Program & Activities

Outdoor adventure is the promise made to boys when they join Scouting. Boys and girls yearn for outdoor programs that stir their imagination and interest. In the outdoors, Scouting youth have opportunities to acquire skills that make them more self-reliant. If your Scouts aren’t experiencing the outdoors, they are much less likely to stay in the program.

The Cub Scout Outdoor Program

The importance of the Cub Scout Outdoor Program can not be emphasized enough.  Get a Cub Scout up to Camp Oakarro for a day and he’s learning to fish, enjoying the freedom to run around and learning discipline and respect for nature at the same time.  Take a Webelos Scout to Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan and he’s hooked for life. If your Cub Scouts aren’t camping, you’re doing something wrong.  If you need help camping, we’re here to do whatever we can to help your pack explore the outdoors and keep them on the Scouting trail.

I want to know more about Cub Scout Camping opportunities! 

Check out the following links to help with ideas to support your outdoor program and retain Cub Scouts.

  • Get camping location ideas for your pack in the Lodge 40 Camping Guide.
  • Obviously, a Pack should be encouraged to utilize the Council facilities at Camp Sol R. Crown and Camp Oakarro. The Camping section of the NEIC website has directions on how to reserve these camping options.
  • Additionally, some Troops welcome Cub Packs to camp with them on selected campouts. The Pack should work to see how they can work their program together with one or more Troops.

What types of camping should I consider for my Cub Scout pack?

You can find information on Day, Resident and Family camps updated regularly on our Cub Scout Outdoor Programs site.

What is “Be a Boy Scout for the Weekend“?

This program allows Webelos to camp with and directly participate in a Troop’s campout over an appropriate weekend.  The Webelos are assigned to a patrol where they are enabled to fully participate with the patrol and learn to do the things a patrol does on the campout. Troops should consider inviting Webelos and their parent to take part in “Being a Boy Scout for the Weekend.” If offered the opportunity, Webelos/Arrow of Light (AOL) dens should strongly consider accepting any invitation from a troop to do this or suggest to a troop that the troop host such a program.

It has been found that this program will provide  Webelos and their parents key insights into the Troop program, Boy Scouts as a total, and the troop/patrol leadership, all leading to the Webelos/parent feeling confident in joining the Troop.

The Boy Scout & Venturing Outdoor Programs

What is Weekend Camping?

Weekend Camping is a great way to spend time outdoors while delivering a quality program for your Scouts.  The Northeast Illinois Council maintains various camping facilities. You can find information on local camping under the Camping tab on this site.  Please use the following resources to help you plan your weekend camping trip:

  • The NEIC Camping Availability Chart will help you to find open spaces at one of our three Northeast Illinois Council camps.
  • The NEIC Camping Fee Chart  for Camp Sol R. Crown and Camp Oakarro can help you to plan and budget your Ideal Year of Scouting.
  • The NEIC Camping Request Form will get you started in reserving your campsites.
  • Want to check out something new? In 2010 a survey of places to camp in Illinois and surrounding states was compiled., the Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Lodge 40 Order of the Arrow came up with a list of their favorite places to camp and the Where to go Camping Guide was developed. While we are working with them to obtain an updated copy, you can still find valuable information here to help enhance your outdoor program.

What is Long-term Camping?

Long-term Camping is defined by the Boy Scouts of America as a camping experience consisting of five or more consecutive days and nights in the outdoors.  We highly recommend utilizing a BSA Accredited Camp for fulfilling your unit’s long-term camping requirements. You can check out the following accredited long-term camps to see what’s right for your unit.

Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation, maintained by the Northeast Illinois Council,  provides a very fine summer camp experience at its 1,500 acre property in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, including three distinct campgrounds, private lakes and a horse ranch.  One and two-week programs are available for units as well as a provisional program for Scouts who do not have the option of camping with their troop.

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) High Adventure opportunities abound and keep getting better.  We recommend that every few years, your troop or crew takes advantage of one of the four High Adventure Bases maintained by the BSA.  Remember, it is that a Troop plans ahead by at least two years if they desire to have a group attend any of these adventures. This is due to demand for the adventures as well as the cost and logistics involved and the training that should be done to support the best experience possible. Check out BSA options below:

  • Florida Sea Base will get you snorkeling, diving and sailing toward adventure on their own private island in Florida!
  • Northern Tier provides canoeing adventures in the Boundary Waters.
  • Philmont Scout Ranch provides advanced leadership training and backpacking adventures in the mountains of New Mexico.
  • The Summit is a multi-faceted adventure base in West Virginia, which also serves as the permanent home of the BSA National Jamboree every four years.

Other High Adventure resources can be found with a little research. Selden’s List of Scouting High Adventure Programs is a fun site to visit to learn about experiences beyond the BSA bases.