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Camp Phillips, Northern Calhoun County

Camp Phillips is a totally undeveloped wilderness area owned by the Pushmataha Area Council. This site is available to regsitered Scout units only. Located north of Bruce, MS.

Camp Phillips, Northern Calhoun County

Postby AllenMcB » Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:27 pm

Camp Phillips is 240 acres of undeveloped wilderness. There is a small lake on the property. There are NO DEVELOPMENTS at Camp Phillips. This means water must be carried in, latrines dug, etc. This is primitive camping, wilderness only, by our Property Manager's permission only.

Available ONLY to registered Scout units of our council. Units wishing to camp here should contact your District Executive at the council office at 662-328-7228, or Properties Manager Young Kerby at 662-324-3637. Be sure to scout the area prior to making your camping trip, and select your camping site ahead of time.

The 1978 edition of Watonala's "Where To Go Camping" guide listed Camp Phillips as a camping destination for Scouts in our council. Since then, most of the trees have been clear cut, and pines planted (somewhere around 1994, we think). Trees were left uncut around the lake and the property lines. The new pines, as of 2006, are very tall.

Here's the 1978 WTGCG map:

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An August, 2006 trip to Camp Phillips provided much better information on how to reach the camp.

From Bruce, MS, go north on Highway 9 for about 3 miles. When the highway forks, take the right hand fork (Hwy 9 East). About seven miles north of there, you'll reach the community of Sarepta. This sign will be on the right side of the highway:

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At this sign, turn left (west) on CR169. About a mile and a half down CR169, you'll see a sign for CR171 on your right.

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CR171 runs north at an angle, along a wooden farm fence. It looks like a field road, but not as improved. Actually, it's the worst public road I've ever driven on, and that covers a lot of territory, including Mexico. Under no circumstances should a passenger car attempt to drive on Calhoun CR171. Only pickups with good clearance should attempt this. If it has been raining, only four wheel drive vehicles should attempt to drive on this road. No kidding. Most logging roads are about equal to, or slightly worse than, Calhoun CR171. For the most part, this is a dirt and sand road, not a gravel road.

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The photo above is part of CR171. Notice the mud in the ruts, and it hasn't rained in weeks. This isn't the worst of the road, it's just the only part we captured on film.

No hunting is allowed on Camp Phillips property, but there are signs that hunters have been improperly hunting on the land, so camping during hunting seasons is not a good idea. The hunting clubs that surround the property have even named themselves after Camp Phillips.

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When you start seeing these posted signs, you're within two miles of Camp Phillips.

The entrance to camp Phillips is on the left, about seven miles down CR171. . There's no sign to say you have arrived, but watch for the orange pipe gate as shown in the photo below.

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When you turn into Camp Phillips, the camp road is in about the same condition as CR171, as the road is not maintained for public traffic. Keep in mind this property is no longer promoted as a camping area, but it is available for qualified, experienced Scouting units. There are no parking areas, and it is difficult at best to turn a pickup around on the Camp Phillips road.

If you would like to try wilderness camping, plan on taking as few vehicles as possible. Pack for the equivalent of a backpacking camping trip. Carry a backpacking stove, and be freshly versed on fire safety. Camp Phillips is on the far fringe of Cellular South cell service.

About 400 yards into the property, the road ends. Straight ahead, about another 400 yards by hiking, you'll find the lake. We ran out of time on this trip to take photos of the lake and the area near it, but hopefully one of our lodge brothers will make that trek soon and submit photos.

Photos and other submissions from those who have camped at Camp Phillips would be appreciated.
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AllenMcB
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