How do I get to Camp Whitsett?
What is the check-in day schedule?
- Arrive at camp between 1:00 and 3:00 on Sunday
- Meet the Troop Guide and Check-In Guide in the Parking Lot
- Go to your campsite and change into swimming gear (all Scouts and any adults who wish to). We will have trucks available to transport unit gear to campsites. Parking for you vehicles is available in our parking lots. You will have access anytime during the week.
- One adult goes to the Trading Post (the Guide will take you) with Medical and permission forms, and any money or checks to cover camp registration fees owed (the leader with the forms may go to Check-In while the Scouts are getting ready for the Swim Checks).
- The other Scouts and Leaders go to the Medical Lodge and stand by.
- Go under the Big Top and Sign up for camp services and some activities (a second adult could be doing this while the leader is checking into camp — as long as there is at least one adult with the Scouts).
- Go to the Medical Lodge for the Medical Recheck (everyone). Receive your Buddy Tags.
- Go to the waterfront for the Aquatics orientation and Swim Check (everyone who uses the lake MUST have a Swim Check. Adult Leaders may elect to take the Swim Check later.)
- Begin the Camp Orientation, visiting the Scoutcraft Area and the Front of the Trading Post where the other program area have set up Orientation Stations.
- Go back to the campsite to set up and relax.
- Open Dining, first meal: 5:30 to 6:30 (flag ceremony following, about 6:40).
- Leader Meeting: 7:00
- SPL Meeting: 7:15
- Campfire: 8:30 (your Guide will be around to escort you to the Campfire).
- Back to campsites — Lights out at 10:00.
When can we check into camp?
- The gates will open at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon. Units are asked to check in between 1:00 & 3:00 pm.
What forms do we need to check into camp?
- You need a medical form for each person (youth and adult), Special Scout Permission Form, and any money you owe. (River Rafting Release forms – if you plan to go rafting – are needed when you raft, not at check in.)
Where can I get the health forms?
When will our campsite be assigned?
- We get the final unit lists and numbers from our Council Office on the Friday before your attendance. We assign campsites on Saturday afternoon.
- We have to assign units in match to balance the size of the units to the number of tents and cots available in each site. Units may be asked to share sites if their numbers don’t warrant a separate site.
What are the uniform requirements for Camp Whitsett?
- Whitsett is a Boy Scout camp and we always encourage traveling in FULL uniform. Your unit is under your jurisdiction. We encourage you to be in full uniform for dinner. During the day the Staff will be in Daily Uniform: Scout Shorts and Staff Shirt, Units are encouraged to wear some sort of unit shirt if possible during the day. Scout and Camp “T” shirts are available in the Camp Trading Post. By the way, FULL Scout Uniform is Scout Shirt, neckerchief (if worn by the troop) and Scout Pants. We realize some units have opted for alternate pants — this is still not recognized as the complete and FULL Scout Uniform.
How do Scouts sign up for Merit Badges?
- The Unit signs up each Scout for his program on our Registration Web Link. After your unit has signed up for camp (and once the program has been finalized in May) the link will permit you to sign up your Scout and Leaders onto your camp roster, and sign up the Scouts for their merit badges.
When do Scouts get their earned and partial Merit Badges?
- The Preliminary Merit Badge sheets which include partial requirements passed will be handed out Friday night at campfire. After you have checked the printout against your records, the Area Directors will be available in front of the Trading Post on Saturday morning, to update our camp records. We will update the online database and send the final report to your camp contact during the week after your unit leaves camp. The Preliminary Merit Badge sheets will help to start writing out your Advancement Report.
What if there is a problem with Merit Badges? Should we talk to the instructor?
- We make if very easy to overcome Merit Badge problems. All the Area Directors will be in front of the Trading Post before Breakfast on Saturday. They have the Merit Badge check sheets and can look to determine the status of any Merit Badge in their area. Updates can be recorded at that time. We make every effort to get a Scout passed before the Friday afternoon deadline.
What are some of the problems encountered in Merit Badge advancement?
- Scouts not signed up for the Merit Badge have not been signed up in the data base.
- Scouts not completing requirements, thinking that attending sessions passes all requirements.
- Some of the badges require turning in results of experiments, or showing the counselor the requirement.
- Scouts not having completed prerequisites.
- Scouts not attending sessions and telling their leaders there were there, or not making up work missed when missing class.
What if we get home and discover a missing merit badge?
- We have a record in camp of all Merit Badges passed. That record can be searched to find requirements passed. Just e-mail the camp at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will search our records for the missing Merit Badge and send an individual update form for the Scout.
What are Merit Badge prerequisites and why do you need them ahead of time?
- Merit Badge prerequisites are long term projects or extensive activities that can not be completed during the camp week (for instance a 90 day study, 20 days and nights of camping, etc.). You can find a prereqs sheet at the downloads section of our website.
What is there for adults to do while in camp?
- Adults may shoot on the ranges, swim and use water craft on the lake, do craft projects, in other words, everything a Scout can do. They can take part in any program as an observer without earning the Scout Advancements. ADULTS HAVE A C.O.P.E. PROGRAM GEARED JUST FOR THEM. Adults also have some training available: Safe Swim Defense Plan, Safety Afloat Certification, Child Protection Training Certification, Climb On Safely, Trek Safely, Scout Master and Assistant Scout Master Specific Training, and Introduction to Outdoor Skills.
What are the additional costs to the Whitsett Program?
- Most additional costs have been eliminated at Camp Whitsett. Check with the specific MERIT BADGE or activity). White Water Merit Badge has an additional cost for the All Day rafting. The costs are set by the Rafting Company just before camp starts. Expect a fee of around $100.
What is the River Rafting program?
- Camp Whitsett contracts with a local Rafting Company in Kernville (we have used the same company for over 20 years) who provides the rafting experience for our Scouts and leaders. The rafting trip is in a very safe part of the Kern River (just above Kernville) called the Lickety Split. Each trip is run by trained guides who give a very exciting experience to the Scouts. It is a fun way to be introduced to the excitement of river rafting. The company provides all rafts, life jackets and other items for the trip – each Scout and leader should wear shorts and shirts, as well as buckled or tied on shoes (no slip-ons; shoes MUST remain on feet).
We have already done the river rafting trip. What other exciting things are there to do?
- Yes. Our Rafting Company has another trip called the Lickety Blaster which is a longer, more adventurous safe trip. It is a little longer and introduces Scouts to an additional set of rapids. New trips are sometimes added at the beginning of the year. Information will be available at camp upon your arrival.
River rafting/Whitewater Questions?
What is the C.O.P.E. program?
- C.O.P.E., or Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience is a summer camp program for Scouts who are 14 years old and all adults (Scouts take part at a different time from the adults). It consists of Team Building Initiative Games, and a series of increasingly more difficult challenges that culminate in a final day of ultimate challenge. It is based the the R.O.P.E.S. courses in which the business industry takes part.
What pre-camp qualifications are there for the Climbing Program?
- Any Scout may take part in the Climbing program. The Merit Badge is reserved for Scouts 13 years of age and older. We have qualified climbing instructors to teach safe climbing techniques using our natural climbing “facility,” Indian Rock.
What if a Scout or Leader has special dietary restrictions?
- Please let us know at least two weeks ahead of time of any serious medical problems related to food. We can take care of vegetarians or most minor allergies. Let us know about these at check in time.
Is power available in campsites?
- Power IS NOT available in campsites. Please let us know of any medical problems that require your being able to recharge medical equipment.
Can parents come to visit?
- Parents are most welcome on Check-In day (Sunday), and at our closing campfire and Check-Out day (Friday night and Saturday) without a problem. Please make sure to check in at the Business Window upon arrival at Camp (the back of the Block Building which also houses the kitchen). Parents may also buy into the meals. Just purchase your meal tickets in the Trading Post.
Can parents take part in the camp activities?
- The Scouts and Leaders who have paid to attend Whitsett have use of the camp facilities and activities. Parents are welcome to visit and watch some of our camp-wide competitions, but are asked not to be around camp just “tagging along” (National Boy Scout Policy also requires this). Contact us for further questions you may have on this subject.
What is the Whitsett Beaver Program?
- The Beaver Program is a Mini-Junior Leader training and Camp Whitsett overview for the one or two boys who will be coming up to camp with their unit the following week. These Scouts receive some overview of Scout Boy Leader Training, as well as finding out about the operation of Camp Whitsett. They can also work on some of their own advancement and sample activities the troop might want to do. This will enable the boy(s) to be sources of information for the troop when it arrives the week after the Beaver Week. Cost is only $175/participant, including activities, accommodations and food.
What is the cost of the Whitsett Beaver Program?
- The Beaver Program is about 1/2 the camp cost per Scout. The program runs from Sunday of the Beaver week to Sunday of the troop’s arrival in camp (they can stay over the Saturday between their Beaver Week and the troop’s camp week).
We have signed up 15 Scouts, but have 2 more. What can we do?
- IF THERE IS ROOM, adding a SMALL number of campers to each week may not be a problem. BUT, if all 20+ units want to add Scouts or Leaders, then it is a problem. Ideal camp capacity is 500 per week. Right now we are running at 500 to 525 per week. For this reason, a waiting list has been created. As units pay their final fees Council might find that some units have dropped off one or two campers. If that happens, those on the waiting list are given the opportunity to add. Unfortunately, the Council is running into the problem that almost EVERY units wants to add. We are trying to work with this situation. Just adding “one or two more” will seriously overload the camp, the program facilities, and the safety of the campers, something we cannot do. Please be patient. Hopefully everyone will be able to be accommodated.
What types of competitions are there for individuals and units?
- We have a Leader Shoot, Aquacade, Pentathlon, Triathlon, and Scoutcraft competitions available each week:
- LEADER SHOOT – practice all week, and shoot for high score on the Rifle Range (no signup needed).
- AQUACADE – fun games that utilize the camp lake on Friday afternoon. Unit campfires that units can run for their own Scouts or invite others to join in. An ideal way for Scouts to earn merit badge requirements for Communications as well as some Rank Advancement needs.Check in camp for events for individuals, teams, and leaders (no signup).
- SCOUTCRAFT – see the Scoutcraft area for information.
How can I send mail to my Scout?
- Mail can be sent to Whitsett anytime. Mail is picked up by the Scout Leader in the afternoon. It takes about 3-4 days for mail to get to a Scout once mailed (so plan accordingly). Scouts routinely get Letters, Postcards, Packages, etc. Mail can be sent to:SCOUT’S NAME – TROOP NUMBER – WEEK [Important – it takes longer to look up a Scout without Troop #] Camp Whitsett HC 1, Box 105 Kernville, CA 93238
- Please note that FedEx only comes to camp once a week, we recommend using UPS or USPS.
- There is fishing in our Lake (but not on the docks or out of boats) and along the streams in Camp. If you are 16 years old or older, you need a California Fishing License. Fishing Licenses can be purchased in Kernville at a number of stores.
- Your unit’s insurance police should be written as part of the Tour Permit and the Camp Registration form. Individual camper’s insurance is Primary for all medical needs, Unit insurance is secondary. Camp insurance picks up from there.
- Camp Whitsett is located in the Sequoia National Forest and National Monument. It is in a semi-wilderness area complete with animals. We have squirrels, raccoons and bears. To protect yourselves, do not store food or smelly items (deoderant, tooth paste, etc.) in your tent. The best defense is a so-called Bear Bag. Using a sleeping bag stuff bag, fill it with any food and smelly items, tie it off to a tree branch, and hoist it 10 feet or so in the air. We’ll be talking about this in camp during our meetings. We don’t have any large or dangerous bugs in camp. We have our share of flies, including deer flies, and ants. Proper cleanliness (showering and wearing clean clothes) will go a long way to remedy this problem.
- Many units bring all types of extra troop gear to be used for special cooking projects, building campsite entryways and camp furnature, camp chairs, and troop and patrol flags. Your gear can be transported by our camp vehicles during check-in. Individual gear can be walked in.
Order of the Arrow
- Check the camp schedule for our Order of the Arrow day. Traditionally Tuesday is OA Day. Wear your OA Sash to meals and join in the rededication ceremony after program in the evening.
Weather at camp
- While here at Whitsett you will experience typical California weather. Days run from 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Nights typically run from 45 – 50 degrees fahrenheit. Occasionally it might get warmer or cooler. Rain is a rarity – once every two or three years we experience a mild rain.
Check out our camping newsletter to get the latest on all of our WLACC camp and events, along with different camping recipes.
Camp Whitsett is in partnership and operating under a special use permit with the Sequoia National Forest in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The rules of acceptance and participation in the program are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap.