The beginnings of this camp originated in 1948 when a committee composed of County Extension Agents, and 4H State Leaders came together to survey the area to find the best location for the camp site. The camp site had to have sufficient water, fairly level play area, and accessibility. After seeing some available locations with the cooperation of the Forest service, the site here in Scott Able Canyon was selected. This site was one of very few locations in the area where an abundant supply of safe drinking water could be found. The site selected had a free flowing spring and has proven very adequate through the years.
In April of 1949 fundraising started and by June 2 enough funds had been raised to begin erecting the camp. The camp was built by Mr. Ray Matterson of Alamogordo. The funds in the counties were raised in various ways -- pie suppers, carnivals, selection of queens, box suppers, dances, and other benefits, and through contributions from farmers, ranchers, and business men. The largest single contribution was made by the New Mexico Co-op Improvement Association for $1,000.
By July 16, 1949 the camp was complete enough for it to be used and Curry County was the first county to initiate the camp - and they can tell you it was a little rough! Eight counties of 4H members used the camp during the summer of 1949.
The camp was named after the canyon in which it is located. The name, Scott Able, is the name of a pioneer who settled here in 1877 and lived here until 1890.
In one short year, through the efforts of 4H Club members, leaders, extension workers, and the foundation members, and many, many other interested people in the state of New Mexico, a fine camping facility for youth in New Mexico and Texas was completed.
In April of 2013, 64 years later (almost to the day), from the first meeting of the Southern New Mexico 4H Foundation, ownership of the camp was transferred to Bill and Nancy Davis. They envision Summer Camps, Art Camps, Science Camps, Retreats, Conferences, Family Reunions and off season activities. Facility available to corporations, businesses, churches, civic organizations or private entities.
Nancy Davis, Camp Administrator has a strong administrative and hospitality background and has a love for music. She is the administrator for the Davis Properties in Texas. Having recently retired as the Senior Administrator for McDonald Observatory, University of Texas, Nancy has also served as an Elderhostel Coordinator, National Park Interpretive Ranger and Region 1 Group Coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife. She is an accomplished pianist, vocalist and artist.
Bill Davis, Executive Director received his Bachelors of Science degree in Recreation with an emphasis on outdoor education and summer camping from Wayne State University. He acquired his teaching certificate and Masters Degree in Education and has taught at all grade levels in public education including the University system for 20 years.
Bill’s vast experience in outdoor education includes developing the first outdoor education program in the state of Texas certified by the Texas Education Agency as meeting the essential elements of the classroom in an outdoor setting. He has been the director of horseback activities, programming, camp art activities, camp athletic director and overall Camp Director. He has directed camps for special needs children and adults, diabetic camps, and high risk camps. Bill has been certified in the high and low ropes challenge course activities. Bill is a professional artist, a horseman, and among his many passions, he desires to educate people using an outdoor setting