Nearly 45 Years in the Jemez Mountains
From 1936 and some thirty years later, Girl Scouts in central New Mexico attended camp at Camp Elza Seligman near Ponderosa, NM. This camp accommodated 398 girls each summer, leaving nearly 900 girls on a waiting list. Council responded by searching for a solution. In 1963, nearly 1200 acres of land was purchased, this last was part of the San Diego Land Grant. Groundbreaking for Rancho del Chaparral began on June 23, 1968 and the camp was officially dedicated on July 13, 1969.
Since opening in 1969, thousands of girls have attended camp sessions and programs at Rancho del Chaparral. Camps and outside user groups have also utilized the camp facilities for troop or group camping, training, and reunions. These 1,177 acres of forest and meadows provide the space for two program centers, Prado and Bosque, as well as for stables and barn, craft center, hiking and horse trails, and an outpost for overnight ventures.
Rancho del Chaparral Today.
The Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails are dedicated to helping girls discover, experience, protect, and advocate for the outdoors. We are committed to providing a safe camp environment that honors the past and offers an enriching outdoor experience for the Girl Scouts, user groups, and beyond.
Each year, girls from across New Mexico and neighboring states are invited to Rancho del Chaparral for summer camp and winter sports. Troops, outside groups, alumnae, and families are encouraged to camp out for the weekend, exploring the pristine wilderness the camp has to offer or taking day trips into the neighboring National Forest. Features of Rancho del Chaparral include archery, horseback riding, hiking trails, and an outpost. This camp is a wonderful example of a multi-purpose and year-round facility that benefits the Girl Scouts as well as other youth and community groups.