Minsi Trails Council
|Minsi Trails Council #502|
|Owner||Boy Scouts of America|
|Scout Executive||Craig Poland|
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 17,000 youth through the leadership of 5,500 adult volunteers.
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 has three camps which they run and maintain. Camp Minsi, a Boy Scout camp, is the largest of the three camps, encompassing over 1,200 acres (5 km2) in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania. The other two camps—Akelaland (Cub Scout camp) and Settlers Camp (Boy Scout camp)—share a 900-acre (3.6 km2) Scout reservation in Jonas, Pennsylvania.
|Location||Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania|
|Camp Director||Lisa Empfield|
|Program Director||Greg Larson|
Camp Minsi is a located on the shores of the 314-acre (1 km2) Stillwater Lake in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania. Stillwater Lake now boasts a new multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art dam and spillway system. The camp was formerly owned by Bethlehem Area Council prior to the establishment of Minsi Trails Council. The camp was donated to the Boy Scouts in 1949 by Samuel Rubel of the Pocono Mountain Ice Company.
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. The camp was first opened 1949.
A central feature of the camp is the 314-acre (1 km2) Stillwater Lake. Stillwater Lake provides opportunities for swimming, sailing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, and other aquatic activities. Camp Minsi's Trail to Adventure (TTA) is a special program designed to help newer Scouts advance in the early ranks. The camp's ScoutCraft area teaches outdoor skills. At Handi-Craft, Scouts are able to practice the crafts of woodcarving, leather work, basketry, pottery and other crafts. Camp Minsi's Ecology-Conservation area offers environmental programs and nature studies. At Shooting Sports, Scouts have a chance to shoot rifles, shotguns, and bows and arrows.
In addition to its Boy Scout programs, Camp Minsi offers high adventure programs for Venturers and older Scouts. High adventure offerings include whitewater rafting on the Lehigh River, mountain biking the Lehigh Gorge, hiking Mount Minsi in the Delaware Water Gap, exploring the waterfalls and boulder field at Hickory Run State Park, canoeing through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and other activities both on, and off, site.
The camp has been named "Best Campground," "Best Day Camp," and "Best Non-Profit" in the Poconos by the readers of the Pocono Record in the newspaper's 2013, 2014 and 2015 "Reader's Choice" contests.
Summer camp program areas
Trexler Scout Reservation
|Trexler Scout Reservation|
|Founder||General Harry Clay Trexler|
Trexler Scout Reservation is a 900-acre (360 ha) reservation owned by Minsi Trails Council. The reservation is home to Akelaland, Settlers Camp and Hawkeye Wilderness camp. The reservation is located in Jonas, Pennsylvania. The camp was donated to the Boy Scouts of the Lehigh Valley in 1927 by General Harry Clay Trexler who also donated park land in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The Reservation features two small lakes (Trexler Lake and Lake Minsi), which are shared by the two camps. The reservation is also home to a COPE course.
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 Trexler Scout Reservation. In the mid-1980s, the camp was closed and 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 an 18-hole miniature golf course. The camp includes a Health Lodge and Trading Post located in the center of camp, along with a dining hall, parade field and shower houses. The camp is also home to a swimming pool, shooting ranges (for archery and BB guns), and an activities field. The camp also has a waterfront at Lake Trexler, which they share with Setters Camp.
The camp has 19 campsites, each with site capacity ranging from 10 to 20 campers.
Each summer Akelaland runs seven weeks of summer camp programs for Cub Scout packs. The week-long resident camp program 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. Akelaland provides distinct programs for each age group so that a Cub Scout can attend Akelaland for four years and have a different experience every time. Webelos II's can participate in a special week long program called Pioneer Camp, which includes a four-mile wilderness hike and outpost.
|Senior Camp Director||James Korcienski|
|Camp Director||Kyle Myers|
|Program Director||Ben Glueck|
Settlers Camp, the reservations Boy Scout Resident Camp has individual features such as Archery and Rifle Ranges, Improved TOC Program Area, Disk Golf Course, and a New Shotgun Pavilion with Sporting clay range, and one of the largest C.O.P.E. courses in the Northeast Region of the Boy Scouts of America.
We also offer a unique Athletics area and an innovative new approach to earning Eagle Merit Badges at camp in a program named “Area 7”. We have features for age specific groups such as a full day First Year Camper Program, and our Older Scout High Speed-Low Drag Program as well. In recent years we have added a new program area where scouts learn badges completely hands-on in the Media Center.
Settlers Camp changes every year with new programs, new ideas, new merit badges and new friendships.
Order of the Arrow
|Lodge Chief||Ben Oswald|
|Lodge Adviser||Scott Best|
|Staff Adviser||Paul Oswald|
Minsi Trails Council is home to the Witauchsoman Lodge of the Order of the Arrow. Witauchsoman means "to be in fellowship with somebody".
In 1928, thirteen years after the introduction of the Order of the Arrow into Scouting, Minsi Lodge No. 5 emerged. The Minsi Lodge served the Lehigh Council that operated Trexler Scout Reservation at the time. In 1936, the Pohopoco Lodge No. 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 No. 476 of the Bethlehem Area Council operating Camp Minsi, and the Ah'Pace Lodge No. 58 of the Delaware Valley Area Council operating Camp Weygadt. The tri-merger was named the Witauchsoman Lodge #44. The totem of the lodge is three peace pipes (symbolizing the three predecessor lodges) strong on a bow. The lodge has become a strong and vibrant force in the Minsi Trails Council. In 1980, a new chapter that formerly served the Anthracite Scouting Organization joined the brotherhood of 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.
Witauchsoman Lodge has since continued its growth. The lodge has hosted four Section Conclaves. In 1978 and 1988, the lodge hosted the NE-5A Conclave at the Trexler Scout Reservation. In 1996 and 2004, they hosted the NE-4A Conclave at Camp Minsi.
- 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)
- Safford, Sean. Why the Garden Club Couldn't Save Youngstown: The Transformation of the Rust Belt, 2009, Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674031760
- Minsi Trails Council - www.minsitrails.com
- "Unit Anniversaries". Scouting. September 1999.
- Koomar, Susan (August 2, 2007). "Boy Scouts celebrate 100th anniversary". Pocono Record.
- Camp Minsi Info Page
- "Camp Minsi High Adventure Programs". Minsi Trails Council. September 2015.
- Pocono Record Reader's Choice
- Akelaland infopage