Frequently Asked Questions for leaders

Why should I be a leader at summer camp?

Adult volunteers who are willing to invest personal time and resources for youth are the back bone of Scouting. Boy Scout summer camp offers a unique opportunity for leaders to play a role in the learning and character development of young people. Check out the results the Summer Camp Outcomes Study to learn about the numerous benefits of spending a week as a leader at Boy Scout summer camp.

What should I, as a leader, do before coming to camp?

First, read our Summer Camp Leader Guide thoroughly. This document is an essential resource for any adult or unit leader and is full of useful information for Troops participating in the summer camp programs at Camp Minsi.

Be sure you unit has completed all the necessary paperwork. Keep track of payments and make sure each Scout's medical form is current and properly filled out.

Also, check out our Summer Camp Program Guide and Merit Badge Guide. This will give you a deeper understanding out the programs available at Camp Minsi. Then meet with your Scouts and talk about their goals for the week. Know their desires for advancement, their interests in program, guide them to make the right decisions for the best time at camp.

How can I help Scouts prepare for their merit badges? How do they sign-up?

While merit badges and advancements are only a portion of the overall summer camp experience, we want to ensure that each Scout is prepared to succeed in earning the badge they set out for and get the most out of these exciting programs. Our ultimate goal is to provide a fun program full of meaningful learning to all Scouts.

Be prepared! Scouts should review the requirements for each badge they intend on taking before their week at camp. Scout should also be sure to complete any necessary pre-requisite requirements before coming to camp. Due to the nature of some requirements, and the limitations of the summer camp setting, some requirements listed will not be completed in the merit badge classes. In many cases a signed note from a Scout leader is sufficient to show proof of a pre-requisite. Please be sure Scouts complete all pre-requisites prior to coming to camp to ensure a completed merit badge at the end of the week. The pre-requisite requirements ("pre-reqs") for each badge are listed in our Merit Badge Guide.

Some badges, particularly those in the HandiCraft and Shooting Sports areas, may have additional costs associated with the class. Craft kits, shooting tickets, or other necessary items are sold in the Trading Post. Approximate costs for the materials needed for each badge are also listed in our Merit Badge Guide.
Scoutmasters should guide Scouts in their merit badge selections. An Application for Merit Badge (aka “blue card”), signed by an approved Scout leader, is required for each merit badge a Scout takes. There is no pre-registration for merit badge classes, Scouts will sign-up on Monday when they arrive at the class with their "blue card."

Where will my troop be staying?

Each troop campsite is equipped with standard BSA canvas tents on raised wooden platforms. Tents hold two cots for a Scout and his buddy. Each site also includes a comfort station with private latrine facilities and running water. A troop canopy, picnic tables and fire circle provide communal areas for the Scouts as well.

What should I bring to camp?

Any good Scout should be prepared and bring the necessary items when they go camping. A suggested list of things to bring to camp can be found at www.campminsi.org/gear. Please consult the Leader's Guide for additional information on what to bring (and not bring) to camp.

Can I complete leader trainings while at camp?

Yes! Leader-specific training will be offered throughout the week to any interested adult leaders. Available trainings include: Youth Protection, Scoutmaster & Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training, Introduction to Outdoor Skills Leader Training,  and other BSA trainings. Our Commissioners will lead the training sessions. Please be aware that some of these training will require a fair amount of time to complete.

I have a special skill or interest, how can I share it with Scouts or staff?

We always encourage leaders to share the knowledge, skills, passions, and interests. Please let us know if you have skills, a career, or other knowledge that could be beneficial to the Scouts, the staff, or the overall camp experience. You can talk to the Camp or Program Directors at anytime to plug into programs or get involved. We are also always looking for volunteers to do service projects, lead vesper services, assist with skill instructions, or just lend a hand.

Can I get Internet access while at camp?

Yes. Internet, electrical, and computer access is available to adult leaders in our Scoutmaster lounge (located within our administration building). This area has open wireless Internet access, several available computers for e-mail access, and outlets for recharging cellphones or other devices. Adult leaders will be given access codes during check-in. These services are for leaders only. While we encourge you to leave the electronics at home, we understand that many adult leaders are unable to disconnect from their jobs, families and other obligations entirely.

Can I go fishing at camp?

Yes! Stillwater Lake offers ample fishing opportunities. Please bring your own fishing gear and tackle to camp. A current Pennsylvania fishing license is required for any person age 16 and over. You can go to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website (www.fish.state.pa.us/license.htm) and purchase a 7-day tourist fishing license. The common fish found in Stillwater Lake are bass, pickerel, yellow perch, catfish and sunfish. The tailwaters of Stillwater Lake flow to compose Tunkhannock Stream and offer brook and rainbow trout fishing as well.

What is Scout Leader Merit Badge?

Camp Minsi's Scout Leader Merit Badge is a fun award that challenges leaders to participate in various activities around camp
with their Scouts. Information on the program - including the specific requirements and levels - can be picked-up from the program office throughout the week. Other fun adult-leader programs and challenges are also run for leaders to enjoy.

What is the Muck Hike?

The Muck Hike is an experience you will never forget! One of Minsi's proudest traditions, the Muck Hike is run every Wednesday afternoon. This special hike is open to any Scout willing to get a little dirty. The hike takes Scouts through the muddy swamps along the border of camp. This activity always proves to be fun and enjoyable for both Scouts and leaders alike. The event concludes with a mob of muddy Scout descending upon the waterfront to cleanse in the water of Stillwater Lake (this is then followed by a trip to Central Showers to finish the task). It is recommended that any Scouts and leaders planning on participating in this event come prepared with shoes and clothing that they don't mind getting extremely dirty, muddy and wet (they will probably end up being thrown out afterwards).

What is Beaver Day?

Beaver Day is a unique opportunity for service, fellowship, and outdoor recreation at Camp Minsi. The event is held in May and is open to all Scouts and Scouters. You are invited to come to camp to help prepare for the summer camp season and prepare various "good turns" and service projects needed to open camp to the hundreds of Scouts that will come each year. You are encouraged to bring your unit for the day or stay the entire weekend to check out the camp, meet the staff, participate in special programs, and give back to Scouting through friendly service. This event is 100% free! For more information, or to register, please contact the council office at 610.465.8568.  

What is the camp's refund policy for Scouts?

There are situations in which a campers’ fee may be refunded, either in whole or in part to the unit (checks will not be written to individual families).
  • Full Refund: The complete balance of a campers’ fee (less the initial deposit) may be refunded up until two weeks prior to the start of your week at camp for the following reasons, if accompanied by appropriate documentation: (1) medical issue regarding the camper, (2) summer school, (3), extreme family emergencies.
  • Partial Refunds: Partial refunds of $100 per camper may be refunded to the unit for reasons other than the above, up until two weeks prior to the start of your week at camp. Please be aware that the Council can not provide full refunds after this timeframe as certain expenditures have been made (e.g. food and program-related items) based upon the unit’s projected attendance.
Requests for refunds must be made in writing no later than two weeks prior to the start of your week at camp in order to be considered. Please submit requests to the Minsi Trails Council, Attn. Paul Oswald, PO Box 20624, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-0624. This letter must be approved and endorsed by the Unit Leader.

Are camperships or financial assistance available to Scouts?

Campership grants are available to Scouts in need of financial assistance to attend summer camp. This program is only available for Minsi Trails Council units and Scouts. For an application or more information, please feel free to contact the Minsi Trails Council Camping Office at 610.465.8568.

I still have questions.

If you have any additional questions about Camp Minsi, please feel free to contact us.