Sit back, relax, and let the wind do all the work? Think again. At Camp Kern in the High Sierras, the winds are strong, but earning Small-Boat Sailing merit badge is hardly a breeze. All that extra effort doesn’t faze Scouts, though. They’re too busy enjoying one of the best sailing programs in the West. And the location? It doesn’t get much better than Huntington Lake (elevation 7,000 feet), which is nestled in a remote part of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It’s so remote, in fact, that no roads lead to camp. Instead, troops travel aboard one of several daily barges across the lake. Once there, sailing’s far from the only attraction. Be sure to consider:
A day trip, giving Scouts and Scouters the chance to hike, backpack, or fish at elevations between 7,000 and 10,320 feet. Two highlights: The Indian Pools and Rancheria Falls hikes. Both offer plenty of places to cool off.
Renting a mountain bike and helmet from camp and spending the day exploring one of the nearby Forest Service trails with a few buddies.
Catching rainbow trout in Huntington Lake. Scouts can cook their catch back at camp.
One or two of the 32 merit badges offered, such as Archaeology, Horsemanship, Motorboating, Pioneering, and Wood Carving.
The Brotherhood of the Mountain Man, an in-camp honor society for Scouts who return to Camp Kern year after year.
Learn more about Camp Kern at http://www.sscbsa.org/councilcamps/.
Photo by Trevor Clark.