Revolutionary Trails Council

Revolutionary Trails Council

Revolutionary Trails Council [] serves a portion of central New York. In 2001, the "Land of the Oneidas Council" and "General Herkimer Council" merged. The new council provides Scouting to Herkimer, Oneida and Madison Counties as well as part of Hamilton, Otsego and Lewis Counties.

Revolutionary Trails Council is divided into 4 districts:
*Aplin District
*Diamond District
*Mohawk/Cayuga District
*Seneca-Tuscarora DistrictThe council maintains 3 Scout camps: Cedarlands Scout Reservation, Camp Russell, and Camp Kingsley.

Camp Russell

[ Camp Russell] is one of the nation's oldest Scout camps. Founded in 1918 by Samuel T. Russell, the camp is on White Lake, New York in the southern Adirondack Mountains. It provides a high adventure program for older Scouts and a base camp program for Scouts of all ages. Russell also maintains an award winning Conservation Area and white pine tree farm. For those who visit, they can see many totem poles decorating the base camp. These totem poles are the work of Frank Devito, a lifelong Scouter and Camp Russell staff member from 1927-1999. Also "La Maison de Devito", commonly referred to as the "Brown House" is the original camp building built by Samuel T. Russell and the first Boy Scouts to attend. It currently is open as a Camp Museum during the summer.

Cedarlands Scout Reservation

Cederlands Scout Reservation is a convert|5000|acre|km2|0|sing=on Scout camp situated in Long Lake, New York. The Reservation has a traditional base camp program for younger Scouts and a high adventure program for older Scouts. In the heart of the Adirondack Park Cedarlands is a two and a half hour drive from Utica. Cedarlands boasts three mountains (OA, Walker and Masters), Lake McRorie and Scout Pond. Both Lake McRorie and Scout Pond have islands on them for exploration. Cedarlands is different from most council-owned camps as Scouts are given the opportunity to cook their own meals three times a day. There are barbecues on Sunday and Friday nights. A climbing program is offered on a climbing wall and portable climbing tower. Merit badges consist of the traditional merit badges offered at a Boy Scout camp. Embarking for Cedarlands, a Scout can plan to hike a mountain or two, go snorkeling, sailing and mountain biking on camp owned bikes (or bring your own).


In order to help raise money for the camp, a 10 year logging program began in 2008. The first area harvested is the base camp, with successive logging efforts to occur during winters. The logging program has generated significant controversy, with some members feeling that the program was pushed through without notice or discussion, and that poor forestry is being practiced. []

This logging program is needed as the forest at Cedarlands, especially in base camp, contained many unhealthy Beech trees, many coniferous trees not traditionally found at this elevation and for safety's sake. There were many large trees with overhanging branches that were dead or dying and needed to be taken down before a tragic accident occurred. Certainly the Revolutionary Trails Council is raising money from this project (roughly $80,000 a year), but this is a small amount when the budget is looked at.

Discussion about the logging at Cedarlands began more than a year ago: the forest management team gave presentations at work weekends, troops were forewarned in the summer of 2007 and many former staff members were asked their views on this project. The damage from the logging is evident, however ground cover and newly leafed out trees are covering much of this.

High Adventure program

The High Adventure program is its own entity within Cedarlands Scout Reservation. National Camping School Voyageurs (French for Guide) lead trips of four to five days in the Adirondack Park. These treks include backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking and climbing, or a combination of two or three elements. Scouts learn how to prepare backpacking food and are taught how to survive in a wilderness setting.

Troops can choose a trek that spans thirty miles or seventy. Many troops decide to start one mile (1.6 km) from Cedarlands at Big Brook that empties into Long Lake. These troops are generally picked up at Lake Flower in the village of Saranac Lake or at Tupper Lake. Others want longer treks and utilize the Eckford Chain of Lakes (Blue Mountain Lake to Raquette Lake) to Rainbow Lake or into the Saint Regis Canoe Area. Backpacking treks usually utilize the Northville-Placid Trail that stretches from Lake Placid to Northville, New York. The trail goes through the High Peaks region, past Long Lake, over Blue Mountain and ends in the West Canada Lakes region. Another popular trek goes into the High Peaks. Troops will summit Mount Marcy, the highest peak in the state, and tailor their trip to include as many other 4,000+ foot mountains as they can. These can include the Great Range or the MacIntyre Range.

Treks are tailored to the desires and needs of the crews going out, and menus are chosen by troops. Troops only need to bring personal equipment with them; the program supplies stoves, tents, water filtration, etc.

Rock climbing

CSR has a free-standing, permanent rock climbing wall. It is approximately thirty feet high and has a view of OA Mountain from the top platform. Scouts have the chance to earn the climbing merit badge at Cedarlands. Three walls are on camp property. One is the afore-mentioned free-standing wall, another twenty foot wall is attached to the side of a building and a portable twenty foot tower is usually on the property in the summer.

A fifty foot climb/rappel overlooks Tupper Lake and is a half hour drive base camp. The Beer Walls at Keene Valley offer advanced climbing with routes ranging from a 5.3 to 5.11. A convert|150|ft|m|0|sing=on rappel is also available if Scouts show an interest. The off-camp climbs are generally offered only to the climbing merit badge Scouts and High Adventure participants.


Food at CSR is prepared by the troops. A fully functioning commissary is on the premises. Here Scouts pick up food supplies before each meal. Menus run the gamut from pancakes and donuts for breakfast, to hamburgers and tacos for lunch, to chicken and rice and beef stew at dinner. Staples like peanut butter and jelly, dish detergent and paper towels are picked up at the commissary, as well. The patrol method is stressed at Cedarlands through meal preparation and clean-up, as well as through other activities during the week.

pecial programs

*Pathfinder Program - designed for new Scouts to reach First Class.
*Leave No Trace Trainer Course- CSR has on staff, a master Leave No Trace trainer for those interested in becoming a Leave No Trace Trainer.
*Open Rock Climbing & Troop climbing
*Troop shoot & Open Archery and Rifle shooting
*Order of the Arrow - a call out ceremony on Friday night and service projects throughout the week.
*BSA lifeguard, Kayaking, and snorkeling - free of charge to any Scout who meets age requirements. (BSA lifeguard classes are limited to a size of 4 scouts per week, due to the small size of the waterfront staff)
*Camp-wide Games - offered in the evenings these are to stress the patrol method.
*Challenging bike treks - these trips can last nearly four hours. Trips go around Lake McRorie. There is single track and road biking led by camp staff.
*Mountain Trails- Take your Troop or Patrol on a hike on one (or all) of our 3 mountain trails. All three of the trails have spectacular views if the Adirondacks.
*Two weekly campfires

Merit badges

Merit Badges offered include:

*Camping (Eagle required badge)
*Environmental Science (Eagle required badge)
*Fish and Wildlife management
*First Aid (Eagle required badge)
*Hiking (Eagle required badge)
*Indian Lore
*Lifesaving (Eagle required badge)
*Mammal Study
*Rifle Shooting
*Small Boat Sailing
*Shotgun Shooting
*Soil and Water Conservation
*Swimming (Eagle required badge)
*Wilderness Survival

ee also

*Scouting in New York

External links

* [ Cedarlands Scout Reservation]

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