Minsi Trails Council

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Minsi Trails Council #502
Minsi Trails Council CSP.png
OwnerBoy Scouts of America
HeadquartersAllentown, Pennsylvania
PresidentDave Zinkler
CommissionerLew Dryfoos
Scout ExecutiveRick Christ
 Scouting portal

Minsi Trails Council is a council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves Scouts of eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley and Pocono regions as well as parts of western New Jersey. The council serves six counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe, Carbon, Luzerne, and Warren counties.

Minsi Trails Council serves nearly 10,000 youth through the leadership of 5,000 adult volunteers.[1]

The council was formed in 1969, after the merger of the Bethlehem Area Council, Delaware Valley Area Council, and Lehigh Council. The council consists of six districts and maintains two camping properties: Camp Minsi in Pocono Summit, PA and Trexler Scout Reservation in Jonas, PA. Combined, these camps serve more than 4,000 campers annually.


The Minsi Trails Council maintains a central headquarters and service center in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The service center includes offices, conference rooms, and a council Scout shop. A copy of the R. Tait McKenzie sculpture The Ideal Scout stands outside the center.

The council is divided into six districts divided by county and school district boundaries based on geographic location and size. A seventh Urban Scouting District runs the national Scoutreach program.


Minsi Trails Council owns and maintains three camps. The first of which opened in 1928, Trexler Scout Reservation. Currently, Akelaland (Cub Scout) camp and Settlers Camp (Scouts BSA camp) share this 900+acre (3.6 km2) Scout Reservation in Jonas, Pennsylvania. Also a part of the Minsi Trails Council is Camp Minsi, a Scouts BSA camp, over 1,200 acres (5 km2) in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania.

Trexler Scout Reservation[edit]

Trexler Scout Reservation
LocationJonas, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
Coordinates40°57′29″N 75°29′30″W / 40.9581°N 75.4916°W / 40.9581; -75.4916
FounderHarry Clay Trexler
Akelaland Camp DirectorJames Feuerstein
Settlers Camp DirectorGregory Borowski
Settlers Camp Program DirectorBen Glueck
Settlers Camp RangerDon Friedhoff

Trexler Scout Reservation is located on 900 acres of land in Jonas, Pennsylvania. This tract of land was donated by noted WW1 General and Lehigh Valley philanthropist Harry C. Trexler in 1927, and in 1928 the camp welcomed its first group of Scouts.


Akelaland is a Cub Scout resident camp located within Trexler Scout Reservation. Akelaland was formally "Pioneer Camp", Minsi Trails Council's rustic Scout camp which encompassed over 200 acres (81 ha) of the reservation. In the mid-1980s, the camp was converted to a Cub Scout resident camp. The Pioneer building, a small, one-room building with a wood-burning stove, still stands today, as well as other parts of the original camp.

Akelaland has a swimming pool, shooting ranges (for archery and BB guns), an 18-hole miniature golf course, health lodge, trading post, dining hall, parade field, shower houses, and an activities field. The camp also has a waterfront for boating and fishing at Lake Trexler.

Akelaland offers a week-long resident camp program during the summer which includes swimming, boating, nature, archery, BB Gun, handicraft, athletics, outdoor skills, water games, fishing, hiking, astronomy, flag ceremonies, singing, scavenger hunts and special theme related events. "Mini Weeks" are also available for Scouts running from Sunday to Wednesday each week. Webelos II's can participate in a week-long program called Pioneer Camp, which includes a four-mile wilderness hike and outpost.

Settlers Camp[edit]

Settlers Camp - Trexler Scout Reservation is the Scouts BSA resident Camp portion of the Reservation. With three separate ranges, a rifle, a shotgun, and an archery range, a Disk Golf Course, a massive Gaga Ball Pit, eight program areas filled with activities, a developed Aquatics program at its Waterfront on Lake Trexler, and a fully featured C.O.P.E./High Adventure Action Center Area.

Today, premier attributes include two lakes, a pool, a new fully equipped Campfire Circle, one of Northeast PA's Largest COPE Courses, varied Merit Badge offerings, an unrivaled Scouting Program, a Leader Outdoor Skills and Scoutmaster Specifics Training Program area titled "L.O.S.T", a Music and Arts program, a Stem Program in our SENTR area, a trade skills merit badge program named "This Old Camp", age-specific tailored programs for First Year Campers (Operation First Class), and more seasoned Scouters (an Older Boy Program), as well as over 25 miles of hiking, orienteering and mountain biking trails to explore.

Summer Camp Program Areas[edit]
  • Aquatics / Waterfront
  • Area 7
  • Dining Hall
  • Econ/Nature Lodge
  • Handicraft
  • Health Lodge
  • High Adventure / COPE
  • Music and Arts
  • This Old Camp/Trade Skills Area
  • Scoutcraft
  • Shooting Sports (Archery, Rifle, and Shotgun)
  • Athletics
  • Trading Post
  • Operation First Class (first-year camper program)
  • LOST (Leader Outdoor Skills Training)
  • Whitewater Adventures


  • Bald Eagle
  • Big Pine
  • Black Bear
  • Deer Trail
  • Elk Ridge
  • Fort Defiance
  • Laurel Flats
  • Pine Crest
  • Red Cedar
  • Warrior Run
  • Whispering Pines
  • White Birch
  • Wilderness
  • Windy Knob

Camp Minsi[edit]

Camp Minsi
Camp Minsi Sign.png
LocationPocono Summit, Pennsylvania
CountryUnited States
Coordinates41°07′19″N 75°25′26″W / 41.1219°N 75.4239°W / 41.1219; -75.4239
Camp DirectorLisa Empfield
Program DirectorGreg Larson
RangerJohn Buz

Camp Minsi is on the shores of the 314-acre (1 km2) Stillwater Lake in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania. The camp was donated to the Boy Scouts in 1949 by Samuel Rubel of the Pocono Mountain Ice Company.[2] The camp was formerly owned by Bethlehem Area Council prior to the establishment of Minsi Trails Council in 1969.

Camp Minsi encompasses 1,200 acres (5 km2) of relatively flat Pocono woodlands, and holds over 20 miles (32 km) of hiking trails and varied wildlife.[3]

A central feature of the camp is Stillwater Lake.[4] The lake provides opportunities for swimming, small-boat sailing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, fishing, standup paddleboarding, boardsailing, blobbing and other aquatic activities. Camp Minsi's first-year camper program, known as the Trail to Adventure (TTA), is designed to help newer Scouts advance in the early ranks. The camp's ScoutCraft area teaches outdoor skills - while the unique Minsi Village and Voyageur Outpost areas provide hands-on living history with focuses on primitive outdoor skills, blacksmithing, woodsmithing, lumberjacking, Native American culture, archaeology, pioneering, branding, games, crafts, and cooking. The camp's Handicraft area allows Scouts to experience the crafts of woodcarving, leather crafting, basketry, pottery, art, textiles and model building. The camp's Ecology-Conservation area offers environmental programs and nature studies. The Shooting Sports area allows Scouts to shoot rifles, shotguns, and bows and arrows. Other program areas include programs focused on citizenship and communications, health and safety, trade skills, sports and athletics, and adult leadership training.[4]

In addition to its traditional Scouts BSA program areas, Camp Minsi offers high adventure programs for Venturers and older Scouts. High adventure offerings include whitewater rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, treetop adventures and zip-lining, and other activities both on, and off, site.[5]

Camp Minsi has over 20 buildings, 11 established troop sites, 10 primitive outpost sites, four freshwater springs, miles of trails and several historical and natural points of interest.[4]

The camp has been named "Best Campground," "Best Non-Profit", "Best Fishing Trip", "Best River Rafting / River Trip," and "Best Kayaks" in the Poconos by the readers of the Pocono Record in the newspaper's 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 "Reader's Choice" contests.[6][7][8] The camp was featured in Scouting and Men's Health magazines in 2015.[9][10]

Summer camp program areas[edit]

  • Aquatics / Waterfront
  • Citizenship & Communications (Cit-Com)
  • Dining Hall
  • Ecology-Conservation (E-con)
  • Handicraft
  • Health & Safety
  • High Adventure / Afternoon Adventures
  • Minsi Indian Village
  • Quartermaster Crew
  • ScoutCraft
  • Shooting Sports (Archery, Rifle, and Shotgun)
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Trading Post
  • Trail to Adventure (first-year camper program)
  • Voyageur Outpost



  • Site 1: Mohican
  • Site 2: Tuscarora
  • Site 3: Iroquois
  • Site 4: Mohawk
  • Site 5: Onondoga
  • Site 6: Oneida
  • Site 7: Cayuga
  • Site 8: Seneca
  • Site 9: Lenape
  • Site 10: Shawnee
  • Site 11: Sacagawea

Specialty camps[edit]

  • Minsi Trails STEM Camp — Established in 2017 under the name SkillsFest, this program is a specialty week focused on STEM education. During the week participants work with field experts and professionals to earn skill-specific merit badges and other Scouts BSA awards.[12]
  • The National Muslim Scout Jamboree — Established in 2016, Camp Minsi hosts this biennial event in collaboration with the National Islamic Committee on Scouting (NICS) and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Focusing on the Messengers of Peace initiative, the jamboree welcomes members of the Islamic Scouting community from across the country and around the globe.[13][14] The 2016 Jamboree was attended by Charles W. Dahlquist II, the National Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America.[15]
  • Pocono Summit Day Camp — The camp hosts an annual week-long Cub Scout day camp each August. The camp has been named "Best Day Camp" in the Poconos by the readers of the Pocono Record in the newspaper's 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 "Reader's Choice" contests.[6][7][8]
  • Winter IceFest — Established in 2017, the Winter IceFest on Stillwater Lake is an annual winter festival for Scouts hosted at Camp Minsi. Activities include ice fishing and ice cutting demonstrations, plus snow and ice games and Scouting demonstrations and displays.[16]

Order of the Arrow[edit]

Witauchsoman Lodge
Witauchsoman Lodge.png
Lodge ChiefJames Lambert Jr.
Lodge AdviserScott Best
Staff AdviserPaul Oswald

Minsi Trails Council is home to the Witauchsoman Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. Witauchsoman means "to be in fellowship with somebody".[citation needed]

In 1928, thirteen years after the introduction of the Order of the Arrow into Scouting, Minsi Lodge #5 emerged. The Minsi Lodge served the Lehigh Council that operated Trexler Scout Reservation at the time. In 1936, the Pohopoco Lodge #44 replaced the Minsi Lodge. For thirty-three years the Pohopoco Lodge acted as a pilot lodge, helping to start new lodges in the area. The other lodges were the Tunkhannock Lodge #476 of the Bethlehem Area Council operating Camp Minsi, and the Ah'Pace Lodge #58 of the Delaware Valley Area Council operating Camp Weygadt. The tri-merger of the councils and their lodges resulted in Witauchsoman Lodge #44. The totem of the lodge is three peace pipes (symbolizing the three predecessor lodges) strong on a bow. In 1980, a new chapter that formerly served the Anthracite Scouting Organization joined the lodge. This was a result of the organization becoming a new district in the Minsi Trails Council. In 1994, Witauchsoman re-established chapters. Each of the council's six Scouting districts operates a chapter.


  • Ah'Pace Chapter (Forks of the Delaware District)
  • Quekolis Chapter (Anthracite District)
  • Pohopoco Chapter (Trexler District)
  • Tunkhannock Chapter (South Mountain District)
  • Pokawachne Chapter (Pocono District)
  • Wapagokhos Chapter (North Valley District)

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Safford, Sean. Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt, 2009, Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674031760


External links[edit]