Samoset Council

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Samoset Council has the distinction of having the only Scouting symbol designed by Walt Disney, a character called Smiley the Tent, which is the official logo for Tesomas Scout Camp. The Council is headquartered in Weston (near Wausau), and serves the north central part of Wisconsin. The council was founded in 1920. It gets its name from an early Boy Scout camp in the town of Harrison, named Camp Sam-O-Set which closed in 1934, a year before the construction of Camp Tesomas. Tesomas is one of three camps that are part of Crystal Lake Scout Reservation, the others being Akela's World Cub Scout Camp, and Hanna Venture Base. Samoset Council is served by [[Tom Kita Chara Lodge]] #96 of the Order of the Arrow.

Crystal Lake Scout Reservation

Crystal Lake Scout Reservation (CLSR), near Rhinelander, Wisconsin, consists of three Scouting summer camps: Akela's World, a camp for Cub Scouts; [[Tesomas Scout Camp]], a Boy Scout summer camp; and Hanna Venture Base, for [[Venture Scouts]]. Located on the shores of Crystal Lake, all three Scouting camps at CLSR are operated by Samoset Council, an area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is also the home of Tom Kita Chara Lodge #96, of the Order of the Arrow.

Tesomas was founded in 1935, and serves over 2,400 campers per summer. Akela's World was established in 1992, and serves about 1,800 campers per summer. Hanna Venture Base is the newest addition to CLSR, being established in 2000.

The most notable portion of CLSR is Camp Tesomas, which has developed into a camp of regional and national fame, due to its popular summer camp program. Boy Scout Troops from across the nation have camped at Tesomas. The history of Scouting in Wisconsin would not be complete without mention of Tesomas. However, the other camps at CLSR are attaining a noteworthy reputation as well.

Samoset council has two other camping facilities that are not part of CLSR, but are worth mentioning. Phillips Scout Camp is available for short-term camping, and is open to non-scouting organizations. And the 150 acre Flambeau Canoe Base, located on the south fork of the Flambeau River, includes several campsites, a covered shelter, and a tiered camp fire area.

Of all Samoset Council's facilities, Crystal Lake Scout Reservation gets the majority of use from both in-council and out-of-council Scout troops.

Tesomas Scout Camp

Tesomas Scout Camp is a Boy Scout Summer Camp, located north of Rhinelander, Wisconsin. It is part of the Crystal Lake Scout Reservation, and operated by Samoset Council, of the Boy Scouts of America.

The camp operates for eight weeks during the summer. The Scouts who camp at Tesomas typically stay one week with their Scout Troop. Many of the Boy Scout Troops that attend Tesomas are from cities located in the Samoset Council area of Wisconsin. However, several Troops from around the country travel to Tesomas to experience the camp's award-winning summer program. Troops have traveled from as far away as the west coast.

Tesomas has earned a reputation for being an exceptional Scout Camp, earning many accolades and awards from the Scouting National Accreditation Committee, for being one of the top Boy Scout Camps in the nation. There are many activities for Scouts to participate in while at Tesomas. The Camp is the home of Tom Kita Chara Lodge #96,the best lodge in Wisconsin, of the Order of the Arrow.

Tesomas was founded in 1935, and celebrated its 70th anniversary as a camp in 2005. Over the years, Tesomas has not only become a hub for Scouting in Wisconsin, but also regionally across the entire midwest. It is a fairly sizable summer camp, with over 1,100 acres of land and 70 staff members. The camp comprises most of the land around Crystal Lake, a spring-fed lake with many species of freshwater fish.

The camp's logo is Smiley the Tent, a tent with a large smile, wearing a gold crown. Smiley is usually pictured with the camp's slogan, "Where Camping is King!"

Hanna Venture Base

Hanna Venture Base was named after, and financially backed by Mr. Al Hanna, whose achievements include climbing to the top of Mount Everest.

Akela's World Cub Scout Camp

Akela's World serves both Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts during the summer, and was the #1 Cub Scout Resident Camp in the nation for 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2004 it was #1 in the Central Region and #2 in the country.

Tom Kita Chara

Tom Kita Chara is a Lodge of the Order of the Arrow, and is affiliated with the Samoset Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

After being chartered in December 1936, the first formal Lodge meeting was held early in 1937 in Wausau, Wisconsin. That same summer Samoset Council's Executive Board approved the Order of the Arrow as an official part of the Council's Boy Scout camping program. As tradition indicates, a deer leaped through the first Lodge Ceremony. The name of the Lodge, Tom Kita Chara, means "leaping buck" in the language of the Chippewa Indians, who lived in north-central Wisconsin. The Lodge number is 96, meaning that it was the 96th Lodge of the Order of the Arrow to be formed.

In 1946, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was made an honorary member of the Lodge, honored the Lodge with a visit. In turn, he presented the Lodge with a letter and a sword, which are now located in the Archives Room at Tesomas Scout Camp, and is available for public viewing. The sword was part of his family for many generations and is indicated by the original spelling of his family name - Eisenhauer.

In 2006, TKC Lodge celebrated its 70th anniversary as a Lodge. The previous year, when Tesomas Scout Camp celebrated its 70th camp anniversary in 2005, the lodge had the opportunity to welcome Robert Tank, its first Lodge Chief, back to the Camp for a weekend of remembrance and celebration. All former chiefs of Tom Kita Chara Lodge present at the anniversary banquet signed a Vigil sash, now also on display in the Tesomas Archives Room.


  • Ahdawagam District serves Scouts in the cities of Adams, Arkdale, Babcock, Friendship, Grand Marsh, Nekoosa, Pittsville, Port Edwards, Rudolph, Vesper, and Wisconsin Rapids.
  • Crystal Lake District serves Scouts in the cities of Antigo, Crandon, Eagle River, Elcho, Harshaw, Land O’Lakes, Laona, McNaughton, Newbold, Phelps, St. Germain, Rhinelander, and Three Lakes.
  • Mushkodany District serves Scouts in the cities of Almond, Amherst, Amherst Junction, Bancroft, Birnamwood, Custer, Gresham, Junction City, Milladore, Mosinee, Plover, Rosholt, Stevens Point, and Wittenberg.
  • Northwoods District serves Scouts in the cities of Boulder Junction, Butternut, Gleason, Medford, Merrill, Minocqua, Park Falls, Phillips, Prentice, Rib Lake, Stetsonville, Tomahawk, and Woodruff.
  • Ojibwa District serves Scouts in the cities of Abbotsford, Athens, Auburndale, Blenker, Colby, Edgar, Hewitt, Marathon, Marshfield, Spencer, Stratford, Unity, and Withee.
  • Rib Mountain District serves Scouts in the cities of Hatley, Hewitt/Texas, Kronenwetter, Maine, Rib Mountain, Ringle, Rothschild, Schofield, Stettin, and Wausau.

See Also