Potawatomi Area Council

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Potawatomi Area Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Waukesha, Wisconsin
Country United States
President James P. Murray
Council Commissioner Bob Jarchow
Scout Executive Pat Scherer
 Scouting portal
map of Wisconsin with markers
Camp Long Lake
Camp Long Lake
Potawatomi Council locations (click on markers for Geohack maps)

The Potawatomi Area Council is headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The Potawatomi Area Council serves all of Waukesha County and portions of Dodge, Jefferson, Walworth and Washington Counties. The Wag-O-Shag Lodge is the Order of the Arrow lodge for the Potawatomi Area Council.


The Potawatomi Area Council has a professional staff of approximately 15 people. It comprises 21 Venturing Crews, 101 Cub Scout Packs and 78 Boy Scout Troops in three districts. The council number is 651, which was assigned in 1931 when the council was chartered.[1] Its headquarters and service center are in Waukesha.


The Potawatomi Area Council is divided into three districts:

Camp Long Lake[edit]

Camp Long Lake is the council camp for Potawatomi Area Council. Camp Long Lake is located in St. Cloud, Wisconsin. It is located on Long Lake, an approximately 7 miles (11 km), shallow lake caused by glaciation. It presently runs year-round with only a few weekends during the year with no events taking place. The Camp Ranger is Mike "Shorty" Zindars, who has served in that capacity since 2003.


Camp Long Lake was purchased in 1945 by the Potawatomi Area Council. During 1946, its first summer of operation, 308 boys camped over a period of six weeks. The camp season eventually expanded to eight weeks by 1965 and served 1701 boys in 1970 or 1971.

M. H. "Uncle Bud" Smith served as Camp Ranger from 1957–1979 and as Camp Director from 1972-1979. He was responsible for much of the program development that still affects camp today. Cary Kazcik served as Ranger from 1980–1987 and also as director from 1981-1986. Jim Greicar then became the Ranger in 1987 to 2002. He also served as Camp Director from 1995-1997. Mike "Shorty" Zindars was hired as Ranger in 2003. The camp season was shortened to five weeks in 1994, but was expanded back to six weeks in 2001. In 2005, the camp week was further expanded to seven weeks due to attendance of 1103 Scouts in the 2004 season.

Fred Pabst donated the original funds to construct the Dining Hall in 1950. The Dining Hall has since become a central area of camp which brings back many fond memories to Scouts and Scouters alike. Adult and Junior Leader Training courses have their patrol flags proudly hung from the rafters along with National Jamboree flags dating back to the 1950s. The Dining Hall underwent a major renovation completed in 1991.

Order of the Arrow Wag-O-Shag Lodge has been active in promoting and serving camp virtually since its beginning. The lodge donated funds for what is now the Nature Cabin in 1953. It later raised part of the funds for its 2003 renovation into the OA/Nature Cabin.

Camp Long Lake has grown and kept changing with the times. Traditional merit badge offerings were augmented with a Project First Class program in 1991 after changes in Boy Scout advancement requirements that challenged boys to complete their First Class rank in a year. A climbing tower was built to challenge Scouts 14 years of age and older in 1998. The Trail to Eagle program was added in 2002 to answer that call of many Star and Life Scouts needing assistance in obtaining the difficult required merit badges. Golfing merit badge was also added that year due to the increasing popularity of the sport. In 2004 a whitewater outpost was added for Scouts who are at least 13 years of age. In 2005, Photography merit badge was added to the program.

Starting in 2009, the council undertook to extensively update the camp's shooting range facilities with the construction of a BB gun and slingshot building and ranges which opened in 2010 and the construction of a large standing gun range for rifle and shotgun shooting activities which is scheduled to open in 2011.

Additional camp information[edit]

Camp Long Lake has the following merit badge areas:

  • "Aqualand" (Lifesaving, Swimming, Watersports, Small Boat Sailing, Snorkeling, Lifesaving BSA, Mile Swim)
  • Archery
  • Boating (Canoeing, Motorboating, Rowing, Kayaking BSA)
  • Camp Craft (Camping, Cooking, Orienteering, Pioneering, Wilderness Survival)
  • Handicrafts (Basketry, Leatherworking, Woodcarving)
  • Climbing Tower
  • Project First Class Area (new Scout skills, introductory skills, Firem'n Chit, Totin' Chip, Chemical Fuel Chit)
  • Shotgun and Rifle Range
  • Ecology/Conservation (12 different badges related to ecology and conservation)
  • Trail to Eagle (Citizenship in the World, Citizenship in the Nation, Personal Fitness, Photography)
  • Health Lodge (provides emergency services, also First Aid and Medicine merit badges)

It also contains the following:

  • A large mess hall and kitchen
  • Two buildings for winter camping
  • Three shower facilities divided by gender
  • Various support and maintenance facilities

Wag-O-Shag Lodge[edit]

Wag-O-Shag Lodge is the Order of the Arrow lodge that serves the council. It was originally formed in October 21, 1944, with the name "Potawatomi Area Lodge", but the name was changed to "Wag-O-Shag" shortly after. This name is an anglicization of the Potawatomi word waugooshance, which means "little foxes".[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Council Guide 2012 Edition, Vol 6" (DOC). Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Lodge History". Retrieved March 28, 2012.