The Gus Blass Scout Reservation is a 3,200 acre Scout Camp in central Arkansas owned and operated by the Quapaw Area Council headquartered in Little Rock. Formerly known as the Cove Creek Scout Reservation, the property was acquired in the 1970’s as part of a capitol campaign chaired by Jack Stephens and Gus “Buddy” Blass.
In 1998 the property was renamed in Mr. Blass’ honor in recognition of his then 52 years of continuous service as a member of the executive board of the council. During that time he had served in numerous capacities including Council President in 1960, 1961 and 1962. The Gus Blass Scout Reservation (GBSR) is located approximately 2 ½ miles west of Damascus, Arkansas on highway 285.
More than 7 million dollars of improvements have been made at GBSR over the past 12 years following another capitol campaign conducted in 1998 and chaired by John Steuri.
In addition to Boy Scout Summer Camp, the GBSR hosts Cub Scout Resident Camp, a multitude of troop camp outs, Cub Scout/Parent Weekends, District and Council Camporees, and numerous training events for youth and adult leaders alike.
Short Term Multi-use Camping Facility
The Short Term Camping Area at the Gus Blass Scout Reservation provides a dedicated space for council or district activities such as camporees, cub events, etc., as well as for individual unit use by Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Teams, or Venture Crews.
The Short Term Camping Area is a primitive camping space with a few defined campsites, parade field, one large and one small pavilion, and water source. Only primitive latrines are available in this area. Lake Ted Heigel is also located in the Short Term Camping Area and provides a great place for fishing and fishing events.
To reserve the Short Term Camping Area, units should contact the Reservations Department at the Council Service Center by calling 501.664.4780, ext. 225.
Bowen Lodge and the Jay F. Hill Order of the Arrow Amphitheater
Near the Short-Term Camping area is the E.A. Bowen Lodge. The Lodge was one of the earliest buildings constructed on camp and opened in 1977. Named after the first camp director of Camp Quapaw, Mr. Bowen (1886-1980) was a beloved and renowned Scouter. Bowen Lodge was renovated in 2012 and is now the new home for the Quapaw Lodge #160.
In the natural bowl behind Bowen Lodge, the Quapaw Lodge #160 has constructed an amphitheater and ceremony circle for multi-purpose use. Seating 600, the circle is used for OA events and Council activities.
Camp Rockefeller is home to the Quapaw Area Council’s resident camps and weekend camping programs. Camp Rockefeller can be found within the 3,200-acre Gus Blass Scout Reservation in Damascus, Arkansas. Camp Rockefeller is located on one of the most beautiful tracts of land in the state. Here one will find lakes, streams, caves, creeks, hills, mountains, forests, and fields scattered throughout the reservation. Thousands of Scouts and adult leaders from across the country visit Camp Rockefeller every year.
At Camp Rockefeller all participants have a chance to challenge themselves like never before. Scouts and adult leaders will have an opportunity to participate in shooting sports, swim or learn how to swim, climb “the mountain” or race down the “zip line,” fish our lakes and streams, hike through our forests, camp in our tents, view our wildlife, bike through the mountains, boat on our lakes, eat in our air-conditioned dining hall, learn from our staff, and relax in our facilities. Camp Rockefeller is truly the perfect place to get away from it all or get in the mix.
The amenities at Camp Rockefeller are second-to-none. The camp’s facilities include 25 campsites, a lake and ponds, a boating waterfront, an Olympic-size swimming pool, an air-conditioned dining hall, a council fire ring, a chapel, a well-stocked trading post, 60’ climbing tower, COPE team building course, an administration center, numerous program areas, and a new multi-use facility for STEM and Media/Tech.
Special features include:
- The 21,000 square foot Donald W. Reynolds Scout Training Center with 300 seat dining hall, industrial kitchen, three classrooms, and dormitory style rooms that sleep 88 people. This facility is also equipped with state of the art technology including wireless internet, satellite television and digital signage.
- An Olympic size swimming pool, second largest outdoor pool in the State of Arkansas.
- 500 seat William Nash Dining Hall – newly renovated and air conditioned.
- Updated septic system – new sewer treatment facilities with flush toilets and hot showers throughout camp.
- C.O.P.E Course with high and low features.
- New 60 foot Climbing Tower constructed in 2011.
- Steuri Family Shooting Sports Complex with; Archery Range, Rifle Range and first-class trap and skeet range (completed in 2011).
- Concrete pads and metal frames with shade providing tarps for all tents including large-size leader tents.
Follow Camp Rockefeller
Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience
C.O.P.E. consists of a series of elements and challenges designed to foster problem solving skills and group interaction. Seven key goals are developed:
- Self Esteem
- Decision Making
- Team Work
- Problem Solving
These goals are accomplished through a challenge by choice program designed to encourage the group to work together, communicate with each other, and trust the group decision as they attempt a solution to the objective. The C.O.P.E. program generally consists of Initiative Games, Low Course Elements and High Course Elements. Each team of participants will move from one level to the next based on their abilities and understanding.
The C.O.P.E. Program is restricted to Scouts age 13 and older by January 1.
Safety is the MOST important of all C.O.P.E aspects. C.O.P.E. staff members are National Camp School certified and attend regular training updates.
Donald W. Reynolds Scout Training Center
Located on a ridge overlooking a beautiful wooded valley on the 3200-acre Gus Blass Scout Reservation, the Donald W. Reynolds Scout Training Center is the premier location for training in the BSA Southern Region. The Reynolds Scout Training Center is available for use by: Scout Groups (Council, District & National Functions, OA Training, Cub & Boy Scout Leader Training), Youth Groups (church youth retreats, planning weekends), Church Groups and Corporations.
The facilities available include a 320 seat dining hall, a commercial kitchen, 102 person sleeping wing, 2 ADA compliant rooms with private bathrooms and showers, 4 separate bathroom areas with showers, 3 separate meeting rooms, an intimate lobby area with a large fireplace, 2 large terraced areas and additional camping on the adjacent Scout property.
Groups who interested in reserving the Donald W. Reynolds Scout Training Center should contact the Quapaw Area Council Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 501-664-4780 ext. 280.