Minsi Trails Council
The Minsi Trails Council (council #502) is a council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves Scouts of eastern Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley and Pocono regions as well as parts of western New Jersey.
The council was formed in 1969, after the merger of the Bethlehem Area Council, Delaware Valley Area Council, and Lehigh Council. The council consists of six districts and maintains two camps (Camp Minsi and Trexler Scout Reservation).
The council headquarters is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The current Scout Executive & CEO is Thomas R. Harrington.
The council is divided into six districts. A seventh "Urban Scouting District" runs the national ScoutReach program. Districts are divided by county and school district boundaries based on geographic location and size.
Minsi Trails Council has three camps which they run and maintain. Camp Minsi, a Boy Scout camp, is the largest of the three camps, encompassing more than 1500-acres. The other two camps, Akelaland (Cub Scout camp) and Settlers Camp (Boy Scout camp), both share the land of the smaller Trexler Scout Reservation.
Camp Minsi is a located on the shores of Stillwater Lake in Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania The camp was formerly owned by Bethlehem Area Council prior to the establishment of Minsi Trails Council. The camp was donated to the Boy Scouts in 1949 by Samuel Rubel. Camp Minsi covers 1200-acres of relatively flat woodlands in addition to a 314-acre lake.
Trexler Scout Reservation
Trexler Scout Reservation is a small reservation owned by the council. The reservation is home to Akelaland Cub Scout Camp, Settlers Boy Scout camp and Hawkeye wilderness camp. The reservation is located in Jonas, Pennsylvania.
Council Service Center
The Minsi Trails Council maintains a central headquarters and service center in Allentown (991 Postal Road). The service center includes offices, training center, conference rooms, and a large council shop. A capital finance campaign is currently running to gain funds to enlarge the center to accommodate the continually growing council. A copy of the R. Tait McKenzie sculpture The Ideal Scout stands outside the center.
Order of the Arrow: Witauchsoman Lodge
Minsi Trails Council is home to the Witauchsoman Lodge #44 of the Order of the Arrow. Witauchsoman means "to be in fellowship with somebody".
In 1928, thirteen years after the introduction of the Order of the Arrow into scouting, Minsi Lodge #5 emerged. The Minsi Lodge served the Lehigh Council that operated Trexler Scout Reservation at the time. In 1936, the Pohopoco Lodge #44 replaced the Minsi Lodge. For thirty-three years the Pohopoco Lodge acted as a pilot lodge, helping to start new lodges in the area.
In January 1969, Pohopoco merged with two other lodges forming the first tri-merger in the history of the Order of the Arrow. The other lodges were the Tunkhannock Lodge #476 of the Bethlehem Area Council operating Camp Minsi, and the Ah’Pace Lodge #58 of the Delaware Valley Area Council operating Camp Weygadt. The tri-merger was named the Witauchsoman Lodge #44. The totem of the lodge is three peace pipes (symbolizing the three predecessor lodges) strong on a bow. The lodge has become a strong and vibrant force in the Minsi Trails Council. In 1980, a new chapter that formerly served the Anthracite Scouting Organization joined the brotherhood of the lodge. This was a result of the Organization becoming a new district in the Minsi Trails Council. In 1994, Witauchsoman re-established chapters. Each of the council's six scouting districts operates a chapter.
Witauchsoman Lodge has since continued its growth. The lodge has hosted four Section Conclaves. In 1978 and 1988, the lodge hosted the NE-5A Conclave at the Trexler Scout Reservation. In 1996 and 2004, they hosted the NE-4A Conclave at Camp Minsi.
In 2003, for the first time in the 34 year history of the lodge, it became a National Quality Lodge.
- Ah'Pace Chapter (Forks of the Delaware District)
- Quekolis Chapter (Anthracite District)
- Pohopoco Chapter (Trexler District)
- Tunkhannock Chapter (South Mountain District)
- Pokawachne Chapter (Pocono District)
- Wapagokhos Chapter (North Valley District)