Crystal Lake Scout Reservation

Crystal Lake Scout Reservation

Crystal Lake Scout Reservation, Samoset Council, Wisconsin

What’s your reward for the forearm-burning ascent to the top of a 60-foot climbing tower? If you’re at Tesomas Scout Camp in Wisconsin, reaching the summit means a peaceful zip-line ride that offers breathtaking views. It’s the highest high-adventure activity for boys who spend time at Tesomas each summer.

– You’ll find Tesomas Scout Camp inside Crystal Lake Scout Reservation, located near the city of Rhinelander in north-central Wisconsin.

– You can choose one of three sides of the climbing tower based on difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. As the number of handholds and footholds on each side decreases, the challenge increases.

– Upon reaching the top, you can rappel down. But most boys prefer the scenic route: a 450-foot-long soar through the trees on the Hanna Zip Line, named after the Hanna Venture Base, which is the high-adventure section of the camp.

– When the ride ends, you’ll swing to a stop 12 feet above the ground. Staffers bring a ladder and help you down, and most boys eagerly get back in line for another trip down.

– If you choose to skip the traditional climb, scale the 70 steps of the interior staircase to the top instead.

(Photo by Judy Griesedieck)


  1. I actually was a camp counselor at CLSR for 7 years. I loved it there and I miss it alot. You can do alot of activities. If you are looking for a great place to go camping and do some fun merit badges and high adventure stuff well go here! Great staff too!! “Where camping is king!”

  2. Words cannot describe how happy I am to see my CLSR being featured on a national level. I worked at Camp Tesomas for four summers, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We have a program like no other, and I highly encourage scouts and scouters a like to take a trip to the north woods of Wisconsin and find out why the Crystal Lake Scout truly “Where camping is King”

  3. Great camp been going there for 12 years our troop for 18.
    There is a reason why we drive over 300 miles and drive by 5 camps to go here/
    Great staff
    Great programs
    nice private lake

  4. Being a camper at CLSR for the last decade, I have experienced much of what the staff affectionately calls, “The Tesomas Experience.” The environment is like no other, with an exceptional program that’s been in place since 1935. In my years at camp, I have known troops from Montana, West Virginia, Texas, and even Germany make the trip to northern Wisconsin. This speaks volumes for the camp.

    On another note, Camp Tesomas boasts one of the most solemn Order of the Arrow call-out ceremonies in America. I’ve seen it year after year, and the ceremony the Tesomas staff puts together still amazes me. It’s an experence like no other.

  5. Highly recommended! These camps (there are 3) have enough activities and attractions to keep the toughest scout pleasantly exhausted. The program area is also fantastic. The real kicker is that Scott Domino (camp director) and his staff make this camp so easy on the leaders. It’s an easy choice to go back.

  6. The facilities are fantastic and get better every year. I first attended in 1974 as a 12 year old scout and continue to return as often as possible even though I now live out of state. The private lake and over a thousand acres of Northern Wisconsin woods transport you to another world. But of course, the most important thing about these 3 camps in one large Scout Reservation is the staff. It isn’t a job to them, rather a passion. I’ve worked there for 7 years back in the 80s and both my parents before me, my nephew and hopefully my son someday (now 10). My father, Edward J. Zahn, continued to volunteer every year until his recent death. He died doing what he loved and in a place he called home, surrounded by a staff he was proud to call family. Walt Disney visited the camp many years ago and design the logo “Smiley the Tent” and said it best when he coined the moniker – “Where camping is king!”

  7. I attended two of their programs as a camper; a high adventure trek sea kayaking on on Lake Superior, and a week of camp with micro trek and a few merit badges. I immediately fell in love with the place. They staff was great; there were so many friendly, helpful people that went out of their way to assist the scouts. The surrounding area and the lake were gorgeous, and there were always tons of activities to check out. The program was fantastic.
    In fact, I loved it so much that I went back as a staff member this summer. I’m hoping to keep going back for as long as I can.
    Check it out!!! Tesomas Scout Camp, Where Camping is King!

    P.S. Across the lake from Tesomas, CLSR has a phenomenal cub scout camp called Akela’s World. It is a great place, full of fun an adventure for the younger scouts (and the den leaders love it too!).

  8. I’ve been a leader for 28 years, and have spent 26 summers taking boys to the camps at CLSR. It’s like a second home, and is alway tough to leave after a week of camping where “Camping Is King”. The Boy Scout Camp, Tesomas is amazing!

  9. This is my second year going to tesomas, and I’m a girl. A girl walking around camp and doing merit badges doesn’t get blinked an eye at. I love it there, and I will continue going as long as I can.

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