The last time I posted about out-of-the-ordinary camping locations, the list included an 18th-century fort in New York, a “haunted” jail in Canada and a minor league baseball field in Delaware.
Now it’s time for a new list.
The list of 10 actual places Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have camped includes a gorilla exhibit at a zoo, a medieval castle and the jail cells at Alcatraz.
On the deck of a ferry in Alaska
Who: Troop 573, Woodinville, Wash.
Where: On the deck of an Alaskan State Ferry while it travels north on the Inside Passage
Why it’s awesome: The Boy Scouts got to see orcas, humpback whales and seals on their way north to Haines, Alaska.
Inside a gorilla exhibit at the zoo
Who: Pack 216, Eureka, Kan.
Where: Inside a gorilla exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kan.
Why it’s awesome: With gorillas as their neighbors — separated by thick glass walls, of course — the Cub Scouts camped on the floor of the viewing area.
In the jail cells at Alcatraz
Who: Troops 558, 504 and 599 from Watsonville, Aromas and Corralitos, Calif.
Where: Inside the jail cells on Alcatraz Island, 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco. Alcatraz is now owned by the U.S. National Park Service.
Why it’s awesome: It’s Alcatraz — probably the most famous prison in the world. Need I say more?
At a medieval castle in … Texas
Who: Pack 221
Where: Newman’s Castle in Bellville, Texas.
Why it’s awesome: The castle was built by a man named Mike Newman, who always dreamed of building his own castle after visiting Europe in his early 20s. The Cub Scouts were able to sleep anywhere in the castle they wanted and explore the grounds, living as princes and princesses.
In Civil War winter huts
Who: Troop 948, Fredericksburg, Va.
Where: Civil War winter huts outside the White Oak Civil War Museum in Falmouth, Va.
Why it’s awesome: The Boy Scouts were able to learn about Civil War history while spending the night in the same shelters used more than 150 years ago.
At the home of the Green Bay Packers
Who: Troop 38 of New Berlin, Wis.
Where: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Why it’s awesome: The Boy Scouts got to sleep on the marble floor in the trophy room at Lambeau Field — right near the Packers’ four Vince Lombardi trophies.
On a battleship
Who: Pack 3144 of Blackstone, Mass.
Where: Onboard the USS Massachusetts in Battleship Cove, Fallriver, Mass.
Why it’s awesome: The Cub Scouts learned about history and met a World War II veteran who served on the ship.
In the Louisiana swamp
Who: Troop 1005 of Michigan
Where: The Louisiana Swamp Base, a council-owned high-adventure base in the Atchafalaya Swamp, Lafayette, La.
Why it’s awesome: The Boy Scouts slept in hammocks, with occasional alligator sightings, over five days of an epic 66-mile canoe adventure through the swamp. (Read my Boys’ Life story about Swamp Base.)
At a Utah zoo … with a rare nighttime tour
Who: Pack 7, from Filer, Idaho
Where: The Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City
Why it’s awesome: The Cub Scouts took a nighttime tour with covered flashlights through the zoo to observe nocturnal animals, had hands-on time with other animals, roasted hot dogs, played games, and camped overnight.
In the heart of downtown Detroit
Who: Troop 401 of Redford, Mich.
Where: Milliken State Park along the Detroit River, in the heart of downtown Detroit.
Why it’s awesome: To help celebrate Detroit River Days, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources asked for Boy Scouts to mentor foster families for a weekend of camping along the Detroit River. Along with Troop 368 from Detroit, these were some of the only Scouts ever allowed to camp at the park.
Share photos of the craziest places you’ve camped here.
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