Revolutionary Trails Council

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Revolutionary Trails Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Country United States
Founded 2001
 Scouting portal

Revolutionary Trails Council serves a portion of central New York. In 2001, the Land of the Oneidas Council and General Herkimer Council merged. The council provides Scouting to Herkimer, Oneida and Madison Counties as well as part of Hamilton, Otsego and Lewis Counties.


Revolutionary Trails Council is divided into 4 districts:

  • Aplin District
  • Diamond District
  • Mohawk/Cayuga District
  • Seneca-Tuscarora District

The council maintains 3 Scout camps: Cedarlands Scout Reservation, Camp Russell, and Camp Kingsley.

Camp Kingsley[edit]

Camp Russell[edit]

Camp Russell
Founded 1918

Camp Russell is one of the nation's oldest Scout camps. Founded in 1918 by Samuel T. Russell, the camp is on White Lake, New York in the southern Adirondack Mountains. Russell also maintains a Conservation Area and white pine tree farm. For those who visit, they can see many totem poles decorating the base camp. These totem poles are the work of Frank Devito, a lifelong Scouter and Camp Russell staff member from 1927-1999. Also La Maison de Devito, commonly referred to as the "Brown House" is the original camp building built by Samuel T. Russell and the first Boy Scouts to attend. It currently is open as a Camp Museum during the summer. The camp is also occasionally served by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Cedarlands Scout Reservation[edit]

Cedarlands Scout Reservation

Cederlands Scout Reservation is a 5,000-acre (20 km2) Scout camp situated in Long Lake, New York. In years past, the Reservation had a traditional base camp program for younger Scouts and a high adventure program for older Scouts. For 2014 and the foreseable future, there will not be any resident camp for scouts, nor will there be any opportunity for merit badges.

In the heart of the Adirondack Park Cedarlands is a two and a half hour drive from Utica. Cedarlands boasts three mountains (OA, Walker and Masters), Lake McRorie and Scout Pond. Both Lake McRorie and Scout Pond have islands on them for exploration. Cedarlands was different from most council-owned camps as Scouts were given the opportunity to cook their own meals three times a day. There were barbecues on Sunday and Friday nights. A climbing program was offered on a thirty foot climbing wall. Merit badges consisted of the traditional merit badges offered at a Boy Scout camp. Embarking for Cedarlands, a Scout could plan to hike a mountain or two, go snorkeling, sailing and mountain biking on camp owned bikes (or bring their own).


Lake McRorie from OA mountain

Cedarlands Scout Reservation started out as a Greatcamp in the Adirondacks, owned by the Walker family. It is the largest campgrounds in the adirondacks and boy scout troops from Vermont, Maryland and Pennsylvania make the trip to stay for a week of fun. The campgrounds were privately owned and had two large mansions on the premises. One of the mansions burned down prior to Boy Scout ownership, and the other after. Originally the campsites were situated around the perimeter of Lake McRorie, but over the years they have migrated to one side of the lake and scouts are no longer required to kayak across the lake to get food from the commisary.


In order to help raise money for the camp, a 10 year logging program began in 2008. The first area harvested is the base camp, with successive logging efforts to occur during winters. The logging program has generated significant controversy, with some members feeling that the program was pushed through without notice or discussion, and that poor forestry is being practiced.[1] The DEC did inspect the camp following the first phase of logging and found that all work had been completed within the guidelines of the camp's approved forest management plan and the project is being overseen by a certified forester. Discussion about the logging at Cedarlands began in late 2006: the forest management team gave presentations at work weekends, troops were forewarned in the summer of 2007 and many former staff members were asked their views on this project. The damage from the logging is evident, however ground cover and newly leafed out trees are covering much of this.

High Adventure program[edit]

The High Adventure program is its own entity within Cedarlands Scout Reservation. National Camping School Voyageurs (French for Guide) lead trips of four to five days in the Adirondack Park. These treks include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking and climbing, or a combination of two or three elements. Scouts learn how to prepare backpacking food and are taught how to survive in a wilderness setting.

Troops can choose a trek that spans thirty miles or seventy. Many troops decide to start one mile (1.6 km) from Cedarlands at Big Brook that empties into Long Lake. These troops are generally picked up at Lake Flower in the village of Saranac Lake or at Tupper Lake. Others want longer treks and utilize the Eckford Chain of Lakes (Blue Mountain Lake to Raquette Lake) to Rainbow Lake or into the Saint Regis Canoe Area. Backpacking treks usually utilize the Northville-Placid Trail that stretches from Lake Placid to Northville, New York. The trail goes through the High Peaks region, past Long Lake, over Blue Mountain and ends in the West Canada Lakes region. Another popular trek goes into the High Peaks. Troops will summit Mount Marcy, the highest peak in the state, and tailor their trip to include as many other 4,000+ foot mountains as they can. These can include the Great Range or the MacIntyre Range.

Treks are tailored to the desires and needs of the crews going out, and menus are chosen by troops. Troops only need to bring personal equipment with them; the program supplies stoves, tents, water filtration, etc.

Rock climbing[edit]

CSR has a free-standing, permanent rock climbing wall. It is approximately thirty feet high and has a view of OA Mountain from the top platform. Scouts have the chance to earn the climbing merit badge at Cedarlands. Two walls are on camp property. One is the afore-mentioned free-standing wall, another twenty foot wall is attached to the side of a building and is used when inclement weather prevents use of the large tower. A fifty foot climb/rappel overlooks Tupper Lake and is a half hour drive base camp. The Beer Walls at Keene Valley offer advanced climbing with routes ranging from a 5.3 to 5.11. A 150-foot (46 m) rappel is also available if Scouts show an interest. The off-camp climbs are generally offered only to the climbing merit badge Scouts and High Adventure participants.


During the years that Cedarlands supported a summer camp program, food was prepared by the troops. A fully functioning commissary was on the premises. Here Scouts would pick up food supplies before each meal. Menus ran the gamut from pancakes and donuts for breakfast, to macaroni and cheese and tacos for lunch, to aluminum foil and beef stew at dinner. Staples like peanut butter and jelly, dish detergent and paper towels were picked up at the commissary, as well. The patrol method was stressed at Cedarlands through meal preparation and clean-up, as well as through other activities during the week. Clean up was run standard to the Department of Health, the three pot method is used: Wash, Rinse, Sanitize. In accordance with the DOH, internal temperatures for food are monitored with thermometers, which can also be supplied by the camp commisary.

Special programs[edit]

  • Pathfinder Program - designed for new Scouts to reach First Class.
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Course- CSR has on staff, a master Leave No Trace trainer for those interested in becoming a Leave No Trace Trainer.
  • Open Rock Climbing & Troop climbing
  • Troop shoot & Open Archery and Rifle shooting
  • Order of the Arrow - a call out ceremony on Friday night and service projects throughout the week.
  • BSA lifeguard, Kayaking, and snorkeling - free of charge to any Scout who meets age requirements. (BSA lifeguard classes are limited to a size of 4 scouts per week, due to the small size of the waterfront staff)
  • Camp-wide Games - offered in the evenings these are to stress the patrol method.
  • Challenging bike treks - these trips can last nearly four hours. Trips go around Lake McRorie. There is single track and road biking led by camp staff.
  • Mountain Trails- Take your Troop or Patrol on a hike on one (or all) of our 3 mountain trails. All three of the trails have spectacular views if the Adirondacks.
  • Two weekly campfires

Merit badges[edit]

Since CSR has closed its doors to summer programs, no merit badges are currently available. During the years it was operational, they would include:

  • Archeology
  • Archery
  • Backpacking
  • Basketry
  • Camping (Eagle required badge)
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing
  • Cooking
  • Environmental Science (Eagle required badge)
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Fish and Wildlife management
  • Fishing
  • First Aid (Eagle required badge)
  • Forestry
  • Hiking (Eagle required badge)
  • Indian Lore
  • Lifesaving (Eagle required badge)
  • Mammal Study
  • Nature
  • Orienteering
  • Pioneering
  • Rifle Shooting
  • Rowing
  • Safety
  • Small Boat Sailing
  • Shotgun Shooting
  • Soil and Water Conservation
  • Swimming (Eagle required badge)
  • Weather
  • Wilderness Survival

Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge[edit]

Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge
Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge.png

The Order of the Arrow is represented by the Ga-Hon-Ga Lodge. The lodge supports the camping programs of the Revolutionary Trails Council through camp promotions, camp service weekends and positive leadership.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]