry facilities. Bull Run Park is the trailhead for the 18 mile Bull Run/Occoquan Trail (Blue Trail). Coming this summer Bull Run will also feature Atlantis Waterpark, as well as playgrounds, open fields, and the Bull Run Shooting Center with skeet, trap, and archery.

Our newest youth group camping area is Blue Ridge Regional Park in western Loudoun County not far from Bear's Den and the Appalachian Trail. This site is more primitive than the other, and perfect for that authentic outdoor experience. The amenities include a well with potable water, porta-jon, central pavilion with stone fireplace, camp sites with fire rings, picnic tables, and level tent areas. This site also features fantastic views, and a growing trail network. There are three group areas, each can accommodate 35 campers.

All of these group camp areas must be reserved in advance by calling 703-352-5900.




6 comments:

Caroline said...

Hi Paul,
We love the regional parks - but we are planning our trip to Blue Ridge Regional Park. And the web site has NO ADDRESS. No directions. I found an address on some other scout troups PDF that is online...

but could you get someone to update that page? Thanks!
http://www.nvrpa.org/park/blue_ridge

Paul Gilbert said...

Because Blue Ridge is for scheduled youth group camping, and is not for unreserved general use, we do not put the address on the website.

When people call to reserve the site they are given the address, directions and combination to the gate.

I hope your group had a great time.

Evan Owen said...

As an adult leader it would be very helpful if Camp Wilson and Pohick had clearly marked trail distances on your maps and trails.

Webelos must complete a 3 mile hike for their Outdoorsman badge and all Cub Scouts must complete a 1 mile hike for their hiking beltloop.

Paul Gilbert said...

The suggestion of milemarkers on the trails at Pohick is a good one and that would be a perfect project for an Eagle Scout.

Bart Johnson said...

I am trying to plan a trip to Blue Ridge Regional Park to scout it for a church youth camping trip. How can I review the site to see if it will accommodate our needs and/or concerns?

Paul Gilbert said...

Bart, you can call our offices at 703-352-5900 and someone can help with all your issues. You can also get some additional information at http://www.nvrpa.org/park/blue_ridge