Blue Springs Scout Reserve

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Address 14009 Sixth Line Nassagaweya, Acton, ON L7J 2W8
Established ~1937
Closed Open!
Website blue-springs-scout-reserve.ca


Blue Springs Scout Reserve is located at 14009 6th Line Nassagaweya, near Acton (Halton Hills), Ontario. Considered the "Hub of Ontario" Blue Springs is within easy driving distance to all that Southern Ontario has to offer.

The original land was acquired about 1937 and since that time has been used as a training centre for adult leaders as well as for youth (and adult) camping and activities. The facilities are available for rent by groups both within and without the scouting organization.

The camp has some 200 acres of natural hardwood and softwood forests, open fields, marshland, swamps and grasslands to explore. In addition, there are several buildings spread out over the camp that can be used as a training/convention centre as well as for group camping. Blue Springs is a four-season camp that has something of interest for all Scouting sections.

Blue Springs Scout Reserve has been recognized as a premier adult training facility centered on program training, leadership development and specialty courses. Many Scouters and adults have seen the reserve flourish and grow.

Contents

SCENES Centre

Blue Springs is the 1st Canadian SCENES (Scout Centres Of Excellence for Nature and the Environment) camp approved by the World Scouting Organization on June 1, 2005.

Popular programs include: World Scout Environment Camps (where participants can earn the World Environmental Award and practice Leave No Trace camping), Eco-Spirit Hike (at the end of a hike, youth are asked to take an imaginative journey into the past where Spirit characters tell the story of how their lives intertwine with the natural), Spring Things & Flap Jacks (youth experience firsthand how trees are tapped for maple syrup and get to “HEAR” via stethoscopes the sap running through the trees, followed by a breakfast of Flap Jacks and syrup), Earth Hour Campfire, JOTT (Jamboree on the Trail) and Hammock Camp (where Scouts learn about very light weight camping, so as to minimize their impact on Nature).

Facilities

No matter what type of "camping" you prefer, from winter camping in lean-to shelters to comfortable indoor cots with full amenities, Blue Springs offers just what you're looking for. Blue Springs Scout Reserve provides about 200 acres to explore and enjoy. It is divided into two principal areas: Camp Blue Heron and the main Blue Springs site itself.

Camp Blue Heron is essentially a wilderness camping and exploring area. It has a few pavilions partially or fully closed in, but by and large you must supply your own shelter. There is running water available throughout the area and electricity can be obtained if required. Much of Blue Heron is open meadow, but there are also forested areas and swamps. Amenities include several trails, Adirondacks for Winter Camping, and two obstacle courses. In addition, arrangements can be made for archery and disc golf.

Blue Springs offers several buildings for those who require a less strenuous adventure. Ridley Lodge and the dining room, a few feet away, offer almost all the amenities of home in a beautiful wilderness setting. There are several camping and/or meeting areas including Whiskin Field, Ebor Field and Goat Hill. There are buildings adjacent to all of these areas. There are more trails to explore including a wheelchair accessible boardwalk trail around the Blue Springs that features sparkling clear, cold water.

Buildings

  • Cedar Lodge is located over the BSSR workshop at the end of "the loop" and next to the Keke, Cedar Lodge accommodates 16 people with 4 in each of 4 rooms. Cedar also boasts two washrooms with showers, a full kitchen, a dining (or meeting) area and a lounge area.
  • Lister Hut is located at the edge of Whiskin Field, Lister Hut has bunks for 8. Outdoor washrooms (Kybos) are nearby. Lister has a newly renovated porch to provide additional shelter. There is heat for winter usage but has no kitchen or other amenities.
  • Murray Lodge is situated across from "Goat Hill", about half way between the front entrance and "The Loop". Although Murray does not have any indoor washroom facilities, there is a modernized washroom with showers just across the lane. Murray can accommodate 16 people, 12 in the main area and four in a separate room. There is also a screened-in porch that could accommodate two or so more people. Murray has a full kitchen and a working fireplace.
  • Ridley Lodge is the "crown jewel" of Blue Springs with three large dormitories and a large meeting room on the main floor and four multi-purpose rooms in the basement. Normal usage includes a female dormitory sleeping 15 with an attached washroom with showers, and two male dormitories sleeping a total of 32 and a separate washroom. In addition, there are four showers in the basement and another washroom. Almost all cubicles include two twin-sized cots, a pair of chairs, a shelf and several coat hooks. There are bed-side lights and electrical outlets
  • Kekediwigimin boasts a full commercial-level kitchen with gas stoves and ovens, multiple refrigeration units, serving station and plenty of dishes and cutlery. The dining hall can accommodate 60 sit-down diners and over 100 standing. Lightweight tables and chairs make setting up and taking down a breeze.
  • Radial is located at the edge of Ebor Field and can accommodate 8 campers. Radial has indoor washrooms, a shower, and a kitchen.
  • Station Hotel is situated on Ebor field a short walking distance from Whiskin field and Ridley Lodge. Station is equipped with a modernized kitchen, male and female washrooms (no showers) a spacious covered porch with plenty of picnic tables, meeting space and bunks to sleep 18. It is heated with cold and hot running water.
  • Acton Hut is a few feet away from Station Hotel's main door which can provide sleeping quarters for up to 8 people. Perfect for Scouters.

Tenting

  • Whiskin Field is the main field of Blue Springs Scout Reserve. Ridley Lodge is situated at one end of the field with Keke and Cedar Lodge across the way and Lister along one side. Several toilets (kybos) surround the field. Water is available at Cedar and half-way down the field. Whiskin is ideal for camping and other outdoor events. The Boulder Wall at one end is also available for youth.

Adventurous Activities

  • Low Ropes Course – Near the beginning of the Orange Trail. Ideal for older Cub or Scout age. Must be run by a BSSR staff member.
  • Archery – Available when the snow is gone. Must be run by a staff member. GPS – Units available from the camp office. Geo cache co-ordinates available.
  • Hay Rides - Organized through the Camp Ranger.
  • Traverse Bouldering Wall – Must be supervised by leaders. On Whiskin Field, available first come first serve.
  • Junior Obstacle Course (Caterpillar Squirm) – on the yellow trail in Blue Heron. Suitable for 5 - 11 year old youth. Please supervise your group at all limes.
  • Senior Obstacle Course – On the yellow trail in Blue Heron. Suitable for 12 years and up. Leaders please insure that your youth are supervised at all times.
  • Team Building Activity – Across from the office, west of the main campfire circle. Suitable for 14 year-olds to adults. This activity was designed to be used by groups or patrols of up to eight people. Please do not climb on the spider web. That is not its purpose. Instructions and score sheets are available at the office as well as extra pieces of equipment.
  • The Tower, on the orange trail in Ebor Park, is a three story structure on the Trail Bridge. Please do not throw anything off the bridge.
  • Nature Center – At the beginning of the orange trail in the Main Camp. Displays and mounts of various birds and animals common to the camp are on display here. Complete checklists of the species covering birds, mammals, flowers, butterflies and reptiles are available for a nominal fee at the office.
  • The Beaver Dam – Although the beavers have moved farther downstream, their dam can be seen from the roadway bridge in Ebor Park Beavers are constantly looking for a supply of young trees for their food supply They will return to this location once the small saplings that are left in this area have grown again The large pipe on this side of the dam lets the camp control the water level of the pond by letting water flow through their dam. You may still see beavers swimming on the far side of the dam on occasion.
  • Score orienteering courses – There are five courses at Blue Springs ranging from easy to difficult. Score sheets, directions and maps are available at the office.
  • Snowshoe Rental - A limited number of snowshoes are available. Please check at the Office regarding availability when you arrive if you have not pre-booked a time slot. Rentals are for a 2 hour time frame and must be picked up and returned promptly for the next group. Groups must be supervised by leaders at all times when using the shoes. Due to the nature of our trails (rocks) snowshoes are to be used on the trails only when there is sufficient snow coverage. At all other times the open fields are a good spot for these activities. Snowshoes are not made for walking on parking lot guardrails, through metal fire pits, or on gravel parking lots etc. Any group found abusing the snowshoes would be asked to return them.
  • Cross Country Skiing - Although we have no ski rentals you are welcome to bring your own and try skiing on our nature trails. Weather permitting we attempt to keep the orange trail somewhat groomed for this activity.
  • Downhill Skiing are available at Glen Eden Ski Area a 15-minute drive from the front gate, south on 6th line to Campbellville Road then east to Tremaine Road and watch for the ski signs.
  • Tobogganing is a popular winter activity. The best toboggan hill in the Ebor Park area of the camp is at the base of Old Baldy near Crabapple Pavilion on your site map.

Other

  • Chickadee Pavilion is located about half way down in Camp Blue Heron. It is enclosed on two sides and is well equipped with picnic tables. There are outside toilets nearby. Chickadee has a large tenting area that is secluded from the rest of Camp Blue Heron. There is also running water available. In addition, electricity can be provided if required.
  • Pavilions - There are several pavilions at BSSR. Crab Apple, Mallard and Swallow's Nest are fully enclosed shelters with outdoor toilet facilities and tent camping areas nearby. There are no other amenities.

External Links