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Read Activities In Camp


Summit Base (Signup before camp using Online Registrations)

Summit Base, one of the three camps at the Read Scout Reservation,
offers a program of activities for all scouts and their leaders. As these are very popular, registering for a Summit event well before camp is strongly encouraged. Use our website for registration. Please pay close attention to participant requirements and limits.

Some program offerings are:

ZIP LINE: A favorite activity involving a trolley on a steel cable that ends with a refreshing plunge into Lester Pond. All scouts and leaders who have earned the Blue Swimmer during the opening  swim test may participate in groups of up to 25.

ROCK CLIMBING ON NATURAL CLIFFS:  Gives the scouts the chance to climb on real rock at our natural cliff site. Closed toed shoes are required.  All Scouts may participate in groups of up to 10. 

CLIMBING TOWER: Enjoy one of the best views in camp from the top of our 60’ climbing tower! In case of rain, groups will climb the indoor wall inside the tower. All scouts may participate.  Closed toed shoes are required.  Maximum group size is 15 participants.

PROJECT COPE LOW COURSE: (Low Ropes Course) Elements of the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) Course that involve both group interaction and personal challenge. Groups work together to complete each element and help/spot each other. The minimum number of Scouts is 5, with a maximum group size of 12.

HIGH ROPES COURSE: Designed to excite and thrill scouts, this course will challenge your scouts physically and mentally, 35 feet in the air. We encourage scouts to sign up provisionally. There is a minimum group size of 5 and a maximum of 12. Scouts must be 13+.

ADIRONDACK CHALLENGE: This provisional program is a huge hit with all who participate, with a full week of afternoon high adventure activities, and Thursday overnight. Scouts must be 14+. Fee of $25 covers meals, guides, and transportation for out of camp activity portion.  This activity requires a permission slip.

ATV Program:  Participants will complete the ASI ATV Rider Course over 8hours of hands-on learning, which qualifies participants for ATV Trail Rides. Each ATV Adventure session will allow a max of 5 total participants. Offered to scouts 14+ (max weight of 215lbs).  $30 class fee.

Mountain Biking

  • Three program levels:  Instructional, Intermediate, and      Advanced for Scouts ages 12 and older
  • Two Summit Staff members accompany each ride
  • All sessions take place on the Camp Read property
  • All riders outfitted with front suspension mountain bikes, helmets, gloves, and a full water bottle
  • Register Scouts as individuals through the online advancement system
  • $5 fee to assist with maintenance of equipment  - No fee for Instructional sessions
  • All participants must meet height/weight standards for high adventure activities as explained in Part C of the BSA Medical Form for camp
  • Cycling merit badge cannot be completed at camp, but speak with your counselor about getting it started!

Instructional sessions (60 minutes).  Scouts who have never ridden a bike before but would like to learn must attend the Monday session.  Scouts who are interested in joining one of our Intermediate Mountain Biking sessions but are unsure about whether or not they meet the minimum requirements should attend the Tuesday or Wednesday instructional session.  Scouts may come to 1, 2, or 3 Instructional Mountain Biking sessions, depending on their goals and skill level, at no charge.

Intermediate sessions (120 minutes) are for scouts who can ride a bike in a straight line for at least 25 feet.  Participants should have a moderate level of unassisted bike riding experience and feel comfortable on a bike.  Offered daily from 10am-12noon.

Advanced (120 minutes) Mountain Biking is offered Friday afternoons from 3‐5pm for Scouts ages 12 and older that have had previous mountain biking experience and are skilled riders on single-track terrain. Our Advanced Mountain Biking sessions will focus on honing biking skills while tackling the tough and exciting single-track terrain at Summit Base and throughout the Read property. If a scout is unsure of his ability in meeting the requirements for Advanced Mountain Biking, we suggest he sign up for an Intermediate Mountain Biking session first to get approved by a Summit Base staff member for the advanced course.

A session for adults will be held on Thursday evening from 7pm‐8:30pm for those interested who meet the same height/weight and ability requirements listed above.


Horse Trail Rides 

The equestrian center is at the other end of the reservation from Summit Base, but is another activity for which early registration can be critical.  Closed toed shoes are required as well as long pants that cover the ankles.  Cost is $23 per person, per hour trail ride.  In-camp transportation is available to the Barn.  Up to 8 scouts/leaders can take part in an hour-long activity, which includes basic instruction and riding.

See also Horsemanship Merit Badge.

Overnight Horse Treks

This new program has been a great hit at Read for scouts interested in taking an overnight adventure on horseback.  It is offered exclusively for Scouts age 13 and up who have completed either the Camping or Wilderness Survival Merit Badge.  Scouts must also have the Horsemanship badge, or be currently enrolled in Horsemanship.  If Scouts are fulfilling the requirement with a previously earned Horsemanship badge, they must come to the Equestrian Program are during one siesta in order to demonstrate that they've retained the knowledge needed to properly lead, tie, groom, and tack a horse.  This program is offered Thursday evenings, with barn drop off at 5:15pm.  Scouts then tack up their horses, tie on gear, and go for a 1 hour trail ride through the woods and out to the overnight camping spot in Haystack Field.  Dinner is cooked by campfire and scouts sleep in a teepee.  the following morning Scouts participate in another ride back to the barn, where they are picked up before breakfast. Scouts should pack a sleeping bag, small knife, flashlight, and water bottle.  Closed toed shoes and pants covering the ankles will be required.  We ask gear be limited to a sleeping bag and small day pack as it will be fastened to the horse and carried along on the rides.  Sign-up is available at both Waubeeka and Buckskin Sunday evening through Monday afternoon.  The 8 names for the trek will be drawn in a lottery and Scouts chosen to participate will be notified between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Outpost Camping in Read Scout Reservation (No prior registration needed)

There are a multitude of outpost camping areas in various sections of the Read Scout Reservation.  These are undeveloped sites; no water, no latrines, just woods and fields. If you wish your troop to experience an overnight under those conditions but without disturbance to your elected morning and afternoon activities, this program will fill your needs.

Your unit and your Scouts will require your own equipment to outfit your troop (except for food which we will supply) just as you would ordinarily do on a troop overnight. If your choice is cooking over wood fires, there is ample dead wood available. Each outpost site is at the most no more than a thirty minute hike from the center of Camp Buckskin or Camp Waubeeka. (See requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class related to overnight camping.) You would have time to complete your breakfast cleanup and be back for your unit's morning activity program.
Reservations must be made with the Camp Director 24 hours in advance.


Caving In Camp Waubeeka

(No prior registration needed)
Camp Waubeeka hosts a series of underground caves; a dry cave, and one that involves submersion in water for a few feet to complete. They were formed as the river that runs through the valley went underground and eroded the bedrock. The Ecology program areas in both Camp Buckskin and Camp Waubeeka lead groups through one or both of these caves depending on the group's preference. Scouts get a basic introduction to spelunking going through the two small caves. Shoes that can get wet and a flashlight (preferably waterproof) are required. Groups can sign up in the respective ecology areas upon arrival at camp. These caves are considerably smaller from those experienced during the High Adventure Caving trips but still provide a good caving introduction.  Limit of 20 people in one group in order to get everyone through in one and a half hours.

Leader Activities
Leaders are encouraged to participate in the camp as much as they desire. They are even welcome to participate in merit badge classes. There are several activities geared to adult leaders:

Adult Training Opportunities 

Scoutmaster's Shoot (open to all leaders) are held on several afternoons during the week. Will be announced.

Leaders' Meetings are held opening day at 4:30 p.m. and Monday - Friday at 10:00 a.m. with the camp administration in Camp Buckskin. They are held after Sunday night campfires and then as scheduled in Camp Waubeeka. Problems will be resolved and questions will be answered. Coffee and goodies will be served.

Senior Patrol Leader Activities
Senior Patrol Leaders will be important in the planning of the camp program during the week. They will bring the ideas of the Scouts to the meetings to plan the program.

Meetings for the SPL's will be held opening day at 7:00 p.m. and Monday - Friday before lunch in Camp Buckskin. Meeting schedules will be announced opening day in Camp Waubeeka. It is important for all SPL's to attend, as important material is often handed out at meetings.

Troop Activities (No prior registration needed)
Each program area has a wide variety of troop/patrol activities available. The following list by department is only a suggestion; other ideas can be arranged.


Troop boat 
Troop swim
Nerf Dodge Ball
Water Basketball


Orienteering Instruction
Dutch Oven Cooking
Reflector Oven Cooking
Tin-foil Cooking
Utensil-less Cooking
Tin Can Cooking

Ecology and Conservation

Nature Games
Wildlife management
Dawn Watch
Plant ID Trail
Star Watch

Field Sports

Target Shooting **
Target Archery
Frisbee Golf


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