I am Pamela with Cub Scout Pack 1492, out of Bulverde Texas.
We found Rancho Cortez by doing a search online. This is actually our second time to the ranch and I think the first time we just searched dude ranches online in the area, called a couple of different ones to find out openings and times, and ended up finding Rancho Cortez.
We do activities every year. We sell popcorn to earn our way and we like to change it up every year, come up with different ideas. And we actually took a poll of some of our parents and it was one of our parents turned into a suggestion idea, “Why don’t we try a dude ranch?” And so we thought, “Hey, that’s something different.” This year after COVID, we had to cancel a lot of activities that we had earned. So this year I wanted to make sure and keep a program that was something that would be sustainable through COVID, in a fully COVID evolved environment. And what better way than being out and about.
Everybody’s in separate cabins, so it’s allowed us a lot of social distancing opportunities. We’re a large group. And so being out of doors again on horseback riding, all of these things are just generally much more, you know, socially, just in, in and of itself, out of doors.
The eating was fantastic. They were actually serving us following all of the COVID requirements so they did not have any buffets or anything. They pre-pared it and we were able to come outside and socially distance and eat as we needed to separately.
The food was very tasty. It was, you know we have a whole lot of little kids and actually they picked items that were macaroni and cheese and, you know, pastas and things like that that are very kid friendly. But they had regular ranch food for the adults.
One night we had 51, the next night we had 67, some of those are back and forth. And so I think we ended up with a total head count of 69 people total.
We ended up splitting off into groups, because we were trying to maintain social distancing and because Boy Scouts of America has their own guidelines that we’re trying to maintain. So we did a rotation of sessions with horseback riding and roping, outdoor games, arena games. We did a hike with an obstacle course. Gosh, just a whole bunch of activities including horseback riding, outdoor games, and roping games.
The favorite activity was horseback riding. That’s kinda, one of the main focuses. There was also a trick roping show that was very popular. But definitely the horseback riding.
We will be back. Oh yeah, I think, yeah. It’s always so popular and, I mean, the electronics aren’t even really viable here. There’s no reception, and I did warn people of that, that, “Hey, there is no reception.” And, yeah, so many parents commented how nice it is that, you know, the possibility of using electronics isn’t even here because there is no reception. And so all the kids have to do is go out, run around and play and, you know, where kids can just go be kids and go have fun. They don’t have to have that electronic tether. And I think parents especially really appreciate that and the kids are just having a blast.
It’d be good for other scouting groups or good for families.
Several of our families have already said that they’d like to come back, that they’ll be looking forward to it. The kids are asking about coming back. They have camps here that I know a lot of the kids have expressed interest in coming back to summer camp and they can come and stay a week. Larry had promised that if they did that they would be able to rope off the back of a horse and successfully be able to rope in one week. And so a lot of kids are excited about that prospect. So.
Cowboy Larry is probably what a cowboy should be. I told several other parents he’s kind of like Curly from “City Slickers,” so he’s kind of like the authentic. And actually a lot of the parents, I think appreciate it because he, you know, he’s dealing with kids, but he’s wanting to talk very directly to the kids and say, “Hey, you know, get down off that tree. Don’t do this. Don’t do that.” And, yeah. And I think a lot of the parents appreciate that, hey, yeah, the kids sometimes need very direct talking to. He certainly is not very fluffy, but it’s all part of the atmosphere. It’s all part of the experience.
We did get campfire stories, and yeah, then we had smores at the campfire. We got a history, a history lesson about the Alamo one night and we had a ghost story. The second night, or the first night actually was the ghost story. And that was a lot of fun that the kids have fun. He’s certainly a very animated storyteller.
We did make smores over the campfire, kids had a great time roasting their smores. It’s a huge campfire and parents hung out a long after the kids had crashed. The kids slept well after running around all day, parents were able to stay up and hang out around the campfire, have some adult time and conversation then. But everybody was very ready for bed by, like, about nine o’clock, 10 o’clock, everybody was zonked. I mean, we were all very tired. Everybody was able to socially distance as much as we needed to, as far as we wanted. Again, it’s such a large property. You can really just distance yourself as much as you need to.
We had a fantastic time. Thank you Rancho Cortez and Cowboy Larry!