There are some incredible destinations for Scout Troops in Northern California, especially camps owned and operated by local Councils. Its always easier to plan activities with Rangers who understand and support the Scout Program, and there are fewer problems with traditional activities like firebuilding, rifle sports, campfires, building shelters, check-out times and other things that Public Park Districts have to control. Plus – Scout Camps are a real bargain.
Here are some really good Northern California Scout Camps for your Troop, Patrol, or Crew:
Rancho Los Mochos near Livermore: The only words to describe Rancho Los Mochos are HUGE and FANTASTIC. Everything you ever wanted (showers, rifle range, pool, bunk house, friendly and competent Rangers, Scout traditions, and lots of beautiful camping spots). For more information contact Emily in SFBAC at (510)577-9218 or Emily.Determan@scouting.org.
Camp Herms in El Cerrito: Historic but recently rennovated camp overlooking the entire San Francisco Bay, with a view that extends all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. The front part of Herms is like urban camping, because it borders on a quiet neighborhood. Trails quickly transport Scouts to the back of the property, which overlooks the San Pablo Reservoir. The 20 mile Fages Trail starts and stops in Herms. For more information, contact the competent Pam Smith at (925) 674-6126.
Camp Noyo near Fort Bragg: Ride the Skunk Train to the trailhead and hike 100 yards to the first Noyo campsites. A former summer camp, Noyo still has a waterfront with row boats and canoes that can become your Troop’s private playground if you are lucky enough to be the only unit in camp. Its a fantastic place to visit – but its a long drive to get there. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-546-8137 for information.
Favorite Summer Camps for Northern California Scout groups
Rugged and traditional camp next to the Stanislaus River, close to Bear Valley. Might be the best summer camp in Northern California, if you are a rugged outdoorsman. Troops need to bring their own tents and be prepared for cold water swimming. Read An Account of Scouts in Action at Wolfeboro. Click.
Wente Scout Reservation
For many, it’s the country club of Scout camps, with a warm lake, horsebacking riding, and lots of ammentities. And the merit badges are plentiful and easy! The boys love it! (However, the KYBOs are beyond cleaning!)
Emerald Bay on Catalina
One of the best summer camps in California, especially if you like the ocean. Good merit badge program, great facilities, and lots of activities associated with the Pacific Ocean. You can read about Scouts traveling to the camp (Click here) or taking a swim test off the pier (Click here).
Located on Huntington Lake near Fresno, Scouts have to take a boat to get to the camp. If you go during the first week, you might get snow and/or mud. Generally the staff is energetic and competent.
Operated by the Marin Council and located in Emigrant Gap near Truckee.
Redwood camp in Sonoma makes it conventient for Bay Area Scouts.
For a comprehensive list of Scout summer camps across the nation, visit the U.S. Scouting Service Project (Click here).