NOW / Program

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Camp Programs from the 2024 Guide Book, pp. 5-10

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Morning Camp Flag Raising

Flag-raising is held immediately following breakfast Monday through Friday. Troops line up and report attendance in creative ways. The Program Director will make announcements about the day’s activities.

Evening Retreat  

For 100 years, Troops attending summer camp at Camp Manatoc have paid respect to our Nation with evening retreat. Since the current camp opened in 1932, Troops line-up on the Parade Field and report in to the Program Director. A bugler plays “Retreat” and then the large American flag is lowered from our 99 1/2-foot flagpole as “To The Colors” is played. Troops then pass in review in front of the Butler Memorial. While marching directly in front of the Memorial, Scouts render a Scout salute paying respect to our camp’s founder, H. Karl Butler, who donated or bequeathed most of the camp property to the then Akron Area Council. Retreat starts promptly after dinner at 6:15 PM Sunday through Friday.

Retreat Banner

Since 1923, members of camp staff have chosen one Troop to receive the daily Retreat Banner. The winning Troop is chosen based on their level of esprit de corps, Scout Spirit, presentation, and adherence to our Retreat traditions such as marching in step and saluting sharply at the proper time when passing in front of the Butler Memorial. The Troop holding the Retreat Banner has the honor of raising and lowering the Camp’s flags on the following day. 

Senior Patrol Leaders Meetings

The Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) is the primary Troop youth leader. Senior Patrol Leader’s will meet with the Program Director on Sunday evening and on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the Sanders Shelter. The Program Director will brief the SPL’s on camp events and activities.

Adult Leaders Meetings

The Camp Director, Program Director, and Camp Commissioner will meet with adult Troop leaders on Tuesday and Friday at the Sanders Shelter immediately after breakfast. These brief meetings are opportunities to exchange information and ask questions.

ST21 (Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class)

Camp Manatoc offers a robust program area devoted to teaching many of the skills needed for younger scouts to achieve the Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank. The ST21 schedule is offered daily throughout the week. Check the ST21 schedule for topics and times.

Cairn Awards Program

The Manatoc Cairns (pronounced “karens”) are historical landmarks found throughout the entire Manatoc Reservation. Back in the 1920’s and 30’s these were marked by heaps of stones the Scouts would leave. Today they are marked with Native-American symbols and there are more than fifty cairns. While a Scout must visit cairns each year they are at summer camp to earn a Good Camper Award, these awards are separate from the Good Camper program and are designed for Scouts who are at least second year campers or all adult leaders. There are four award levels, and the Cairn Awards must be earned in order:  Brave, Chief, Spirit, Cairn Master. A booklet defining the requirements for each level and for recording a participant’s progress is available at the Administration Building or the Red Oak Nature Center. Booklets are due at 7:30 PM on Thursday night and must be submitted at the Red Oak Nature Center for review. Cairn location maps are available for purchase in the Trading Post.

Color Trails and Nature Trail

There are six color trails found in the Manatoc Scout Reservation. These trails were established beginning in the 1960’s and are a challenging and fun way for Scouts to explore the over 600 acres of reservation property. Each trail is blazed with a color (red, white, blue, yellow, green and orange) in both directions. Color trail maps and hiking staff stickers for each color trail are available at the Trading Post.  Additionally, campers can learn about modern conservation and sustainability practices by hiking the interactive Natural Trail that was established and dedicated in 2023 through the efforts of a Scouter as part of their Wood Badge ticket in conjunction with the Great Trail Council SCAT (Sustainability, Conservation and Trails) Committee. All trails begin at the kiosk found near Scoutcraft.

Cowboy Action Shoot

Join our Shooting Sports staff at the Rifle Range on Wednesday night for the Cowboy Action Shoot. Participants will have the opportunity to shoot a .22 caliber revolver, a .22 caliber lever action rifle, a double-barreled shotgun, and a black powder musket.  There is an added fee for this event and participation is limited to forty campers with Scouts taking priority over adults.  Pre-camp signup for this event is available through the Troop’s on-line account.

Critter Contest NEW CHANGES

A long-time Camp Manatoc summer camp tradition, in 2024 we are bringing a 21st century update to the contest.  In the spirit of our commitment to sustainability and conservation, participants in the Critter Contest will use the iNaturalist app to record the animals they observe.   Points are awarded to a Troop for observing any mammal, reptile, bird or insect recorded on the iNaturaist app. The winning Troop receives a prize at the end of the week. More details will be available at the April Leaders’ meeting.

Dutch Oven Cook-Off

Another long-time Camp Manatoc Summer Camp tradition, on Monday evening, the Scout Leader Dutch oven cook-off pits our Unit leaders and their best Dutch Oven concoctions. You don’t have to cook to enjoy this event. Bring a copy of your recipe to share with your fellow leaders and enjoy the fellowship time. 

Duty to God

The Duty to God Promotion Patch is a four-segment “puzzle” type patch. Only one segment is offered in any given year. Participants are encouraged to earn all four segments over a four-year span. The Troop Chaplain Aide is provided with a book of suggested daily devotions and the requirements for each scout and adult in the troop to earn the Duty to God award.

Environmentalist Award

The Manatoc Environmentalist Award is open to all Scouts and Adult leaders in residence at Camp Manatoc for six or more consecutive days. It may take up to two years to complete the requirements for the award. All requirements must be verified. To earn the award, an individual must complete six (6) of the listed requirements. The Camp Manatoc Nature Director shall evaluate all submissions and decide whether they meet the criteria. A list of requirements is available at the Red Oak Nature Center.

Flag Retirement Ceremony

On Tuesday evenings, join our Scoutcraft staff for a formal flag retirement ceremony. Troops are welcome to bring flags for retirement from their own troop or home. Scouts and Adult leaders should be dressed in field uniform for this ceremony. Any scouter who is a veteran or active service member is welcome to attend in their military uniform. 

Leaders’ Lunch

On Thursday, join the Scout Executive and members of the Great Trail Council Executive Board in the Lewis Family Conference Center for lunch and fellowship. This lunch is a way of thanking those adult volunteers spending the week at camp for supporting youth and the BSA.

Leaders’ Shootout Challenges

Adult leaders are invited to take part in friendly shooting competitions at the Rifle, Shotgun, and Archery ranges all week during open program area times. Awards will be given out at the Saturday Morning Awards Presentation. Adult leaders are encouraged to shoot for scores early in the week when range time is more available and the deadline for competing is Thursday at the end of open program time.

Life to Eagle Presentation

The Great Trail Council Advancement Committee hosts an information session Wednesday evening for Star and Life Scouts, and adult leaders interested in learning more about topics related to Eagle Scout advancement and procedures.

Medicine Man Adult Engagement Award

For adult leaders who come to camp, the Medicine Man award is designed with four accomplishments in mind:  relaxation, learning, fellowship, and fun. Different tasks earn different points and participants who earn 300 points receive a commemorative patch which is different each year. Task lists/scoresheets are available at the Administration Building

Mile Swim NEW

Swimmers can attempt the ultimate BSA swimming challenge, the Mile Swim, on Thursday night at the Swimming Pool. This year, we have charged our requirements for participation.  In order to qualify for the Mile Swim, interested participants will have to attend scheduled practices and show the ability to swim a quarter mile, a half mile, and three quarters of a mile to qualify for the Mile Swim on Thursday night. The event is open to both youth and adult swimmers.  More details will be available at the April Leaders’ meeting.

Morning Nature Walk

On Tuesday and Thursday morning, interested campers can take part in an early morning nature walk through specific sections of our Color Trails. The focus of the walks is the identification of animals that might be more active in the morning, such as birds. These walks will focus on quiet observations, reflective thought, perhaps some short episodes of “Seton Watching,” which is sitting for 20 minutes and observing the world using the five senses to discover the wonder of the natural world around you.

Opening Program

On Sunday evening, our staff presents the Opening Program.  Join the Camp Manatoc Players as they present an interactive blend of songs, skits, and short plays. 

Order of the Arrow Call-Out Ceremony and Ice Cream Social

On Wednesday night following Retreat, Marnoc Lodge will conduct a call-out ceremony to recognize those who have been elected to the Order of the Arrow in 2024 whether or not those elected have already completed the Ordeal. The ceremony is held in the Manatoc Council Ring. Afterwards, all adult leaders in camp and youth members of the Order of the Arrow (including those just called-out) are invited to the OA Ice Cream Social on Wednesday nights for dessert and fellowship. Members of Marnoc Lodge can pay their annual dues at this event.

Orientation Trail

On Sunday evening, all first-year campers or any Scout units new to Camp Manatoc will attend the Orientation Trail. Staff members will guide the group to each camp program area where an area’s director will give the participants a brief overview of the area’s activities and merit badge offerings.

Patch Trading

A favorite activity among Scouts and Adult leaders, patch traders can bring their collections to Scoutcraft on Monday afternoon for an opportunity to trade patches with fellow collectors.

Pool Party

Take a dip in the Manatoc Swimming Pool during the Monday night Pool Party.

Troop Campsite Gateway Contest

Campsite gateways have always played a big part in the traditions of Camp Manatoc. Showing Troops from other cities and states what is unique or interesting about your Troop or hometown is a time-honored Scouting tradition and gateways are one of the most visible ways to do that. Leaders and Scouts should allow their imaginations to go wild to create a winning gateway. Site Commissioners will judge Troop gateways on Thursday morning and gateways are judged on appeal, demonstration of Scout skills (knots and lashings are tied correctly, gateway adheres to the Guide to Safe Scouting policies), and creativity. The rules for the Gateway Contest are found in the Troop Orientation Packet.


A Scout is reverent. Vespers are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday nights in the Rev. Frank Basa Chapel located directly behind the Butler Memorial. These interfaith services are open to Scouts and Adult leaders of all faiths and religions.

Out Trips NEW

This year Camp Manatoc is offering not one, but two half-day, off-property out trips for Scouts who are 13+ years of age (third year campers or above) and adult leaders. Returning in 2024 is the kayaking trip on the Cuyahoga River through our partners from 2023, Burning River Adventures. We are also adding a second out trip, an opportunity to cycle the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail by partnering with Century Cycles which is located in Peninsula. The cost of each out trip is in addition to the summer camp fees and registration for these events is through your GTC registration portal. 

Pre-Camp Service Opportunities NEW

Help us prepare our council camps for your next adventure and earn your service credits for the Good Camper program in advance of your summer camp stay by attending one or more of our Camp Service Days at the Manatoc Scout Reservation and Camp Stambaugh this spring.  Our camps are our pride and joy, and it takes the dedication of our staff along will the efforts of our volunteers to keep our camps beautiful and operating well. We will have projects for all levels of skill for both Scouts and Scouters. Lunch is provided for all six service days courtesy of the Outdoor Program Staff. Click HERE for the dates and to register.