WHAT IS UTICA?
Utica is a 6800 foot high reservoir located in the Sierras near Bear Valley just south of Highway 4. It is also the name of our annual summer camp!
Troop Six started camping at Utica in 1957. In 1971 we moved to the present site near the Union Dam. The site among the rocks and trees is about half a mile from a dirt road. This "wilderness" camp is run by the senior scouts and the troop staff with the help of the parents. Scouts learn about living in the outdoors, being self-reliant, working together, and having fun.
The scouts camp by patrols and do their own cooking (learn by doing). A staff member or two eats with each patrol, but the patrol leader is in charge. Cooking follows a balanced menu with fresh meat, eggs, produce, and bread brought in each weekend. Canned and dry food is used towards the end of the week. The senior scouts (junior staff) are in charge of all aspects of camp.
WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS?
Sierra spectacular! You’re at 6,800 feet in a granite basin surrounded by red fir and lodgepole pines. There might not be any cabins, running water, or bathrooms, but who needs them when you’re surrounded by breathtaking wilderness, crystal clear water and a gazillion stars.
The camp takes shape when Troop 6 arrives on the peninsula and starts to build the camp. From setting up a water filtration system to finding the perfectly hidden log that serves as the flagpole, the camp is brought to life by staff, seniors and patrol leaders during the first week of “pre-camp”. Latrines are dug, a commissary is built, and first aid station is set up and the patrol areas are mapped out.
Once the rest of the scouts arrive, campers set up their own tents, lines for drying clothes, and hammocks (if desired) in their patrol areas.
WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES?
Utica includes swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, backpacking, exploring, advancement in many skills, games, and campfires. The adult staff oversees and helps the seniors run camp. Each scout has a worthwhile contribution to make to his patrol and troop. The older scouts have more responsibility. The patrol method and the experience of working and camping together allow us to do long-term, primitive camping relatively smoothly. Sometimes new scouts find it difficult at first. They are not used to doing so much for themselves. With the help of their patrol members and leader, they should settle into a routine. The feeling of accomplishment and fun along the way make Utica the best part of scouting.
HOW DO SCOUTS GET UP THERE?
The answer to this question is depended upon where things stand with the pandemic. Traditionally, a carpool system is set up to get all the scouts to Utica, but we will need to follow state, county and BSA guidelines related to COVID safety.
Final information about getting to/from camp will be determined in the weeks before camp.
For directions, please view the Infor & Packing list sheet by clicking the link in the yellow box.