Camp Mensinger

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Camp John Mensinger
Camp John Mensinger
Location Forest Rte 4N07, Twain Harte, CA 95383
  • Scout Camp John Mensinger
  • Soap Creek Adventure Base
  • Pendola Scout Reservation

Camp John Mensinger is a campground of Greater Yosemite Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is is located in the Stanislaus National Forest at an elevation of approximately 4,800 feet, 7 miles from Beardsley Lake.

Merit Badge Program

A Different Program Schedule

This camp replaces the hour-by-hour scheduling to expand learning opportunities. Instead here scouts spend a 1/2 day or full day on each merit badge activity and thus Scouts spend an average of six hours in the same class thus allowing more hands-on experience and time on projects.



For many years prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the local Miwuk Indians regularly visited the area. The area was rich in game and plants, which were an important part of the Miwuk culture. These people traveled to higher elevations during the spring and summer, and moved back down with the approach of winter. An attractive feature of the area around the camp was an abundance of acorns, which could be ground into meal. It is common to see grinding rocks throughout the area left by these early residents.

During the mid-1800’s, the California Gold Rush brought a huge influx of Europeans into the area. While little is known about the gold rush days in and around the camp, it is certain that the area was explored. While gold was the main attractant, the potential for lumber was not overlooked. Lumber was harvested in order for settlers to build homes and other structures, however; it wasn’t until the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800’s, that the area began to really open up for logging.

During the first half of the twentieth century, a series of companies began logging operations, moving from Sonora into the mountains. The Pickering Lumber Company built its Sugar Pine Railroad from the town of Standard (just outside of Sonora), all the way through the present Camp John Mensinger, and ending at the edge of Calaveras Big Trees.

The 168 acre camp was deeded to the Yosemite Area Council (now Greater Yosemite Council) in 1969 by the Pickering Lumber Corporation and included the facilities of its Soap Creek Logging Camp. In 1976, Camp Mensinger opened for Scout camping with new and modern facilities. The camp is rich in logging history. The Camp is in an ideal location for high adventure.


Soap Creek Adventure Base

Soap Creek Adventure Base (AKA: Pendola Sierra Adventure Base): Located northeast of the main part of Camp John Mensinger, it serves as the base camp for our rustic backpacking program, designed to provide weeklong treks for older Scouts in the backcountry of the Sierra Nevadas. This program also offers a day-to-day adventure experience where scouts can sign up for specific activities like bicycle rides, waterfront adventures and more.

  • Kayaking/Canoeing @ Pinecrest (available on Mondays)
  • Mountain Biking (available on Tuesdays)
  • BMX (available on Wednesdays)
  • Beardsley Canoe Overnighter Trek (Thursday evenings to early Friday mornings)
  • Bear Lake hike, swim day (from Crabtree Trailhead in Emigrant Wilderness) (available on Fridays)
  • Horseback riding as a patrol

GYC Council

Csp Greater Yosemite Council.jpg

This lodge is part of The Greater Yosemite Council (GYC), which proudly serves youth members and volunteer leaders through Scout units in Modesto, Stockton, Calaveras and San Joaquin regions of Central California. It is a local council (#059) of the Boy Scouts of America. All youth are invited to join scouting.

See Also