Westchester-Putnam Council, BSA Curtis S. Read Scout Reservation
Activities in Camp


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See also Transportation in Camp for schedule of operation of camp vehicle tranporation within the reservation.

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. It is suggested that you contact the Camping Department or preferably view the online schedule before sending in the form to confirm that the times you desire are available. Please pay close attention to participant requirements.

Some program offerings are:

Zip Line: A favorite activity involving a slide for life down 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 passed the swimmers test may participate in groups of up to 25.

Indoor Climbing Wall: The indoor wall was added a few years ago so that groups scheduled to climb would not be disappointed by rain. It has also become an evening favorite and, in addition, is an excellent experience for young Scouts that will prepare them for climbing and rappelling outdoors. Scouts are harnessed and belayed at all times while on the wall. All Scouts may participate. Maximum group size is 15.

Rock climbing and rappelling: Gives the Scouts the chance to climb and rappel (30 ft on Stevens Mountain) under the direct supervision and belay of a climbing instructor. All Scouts may participate in groups of up to 10.  Evening sessions are not available during weeks five and six due to the daylight fading earlier.

Climbing Tower: A new climbing tower is planned to be ready for use this summer. The climbing faces will challenge all ages and experience levels. In the case of rain, the indoor wall will be utilized. Scouts are harnessed and belayed at all times while on the tower or wall. All Scouts may participate. Maximum group size is 15.

COPE Low Course: (Low Ropes Course) Elements of the COPE Course that involve both group interaction to solve problems and personal challenge. Groups work together to complete each element and help/spot each other. National Council regulations permit all Scouts to participate in groups of up to 12. The minimum number of Scouts is 5. The time period of ninety minutes generally allows groups to complete from two to four events.

Project COPE High Course: Our fabulous High COPE Course is now a 3‐afternoon experience! We recently changed the program to better suit the needs of older scouts in your troop still interested in staying at camp. Designed to develop leadership qualities and foster cooperation among scouts, our 3‐afternoon COPE course will challenge your scout physically and mentally.

Scouts who participate will spend Tuesday‐Thursday from 2‐5 PM at the Low Course to build leadership, trust, and communication; at the climbing tower where they will learn basic climbing knots and team‐belaying; and at the High Course where they will finish strong on the more individually challenging elements 30 feet in the air. Scouts must be 13 by January 1 of the current year and participate in all three afternoon sessions. There is a minimum group size of 5. We encourage scouts to sign‐up provisionally.



See also our Rock Climbing opportunties in the fall season!


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

  • No special leadership qualification
  • No extra fee

There are three Outpost campsites in the Northwest undeveloped section of Read Scout Reservation suitable for overnight camping. 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.

Horse Trail Rides (Sign up before camp)
Trail rides through the northern section of the reservation are offered from the Farmhouse horse facility. Rides last an hour and the cost is $13.00 per participant. There will be horses to accommodate eight persons on each ride. Prior registration for the rides is recommended using online registration.

See also Horsemanship Merit Badge.

Caving In Camp (No prior registration needed)
Camp Waubeeka hosts a series of underground caves; a dry cave, and one that involves near complete submersion in water to get through. They were formed as the river that runs through the valley went underground and eroded the soil around the bedrock. The Nature 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:

  • Safe Swim and Safety Afloat instruction will be conducted at the waterfront during one evening during the camp week. This will be coordinated at the first day leaders' meeting.
  • 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

**For Scouts 12 years of age and older only in accordance with New York State law.

Hikes: The Scoutcraft department will help plan and lead almost any type of hike. The opportunities for patrol and troop hikes in and around Camp are almost unlimited. Overnighters for older Scouts are a possibility; see Overnight Backpacking for more information.

Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is an honor camping group of Scouts selected by members of their troops. A Brotherhood Quest will be conducted each week for Ordeal members eligible from within Ktemaque Lodge. There will also be a weekly ice cream social and troop visitations.

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