Camp Geronimo

Camp Geronimo is a traditional Scout Resident Camp, that has been in operation for more than 60 years.

At 5200 feet above sea level and surrounded by one of the world’s largest Ponderosa Pine forests, Geronimo is tucked in at the base of the historic Mogollon Rim north of Payson. This area was a favorite place of famous author Zane Grey. Grey wrote many adventure style books, some of his most famous covered the early years of the territory that would eventually become the State of Arizona. Geronimo is a place of fun and tradition, that 2nd and 3rd generations of scouts from some of our local scout units look forward to each summer.

We offer many traditional camp merit badges at our Sunday to Saturday camp. Our schedule is packed full of different activities for your scouts, as well as for the adult leadership. We also boast a high adventure style program for your older participants. The program has a few changes from previous years, which we are excited to share with you.

Come check us out!

Camp Geronimo Timeline

The first BSA camp named Camp Geronimo was in 1922, near Superior. In 1923, Camp Geronimo was located at Groom Creek, near Prescott. In 1924, Camp Geronimo relocated to the pine forest on Tonto Creek, just north of Kohl’s Ranch. In 1954, a Camp Development Committee was appointed to find a new site for Geronimo.
The 170-acre Spade Ranch was purchased for the “New” Camp Geronimo. The camp was to be operated on “troop unit” basis with “Jamboree type commissary” and “cooking by Patrols”. The American Institute of Architects (under the direction of Chairman Ralph Haver) and the Arizona Society of Professional Engineers donated their design services. Construction proceeded at phenomenal rate with hundreds of volunteers and dozens of firms participating. Contractors from the Valley would come up with their crews, as would members of the Navy Reserves.
New Camp Geronimo welcomed its first summer campers.
New additions included four new junior staff dormitory cabins, a gate house, new horse corrals, barn and wrangler's cabin. In the early 1960’s, Junior Staff options included a group known as the “Camp Builders”. They were a hard working bunch responsible for vegetation control and building fire roads around the perimeter of Geronimo. Armed with 24” axes, Pulaski shovels, gloves and hardhats they felled trees and stacked the trimmings for winter burning. In 1960, the Nature Lodge was the building where the Commissioner’s Shack is today, and the Handicraft Lodge was where the old Nature Lodge was just north of HQ.
Construction included the Trading Post, a Duplex family staff cabin, a bridge across Webber Creek, and the reconstruction of seven camp buildings which were crushed by the unprecedented snowfall of December 1967. In 1970 the original camp property ended at the East Weber crossing. However, several years later, the Council was granted a USFS Special Use Permit to expand up the East Webber road and added Campsites 20-29.
The camp added a 500-seat Dining Hall. In 1990 the Roosevelt Rough Riders contributed $15,000 to complete renovation of the guest cabin at Camp Geronimo across from Spade Ranch. In 1994, work on the construction of a new water system, included two fifteen thousand gallon tanks and a new pressure system. In 2000, several camp toilets were converted from unlined latrines to concrete “vault and haul” toilets. In 2004, the camp sewer system was upgraded and flush toilets were added to two campsites.

Geronimo’s band was one of the last major forces of independent Native American warriors. They evaded thousands of Mexican and American troops for more than a year, making Geronimo the most famous Native American of the time.

Geronimo — “the one who yawns,”
(June 1829 – February 17, 1909) was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Apache tribe. From 1850 to 1886 Geronimo joined with members of three other Chiricahua Apache bands — the Tchihende, the Tsokanende and the Nednhi — to carry out numerous raids, as well as resistance to U.S. and Mexican military campaigns in the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora, and in the southwestern American territories of New Mexico and Arizona.

Geronimo’s raids and related combat actions were a part of the prolonged period of the Apache–United States conflict, which started with American settlement in Apache lands following the end of the war with Mexico in 1848. While well known, Geronimo was not a chief among the Chiricahua or the Bedonkohe band. However, since he was a superb leader in raiding and warfare he frequently led large numbers of men and women beyond his own following. At any one time, about 30 to 50 Apaches would be following him.

Grand Canyon Council

Council Office: 602-955-7747

Camp Geronimo

Ranger: 928-474-4688
2599 W. Webber Creek Rd.
Payson, AZ 85541