State Park Challenge - Basic Outdoor Skills 2017-04
State Park Challenge is an outdoor training program that uses the beautiful and varied settings of Texas’ vast State Park system to provide a platform for learning camping skills in a safe and structured environment. Geared with the busy person in mind, SPC provides opportunities for adults (and their families) to learn how to live safely and comfortably in the outdoors by spending a just two nights camping at a Texas State Park under the leadership of experienced instructors. State Park Challenge provides basic, intermediate and advanced instruction – courses at the intermediate and advanced levels are longer in duration and are being added to our schedule on an ongoing basis. This event (Bastrop State Park, April 7-9, 2017) presents the Basic Adult (Frontiersman) course.
State Park Challenge uses the book Campcraft – Outdoor Living Skills as the basis for its curriculum and activities. Twelve areas of outdoor living skills are presented in Campcraft. Highly trained instructors will lead campers through the requirements of all these skill areas in a safe, fun, yet challenging atmosphere over the course of two and one-half days. Adult campers who satisfy the training objectives will earn the progressive ratings of the TBM Adult Campcraft program. Ours is a faith based curriculum with spiritual applications presented throughout.
State Park Challenge schedules training in various parts of the State to accommodate learners in a setting close to where they live. From the Gulf Coast to the Piney Woods, Prairies and Lakes, Hill Country, South Texas Plains, Panhandle Plains, and the Big Bend Country, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s seven geographic regions encompass a vast variety of environments. State Park Challenge strives to present outdoor education in the regions and topographies that are important to our campers!
Benefits of the Texas State Park Challenge:
- Training close to where you live (courses forming within two-three hours drive from Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Lubbock, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley)
- Instructors provide all group equipment, food for meals, and supplies – campers bring their personal equipment
- Objectives that provide a safe yet fun and challenging experience for camping novices
- Family oriented, faith based program of instruction
What are the sleeping and hygiene arrangements?
Campers are expected to sleep in tents, so bring one suitable for your needs. You will not be asked to share tent space with anyone except your family members. The tents may be positioned within several feet of each other, so you might choose to bring earplugs. Bring a sleeping surface (foam pad, air mattress, cot, etc.) that will suit your needs. At Bastrop we will have one water faucet and NO ELECTRIC OUTLETS in the immediate camp site. If you NEED to have an electric device in your tent (CPAP, etc.), this may not be the event for you -- you must decide. If you have an alternate power source that will meet your device's requirements, bring it! We will utilize the restroom and shower facilities of the State Park – the distance of which may be a short walk from our camp site. Electric outlets are present at the sinks in the restroom, but are limited. Campers will be given adequate time in the mornings and evenings for personal hygiene. If you find that you need more time, you may get up earlier or go to sleep later. This will be a coeducational camping experience; everyone’s privacy will be respected. All campers – at ALL times while not in their private tents or in the restrooms – will be clothed respectfully (minimum: shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and appropriate undergarments). If there is an opportunity for swimming, all participants will be modestly clothed.
What are the cooking and eating arrangements?
Campers will prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners as a Unit in their group field kitchen with coordination and instruction from their Unit Leaders. Food and expendable supplies are provided by Unit Leaders from a portion of your registration fee. If you have critical dietary restrictions we will do our best to work with you to accommodate those restrictions.
Who is camping in the same immediate area with me?
Your camping Unit will have its own distinct camp area. Where possible and available, the Unit will stay together in one “group camping” site. If that is not available, then the Unit will be separated among several numbered overnight camping sites in the same vicinity. So, you will be camping with or near the Unit Leaders and other registrants of the same Unit you signed up for, usually 12-15 people max.
Do I have to buy a $40 book for my training, in addition to my registration?
The 256-page book Campcraft – Outdoor Living Skills, published by Texas Baptist Men, is the basis for the curriculum of the TBM Adult Campcraft program. The spiral-bound version is available during the registration process for $40. This is quite a durable and useful version of the book for use in the outdoor setting. However, you do not have to purchase the bound book in order to use it and benefit from its contents. You may download the book as a PDF file from
Click on the cover of the book to download. If you plan to use the PDF version, you should plan to refer to it all throughout camp. You could have the PDF printed but you would likely incur more than $40 in printing costs. On the other hand, a tablet would be very useful for viewing the PDF file, as you will be asked to read material from this book during various Campcraft lessons. If planning to use an electronic reading device, please prepare accordingly with workable electronics, a charging source, and a means to protect your device.
I see the terms “Royal Ambassadors” and “Challengers” used in some of your materials and on the Texas Baptist Men website. What are they?
Royal Ambassadors is a missions education program of the Women’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is designed for boys whose ages would place them in the first through sixth grades. Challengers is a similar program that continues mission education for young men whose ages would place them in the seventh through twelfth grades. Both of these programs have an outdoor living skills element that we fulfill through the Texas Baptist Men Campcraft program. Throughout the 50 year history of TBM we have trained many men to work with these programs in local churches. Some but not all of your fellow adult campers may have a connection to these two groups.
If I don’t work with RAs and Challengers, what might I gain from attending State Park Challenge?
We realize that SPC campers will come from many different backgrounds and experiences. This is good as it offers a rich opportunity for everyone to learn from other campers’ experiences, thus sharpening one another “as iron sharpens iron.” The common thread for attending Campcraft training at the Adult Basic (Frontiersman) level is this: “The Frontiersman level introduces an adult to basic camping skills in order to increase their personal knowledge, abilities and comfort level with experiences in outdoor living.”
For what reason(s) would living safely and comfortably in an outdoor setting be important to you? There could be numerous answers to that. One example: Picture yourself wanting to enjoy the outdoors at a state park or other setting on a multi-day trip, but you lack experience. Would you benefit from a structured program that increases your personal knowledge, abilities and comfort level in leading your family or friends on such an outing?
Can I bring my family on the State Park Challenge?
YES! We love to see families camping and learning together. The adults of your family who are focused on the basic skills objectives will be working toward the Adult Campcraft Basic (Frontiersman) rating. Your minor aged children will be learning skills along-side you to increase their knowledge and comfort level. If someone in your family such as a small child requires significant attention and care, your Unit Leaders will ask an adult in your family to focus on your family member’s needs and well-being as their primary focus in camp. Please note that there is one registration price level for each camper, whether they be an adult or a minor -- please plan accordingly.
Is this a survival course?
This is NOT a “survival” course! TBM Adult Campcraft leads learners to build knowledge and demonstrate skills in a progressive program of basic, intermediate and advanced (backpacking, wilderness camping, river canoeing, etc.) levels of outdoor living. All these levels of training assume and assure the learner will have at their disposal all the equipment and support necessary to safely carry out these objectives under the leadership of qualified instructors. We are NOT conducting a program where the participant is challenged to fend for themselves without adequate equipment and support.
Do I have to be Baptist? Are you going to try to force me to comply with certain religious beliefs?
We are Baptist – you don’t have to be! The motto of Texas Baptist Men is “Sharing God’s Love in Texas and Around the World.” In the State Park Challenge we will strive to demonstrate a “love” relationship with Jesus in all we do. We will provide opportunities for campers to know more about Jesus. We will not force anyone to do or say anything they do not believe. We will stay true to our faith; at the same time, we will not create tests for you regarding faith as a requirement for participating in TBM Adult Campcraft training. We will simply strive to demonstrate who – and Whose – we are. Visit the TBM website at
to learn more about us.
Are there additional requirements inherent to participating in the State Park Challenge?
State Park Challenge will consist of a mixture of adults and minors in camp together. Minors will be under the responsibility of and attended at all times by their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). Anyone who fails to adhere to this requirement will be asked to leave the program.
Visit the following page to see more information:
How can I contact the organizer with any questions I still have, that are not answered here?
If you have additional questions please choose the "CONTACT" link on this page (just above the map) and we will try our best to answer your questions!
What's the refund policy?
IF we cancel the event for whatever reason, you will be refunded your ticket price, MINUS the online processing fees which cannot be recovered. You will not have to request your refund -- we will automatically process your refund within five (5) business days following the scheduled date of the course.
There is NO REFUND if you cancel or fail to attend. We realize that anyone may encounter a change in circumstances that is beyond their control; however, we cannot accomodate refunds for registrations, and we have disabled the feature to request a refund in this online processing system. You CAN give your ticket(s) to someone else so that they can benefit from the training course! They simply need to attend with your ticket(s) in hand. (Also give them copies of the preparatory materials you will have received via email, so that they can be ready!)
If you or your designee do not attend the course, and you ordered the printed Campcraft manual, we will contact you to see if you would still like to have the manual. If you still want it we will mail it to you. If you no longer want the manual, then we WILL refund the price you paid for the manual, again MINUS the online processing fees.