Camp Alton F. Baker is the premier property owned and operated by the Oregon Trail Council, BSA. Named after former Council President and Publisher of the Eugene Register Guard, Alton F. Baker, this 164 acre facility began with a modest foundation.
In 1946, the only council summer camp, Camp Lucky Boy was flooded to make way for the Blue River Resevoir up the McKenzie river, east of Eugene, OR. This camp had served the council's need for over a decade. In the same year Camp Melakwa was created in the Willamette National Forest near the community of McKenzie Bridge, but it's rustic setting and high ad entire focus limited the council's ability to reach all levels of Scouting.
The property for Camp Baker was acquired though a capital campaign headed up by Mr. Baker in 1949 when it became clear to the board of directors that a full time summer camp facility was needed. Sitting entirely on a peninsula in the Siltcoos Lake, Camp Tsiltcoos, as it was known by then, was acquired for $30,000. Donors were then given the opportunity to fund individual campsites and camp buildings and facilities like the waterfront and program shelters.
In the summer of 1954, Camp Tsiltcoos opened her doors to its inaugural class of Boy Scouts. Let not by Scoutmasters and other adult volunteers as they are today, groups of Scouts camped in individual campsites with a Camp Ranger. This "Ranger" was usually a teenage Scout serving as a guide to the provisional band of Scouting Brothers. The Rangers then during the day had his own responsibilities delivering program in various areas such as aquatics, shooting sports, scout craft, nature, and handicraft.
After nine years of service, it was decided to name the camp after the man who's initiative and vision gave rise to this great facility. In 1963 Camp Tsilcoos was renamed Camp Alton F. Baker in a grand banquet and celebration.