Summer Camps

Every summer, Troop 28 scouts participate in two BSA camps during the summer: Camp Ma-ka-ja-wan and a high adventure camp. These camps are optional, but are a great way to learn more about scouting, make advancement progress, and most importantly, have fun!

Ma-ka-ja-wan Scout Reservation

Each summer. Troop 28 joins thousands of Scouts from the Northeast Illinois Council who spend a week (or two) at the Ma-ka-ja-wan Scout Reservation. Ma-ka-ja-wan is the Northeast Illinois Council’s Boy Scout camp and is located in 1,560 acres of pristine forest near Pearson, in north-central Wisconsin , about 25 miles northeast of Antigo.

The camp comprises two lakes, a natural creek, numerous trails, two full-service Scout camps, a wilderness camp, an outdoor climbing wall, a horse ranch and a family camping area (among many other things). Troop 28 has historically visited during “Week 5” of the summer (approximately the 3rd week of July).

New scouts are particularly encouraged (but certainly not required) to attend. Newer scouts — especially scouts whose term-time commitments limit their ability to participate in weekend campouts and weekly troop meetings — can spend a week at a Ma-ka-ja-wan participating in a program like Trailblazers or Wayfinder where they can complete many of the requirements required to advance through First Class rank, earn one or more merit badges, all while participating in a variety of recreational activities including white water rafting, horesback riding, ziplining, and rifle shooting.

Older scouts can spend a week making good progress on Eagle-required merit badges, and completing multiple additional elective and Eagle-required merit badges at the nature lodge, the waterfront, the Scoutcraft area and the rifle range. Older scouts also have the option of participating in Ma-ka-ja-wan’s Coureur des Bois (“runner of the woods”) daily high adventure program, while still camping with the troop and building leadership skills. Older scouts can also be Counselors-in-Training or Counselors at Ma-ka-ja-wan or at NEIC’s week-long Cub Scout camp programs at Camp Oakarro.

Summer camp is a particularly good venue for earning the Environmental Science, Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges, which can be difficult to work on during the long Glencoe winter! Adult Scouters supervise all activities, assisted by qualified Varsity Scouts and senior Boy Scouts.

Troop 28 usually joins the rest of the camp at the mess hall for all of its meals. We also try to take a day to do some whitewater rafting together on the nearby Wolf River.

BSA Medical Form Requirements

Current BSA medical forms are needed by all who attend camp. Like all BSA activities, summer camps require Medical Forms Part A and B. However, for extended camps, the BSA also requires Part C, which needs to be completed by a physician within the last year. Additional precautions may be necessary for High Adventure trips.

Camp FAQs

I have summer school/sports camp/sleepaway camp/family travel commitments/other activities planned for the summer. Do I have to attend Ma-ka-ja-wan?
No. Not at all. Ma-ka-ja-wan is an entirely optional summer activity. However many Scouts enjoy participating in Ma-ka-ja-wan camp programs and it is a great opportunity to work on rank advancement and merit badges – including many of the time-consuming Eagle-required badges.
I am interested in Ma-ka-ja-wan, but the price is too steep for our family. What can we do?
NEIC offers Camperships for participation at Ma-ka-ja-wan. Camperships are available both for Troop 28’s week-long stay, as well as for a week of “Provisional” Camping as an individual scout. Please contact the Troop Treasurer or Financial Assistance Coordinator in confidence for more information on how to make a request.  Click here for direct access to the 2020 Campership application (due May 1, 2020).
I'm interested in attending camp but am not available for Week 5. Does that mean I can't attend?
In addition to troop camping, Ma-ka-ja-wan and other area scout reservations offer a “Provisional” camping program where individual scouts (or sometimes small groups) are matched up with an experienced Scoutmaster to camp as part of a make-shift “troop” for the week. Please visit the Ma-ka-ja-wan FAQ Page and scroll down to How and where can I go to register for Provisional Camp. Please note: NEIC only provides bus transport to Pearson on odd-numbered weeks (e.g., “Week 5.”)  If your scout would like to attend Provisional Camp during an even week and/or transport is an issue, please contact the Troop Summer Camp Coordinator for assistance in finding a ride share or in considering an alternative camp (there are several camps for other Chicago-area councils that are a shorter driving distance).
What is Trailblazer/Wayfinder?
Trailblazer and Wayfinder are the names of Ma-ka-ja-wans week-long programs for new Scouts. Trailblazer has been offered for many years at Ma-ka-ja-wan. Wayfinder is a newer program that was introduced in 2018 for troops with campsites in Ma-ka-ja-wan’s “East Camp.” Troop 28 has a designated spot in East Camp and so our Scouts particpate in Wayfinder.
If I attend Ma-ka-ja-wan will I be ready for my First Class Board of Review when I am done?
Probably not. While many of the requirements are covered at Ma-ka-ja-wan, there also many requirements that are not covered at Ma-ka-ja-wan. This includes many of the safety, citizenship, and cooking requirements plus requirements for troop activities, and Boards of Review. The counselors at Ma-Ka-ja-wan will provide instruction on a number of requirements, typically listed on the weekly program schedule. However, the counselors do NOT sign off on requirements — that responsibility falls on troop leadership. Scouts may work with older Scouts/adult leaders to get requirements signed off while at Ma-ka-ja-wan. If a Scout does not have requirements signed off in their handbook while at Ma-ka-ja-wan, the Troop will receive an advancement report at the end of the week and will provide opportunities after the camp week to allow Scouts to demonstrate their mastery of the skills learned.
I worked on a merit badge. What next?
Each day of camp, the Troop adult leaders will receive a printout of the requirements each Scout has completed in their merit badge programs. Scouts are encouraged to ask to see the reports to verify that their accomplishments have been recorded. If there are any errors, it is MUCH, MUCH easier to correct during the week while still fresh in mind for the Scout, the counselors, the Troop leaders, and for any potential “witnesses.” At the end of the week, the Troop will receive a final advancement report. At that time, there is a small window to attempt to correct omissions. If the Ma-ka-ja-wan advancement report shows a completed badge, the Troop Advancement Coordinator will record the badge in Scoutbook with an effective date as of the Ma-ka-ja-wan week. If a Scout completed part of an Eagle-requirement merit badge, or completed most of a merit badge, the Advancement Coordinator will create a partial blue card and recommend a local Merit Badge Counselor for the Scout to work with to completed the badge. If the Scout completed the additional requirements prior to Ma-ka-ja-wan, the Advancement Coordinator will recommend a Merit Badge Counselor to verify completion of the badge.