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. A great activity right after rock climbing or a hike up Mt. Stevens. All scouts who have earned the Blue Swimmer during the opening swim test may participate in groups of up to 25.

Rock climbing at Natural Cliff: Gives the scouts the chance to climb on real rock at our natural cliff site under the direct supervision and belay of trained climbing instructors. Evening sessions are not available during weeks five and six due to earlier sunsets. 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. Scouts are harnessed and belayed at all times while on the tower. All scouts may participate. Closed toed shoes are required.  Maximum group size is 15 participants.

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 time period of 90 minutes generally allows groups to complete from two to four events. National Council regulations permit all scouts to participate in groups of up to 12. The minimum number of Scouts is 5. 

Project COPE High Course: Our fabulous High COPE Course is a three session experience. We recently improved the program to better suit the needs of older scouts in your troop who are looking for more camp adventure. Designed to
develop leadership skills and foster cooperation among scouts, our COPE course will challenge your scouts physically and mentally.

Scouts who participate will spend Tuesday (3pm‐5pm) and (7pm‐8:30pm), and Thursday (1pm‐4pm) at Summit Base, first at the Low Course to build leadership, trust, and communication; then at the climbing tower where they will learn basic climbing knots and team‐belaying; and finally at the High Course where they will finish strong on the more individually challenging elements 35 feet in the air. Scouts must be 13 by January 1, 2016 and participate in all three sessions. We encourage scouts to sign up provisionally. This program can be found in the advancement section of our online registration system.  There is a minimum group size of 5 and a maximum of 12. 

Register early, before this popular program is full!

Please note: We have modified this year’s High COPE schedule to help minimize Scouts missing afternoon merit badge instruction. Scouts who participate will only miss instructional sessions from 3-5pm on Tuesday and 2-4pm on Thursday. Scouts must attend to all three COPE sessions in order to participate.

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

Instructional sessions (60 minutes). Scouts who have never ridden a bike before but would like to lean should attend the Tuesday 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 Wednesday or Thursday 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, 12 years of age and older, 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.

Advanced  mountain biking is offered Friday afternoons from 3-5pm for Scouts ages 12 and older who 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. 

Adult session will be held on Thursday evening from 7-8:30 pm for 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 $20 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 or swim
Greased Watermelon

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