Webelos Camp Parents and Leaders Guide
Session #1 July 1st – 4th
Session #2 July 4th – 8th
Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation
What is Akela Camp
Akela Camp is a Webelos Only summer camping opportunity at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation. For 4-days and 3-nights Webelos will experience all of the awesome experiences that Scouting has to offer. Detailed on this page there is information regarding all the great aspects of the Akela Camp program and Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan itself. So read on to find out tons of great information and join us this summer Up North.
A Note on the Nature of Camp
Camp teaches so many wonderful things to our children, the foremost in my mind being resilience. They will learn to ask questions, explore and take risks. The most important element in their growth as young people is the perception of risk. We are very conscious to make the distinction between real risk and perceived risk. We work hard to ensure a very safe environment for everyone on our camp – but at the same time, giving Scouts the impression that they could fail at any moment. What this does is build character and resilience – and most importantly confidence in their own abilities. So we ask you to trust the great staff we have assembled to provide your child with the best possible experiences to help them learn and grow this summer. Camp is a wonderful, magical and special place and if you let it; it will captivate your imagination for a lifetime. So with that we welcome you to our little slice of heaven in the Northwoods of Wisconsin – welcome to being Up North.
We recommend that at least one parent attend Akela Camp with their Webelos – but it is NOT mandatory. As long as there is someone there from your Pack and Den that will watch after and be responsible for your child it is OK to send them up with their Den. In fact, a lot of Webelos Dens do this – they get a few parents together and invite both of the Webelos 1 and 2 Den up to camp to experience camp. We only suggest that parents attend to see what great things we have to offer your Webelos.
All your meals are provided for you as part of your registration fees. We eat in our Dining Hall located at the center of East Camp and you will quickly know where that is located! We eat as one large group and our staff provide meal time entertainment and interactive program with the Webelos – lunch and dinner are loud, exciting and engaging meals!
All of our dining services are handled by a 3rd party provider: Kandle Dining Services, Inc. They have been with us now for 3 years and do an excellent job of providing for our participants and staff. We opted to use a 3rd party for a lot of reasons but the primary one being their ability to handle special diet requests. They will work hard to ensure that if you have a Webelos that lives with any type of food allergy or special diet that they are well cared for and feel right at home. Please use this link to submit a special diet request to Jara Bauer, Kandle’s very own resident special diet coordinator. Her contact information is listed on the form and you can ask her any questions you have about the food service at camp. We are happy to provide special diets for religious or health reasons as well!
Listed below are our program areas and all the great opportunities that are at each location, some of these things change week to week but the vast majority of the programs have been long standing traditions that carry over for years.
One of the first things your Webelos will do when they arrive is head to the water front for a swim check. We do this to make sure that they are qualified to do some of the activities but also to identify those that might need some extra coaching. There are a lot of success stories about kids who attended camp without the ability to swim and with the help of our counselors found the courage and determination to overcome that fear and get in the water. Swimming is a lifelong skill that could save a life someday or even as something you just do for recreation.
Activities: Row Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Swimming
At Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation the Boy Scouts can shoot .22 rifle, shotgun and archery – our Webelos still can only shoot BBs and Archery but they get the opportunity to see what a real range looks like and it gears them up for the following years to have fun learning how to safely operate a firearm. The Webelos will work on proper techniques and engage with out highly qualified range staff for a safe and exciting program at Shooting Sports.
Activities: BBs and Archery
Ecology and Conservation
Our Eco/Con Area is located in some densely packed woods and rests just up the hill from our beautiful spring feed lake. At Eco/Con the Webelos will learn about the native plants and animals of the Northwoods and see plenty of examples in the Lodge. This area will also provide great nature trails and fishing opportunities for the Webelos. We also teach them to care for our precious natural resources in the forests such as the different species of trees that live there. Eco/Con is a dynamic and living area that connects us to the natural world.
Activities: Fishing, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Forestry, Ecology
This area is for everything that has to do with building, crafting and design. Our Handicraft lodge features all sorts of neat tools to build whatever your imagination can create. From simple things like candle making or leather punching to metalwork and woodcarving Handicraft is the place to work with your hands. Don’t be surprised if you get invited on a night hike to look at the wonderful array of stars that are visible at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation.
Activities: Leatherwork, Woodwork, Metalwork, Basketry, Art, Space Exploration
Here is the place where we learn all about being a scout; camping, hiking, pioneering, first aid and more can all be learned here at Scoutcraft. The opportunities at this area all revolve around skill sets and confidence building. This is where Webelos will learn some of the first skills that boy scouts learn and get a leg up over everyone who doesn’t attend Akela Camp! They will also have the opportunity to work on some pioneering projects where they use rope and timber to create useful gadgets for their campsites; chairs, tables and even a teeter-totter.
Activities: Hiking, Camping, Pioneering, First Aid, Orienteering
Special Areas on Camp
There are several special areas on camp the Webelos will have an opportunity to visit. Our Climbing Wall and Zipline are top class having been built in 2016. At that location they can also use the “Black Hole” a long slide that runs down one of the many kettles on camp. They can visit a very special area on camp – the Triangle M Ranch, where we have our horses! In addition to that we have a cycling base where they can use our “fat-tire” bikes to race up and down hills and valleys at camp.
Those are just a few of the amazing opportunities that can be found at camp in the physical sense but what our dedicated camp staff bring to the equation takes Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation from a really wonderful place to a special place that you will remember for a lifetime.
Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation is a beautiful place and it has a lot of great things in it – but the thing that makes MSR magic is the Staff. These dedicated individuals spend their entire summers helping to make memories for others. They are service oriented, kind and ideal scouts that are going to make your Webelos inspired to do great things. They add the spice that makes camp special. All of them receive training to work with Cub Scouts during their training and most of them were Cub Scouts. They are overseen by an Area Director in each area and an Administration Team that consists of young people ages 18-25. They all report to the East Camp Director. Will Dellva is our East Camp Director for the 2018 camping season and Will reports up to a Reservation Administration Team consisting of Brian Rasmussen, Business Manager with over 40 years of Boy Scout Camp experience, Dan Reding, Associate Reservation Director, currently a 7th grade homeroom teacher and Quinn Ryan, Reservation Director, Professional Scouter that serves the Northeast Illinois Council as the Program Director. All of these individuals are here on time to make sure that your Webelos receive the best program possible!
Travel to Camp
Each family and Den is welcome to drive to camp if they like but we encourage you to leave the car at home for a few days and take the “Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Speeding Arrow” – the bus that heads north from our Council on Sunday morning and makes the trip there and back Wednesday again for a final trip home from camp on Sat the 8th. There is a charge to take the bus but the benefits are great – more time with you Webelos and the chance to nap on your way home after an exhausting weekend. The bus has some program on it as well for your drive up and back. It is not likely you would need a car in the few days you are there and we are going to pack your schedule to make sure you don’t have too much down time (we reserve the right to make nap time a schedule and mandatory activity for leaders). So, consider the bus up to camp! Information on the bus is available when you register.
Themes and Schedules
Our theme for Cub Scout Camping this summer is Adventure on the Frontier and that theme will be alive and well at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation! The staff will welcome you to Fort Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan and all the activities will share some themes to tie it all together. Along with that your Den will be schedule to attend your activities throughout the day to make sure that you see and experience all that we have to offer – but there will be unstructured time too (that’s an important part of camp!). As we get closer and Dens get registered we will make your schedules more and more locked in – for now; know that you will see all the great parts of camp!
What to Bring to Camp
Camp provides the cots and tents for each Webelos and Parent Partner what you need to bring is listed below. Each of the items here is a recommendation unless otherwise noted and often common sense will be your best ally in determining what to bring. If it is something that you are questioning bringing please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask!
- Health Forms Parts A and B ONLY (Since this camp is for less than 72 hours, Part C is NOT required. We’re sorry for any confusion the previous information may have caused.)
- Sleeping Bag or Blankets (required) – it does get cool at night in the Northwoods
- Personal Apparel (required), plan for warm days and cool evenings
- Close-toed Shoes (required in program areas)
- Mosquito Repellant
- Swim Suit (highly recommended)
- Personal Toiletries (required)
- Paper and Pen
- Day Pack
- Spending Money (most MSR T-Shirts are $15.00 and we have lots of great stuff in the trading post)
- Camp Chair/Lawn Chair
- Fishing Pole
- Hiking Sticks (or find one at Camp!)
This list is not an exhaustive list of what to bring – if you have other personal items that you require please feel free to bring them along. On occasion we get requests for power for things like Cell Phone charging and CPap Machines – we can make reasonable accommodations for everyone provided your are will to work with us and give us come advanced notice to the needs.
Please do NOT bring any of the following:
- Laser Pointers
Different from many of the other camping experiences you may have had Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation has a Trading Post, or General Store where you can buy food, beverages and Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan specific merchandise. This could be anything from a T-Shirt to a pair of MSR Socks! The trading post has all kinds of fun stuff to commemorate the first time on camp or grab that cool new shirt to show off your Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation pride! Parents often ask how much money they should come with but that is for each family to decide, I will tell you that T-Shirts generally run $15.00 – 20.00 and Sweatshirts $30.00. We do have items that run up to $50.00 – $75.00 as well but those are things like hiking pants or outerwear. We also sell candy, granola, fruit and soda/juices in the trading post as well.
Your Trip Up North
We cannot wait to welcome you to our summer camp, the last 89th years have been inspiring and fun in equal measure. When you come to camp you will make memories that last a lifetime and your Webelos will never forget some of the experiences they have here. Thank you for sending your Webelos to participate in this year’s Akela Camp – and we welcome you Up North!