A Scout can really hone their swimming skills and learn to handle water front emergencies in Lifesaving. This course will guide your boys through various rescue techniques, teaching the importance of each maneuver. Each boy will be thoroughly tested both mentally and physically.

* Please bring long pants and a long sleeve T-shirt

  • Eagle Requirement Option
  • 1st class and higher only


Getting in the water is part of any fun camping experience. Scouts can begin to master their strokes and learn about water safety. Be sure to pack a pair of long pants to make an improvised floatation device. Limit 12 Scouts per course.

* Please bring long pants and a long sleeve T-shirt 


  • Eagle Requirement Option
  • Great for 1st Timers


Climbing Tower


Reach the heights of adventure with our climbing program. Learn basic safety and rope work necessary for a successful climb. Participants also get to experience our climbing wall and natural rock surface. Truly a HIGH adventure. Limit 12 Scouts per course.

Note: This is a 3 hour block of time in either the morning or the afternoon.

  • There is a $20 fee for this Merit Badge.
  • Must be 13 years by the start of your week at camp




Learning a new craft is a fun and useful. Create 3 projects and learn history of this ancient art. Registration for this badge will require an additional $25.00 to cover the costs of kits and supplies that will be distributed the first day of the program. Additional projects may also be purchased in the Trading Post.

  • Great for 1st Timers


Leatherwork is a beautiful craft. Horse saddles and cowboy boots are just two examples of wonderful designs made from this tough material. Learn to stamp and sew together your very own leather projects. You could take home a souvenir made by YOU! Registration for this badge will require an additional $20.00 to cover the costs of kits and supplies that will be distributed on the first day of program. Additional projects will also be available in the trading post.

  • Great for 1st Timers


Making something with your hands is a great experience. In Pottery class, Scouts will learn about the composition of clay, different pot types, and they will get the satisfaction of throwing and firing their very own pot! Please bring $15.00 to cover the cost of clay and supplies that will be available the first day. Additional supplies can be purchased through the Trading Post

Wood Carving

Create your own neckerchief slide with the skills you will learn in Wood Carving. You will learn the differences between wood samples and which type is best for different types of projects. To cover the cost of wood carving project kits, please bring $5. Supplies will be available the first day of class. Additional project supplies will be available at the Trading Post


Health Lodge

First Aid

The ability to help other people at all times is fully realized once a Scout commits to earning his First Aid Merit Badge. This badge equips a Scout with the knowledge needed to save lives.

Limit 12 per course.

  • Eagle Requirement
  • 1st Class Recommended

Emergency Preparedness

In this merit badge, scouts will learn what it takes to keep themselves and their families safe in an emergency. Scouts learn how to prepare and respond to emergency situations and how to prevent potential dangerous situations. Each scout will also need to participate in a demonstration period at 7:00 pm in order to complete the merit badge.

Note: Requirements 6c, 7, 8, and 9 will not be completed at camp.

  • Eagle Requirement




This course centers around the care and maintenance of the horse. Scouts will learn about different breeds along with their strengths and weaknesses. Grooming and hoof care is another skill that is acquired. Finally, each Scout will have the opportunity to try their hand at riding a horse to complete the requirements and earn this challenging badge.

  • $40 program fee applies & space is limited.




For those who know they are part of something much bigger in our galaxy, Astronomy will let them explore the heavens. Campers will learning about the constellations, planetary bodies, and finding their way using the stars! Scouts will also participate in a Star Party and show off their newly learned skills of identifying the heavens.

Plant Science

This course breaks down the plant life cycle. Scouts will learn how to identify plants and important factors in surrounding areas needed for growth and reproduction.

Note: Option 1, 2 or 3 cannot be completed at Camp.

Environmental Science

Gain a better grasp on the world around you when you take Environmental Science. Scouts conduct experiments to better understand our impact on the world. They also study our high desert habitat and investigate an endangered species of their choice

Note: This is a two hour block of course time.

  • Eagle Requirement
  • 1st class or higher only


Our nation’s forests are part of our wealth. Come and learn more about how we manage this vital resource. Learn about and use tools of the trade to take core samples and estimate the height of trees. Learn first hand with a visit from the caretaker of our managed forest right on the Gorham Scout Ranch.

Note: Bring a small notebook to keep your tree-log for the week.


Geology is all around us at GSR. Take some time and learn how this beautiful valley was created. In this course, Scouts will learn the principles of Geology and the natural history of our little corner of the globe. Scouts will also help in a conservation project to prevent soil erosion. 


Nature Merit Badge is a wonderful introduction to the world in the out-of-doors. If you are looking for a course that has it all, this is the one for you. Scouts can study birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, spiders, plants, and soil and rocks that can be found at GSR. It is everything you want in a great merit badge.

  • Great for 1st Timers

Soil and Water Conservation

The importance of learning how our society can help conserve water is growing everyday as our population grows. Scouts will learn how to identify areas of GSR that are currently helping to control erosion and conserve water draining. These skills will translate throughout the outdoors and will help the Scouts plan outdoor activities with a conservation mind.




This badge is for the future high adventurer! Scouts learn the skills and knowledge needed to carry it all on their backs. Hands-on demonstrations prepare Scouts to pack their gear for a 4 mile training hike and overnight trip.

Note: Scouts should Be Prepared with a backpack, rain gear, sleeping bag, small tarp, water bottle(s), and additional camp gear that they would normally carry on a camping trip. Stoves and cookware, not tableware (fork, knife, spoon, etc.), will be provided.

Note: Requirements 6b, 8c, 8d, 9b, 10, 11a, 11b, 11c cannot be completed at or before camp.

  • please bring a backpack


Scouting is about getting out there and Camping is how it is done. Scouts will master many of the essential camping skills necessary to good outdoor experiences. They will even get the chance to test their skills on an outpost overnight camping trip at our primitive camping site. A pack is advised but not required.

Note: requirements 8d, 9a, 9b cannot be finished at camp.

  • Eagle Requirement
  • 1st Class Recommended

Signs, Codes and Signals

This is a new merit badge in 2015 and new to Gorham Scout Ranch. Scouts will have the opportunity to learn different communication methods, uses, and their importance. These skills include Morse Code, American Sign Language, Semaphore and Braille. Scouts will also have the opportunity to learn about cryptography and create their own codes.

Indian Lore

The area surrounding GSR abounds with the cultures of many different native groups. The unique merging of Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache ancestral lands provides our camp the opportunity to study these groups through our Indian Lore program. Scouts will study traditional and modern cultural traits while working to create authentic replica clothing to complete the badge. Cost of supplies for Indian Lore will be $15. Additional projects are available at the Trading Post.

  •  Great for 1st Timers


Finding your way with a map and compass has always been a part of the Scouts’ skill set. Orienteering helps Scouts better understand the lay of the land and gives them the skills to find their way in the wilderness. Scouts should be prepared by bringing a personal compass so they learn with the tool they will ultimately be using.

Note: Requirements 8, 9, & 10 cannot be completed before or during camp.

  •  Second Class or Higher RECOMMENDED


Are you pretty good with a Global Positioning System? Do you have a lot of Scouting patches or small trinkets? Geocaching brings small items from around the world to your fingertips to trade! Learn how to use coordinates to find some modern day treasure. Using the log, you can track items from around the world. But remember, if you take something, you have to leave something!


Rope and timber construction is a skill set that hails from the earliest pioneers of the American frontier. Pioneering allows Scouts to use the rope skills that they learned on the trail to first class in new and exciting ways. In the course, a Scout might build a Monkey Bridge or a Signaling Tower. He will learn splicing and rope throwing. He will master his own Pioneering spirit in the process. The supplies for the individual projects will be available the first day, please bring $8 to cover the cost of the supplies.

Note: This course is a 2 hour block of time.

  • 1st Class or Higher RECOMMENDED

Wilderness Survival

Wilderness Survival teaches Scouts how to handle emergency survival situations. Scouts will be engaged with real scenarios that will require them to put into practice the skills they have learned. Top it off with a night spent in a shelter of their own creation and a Scout comes home a little more prepared for what is out there. Be prepared with a ground cloth, sleeping bag, water bottle and flash light.

Note: Requirement 5 cannot be completed at camp.


Shooting Sports



The bow and arrow has been a sport of kings and common folk alike. Scouts will learn not only the skill of firing the bow, but also how to construct a bow string and arrow from scratch. If a Scout practices hard, he may qualify for the badge.

Note: Please consider scheduling "Open Shoot" to allow for a better chance at qualifying.
$15.00 fee applies for materials.

  • Great for 1st Timers


Sport shooting is a lot of fun. Scouts learn the right way to handle firearms and the safety that must be in practice on the range. With good practice, Scouts can train to be able to qualify for the badge. Note: Please consider scheduling "Open Shoot" to allow for a better chance at qualifying.
$15.00 fee applies for materials.


If you are looking for a challenge, look no further. Shotgun shooting is tough, but its great fun. Learn how to properly use these firearms and the safety that must be in practice on the range. Lots of practice shooting clay pigeons is a must if you hope to qualify. You can do it!

Note: Please consider scheduling "Open Shoot" to allow for a better chance at qualifying.
$40.00 fee applies for materials.


©2015 Great Southwest Council, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
5841 Office Boulevard NE | Albuquerque, New Mexico 87109
Telephone (505) 345-8603 | Toll Free (800) 368-9218
Fax (505) 345-4201 | Scout Shop Fax (505) 345-3193