Friday, July 20, 2012

Boy Scouts' Camp Minsi offers fun and futures

From The Journal of the Pocono Plateau (July 13, 2012)

Joshua Halbfoerster munches his lettuce as Scout Craft Section
participants learn how to cook Monkey Knots in Dutch ovens.

"They don't get homesick at camp, they get campsick at home," describes Director Lisa Empfield of the Boy Scout experience at Camp Minsi. The Pocono Summit summer camp, nestled in the woods off Route 940 brings Scouts from as far away as Long Island and Maryland for a week long experience, earning merit badges in education-based programs geared to teach life skills.

Over 1,000 campers a season enjoy program areas such as Ecology-Conservation, ScoutCraft, and Communications, exposing 11 to 18 year olds to environmental sciences, outdoor cooking, and even public speaking.

Camper days begin with an optional 6:30 a.m. Frigid Froggy Swim followed by a 7:45 flag ceremony and breakfast. Scouts are responsible for ensuring they attend classes for badges so off they go for the day to sites featuring athletics, aquatics and shooting sports.

Scouts take notes during a Weather Class outside the
Ecology-Conservation Lodge at Camp Minsi July 10.
A crowd favorite, the Muck Hike, takes Scouts on a trek through the swamp. "A Scout is clean but not afraid to get dirty," read t-shirts recipients eagerly purchase upon completion.
Camp directors and volunteers spend their summer vacations bringing various career talents to the site. Teacher and program director Greg Larson says, "We're not just having fun in the woods," listing professions including plumbing and carpentry that are taught in the Ranger Crew. He adds, "When they leave the program they are ready for life."

Registered Scouts are welcomed with their troop or on their own. Social development flourishes as individual campers are invited into a troop for the week.

Waterfront skills in boating and swimming are a crowd
pleaser at Camp Minsi.
Building a bridge to adventure, adult-led Cub Scouts prepare to cross over into self-sufficient Boy Scouts during Minsi's final week of camp. The new Bridge to Adventure program invites the younger Scouts to experience what's in store as they evolve into Boy Scouts with activity badges including Forester, Geologist and Craftsman.

Empfield considers Minsi's $315 fee exceptional when compared to the other sport and summer camps, as it includes food and accommodations with goal driven activities to earn merit badges. She invites Scouts to visit the website at minsitrails.com/camping or call their council office and pick a week!