Ask any boy why he's in Boy Scouts and "camping" will likely be near the top of his list of reasons.


Troop 1656 is committed to the camping experience and the patrol method.  The Troop offers monthly camping events

 and a full high adventure program for the older boys.



Sign-up for Campout




Summer Camp



Camping Fees

Village Creek

Big Thicket Natural Preserve

Canoe Level 1: SmartStart Paddling Orientation - (Sample Skills Course)

SEIC: IPC Committee – 01/2008 © American Canoe Association




Personal Preparation:

Personal ability

Swimming ability

Water comfort & confidence

Fitness, conditioning, and warm up

Safe paddle and boat handling

Safety and rescue considerations

Personal equipment (reviewed by Instructor)


Getting Started


Know Before You Go!

Be Considerate of Others

Pay Attention

No Drugs or Alcohol

PFD and how to wear it! Types

Cold Water

Keep it Stable

Weather and Waves


Getting Wet/Self Rescues

The Law and You

Learning More


Pre - Launch

Parts of the boat/paddle

How to board


On-Water Instruction

Principles of paddling


o Forward w/ switch

o Forward w/rudder (stern only)

o Draw

o Push Away


o Paddle in a straight line

o Spin boat on center axis

o Move boat laterally without forward

o direction





Big Thicket, Upper and Lower Turkey Creek Trail is best backpacking trails for younger scouts. These are easy trails with no real elevation changes.

This is a Philmont style backpacking trek, with very primitive camping. There are no designated campsites, and no potable water along the trail.

There are chemical toilets only at the trail heads. So advanced planning and preparation is essential and necessary.


Whether we choose to backpack Upper or Lower Turkey Creek trail, We will park at the appropriate trail head Friday night, and hike in .25 miles to

camp. Saturday morning we can distribute food and gear, adults will move enough vehicles to the trails end to shuttle drivers back to their

vehicles Sunday. Those drivers will then p/u scouts at trails end.


We will need to bring all the water we need for the entire trip. Everybody will need to carry no less than 2 liters of water.


More experienced backpackers should carry 4 liters. Everyone should fill their water bottles before arriving. We may want to have some 5 gal coolers already filled with water for topping off or filling water bottles and bladders and for breakfast Saturday morning before hiking.


We will need some portable water containers to cache near the end of the trail for Saturday night dinner and bottle refills.


All food and meals should be non-perishable and not need refrigeration, should be add water only one pot meals or MRE's.


We do not need the Troop trailer, but we will need backpacking stoves, fuel, portable water containers, and cooking pots/utensils, and backpacking lanterns if available.


Each patrol should be responsible for carrying their own food, utensils.


We may consider bringing trowels for digging latrine, and woodsman tools for firewood and skills.


Either trail is only 6-8 miles. If we get an early start we can backpack 3-5 miles, find a camp, eat lunch and have plenty of time to work on skills.

If we get a later start we can eat lunch on the trail and hike a little farther to find a camp.


Upper trail has fewer hikers/campers and passes the Pincher Plant trail. This is the only place in Texas where you can find this carnivores plant.


Lower trail is supposed to be a little more scenic, and may have more hikers and campers, especially as you get close to Kirby trail loop.


This is great opportunity to work on identifying 10 plants and animals for tenderfoot and second class requirements, as well as 5 mile hike, orienting a

map, choosing a patrol campsite and other requirements.


I have a map for upper Turkey Creek trail. We will need to order or print more maps for Lower Turkey Creek trail if we decide on that trek.


Here is a link to more info on Turkey Creek trail and topography trail maps,


Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (EROCK)



Often, we go camping at Enchanted Rock during the winter months.  This is one of our cold weather camp destinations, which is a requirement for scouts in order to advance rank.


Skills: Skills Learned at that site

Scouts will have the opportunity to learn beginner level Climbing, Repelling , Bouldering, and Spelunking skills, using “Climb on Safely” and “Leave no Trace” methods and practices.

General skills– Patrol method camping and outdoor cooking skills

Optional skills depending on planned activities– Hiking, Backpacking, Primitive Area camping.

All these skills require teamwork, communication, which requires developing personal and team goals. The objective is to help build on, Troop and Patrol unity, good communication skills, self reliance, self confidence, and self esteem,


Other points about this site:

Temperatures can range from below freezing to mid to upper 80’s, all in single a weekend. At night, the temperatures can drop well below freezing, while often during the day the sun radiating off the granite rocks can be rather warm. Because of the wide range of temperatures, layering clothing, is a good idea; Base layer –moisture wicking clothing such as- synthetic blends (no cotton), Warmth layer - such as- wool and fleece, and Weather layer -for protection from wind and moisture such as- all weather jackets, winter jackets, wind breakers, or parka.

Enchanted Rock is a State Natural Area, so there is no water available outside of campsites, so carrying at least 2 liters of drinking water is required for all activities away from camp.


What to Bring:  Cold Weather Camp List –


2- pair wool socks

1-pair sock liners – optional

2- pair underwear

1- pair long underwear – (No cotton)

1- long sleeve shirt (moisture wicking or synthetic blend)

2- Troop class B (Activity) T-shirts

1- Long sleeve wool or fleece sweater/shirt

2- pair of pants - One for climbing on rocks -denim/canvas, one for travel  (scout pants)

1- winter jacket – Wind proof

1- wool or fleece hat

1- pair gloves for warmth

1- pair hiking boots

1- pair shower shoes – optional

1 – Class A (Field) Uniform


Camp Gear

Small tent W/ground cloth/tarp/moisture barrier

 0° sleeping bag or 30° sleeping bag with sleeping bag liner, fleece blanket, or wool blanket

Sleeping pad – good for insulation from cold ground

Camp pillow– optional

Personal Mess kit

Personal hygiene kit/Shower kit/towel


Scout essentials

These are items that any well prepared Boy Scout should have in his day pack on any scout-outing.


2- 1-Liter water bottles- filled with water

Personal first aid kit

Rain gear

Sun protection


Pocket knife/ multi tool

Matches/fire starter

Trail food

Dry sack w/Extra clothes


Optional Items



Trekking polls/walking stick

•Personal climbing harness and helmet – must be climbing instructor approved.

1- pair climbing shoes/ stiff soles tennis shoes

1- pair gloves (protection while rock climbing)

Musical instrument




Para cord/Duct tape

Medication (Scoutmaster approved)

Rock Climbing Consent form signed by parents



All Adults on campouts are required to take “Youth Protection” online training at;

It is also recommended that all Adults on this campout take minimal online training and be familiar with; “Climb on Safely” and “Weather Hazards”


This can also be completed at;

Troop 1656 is always in need of trained Climbing Instructors, and Junior Climbing Instructors.

Anyone, male or female, over the age of 16 can become a Climbing Instructor or Junior Climbing Instructor. This is a very rewarding program, which does not require as much physical stamina as you might think. If this is something you are interested in, please talk with Scoutmaster and Troop Climbing Committee members for more info.



These will be links

Google Map Directions from Richmond TX:


Destination Website (if available): see below

Texas State Parks  – Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Park Map (PDF)

Walk-in Tent Camping Area Map (PDF)

Interactive Trails Map

Trails Map (PDF)

• Park Trails Data (KMZ) - Save and open with GIS-compatible software

such as Google Earth, ESRI ArcGIS, etc.

Climbing Areas Map (PDF)

•  Interpretive Trail Guide





“Leave No Trace”


Enchanted Rock




A Threatened Natural Resource



The “islands” of vegetation on the bare granite summit of Enchanted Rock are some of the most ecologically significant and severely threatened features

of this state natural area. Known as soil islands, weather pits, gammas or vernal pools, these patches of vegetation on bare rock develop in depressions formed by weathering over thousands of years.


The depressions shelter an assemblage of plants and animals uniquely adapted to a harsh environment. In fact, by studying weather pits, ecologists learn:

(1) How plants and animals colonize a newly formed habitat;

(2) How those organisms modify their environment and help develop soils; and,

(3) How plant and animal community structure and composition change over time.


At Enchanted Rock you can see the progressive development from bare rock-bottom pits, to  annual plant establishment, to miniature prairies with

grasses like little bluestem and even trees like live oak. Vernal pools also support an interesting species of invertebrate, the fairy shrimp. These tiny animals

survive total desiccation as fertilized eggs, and hatch into larvae and grow into adults, each time water collects after sufficient rainfall.

Because of the fragile nature of weather pits, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wants to make sure visitors are aware of their significance. Too often they

are perceived as nothing more than convenient rest areas or even “bathrooms” for people and pets, and are subject to trampling, littering and other forms of waste.

PLEASE refrain from entering or allowing pets in weather pits under any condition. Enjoy and observe these special features only from their granite margins –

STAY ON THE ROCK. Thank you for protecting an important part of the Enchanted Rock experience.


Vernal Pools

Interpretive Trail Guide

 Scout Oath (or promise) On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty, to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.  Scout Law A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent  Scout Motto Be Prepared