Visit us on Facebook icon-twitter.png icon-linkedin.png      Contact Us   800 321-7107

CAMP SOL MAYER HISTORY

Camp Sol Mayer has a rich and colorful history.  The 300 acre camp on the San Saba River was given to the Concho Valley Council, BSA by Mr. and Mrs. Sol Mayer in the spring of 1945.  Later, an additional 8,000 acres were placed in a trust to insure the maintenance and care of the camp forever.  The camp was dedicated on September 19, 1950.  The camp is located about 20 miles west of Menard, Texas and just 3 miles east of Fort McKavett Historical Site.  It was formerly known as the Brown or Opp Ranch.

Sol Mayer, in 1880 as an eleven year old boy, roamed the hills around Fort McKavett, swapping yarns and horses with the soldiers on duty there at that time.  At the age of 15 he became a cowboy at a salary of $30 per month, and eventually, banker, rancher and developer of Sonora, Texas.  He was regarded as one of the real builders of West Texas.  The Mayers gave of themselves for others throughout their lives!  Their son, Edwin S. Mayer, served as President of the Council from 1960 to 1962. 

The digging of a well in October of 1945 was the first improvement made on this beautiful natural camp site.  In May, 1946, the first large-scale Scout activity was held when 350 Scouts and leaders held a council wide camporee on the site. 

A training lodge, which became the first dining hall of the new camp, was begun in September, 1947, was completed in early 1948.  The lodge was built of stones from the nearby Fort McKavett, some of them from a frontier general store run by the Sol Mayer's father.  A camp ranger's home was also built. 

The rock entrance gate was erected by Menard scouters in 1948.  A storeroom between the ranger's home and the training lodge was built in 1948.  G. H. "Buddy" Wyman was the first camp ranger. 

The first summer camp was held during the summer of 1947 with some 100 Scouts in attendance. The program was a high adventure camp patterned after the Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico.  The program that first summer included horsemanship, rodeo, canoeing, swimming, Indian lore, hiking, leather crafts, archery and scout activities according to Edwin S. Mayer, camping chairman of the council. In the early days of the camp the Scouts maintained a "perpetual" campfire during their summer camp stay. 

The Scouts for many years did their swimming in the San Saba River until a swimming pool was built. The camp offers all kinds of aquatic programs, outdoor skills training, horseback riding, a rappelling tower and recently a western cowboy program on the ranch part of the camp. 

The camp is the starting point for the six mile Fort McKavett Historical Trail.  This is the only Historical Trail in Texas that offers both a patch and a medal upon completion of the trail requirements.