Sunday, March 28, 2010

Join Us for the Beaver Day Spaghetti Dinner

Please join us on Saturday, May 8th for the third annual Beaver Day Spaghetti Dinner. Coinciding with the Beaver Day festivities at Camp Minsi, the dinner is a way of bringing together the entire Camp Minsi community – Scouts, leaders, families, friends, staff, alumni, and neighbors - for great food and funfilled fellowship. The dinner is open to all, with open seating from 5:30 - 8:00pm at the Camp Minsi Dining Hall.

The dinner costs $7.00 per person and all proceeds will be used to support Venturing Crew 940, a Scouting group with a focus on carrying out service projects and providing leadership at Camp Minsi.

Bring your whole Troop, your entire familiy, your friends, or just yourself! We hope to see you there and enjoying the great Italian food. If you have any questions about the event please contact us at

What: 3rd Annual Beaver Day Spaghetti Dinner
When: Saturday, May 8, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00pm
Where: Camp Minsi Dining Hall - Pocono Summit, PA
Cost: $7.00 per person

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Leave No Trace Trainers Course at Camp Minsi

Interested in becoming a Leave No Trace trainer for your Troop or Crew? Sign up for the Minsi Trails Council Leave No Trace Trainers Course at Camp Minsi and receive both the BSA and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Trainer certifications!

When: Friday, April 30 (7pm) to Saturday, May 1, 2010 (7pm)
Where: Camp Minsi (Pocono Summit, PA)
Who: Open to all unit leaders and youth leaders (14 and older) within Minsi Trails Council (Boy Scouts and Venturers).
Cost: $45.00 per person (includes food, training materials, recognitions and certifications)
Trainers: LNT Mater Educators Wayne Gross and Steve Mehl
Registration deadline: April 19, 2010 (registration form)
Questions: Contact Wayne Gross, Minsi Trails Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate, at or 570.595.2904

Download the registration form

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Order of the Arrow in Camp

The Order of the Arrow (OA) is Scouting’s national honor society. Their mission is to fulfill its purpose as an integral part of the Boy Scouts of America through positive youth leadership under the guidance of selected capable adults. Its purpose is: to recognize those scouts and scouters who have given extreme service to their unit and best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives, to promote camping and the camping spirit, to develop leaders with character, and to crystallize the Scout habit of helpfulness into a life purpose of leadership in cheerful service to others.

The OA serves as a service task force for the camps and the camping spirit. They promote both year long and residential camping through several events and organizations. They hold two annual service weekends as well as several weekends as needed at our Council’s Camps. The OA is an integral part of camping and the Boy Scouts of America.

But the OA isn’t just about service. The Order of the Arrow has many events where working never takes place. The OA holds a NOAC (National Order of the Arrow Conference) every two years. For one week arrowmen from around the country invade a college campus. There are plenty of competitions and games as well as useful training. The OA offers a weekend called, a Conclave, filled with fun and fellowship, with 4 of the closest lodges in our area. Held at the host lodge’s council camp, you can meet new friends as well as participating in some really cool stuff. The OA offers their own specific high adventure programs which allow for you to participate in more programs than an average high adventure trek for a fraction of the price. These are just some of the programs available for both active youth and adults.

Wednesdays are OA Day at camp. OA members are encouraged to show their lodge spirit by wearing OA t-shirts throughout the day and their OA sash when wearing the field uniform.

On Wednesday evening the Order of the Arrow will perform their public recognition ceremony, known as the Call-Out. Arrangements for those who will be called out should be made with the OA Summer Camp Coordinator on Sunday. All Troops are encouraged to attend the ceremony.

Some Important Notes:

  • The contact person for the Order of the Arrow in camp is the OA Summer Camp Coordinator. Any questions may be directed towards him. To find out who is the OA Summer Camp Coordinator, talk to the Camp Director.
  • All elections for the nomination of candidates must have taken place before summer camp. NO elections will be conducted at summer camp. Please bring a copy of your unit elections results so that any misunderstandings may be avoided.
  • If your unit is not from Minsi Trails Council, Witauchsoman Lodge #44 cannot call-out your candidates without proper authorization. You must have a signed letter from your Lodge Chief or Lodge Adviser including the names who should be recognized. This letter must be given to the Camp’s OA Summer Camp Coordinator at Sunday check in.
  • Witauchsoman Lodge #44 merchandise is being sold in the trading post. Feel free to stop by and check out our current lodge flap and other items.
  • Any help from arrowmen for Wednesday night’s call-out ceremony will be greatly appreciated. Whether you like making humongous fires or just enjoy adding to the fires of cheerfulness, they can always use a hand.

For more information Witauchsoman Lodge #44, the OA lodge that has been supporting and serving Minsi Trails Council for over 40 years, visit

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Become an Aqua-Knot This Summer!

Camp Minsi's Aqua-Knots is a brand-new summer camp program at Camp Minsi. The Aqua-Knots are a group of elite Scouts who demonstrate leadership, resourcefulness, and teamwork through a series of fun and challenging events.

The program combines two of Camp Minsi's most popular areas - Waterfront and ScoutCraft - for a week of special events and activities. Scouts are required to attend a certain number of events along with several optional challenges throughout the week. The purpose of this program is to provide Scouts with recreational challenges, team-oriented activities and a sense of special achievement.

Some of the events that are sure to make a splash with any Aqua-Knot hopeful include a triathlon, a "Lost At Sea" outpost where the participants build a survival raft and paddle to a remote destination, and a gigantic water battle to close out their week! Announcments will be made at the meals throughout the week with details on upcoming Aqua-Knots events.

The Aqua-Knots will begin their journey on Monday evening after dinner, and will conclude on Friday during siesta. Many of these events will take place during open program periods in early evenings. Optional events may be offered during program times and are generally very flexible. While this program is geared towards older Scouts who are looking for a more advanced aquatic challenges, all Scouts are welcome to participate.

We hope to see you join the elite and become an Aqua-Knot this summer!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stillwater Lake Dam Renovation Update

In late January 2010, Minsi Trails Council received notice from the State of Pennsylvania that a grant was approved for more than $1.3-million for repairing and updating the Stillwater Lake Dam at Camp Minsi.

In 2002, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reclassified the Stillwater Lake Dam as a “high hazard dam” and informed Minsi Trails Council that significant dam renovations were needed. Stillwater Lake is a Monroe County resource shared by Camp Minsi and Stillwater Lake Estates. The Council has an approved plan and construction timetable with the DEP and work on the dam will begin following the 2010 summer camp season. At that time, the lake will be drawn down for construction to begin. Construction will continue through the fall and will conclude by early winter so that the lake can refill for the 2011 camping season.

A letter writing effort to our State legislators by 17,000 Scouts, volunteers, parents, and concerned citizens brought the issue of Stillwater Lake Dam to their attention. Through the hard work of our legislators the $1.3 million grant was approved and will fund nearly 70% of the project’s expected costs. Fundraising efforts will continue to help raise the roughly $450,000 amount remaining between the Pennsylvania State grant amount and projected repair costs.

Stillwater Lake Dam Renovation – Background:

  • In May, 2008 the Council entered into a consent order and agreement with the DEP specifying a timetable to make the required dam repairs.
  • The Council finalized engineering plans and completed the dam permit application in November 2009.
  • Once the Dam Permit Application is approved by the DEP, construction is slated to begin in August, 2010 with completion by spring 2011.
  • The dam renovation includes a new spillway, gate, and a 400 foot rollercompacted concrete dam.
  • The project cost is estimated at nearly $2 million.
  • On January 26, 2010 notification was received from the Commonwealth Finance Authority approving a grant of $1,312,500 through the H20 PA program for repair of the dam.
  • Including funds already spent on the dam project, that leaves roughly $450,000 remaining to be raised for the repair work.
  • Additional fundraising will take place in the local communities and municipalities that are served by Stillwater Lake and the Tunkhannock Creek watershed.

While the dam construction needs to be completed and additional funding secured, obtaining the State grant was a huge step in saving Stillwater Lake. The letter writing campaign certainly helped make this possible, and we thank you for your efforts. Please be sure to thank your local State legislators for their help with this project. Future updates will be provided as the Stillwater Lake Dam construction progresses.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pre-Camp Leaders Meeting Set for March 15th

Minsi Trails Council will be holding an informational summer camp meeting for leaders on Monday, March 15, 2010 at Northeast Middle School in Bethlehem, PA. The gathering will start at 6:30PM, with the meeting starting promptly at 7:00PM. The purpose of the meeting is to share information with unit leaders regarding the council's summer camp programs. The meeting also gives leaders an opportunity to ask any questions, connect with other leaders, give feedback, and meet some of our key staff members.

All unit leaders are invited to attend this meeting. If you are have any questions, or need directions, please contact the Minsi Trails Council office at (610) 264-8551.

And be sure to mark your calendars, because a comprehensive pre-camp leaders' luccheon, meeting and open house will take place at Camp Minsi on Saturday, June 19, 2010 (click here more information).