Laurel Highlands Council

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Laurel Highlands Council
Laurel Highlands Council CSP.jpg
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Country United States
Founded July 1, 2011
President H. Scott Cunningham
Council Commissioner Donald G. Scandrol
Scout Executive Sharon Moulds
 Scouting portal

Laurel Highlands Council serves youth in the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland and Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, and Grant Counties in West Virginia.


In 1914, four years after the Scouting Movement was launched in the United States, the Allegheny County Council was chartered by the Boy Scouts of America. The Philadelphia Council was also chartered in 1914. In 1921 the council was split into seven separate council units: the Allegheny Council, Allegheny Valley Council, Chartiers Council (McKees Rocks), East Boroughs Council (Wilkinsburg; merged with Mon-Yough Council in 1973), Guyasuta Council (Aspinwall), Ohio Valley Council, Pittsburgh Council, and South Hills Council (merged with Pittsburgh Council, 1928, to become Allegheny County Council, West).

In 1967, the former Nemacolin Trails Council in Washington, Pennsylvania, merged with the Allegheny Council in Pittsburgh to become the Allegheny Trails Council. This council merged again in 1993 with East Valley Area Council Forest Hills to become the former Greater Pittsburgh Council.

Greater Pittsburgh Council and Penn's Woods Council merged on July 1, 2011 to form Laurel Highlands Council. Potomac Council was absorbed into Laurel Highlands Council in early 2014.

Allegheny County Council[edit]

Allegheny Council[edit]

Allegheny Valley Council[edit]

Chartiers Council[edit]

East Boroughs Council[edit]

Mon-Yough Council[edit]

Guyasuta Council[edit]

Ohio Valley Council[edit]

East Valley Area Council[edit]

Pittsburgh Council[edit]

South Hills Council[edit]

Allegheny County Council, West[edit]

Nemacolin Trails Council[edit]

Allegheny Trails Council[edit]

Allegheny Trails Council was around from 1967-1992. Allegheny Trails Council serviced half of Allegheny, Beaver County, Greene County and, Washington County

Greater Pittsburgh Council[edit]

Following the merge of area councils the HQ for the New Council was the flag plaza near the old Mellon Arena and the new Consol Energy center.

Penn's Woods Council[edit]

In 1970, Blair-Bedford Area Council, William Penn Council, and Admiral Robert E. Peary Council, merged into Penn's Woods Council. Its headquarters was in Ebensburg.

Potomac Council[edit]


Camp Anawanna[edit]

Camp Anawanna is nestled in the foothills of rural Washington County, between Amity and Prosperity. It is 1 hour and 20 minutes south of Pittsburgh. Anawanna offers some weekend cabins and tent camping.[1]

Camp Anderson[edit]

Camp Baker[edit]

Camp Guyasuta[edit]

Camp Guyasuta, located in Allegheny County (Pa.) between Aspinwall and Sharpsburg near the banks of the Allegheny River, was established in 1918. Mary Darlington, great-granddaughter of James O'Hara, lived in a house (named "Guyasuta") on the land at the time but was forced to vacate the property during World War I when the Federal government took over the railroad lines as part of the war effort. While the government acquired the land it needed, Mary subsequently gave the Boy Scouts over 100 additional acres suitable for a camp. When she died in 1925, Mary's will officially bequeathed the land to the Scouting organization.[2]

Heritage Reservation[edit]

Heritage Reservation

Heritage Reservation is located in Farmington, Pennsylvania,[3] Heritage opened in 1980 and is located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Heritage Reservation's primary season is summer, however it does offer other camping options throughout the year.


The reservation consists of four camps:

  • Camp Independence— Cub Scout camp
  • Eagle Base— Boy Scout High Adventure camp
  • Camp Liberty— Boy Scout camp
  • Camp Freedom— Boy Scout camp

Camp Liberty is functionally a more troop-centric model of camping, as all meals are prepared by the patrols.

Camp Freedom and Independence are functionally more camp-centric models, as all meals and many events are centralized within the camp. All four camps offer various activities and merit badge opportunities that vary based on age appropriateness, Scout Rank and weather.

Summer Activities[edit]

Boy Scouts

  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Motor boating
  • Water skiing
  • Swimming
  • COPE (climbing/zip lining course)
  • Archery
  • Rifle range
  • Shotgun range

Cub Scouts

  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Theme
  • Swimming
  • BB range
  • Archery
  • Rock Throwing
  • Sling shot
  • Sports
  • Sponge Wars

Webelos Scouts

  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • BMX Track
  • Rock Wall Climbing
  • Bouldering
  • BB range
  • Archery
  • Rock Throwing
  • Sling Shot

Winter Activities[edit]

  • Sledding
  • Cross country skiing
  • Broom ball
  • Snow shoeing

Camp Joseph[edit]

Putt's Camp[edit]

Camp Seph Mack[edit]

Camp Seph Mack is located on Yellow Creek Lake near Penn Run, PA, and is one of the council camps of the Laurel Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America. Laurel Highlands, BSA, is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, and serves approximately 30,000 youth and their families from an twelve-county area in south western Pennsylvania.

Camp Seph Mack encompasses approximately 200 acres within the boundaries of Yellow Creek State Park and lies along the north shore with of almost 4,000 feet of lake frontage.

Camp Seph Mack takes its name from the late J. Sephus Mack of Indiana, the patriarch of the family that originally donated much of this land for youth activities in the 1930s. The William Penn Council, a predecessor to Laurel Highlands, first operated Seph Mack as a Boy Scout Camp in the late 1940s. The camp ceased operation in the late 1960s and was sold to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of the development of Yellow Creek State Park. An organization titled William Penn Inc. was created to administer the investments made with the proceeds of that sale.

In 1970, William Penn, Admiral Peary and Blair-Bedford Councils were merged to form Penn's Woods Council. In 1980, Penn's Woods Council reacquired the camp through a long-term lease agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Parks and the Department of Environmental Resources. In 2011 the Penn's Wood Council merged with the Greater Pittsburgh Council to form the Laurel Highlands Council.

Today, William Penn Inc. is a major contributor to Laurel Highlands Council, providing donations from its investment income as seed money for capital improvement projects. In 1999 and 2000, with the support of William Penn Inc., a first-rate shower facility was constructed at Seph Mack for the use of the campers and guests of Laurel Highlands Council.

Camp Seph Mack has seen many changes, and additions, over its storied history. Although the camp is open year round for camping and adventure, it is most popular for its summer camp programs. Seph Mack will host more than 1,000 Scouts during the summer in a variety of programs for youth of all ages, from the Cub Scout Day Camp program in mid-June, through the Boy Scout Resident program of late June to early August, and Webelos/Cub Resident Camp the week after. All of the programs are planned and supervised by a Nationally Accredited Camp Staff and provide age-appropriate activities.

The Boy Scout and Webelos/Cub Summer Camps feature traditional camping programs. Sleeping in tents or under the stars, evening campfires and meals in the dining hall comprise the core of the camping experience. But beyond that, the Laurel Highlands Council has worked hard to upgrade and modernize Seph Mack, its facilities and programs, consistent with the interests and the demands of our area’s youth. In addition to the new shower house, the dining hall has been enlarged to provide for an ever-growing number of campers.

Camp Seph Mack is particularly proud of a waterfront and aquatics program. No other Boy Scout camp in the northeast comes close. The waterfront and aquatic area was regraded and improved when the State drew down the water level of the Lake during the winter of 1999-2000. Through a generous contribution of a Scouting supporter, Laurel Highlands was able to purchase a large pontoon boat, christened the Jolly Roger in honor of our benefactor, which can be used for teaching power boat safety or for taking groups of Scouts to new and different fishing spots around the Lake. Sailboats, rowboats, canoes and kayaks are an integral part of our waterfront. Swimming, snorkeling and lifesaving are just a few of the other activities that are offered on what might be the best waterfront area in the northeast. Few other Scout camps can boast a 600-acre lake for its aquatic program.

Traditional advancement programs are available throughout the camping season. Additionally, Sprint Troop, a specialized program for Scouts working on Second and First Class ranks, is available to usually first year scouts. Camp Seph Mack provides opportunities for lots of merit badges; camping, hiking, wilderness survival, nature, fishing and the shooting sports are available. Seph Mack has programs in astronomy and space exploration, canoeing and small boat sailing, athletics, and handicrafts of all kinds.

Camp Seph Mack also serves as a training facility for adult leaders during the summer season. Training for adult leaders in Health and Safety, Youth Protection, Troop Leadership, Safety Afloat and a number of other topics is made available so that our adults can provide a better year-round program for the youth.

But, Camp Seph Mack is open to more than just Scouting groups. In the past few years, Seph Mack has hosted Native American Festivals, SCUBA training programs, fishing and boating clubs, business meetings, military units and family reunions. The camp’s various facilities may be rented or donated, depending on the nature of the event and the length of each program.

The Council has made a number of capital improvements to Camp Seph Mack over the past three years. The Council’s strategic vision will continue the building projects over the next 5–10 years.

Camp Twin Echo[edit]

Camp Twin Echo is a scout camp near Ligoner,PA and is a camp that is owned by the Laurel Highlands Council. One of the many of the program's housed there is the NYLT Twin Arrow training course and the Advancement Camp merit badge course.

Camp Potomac[edit]

Camp Potomac is a rustic 114-acre Boy Scout Resident Camp located in Oldtown, Maryland, operated by the Laurel Highlands Council, Boy Scouts of America. There are three cabins and eight campsites available for camping.

Camp Potomac is perfectly located to provide a base camp for trips to Green Ridge State Forest, the C&O Canal Towpath, the Potomac River, as well as a huge number of other attractions in the Western Maryland, Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, and Southwestern Pennsylvania areas.

Order of the Arrow[edit]

Allohak Menewi Lodge

The Order of the Arrow is represented by the Allohak Menewi Lodge. It supports the Scouting programs of the council through leadership, camping, and service.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Galloway, Edward (Winter 2011–2012). "Guyasuta: Warrior, Estate & Home to Boy Scouts". Western Pennsylvania History. 9 (4): 18–31. 
  3. ^