Get Ready for Wizard Safari! Coming September 29 – October 1

Haines
Mahlon N. Haines

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 once again to this historic site to continue the tradition of hosting the Wizard Safari.

What Happens at a Wizard Safari?

It’s easier (and better) to show you rather than try to tell you.  Check out the video highlights of the last Wizard Safari, held in 2019.

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 will be able to participate in the Cub Scout, Webelos Scout, Scouts BSA, and High Adventure programs on Saturday.

Non-council units (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 be camping together. The encampment will be divided up by main and side streets allowing access throughout the area.  Unit campsites will be assigned by the Safari committee and 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.

Registration Information

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 will open on April 12, 2023, on the Council’s Tentaroo page.

Volunteer Staff Are Needed

To successfully pull off an event like the Wizard Safari, lots of 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).

Sign Up for Safari Staff