About Mt. Bayou Lake Scout Camp
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MOUNTAIN BAYOU LAKE BOY SCOUT CAMP
Let's look at the pluses of Mt. Bayou:
1. 640 acres of a mixture of hardwood and softwood. Not the largest or the smallest camp, but plenty enough room to provide for growth of both facility and program.
2. 12 campsites with a pavilion, picnic table, water, wash basin, showers, latrine and fire ring. Plenty of shade and firewood from the trees that offer a degree of privacy not found in most camps.
3. A modern mess hall, that can handle up to 300 campers. The AMaison Manger@ provides a comfortable setting to enjoy some great wholesome "Cajun" food prepared by local chefs. It’s not unusual for campers to gain a few pounds. More than just a place to eat, the Maison Manger (dining hall) has been used for everything from training classes to an emergency council ring during a rainy campfire. Unlike some camps, Mt. Bayou's dining hall is totally enclosed against the insects. Ceiling fans and vents help with the summer's heat; while, the large fireplace helps keep everyone cozy during the winter.
4. Even Mt. Bayou's parking lot is unique. A few of the parking sites have water and electrical hook ups for those few who prefer that type of camping. Sign up early to use these facilities.
5. Since Mt. Bayou’s main camping area was never really built for vehicular traffic, carts are available for the convenience of the campers to haul in their personal gear.
6. Many campsites and structures have been adopted by Scouting units so they can customize, improve or otherwise maintain those areas. No doubt that by accepting this responsibility, units tend to develop a better understanding of just what it takes to keep a camp the size of Mt. Bayou in tip top shape and results in them better caring for the camp. Clearing trail, remodeling or maintaining the latrine / shower / wash basin, and building permanent site improvements are just a few examples of service to the camp.
7. Mt. Bayou's Olympic sized swimming pool has always been the envy of many other Scout camps. Many camps twice Mt. Bayou’s age now using lakes and streams would give their right arm for a pool like ours. The clear water of the pool offers a safer, cleaner, better controlled environment, than the typical camp lake or stream.
8. Mt. Bayou Lake itself, is one the most available scenic parts of the camp, as our gateway to aquatic adventures of canoeing, rowing, exploring, fishing, birding, nature observation
What does one do with a lake full of poisson (fish), like perche (bass), sac-a-lait (white perch), and goujon (mud cat) ? You see how many of them you can remove from the lake. Mt. Bayou lake is a birders paradise and has a bird rookery for thousands of egrets. Mt. Bayou is a lake where the Acocodrie@, castor (beaver), nutria, ouaouaron (bullfrog) and tortue (turtle) are as common as the giant Alotus@ lily pads and cypress trees.
While most Scout camp lakes are treeless open bodies of water, Mt. Bayou Lake is virtually a forest within an 800 acre lake. As old stumps and grass adjacent to the waterfront are removed, an ever increasing amount of open water is available for canoeing and rowing and a limited motor boating program. But never fear, the vast majority of Mt. Bayou Lake will remain as it was when the Indian and the French Trapper roamed the land in search of those same animals now protected as camp residents. Today, campers boating among the cypress, coming across an old hunter’s blind for canard (duck) can almost hear the ghosts of the piegeur (trappers) of yesteryear.
9. A suspension bridge? How about two! How about three! Well, two anyway. How many Scout camps do you know of that have a suspension bridge, let alone two. Not many camps would need such a bridge, but then not many camps have their own island. Isle Pou de Bois is now only used for camp adventures and overnighters, but will one day become part of the regular camp as sites are developed there. The second suspension bridge is handily located at the council ring and is used frequently for "cross-over ceremonies. A third bridge called the crooked bridge is without a doubt one of the most photographed sites in our camp.
10. Mt. Bayou's summer camp program is as good, if not better, than any other Boy Scout camp. Any summer camp program is a direct result of unit program and support. The vast majority of the summer camp staff comes directly from the same units that attend Mt. Bayou summer camp. It is interesting to note that one of the biggest problems we have in hiring camp staff is that so many of our Atop@ Scouts are recruited by other councils for their program.
11. The magasin (trading post / quartermaster), maison manger (mess hall), training bldg., field office / scoutmasters lounge and maison traiteur (first aid bldg) are just a few of the facilities that make up Mt. Bayou. Whether buying a cool drink at the magasin, manger (eat) a good meal at the maison a manger or grab a cup of coffee and review a training video at the field office / scoutmaster lounge all the buildings at Mt. Bayou are intended to support the unit’s summer camp program.
12. No camp, anywhere, puts more effort and planning into it's Afirst year camper program@, known at Mt. Bayou as Programme' le Aiglon (Eglet Program). Since it's conception, every year, this program is reviewed and renewed to meet the requests of the leaders and needs of the Scouts. Every year the camping committee establishes a plan that it hopes will please everyone.
13. Merit Badges? Sure, there are merit badges! They range from the old standbys to some of the fancy badges taught by counselors specializing in those badges. Mt. Bayou offers all the Aquatics, Field Sports, ECO-CON and other merit badges expected at any top rated Summer Camp program. Some of the more popular merit badges always include Shotgun, Black Powder and Swimming. Mt. Bayou’s COPE (Challenging Outdoor Physical Experience) COPE course was the first in a Louisiana Scout camp. Mt. Bayou’s new shotgun range and archery range promises to be the best in the state.
14. What does Mt. Bayou offer to a Scout looking for a summer camp? FUN! What is in the minds of Mt. Bayou's camp directors and staff? FUN! You will have to travel a lot further, take a lot more time, spend a lot more money to find a camp offering more than Mt. Bayou. Make Mt. Bayou your first and second choice for summer camp.