This page was last modified on Monday, February 12, 2007


Wizard Safari

Aerial view during the Wizard Safari, held every four years at Wizard Ranch.The Wizard Ranch, located in Hellam Township (eastern York County) near the western banks of the Susquehanna River, is 300 acres of fields and woodlands perfect for weekend camp-outs and district camporees.  Every four years (the next being in October 2007), the Wizard Ranch plays host to the Wizard Safari (pictured to the right) - a huge event that draws thousands of Scouts and visitors to a weekend-long celebration of Scouting.

The Wizard Ranch was donated to the council in 1960 by Mahlon N. Haines, owner of the Haines Shoe Company (pictured lower left).  Haines was an ardent supporter of the Scouting movement and in 1941, Haines conceived the idea of hosting on his farm in Hellam Township a special gathering of Scouts from all parts of the Council to celebrate his birthday.  This event became the first "Haines Safari" and it was such a success that Haines Safaris were repeated in 1945, 1950, 1955 and 1960, each one striving to be bigger and better than its predecessor.

1960 would be the last of the true Haines Safaris because Haines died very shortly thereafter.  Just before his death, Haines gave the land to the York-Adams Area Council.  Although Haines intended that his land would thereafter be known as something like the "Colonel Mahlon N. Haines Memorial Scout Reservation, it, however, has always been called by generations of of Scouts who have come to know and appreciate it, as simply "Wizard Ranch."

In a letter to the Council dated simply "October 1960," bearing in the stationery logo the message "Wizard Ranch - the Yellowstone Park of the East," Haines noted "I hope to live long enough to see this one of the great Scout reservations in America, which will add much to making better boys, better men and better people in our community, by enjoying the privileges of being out of doors ..."

In using Haines' gift of the Wizard Ranch, the Council decided to build on Haines' tradition of doing things "bigger and better" and decided to begin holding its own Safaris.  The tradition of the Safari was reborn in 1987, with the first of the modern Safaris.  This was followed with Safaris occurring in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003.

The Wizard Ranch is available for tenting year-round and interested groups should contact the Council Service Center at (717) 843-0901 or (800) 569-5197 (outside York).  Water is available on the property and restroom facilities are also available. 


Supported by donations from Shamiro and WeddenOp

2007, York-Adams Area Council

All rights reserved 

 2139 White Street, York, PA 17404

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