Camp Bouse

Scout Route
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In 1943, General George Patton, the Army's most knowledgeable tank officer, led training exercises in the deserts of southern California and Arizona before embarking for North Africa to join the British in battling the German forces under the command of General Erwin Rommel. 

Named for the nearest tiny hamlet, Bouse, AZ, Camp Bouse was a very remote site used for testing the secret "gadget," a 13 million candlepower blinking light mounted on an old tank chassis. The idea was to blind and confuse German soldiers. The remote location was meant to keep the project a secret. Ultimately, the gadget was never used in combat, though it might have led to the lighting found in 1980s discos in New York. Visit the Bouse Museum and its outdoor displays for more information.

The desert is slowly reclaiming the site of Camp Bouse. Accessible by Powerline Road, the site today has most of the original roads, a few concrete foundations, stone-lined walkways, and a few historical markers. A flag flies over the site of the camp's hospital. 

The soldiers provided their own entertainment. The camp's volunteer morale officer was incredibly entertaining. However, he was known to wander over to the hospital and eat the nurses' undergarments when they had hung them out to dry after doing their laundry. This bizarre behavior was often overlooked since the perpetrator was a feral burro who had taken a liking to the soldiers of Camp Bouse.

The camp's roads are easy, but expect minor pinstriping from encroaching desert brush. There are numerous small campsites scattered throughout the remains of Camp Bouse. The site is on Arizona State Trust Land, so a permit is required to camp legally.