In 1941, Mahlon N. Haines began a Scouting tradition by holding the first Haines Safari at his Wizard Ranch in Hellam Township. He believed so strongly in Scouting that he left Wizard Ranch to the Council. In a letter to the Council dated “October 1960,” bearing in the stationery logo the message “Wizard Ranch – the Yellowstone Park of the East,” Haines noted, “I hope to live long enough to see this one of the great Scout reservations in America, which will add much to making better boys, better men and better people in our community, by enjoying the privileges of being out of doors.”
In 1987, our Council started a new tradition to honor the memory of this great Scouting advocate by holding the first of the modern Safaris. The modern Safari focused on the current Scouting generation but was also filled with memories of past Safaris. A new chapter will be added to the Wizard Safari legacy this year, with the holding of the 10th modern Safari.
While Wizard Ranch is now known as the Wizard Ranch Nature Preserve and is owned by the Lancaster Conservancy, the New Birth of Freedom Council is excited to return to this historic site again to continue the tradition of hosting the Wizard Safari. The 2023 Wizard Safari will be held from September 29 through October 1 and you’re invited to attend.
Pre-Camp Leaders Meeting
The recording of the pre-camp online leaders meeting on Monday, September 18, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on ZOOM appears below. Please feel free share this video with interested adult leaders and parents. There will not be any on-site leaders meeting at the Safari.
If your unit has submitted its reservation in our Tentaroo system to attend the Safari, our Facilities Team has assigned you to a campsite. Please refer to the Campsite Assignment listing below, noting your assigned site. To locate your site, please check the encampment area maps below.
- Campsite Assignment Listing
- Map of Boot Hill Encampment Area (Scouts BSA Camping)
- Map of Kit Carson Encampment Area (Cub Scout / Family Camping)
All units attending the Safari must provide a roster of those youth and adults attending the event when you check in at the registration area. To make completing your unit’s roster as easy as possible, please complete a fillable PDF roster form (click the button below to download).
Who Can Attend?
This year’s program is set again in our “Wild West” town of Deadwood. The Wizard Safari features programs on Saturday for Scouts of all ages, from Lions through Venturers and Explorers. The event is open to visitors, so we encourage parents and families to attend, along with the general public. Please note that only registered paid participants can participate in the Cub Scout, Webelos Scout, Scouts BSA, and High Adventure programs on Saturday.
Non-council units (from councils other than the New Birth of Freedom Council) are also welcome to participate in the Safari.
We are planning for 3,200 Scouts and adult leaders to attend this year’s Safari, making this event one of the largest Scouting events that most Scouts will ever experience.
Experience Camping “Jamboree Style”
The encampment will be organized “Jamboree Style” in one centralized area, in the large open field opposite the main Safari activity area. Webelos Scouts, Scouts BSA, Venturers, and Explorers will all camp together. The encampment will be divided up by main and side streets allowing access throughout the area. The Safari committee will assign unit campsites which will vary in size based on the number of campers in that unit (more campers = larger campsites).
Cub Scout packs are also welcome to camp “family style” at the Safari in the Cub Scout family camping area.
Each unit is requested to create a directional sign with its unit description, town and state, and the distance and direction to your unit’s hometown. Check out the details for the Unit Sign Challenge …
Don’t just build a covered wagon for the Safari to enter a competition – it’s a practical way to haul your stuff throughout the weekend. Get the specs and other details for the Wagon Design Challenge …
So, how much does it cost to attend the Wizard Safari?
Full weekend campers (Scouts and adult leaders) are $35 each. Scout Day Campers (participating in Saturday activities) are $15, while siblings and parents are $10.
Volunteer staff members for the Safari are $15, which covers meals on Saturday.
Registration for participants is open now using Tentaroo, the Council’s online event registration system. Please note that there are two registration options in Tentaroo for the event – full weekend campers and Saturday-only participants; please select the correct option when registering.
Volunteer Staff Are Needed
To successfully pull off an event like the Wizard Safari, many volunteers are needed to serve as a member of the Safari staff. Adults and older Scouts (age 14 and up) are invited (and strongly encouraged) to sign up for the Safari staff and let us know where you’d like to serve. Staff registration is open now, so please take a few minutes to learn what opportunities are available and submit your application today! All Scouts BSA troops will be asked to provide two adults to serve a half-day as a member of the Safari staff on Saturday (please keep in mind that all staff members pay a reduced $15 fee to attend).
Haines Mercantile Store Gone Virtual!
We got your swag! Be sure to visit the online Haines Merchantile Store before it’s too late. You will find various options in colors and sizes that won’t be found anywhere else. If you want something unique to bring during the weekend, purchase your items on the virtual store before we close it on September 17.