From September until May, several opportunities exist with the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s herd of horses. Come out and enjoy a trail ride, horse-drawn hayride or horse camp! View the brochure.
To reserve a spot, visit our online portal: Online Reservations
Horsemanship Merit Badge Skill Center
The Horsemanship Merit Badge Skill Center provides Scouts with knowledge of how to care, groom and ride a horse. The skill center begins with an orientation session and then is held over three consecutive Saturdays. In addition to learning how to safely ride and care for horses, Scouts who earn this merit badge will gain an understanding of horse’s instincts and behaviors, as well as humane and effective methods for training horses. The next horsemanship skill center is scheduled for spring 2020.
Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers can hit the trail, beginning and ending at Nagel Base. Approximately 20 horses are available for each 3-hour or 6-hour* ride, and each horse can handle all levels of riding experience — beginner through advanced.
September through May, Saturday and/or Sunday
- 3 hour ride.; $30 per person
Step back in time for a horse-drawn hayride! This is a great outdoor activity for Scouting units of all ages. There are three wagons available and each hayride wagon holds a maximum of 20 people. A minimum of two adults for each wagon is required. Hayrides can be reserved in one-hour blocks.
- March 1 through May 31 & Sept. 1 through Nov. 30
- Saturday: 5-6 p.m., 6-7 p.m., 7-8 p.m., 8-9 p.m.
- Sunday: 5-6 p.m., 6-7 p.m., 7-8 p.m.
- $75 per wagon
Hayrides are not offered on Saturday nights during heavy camporee weekends.
Spend a week riding a horse, improving riding skills, and then showing off your riding skills in a horse show. Other activities while at Horse Camp are swimming, skeet shooting, climbing tower, ropes course, campfires, and much more.
- 1st week of August
Sign up early! Maximum number of participants is 40. The Greater St. Louis Area Council Trail Guide Committee provides adult leadership for Horse Camp.
Things to Know
Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance at a Greater St. Louis Area Council office or online at stlbsa.org/activities/camping/rsvp/.
A minimum of five and a maximum of 20 horses can be reserved for trail rides. A maximum of 20 people are allowed on a hayride wagon.
Who can use the horsemanship programs? Any registered member of the Boy Scouts of America and their respective adult leaders may use the programs.
- Hayrides: Tigers, Cub Scouts, Webelos, Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers as well as leaders and parents
- Six-Hour Trail Rides & Overnight Trail Ride: Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers 13 years old who have completed the 8th grade — or are age 14 by the time of the ride
- Horse Camp: Boy Scouts, Venturers, and Explorers 13 years old who have completed the 8th grade — or age 14 by the start of camp
Dress according to the weather. When riding it is best to wear long pants and boots or hard soled shoes (no tennis shoes please). If the weather looks like the possibility of rain bring rain gear. For cold weather rides; dress warm in layers, wear gloves and ear protection (riding helmet must still be able to fit properly over stocking cap). The trail guide or camp ranger will not permit any Scout or leader to ride if the rider is ill-prepared or dressed inappropriately.
Horses & Equipment
Only horses and equipment owned by the Greater St. Louis Area Council are used on trail rides, hayrides, and any other horse-related programs and activities.
Every trail ride has a trail guide from the council’s Trail Guide Committee to lead the ride. Units going on a trail ride or hayride are required to have the necessary adult leadership for the ride: two adults minimum on the trail ride; two adults minimum on each wagon.
Picnic Areas / Recreation Hall
Just off the parking lot at Nagel Base are two picnic areas for your unit to use before or after your hayride. Picnic areas are on a first-come, first-served basis, but are big enough to handle more than one unit.
If your unit prefers to stay inside you can reserve the Nagel Recreation Hall. The Rec Hall has kitchen facilities, fireplace, tables and chairs, and a furnace for those cool nights. The Nagel Rec Hall is a great place to hold a pack meeting, troop court of honor, or a Venturing crew/Explorer post activity.
For safety reasons no one can ride who is over the maximum weight limit of 250 pounds. Weight will be checked at camp. Rangers and/or trail guides have the authority to restrict any person from taking part in a horse-related activity who may pose, in their opinion, a safety risk to themselves, others, or the horses.
Cancellations and refunds policy
Refunds will be given when the trail guide and/or ranger cancels the ride due to weather or poor conditions. All requests for refund by the unit must be made in writing to the Camping Department four weeks prior to the date of the scheduled ride.
Getting to Nagel Base
Once inside Beaumont, follow the main road where it ends at Nagel Base. Along the way, you will pass Cub World, Emerson Center, Camp May pool, and several camporee fields. The road winds around for approximately 2.5 miles from the Beaumont entrance to the Nagel Base gate.
Units should arrive at Nagel Base at least 30 minutes before the scheduled trail ride time or hayride. Morning trail riders saddle the horses, afternoon riders unsaddle the horses. All riders wear an equestrian helmet provided by the Greater St. Louis Area Council while on the trail ride.