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Bay Area CouncilCamp Karankawa

Camp Karankawa Sweeny Texas

Camp Karankawa

Camp K has 450 acres of beautiful Texas wilderness located just West of West Columbia, Texas in Sweeny.

Scouts and their families have the opportunity to gather lasting memories, make life-long friends, and learn valuable life skills all while enjoying the great outdoors at Camp Karankawa. We also offer a night time campfire at council-sponsored events.

We've got a lake, a swimming pool, a horse corral, rifle and archery ranges, a nature center, new restroom and shower facilities, a new dining hall and kitchen with a/c, campsites complete with fire rings and cooking pits, and a trading post.

3249 FM 1459 Rd.
Sweeny, TX 77480


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Camp Ranger: DK Hopwood, 979-248-4330,



To reserve Camp Karankawa for a large program or just the weekend, download the form. Everything you need to know is on the reservation form, including amenities, pricing, and how to reserve your space.

Download the reservation form HERE (FILLABLE, Updated April 14, 2021)

Download the range rules HERE

Download the policies & use manual  HERE

Check the burn hazard HERE



Your unit has the opportunity to take ownership of a portion of Camp Karankawa as part of our Ranger’s Adopt-A-Site program.

Benefits include:

- Weekend camping fees will be waived and units will be allowed exclusive use of their adopted sites while weekend camping.

- After one year of service, a sign will be posted designating the site “Home of Troop/Pack/Crew/Ship."

Your unit must be willing to commit to two annual workdays to improve and maintain your campsite. Responsibilities include removing tree hazards, clearing/burning brush, cleaning and servicing latrines, and building storage racks for fire tools. Additionally, two adults within the unit must take chainsaw training from the Camp Ranger. Do you have an innovative idea to set your site apart? Do you have an area of camp that’s not a campsite you’re interested in adopting? Call the Ranger to talk about it. For additional information, call Camp Karankawa at 979-345-3964 or email us at


Campmasters Program

Campmasters assist the camp ranger, and are responsible for helping with events hosted by Camp Karankawa.  Campmasters must attend a training by the camp ranger, and will have use of the Leader's Lodge or training lodge during their stay at camp. Becoming a Campmaster is also a great way to earn your Wood Badge.

The Camp Ranger is looking for volunteers who possess the following skills:

Cherry Picking
Lawn mowing

If you have skills and can assist with labor or equipment, please download and fill out our Campmasters Program form.


Ray Olachia Memorial Nature Trail

Ray Olachia was a full-blooded Mescal Apache Native American.  A long-time employee of the Dow Chemical Company, Ray traversed many miles over the years demonstrating the way Native Americans lived, hunted, and clothed themselves.  He was also an avid Scouter.  He was very fond of leading inquisitive people on nature trail tours, naming the various plant species found along the way, discussing their uses, and their dangers.  He was also keenly interested in helping Scouts advance in rank, and participated in countless Boards of Review.

The Ray Olachia Memorial Nature Trail is a fitting homage to Ray.  It is located at Camp Karankawa just off the road that runs between the First Aid Building and the Training Lodge, west of the Training Lodge.  The first half of the trail runs north to the newly renovated Nature Building, and continues east from the clearing containing the Nature Building.  There are 14 posts along the way, and with the accompanying worksheet, a Scout can use it to meet Requirement #6 for the 1st Class Scout, which challenges the Scout to name or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of plants found in your community.  Copies of the worksheet are available at the trail head.

A link to the worksheet can be found HERE

The solution can be found HERE (Remember, A Scout is Trustworthy!)


National Camp Accreditation

Currently Camp Karankawa has completed yearly assessment visitations through the Boy Scouts of America's National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) resulting in the achievement of accreditation each year of the new program's existence.  In 2015, the Bay Area Council went  through full implementation of the NCAP program and was granted a five year authorization to operate.



October 1930: An Article in the Angleton Times Newspaper told of a proposed Scout Camp on the Bernard River.

October 11, 1954: The first 172 acres of what is now Camp Karankawa was purchased.

March 16, 1955: The first Camp Ranger, Paul V. Clegg, was hired.

May 9, 1955: The official name of Karankawa was adopted for the camp, based on the Karankawa Indians from this area.

June 4, 1955: The official dedication of Camp Karankawa occurred on this date with 300 Scouts in attendance, and opened the first year of Summer Camp.

July 14, 1969: An additional 88 acres known as the Quahadi Area (a particular tribe of the Karankawas) was purchased for the purpose of building a lake on the property.

May 30, 1984: An additional 54 acres of property was purchased and construction on the Lake began.

Today: Camp Karankawa is 450 acres of beautiful wilderness, complete with a horse corral, archery and BB gun ranges, a swimming pool, camping sites with fire rings, restrooms and showers, a dining facility, nature center and a trading post.



+ Elementary students learn outdoors in camp, The Daily News, May 4, 2012

+ Boy Scout run stays true to course, The Daily News, February 18, 2010

+ Keep your kids from becoming TV zombies, The Daily News, October 25, 2009

+ Boy Scouts' Camp Karankawa to get upgrades, The Daily News, May 6, 2009

+ Camp Karankawa: Boy Scouts prime for Jamboree, The Daily News, June 11, 1989

+ For the Christmas Holidays - A Merit Badge Outing, Scouting Magazine, pp. 48-52, September 1985

+ Karankawa is home to 1,300 Scouts annually, The Facts, June 28, 1964



Download the map HERE


From the North (Houston)

  • Take 288S
  • Right on County Road 45
  • Left on FM 521S
  • R on TX35
  • Through West Columbia
  • Camp K sign on your right

From the South (Galveston)

  • Take I-45N
  • Right on FM 523N
  • Left onto Coale Road
  • Right onto 288N
  • Left on TX35
  • Through West Columbia
  • Camp K sign on your right



Required Camp Forms

The following documents must be on file at the camp and available for inspection. We recommend that this be done at least three weeks prior to the opening of day camps.

BSA MEMBERSHIP ROSTER (Responsibility of unit leader - access through the council office or

ADULT IN CAMP TEXAS STATE COMPLIANCE FORM (Responsibility of adult and unit leadership)

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK (Background check will be conducted by the council)

SEXUAL OFFENDER DATABASE CHECK (Responsibility of adult and unit leadership - Enter the Sexual Offender Database, search by name and print a copy.)

YOUTH PROTECTION TRAINING CERTIFICATION (Responsibility of each adult and unit leadership - All camp staff members, as well as unit leaders, must successfully complete the Boy Scouts of America’s online Youth Protection Training before they may have contact with campers at a youth camp - Log on to to print your results.)



Other camp forms








Bay Area Council refund policy

Refunds will only be granted to the original paying customer, whether it is the unit or individual. All unit refunds will be paid to the Committee Chairperson on record for that unit. All but 15% of an individual's fee is refundable, under certain circumstances (sickness, death in family, summer school, military deployment or relocation only) as long as it is requested in writing, with back-up documentation, and received in the Scout Service Center, 3020 53rd Street, Galveston, TX 77551-5917. Refund requests due to light weather issues, homesickness, and schedule conflicts, misinterpretation of printed council policies and procedures or reasons other than those noted above will not warrant a refund. In addition, partial refunds will not be granted for partial camp/event stays. If a camp or event is forced to be canceled by the council, because of severe weather, or circumstances prior to the camp or event occurring, the council will reschedule the camp/event or initiate the refund process. All requests are due to the council office 15 days prior to the start of the event. Refunds will be issued in the form of a check.