What Hard Work and a Troop of Boy Scouts Can Do

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Sam Bell, giving super-volunteer Zia Klamm a hand, back in 2015.

It was three years ago that a 14 year-old Sam Bell came to Buffalo Peaks Ranch for the first time. Sam was part of our first Leopold Bench-building day. We ended that day with nearly a dozen benches that we’ve been able to spread across the ranch — giving people the chance to slow down, read a book, or just see the ranch from a fresh perspective.

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Sam was never able to shake the hold that Buffalo Peaks Ranch had on him. Many months ago he asked us about the possibility of locating his Eagle Scout Project at the ranch. Of course we said yes!

Sam came up with the plan (create a new gathering space in the old corrals), then set about raising over $9,000, along with donations of materials, tools, food, and more.

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Sam also assembled a wonderful team of volunteers that gathered this past weekend to build five more Leopold Benches, a propane fire pit (that the Boy Scouts already enjoyed sitting around on Saturday night), plus…

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A spacious platform tent with a wonderful front porch. We’ll be adding mattresses soon, along with chairs, and a camp-style writing desk.

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As the platform tent was raised, other volunteers were busy assembling Leopold Benches.

The last part of Sam’s plan included a creative nod to the Land Library:


Younger members of Troop 199 painting one of the hanging book pods.

Weather-proof book pods were hung on one of the concrete walls, along with a large hanging Map Case.

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And of course we jumped at the chance to add a few books!


Sam Bell and his never-say-never parents, Gordon & Susan!

It’s impossible to thank Sam enough for what he has brought to the ranch. This new community ranch space will be used and loved for many, many years to come. A great legacy for Sam, and all the amazing volunteers and donors!


Buffalo Peaks Ranch, once abandoned, is roaring back to life. We can’t wait for what the next year will bring!

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