Camp Chawanakee

serving the youth of California, Nevada, Arizona
Florida, Montana and Hawaii since 1947

Celebrating 70 Years in 2016

Sponsored by Tah-Heetch Lodge 195
a 5 year accredited camp under the NCAP program

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Camp Wide Events


Opening Campfire: Start your week off right on Sunday night when our staff puts on the opening campfire for your entertainment and enjoyment. Troop guides will lead troops to the campfire.

Commissioner Campfire: On Wednesday night the Camp Commissioners will conduct a "dress rehearsal" campfire.  Units will be assigned to one of the camps campfire areas where they will be given the opportunity to show off their song or skit but only the very best performances will get to perform at Friday nights closing campfire.

Tribe of Chawanakee Campfire: On Thursday night the spirit of the Native Americans who inhabited this land when Camp Chawanakee was just a dream will come out to induct new members into the tribe and to advance in rank those who have returned. The highlight of this campfire is the reading of the legend followed by a customized induction ceremony for the rank you are advancing to. End the evening listening to the sage advice of the mighty Sachem. Scouts must either have completed their service hours prior this campfire, or swear on their honor as a scout that they will before they leave. Adults are welcome too!

Closing Campfire: Friday evening at the Point Campfire Bowl there will be a variety show second to none and you provide the songs and skits. That’s right, the troops are the main attraction here so plan to participate. The highlight of the campfire is a Flag Retirement Ceremony so wear your cleanest Class-A uniform.


Special Events and Activities

Some activities have been assigned age limits in order for camp to comply with National camp standards.

C.O.P.E. Difficulty Level: 10 Cost: None
Merit Badge Period Held: 1&2 or 3&4
Adult C.O.P.E. held period 5
Location: Fire Bell Rock
   C.O.P.E. (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) is a course for older boys who want to learn about themselves and teamwork. Through games and physical challenges the boys learn the importance of working together while at the same time learning of their potential. Many boys don’t know how much they can do until they face a 40-foot drop and slide down our zip-line, one of the biggest in the Western Region.
Climbing Wall Difficulty Level: 10 Cost: None
Merit Badge Period Held: 1&2, 3&4
Location: Climbing Wall
   Our 52-foot climbing tower is for older boys who want to learn about themselves and teamwork. The boys learn the importance of working together while at the same time learning how well they can climb. Our climbing tower has three “faces” to choose from, each with its own unique challenges.
Trail to First Class Difficulty Level: 4 Pre-requisite: None
Cost: None
Merit Badge Period Held:
Period 1- Tenderfoot, Period 2- Second Class
Period 3- First Class, Period 4- Tenderfoot
Period 5- Second Class
Location: Eagle Point
   Adults are strongly encouraged to accompany their Scouts to this program area. New or younger Scouts along with their adult leaders will receive an opportunity to learn the skills needed to achieve the rank of First Class. They will work together on a variety of activities and skill including nature, hiking, orienteering, pioneering, first aid, and more. A final progress report will be a given back to your unit when you pick up your blue cards on Friday afternoon.
B.S.A. Lifeguard Difficulty Level: 10 Pre-requisite: Pass Swimmer Test, Swimming Merit Badge, First Aid Merit Badge, Proof of C.P.R. Certification, 15 years old or older. Adults must have equivalent skills to merit Badges. Recommended: CPR Certification Cost: $3.00 (optional for patch) Merit Badge Period Held: 3 & 4 & 5, plus Open Time. Location: Waterfront
   A B.S.A. Lifeguard can be a vital part for Troop outings. Our staff will help show your future lifeguards the proper techniques on how to keep a safe waterfront. Strong and responsible swimmers age 15 and older are required. Adults are welcome to participate. In order to complete this program, you MUST be CPR certified. This certification MAY NOT be offered at camp. B.S.A. Lifeguard is a three-year certification.
Kayaking: Difficulty Level: 2 Pre-requisite: Pass Swimmer Test Cost: None Merit Badge Period Held: Free Time  Location: Waterfront
One of the most popular waterfront activities at Camp Chawanakee is kayaking. With our numerous kayaks, Scouts and Scouters alike will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful Shaver Lake.
Mile Swim: Difficulty Level: 8 Pre-requisite: Pass Swimmer Test, Endurance 4+ hours to complete Cost: $3.00 (optional for patch) Merit Badge Period Held: Early Morning, Afternoon Open Time Location: Waterfront
This test of strength and endurance is a four-day event. To adjust to the altitude of Chawanakee scouts will be required to swim 200 yards, then ¼ of a mile, ½ mile and then the full mile. Scouts must be successful on each preceding leg to advance to the next. Each leg MUST be swum on a different day. Each swimmer will be required to provide a skilled rower and spotter to ensure their safety and success. Only one swimmer per boat is allowed.
Snorkeling B.S.A.: Difficulty Level: 7 Pre-requisite: Pass Swimmer Test Cost: $3.00 (Optional for Patch) Merit Badge Period Held: 5th Session Location: Waterfront
Learn how to snorkel at Camp Chawanakee and see the underwater world of Shaver Lake. After learning the basics of camp you will be able to take your newly learned skills with you anywhere.
Polar Bear Swim: Difficulty Level: 1 Pre-requisite: Getting Up Early and Cold Tolerance! Cost: $3.00 for patch
Period Held: 6:00:32 a.m.
Location: Waterfront
As you and the birds awaken in the early morning you will see the steam rising off of Shaver Lake. All of the brave souls in camp will meet at the waterfront and swim in sub-arctic waters. Don’t worry we won’t let such bravery go un-rewarded.
Trails of Chawanakee Difficulty Level: 10 Pre-requisite: None  (optional) Merit Badge Period Held: Anytime you can! Location: Mile Swim- Waterfront, All other
Trails- On the Fleur de-lis on the dining Hall side of the bridge.
Cat Eye Trail: This night trail allows you to follow the path of the cat. The eyes you see guide you to the end of the trail where your super adventure ends.
Nature Trail: This self-guided tour takes you through the beautiful meadow of Chawanakee. Along the trail you will find signs that will explain the flora and fauna that can be seen throughout camp. If you have any questions, the trail goes through the nature area.
Warrior Trail: This trail calls for your knowledge of orienteering. Pick up the bearings at the Scoutcraft Area and set out with your buddy to find out where the warriors went.
Adventure Trail: The most rigorous of the Trails of Chawanakee is the adventure trail. This three-mile trek takes you through the beautiful back country of Chawanakee. Just follow the green arrows and dots to find your way! Beware the evil red, yellow, and blue dots and arrows that try to lead you the wrong way. Catch your breath before going up Heart Attack Hill!
Mile Swim: (See previous description.)
Chieftain Run: The Chieftain Run is the latest trail to be added to the Trails of Chawanakee. Scouts and Scouters will wake early to take an early morning jog to the entrance of Family Camp. Show your strength and ambition and join us for the Chieftain Run!
An award is given at the closing campfire for any Scout or Scouter who successfully completes all five trails and the mile swim. A scorecard is available in the Scoutcraft area and must be completed and turned in by the 10:00 a.m. Scoutmaster meeting on Friday.
Paul Bunyon Award: Difficulty Level: 5 Pre-requisite: Earned Tot’N’Chit
Cost: None
Merit Badge Period Held: Open Time
Location: Scoutcraft
Follow the spirit of Paul Bunyon, Scouts will learn the proper care of and safety with wood cutting tools. Those who complete the experience earn the right to wear the Paul Bunyon patch on his uniform.
Canoe Outpost: Difficulty Level: 1 Pre-requisite: For Canoe- Pass Swimmer Test
For Rowboat- Arrange with Commissioner
Two Deep Leadership
Cost: $3.00 for optional patch
Merit Badge Period Held: First Shift Dinner- 6:45 p.m.,
Second Shift Dinner- 7:30 p.m.
Location: Waterfront
The overnight Canoe Outpost is a chance to get out of camp and see what is on the other side of beautiful Shaver Lake. Troops have the opportunity to paddle or row across the lake and camp under the stars. A cracker barrel will be provided for your troop’s enjoyment. While on the other side, troops can spend their evening enjoying leisure activities such as fishing, exploring, practicing your Scout skills or just have a good ol’ campfire. Two Deep Leadership is required for the Canoe Outpost. Sorry, swimming is not allowed.

Special Awards and Recognition

Pioneer Hike: This honor is bestowed upon a boy in your troop that has exemplified the Scout Oath and Law. The Pioneer hike takes place after Friday’s campfire. Pioneer hikers spend the evening under the stars and will write a short essay. Each troop is allowed to send ONLY ONE scout. Turn in the Scout’s name to the Program Director at the 10:00 a.m. Friday Leader’s meeting.

Honor Troop: An honor troop is one that adheres to the Scout Oath and Law in all their dealings. Honor troops show scout spirit, have high inspection scores, use the patrol method, and participate in programs and meetings. All honor troops will be recognized at the Closing Campfire.

Spirited Arrow Award: The purpose of the Spirited Arrow award is to encourage Scout Spirit. The troop with the most enthusiasm and always doing their best will be given this award. Judgment will be based on Patrols having flags, patrol yells, doing good turns, wearing the proper uniform at proper times, and Scouts simply doing their best to take pride in Scouting, but most of all, HAVING FUN!

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Tribe of Chawanakee

The Tribe of Chawanakee is Camp Chawanakee’s honor service organization. This program is designed to recognize Scouts and Scouters who exemplify the Boy Scout and Chawanakee’s ideals of Scout helpfulness. All Scouts and Scouters who attend camp are eligible for membership.

On Thursday night, all of the hard work from the week will culminate in a ceremony and campfire that will strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and Scout Spirit.

The ranks and corresponding requirements are:

Hunter: 1) One Week at Camp Chawanakee
2) One hour of work on a camp service project
Warrior: 1) Earned Hunter
2) Two summers at Camp Chawanakee
3) Two hours of work on a camp service project
Chief: 1) Earned Warrior
2) Three summers at Camp Chawanakee
3) Three hours of work on a camp service project
Medicine Man: 1) Earned Chief
2) Four summers at Camp Chawanakee
3) Four hours of work on a camp service project
Sachem: 1) Earned Medicine Man
2) Five summers at Camp Chawanakee
3) Plan, organize, and complete an approved service project, of at least 5 hours. (Please contact the camp commissioner for assistance.)

General Program

Chawanakee Open: Two and a half! If you think all of the activities at camp are for the Scouts then you haven’t played in the Chawanakee Open. Tee off with the rest of the adult leaders on Wednesday with your custom made club, we provide the ball (tennis ball.) Lauded by many leaders as the most fun they’ve had at camp we hope you join us for the annual Chawanakee Open held on Thursday.

Bocce Ball: Test your lawn bowling skills Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 pm at the volleyball courts.

Horseshoes: Come on out on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 pm for a good time and some great laughs.  Adult leaders can just show up, horseshoes are provided free of kicks.

Aloha Friday: Make sure to bring plenty of items to decorate yourself and your campsite in wacky tourist duds. The tackier the better! The afternoon wraps up with our famous Barbecue.

Chawanadayze: Chawanadayze is our exciting fast paced camp wide games. After our Opening Ceremonies at the Waterfront, the troops will break up into their patrols and compete in competitions that will test the leadership of your patrol leaders and the skills of your scouts. Awards will be presented, on a Patrol basis, for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in individual events. Leaders are invited to the rifle range to try their hand at Black Powder Shooting or you may want to find your way to the climbing wall to test your intestinal fortitude against 52 feet of vertical fun.