Sunday Arrival Process
Before Leaving for Ockanickon
- Each camper should have his or her temperature taken. Campers with a temperature of 101°F or above should wait for their temperature to drop before going to Ockanickon. Campers that arrive with a temperature of 101°F or above will be sent home.
- Carpooling is a must! Please talk to your Scouts’ parents about sharing rides.
- Please Plan to Arrive as a Troop
2:00 – 4:00 Arrival
- Meet your Troop Guide at the Pine Grove near the front of the parking lot, if you can’t find them, please ask the nearest staff member for help. Once you meet your Troop Guide, he or she will take you to your campsite and get you started on the check-in process.
- Only one vehicle per troop may enter the main camp area at a time.
- Pack all troop gear and any large personal gear into this vehicle and have your troop members carry any remaining gear to the site as directed by your site manager.
2:30 – 5:00 Medical Rechecks, Swim Tests, Camp Tour, and Photos
- Send one leader to the camp office with a new roster (if any changes were made), a troop check (if any money is owed) and a copy of your Tour Permit and proof of insurance.
- Please leave medical forms in campsite with the camp staff site manager.
- A staff member will be waiting at your campsite to begin your medical rechecks.
- Please provide your Medical Forms to the staff member, and please be sure to complete this step before setting up the site or picking tents. It is a priority in order to keep the rest of check-in running smoothly.
- The Med-Check Staff member will see each camper to verify the key areas of the medical form like medications, allergies and restrictions and check-in any medications.
- The Scout’s temperature will also be taken and Scouts with a temperature 101°F or more will be sent home.
- Once your troop is ready to go (in swimsuits if needed, both buddy tags and water bottles in hand), your Troop Guide will take you on a tour around camp, stopping at different stations around camp.
- Units will receive a basic shooting sports safety orientation. All participants who receive this orientation may attend any open shoot unless otherwise restricted.
- All scouts will visit the pool for an orientation. Swim checks will be given after the orientation. If your troop has pre-tested, you will continue on your tour.
- Visit the Dining Hall for a quick orientation about how set-up and clean up work in our Dining Hall.
- *NEW THIS YEAR* Troop Photos can be taken, on the grassy area next to the Dining Hall, after these three stations have been completed
- Sign up for CPR, or badges (Horsemanship, Golf, Robotics, Law, and Sailing) at the Office
- The unit will return to the campsite and finish setting up camp.
5:00 – 6:30 Dinner and Lottery Drawings
- All food is served cafeteria-style. Your troop is responsible for bussing and cleaning its tables.
- Results for activity lotteries will be posted on the Camp Office door by 5:30 PM
6:30 Leader Meeting for 1 Leader from Each Unit at Chapel
- Brief program changes and details from some departments
- Emergency procedure and emergency drill information
- Sign-ups for troop activities and final Dan Beard counts
- Question and Answer time with management and departments
7:30 Scouts’ Own Vespers Service at Camp Chapel
Immediately Followed by Campfire
Help is available Everywhere
Help During Your Stay
Leading your Scouts in a successful week may be trying at times. Discipline issues, weather or program misunderstandings can all put stress on you and your unit leaders and detract from your unit’s stay. Ockanickon has several resources at your disposal to help you during your stay as well as to help inform the camp staff of your unit’s needs.
Your site manager guides you through Sunday check in and your first day at camp but their utility does not end there. Your site manager will also lead your unit through emergency procedures and actual emergencies and communicate vital information to your unit should the camp-wide notification system fail. Beyond this, the site manager can help communicate problems with your site and stay to the appropriate persons but often doesn’t have the power to solve every problem. If your unit has problems with their site manager, don’t hesitate to tell the Program Director an any Assistant Camp Director.
The Camp Commissioners are National Camp School Trained experts in camp operations and expressly serve as a liaison between the troop and the camp. Their entire job is to help you solve problems and to maintain a safe camp. Your unit will be visited at least once a day by at least one camp commissioner who will perform health and safety inspections and check to see if your unit is having any problems or has any suggestions. Commissioners are not responsible for performing inspections for the Clean Camp Award but will offer guidance in what to check. The Camp Commissioners can also help solve simple program problems and direct you to whom you should work to solve any trickier problems. Issues with camp facilities such as problems with tent platforms or latrines should be brought to the attention of either the Camp Commissioners or any member of Camp Administration.
The first goal of every department head or area director is to see that their staff delivers a quality program and quality service. Should you encounter difficulties with a staff member the department head is there to help you. There are some things an area director won’t do, like change merit badge requirements for Scouts without special needs, allow Scouts who present a health or safety risk in their area, or make exceptions to Ages and Stages requirements when dictated by National Scout Policies. Area Directors often have years of experience in both Scouting and camp operations and will often suggest creative fixes to help all parties and are usually available in their departments, can be contacted through the main office or camp mailboxes, and are present at their respective meals.
Program Director and Assistant Program Director
Ockanickon offers a lot of program with different schedules, policies and personalities and the Program Director and his assistant are the coordinators of all camp program. Problems that haven’t been solved by talking with Area Directors or Camp Commissioners, while rare, can be solved through the Program Director. The Program Director or Assistant Program Director are present at every meal, every large camp-wide activity, and Leader Meetings.
Adult Leader Opportunities and Amenities
Being a leader results in an active week at camp. Beyond looking after your unit and Scouts, Leaders must look after themselves. A stressed or bored leader is unlikely to help anyone so Ockanickon strongly recommends that leaders take at least some program and take advantage of some of the leader facilities in camp. These facilities include use of the central shower house located oppose of Foster Hall. Additionally, leaders may always visit the kitchen and common area of Totem Lodge to grab some coffee, sit and enjoy some air conditioning, talk with other leaders or take in a movie during the evenings. The Totem Leader lounge is open each day from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM. We recommend units who wish to have their 6:00 AM coffee consider bringing a percolator to camp. The second floor of Totem is off limits as it is a staff living area and the 1st floor bathroom is for building residents, the duty officer and the handicapped.
- Adult Leaders are welcome to help our staff with merit badge sessions with the permission of the staff running the session
- If a leader in your unit would like to offer a separate badge or program, please speak with the Program Director
- AHA CPR certification (this service costs $35.00 for both initial training and recertification and includes all materials)
- Belay Training
- Climb On Safely
- Climbing Instructor Certification
- Leave No Trace Orientation
- Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense
- Scuba BSA and Discover Scuba
- Swimming and Water Rescue
- Paddle Craft Safety
- Trek Safely
The Fun Stuff
- Leaders who’ve completed the safety exams are welcome at the shooting ranges
- Leaders who’ve completed their swim test are welcome at the pool and lake
- The sauna and hot tub are open to leaders during all afternoons and Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings
- All COPE, Climbing and camp-wide activities are open to leaders
- Horseback Riding is open to leader participants if slots are available
- Leaders may participate in the Golf day trip as either free youth chaperones or may pay greens fees and take in a round of golf
- Adults are strongly encouraged to participate in the Airband Competition and may form Leader-Only teams
- Skits at the campfire may have adult participants
- While leaders are required to guide their Scouts during raft and canoe trips, we’ll be impressed if you stay dry
Leader Tip: The hot tub is a great place to plan your unit’s next year of program.
Sooner or later everyone has to go home. Please instruct the parents of your Scouts that we will be holding a camp wide flag ceremony at the old parade field at 9:30 AM, which they are invited to attend. After the awards are given out everyone is dismissed at approximately 10:00 AM. Camp officially closes at 11 AM.
Your unit’s medications may be picked up between 7 AM and 10 AM Saturday after your Scouts have taken morning medications. Your unit’s medical forms will not be returned. Please make copies of them before you arrive at camp.
Detailed information about the camp’s policies on medications in camp, dealing with food allergies and dietary concerns, and Ockanickon’s procedures on medical emergencies can be found on the Camp Health Policies page.
Detailed information about camp fees can be found on the Camp Fees page.
Accident Insurance-All troops attending camp are required to carry current accident insurance for their unit. Proof of insurance is required upon arrival at camp. Documentation is only needed for units in Councils who do not provide blanket coverage for their units.
Bicycles in Camp-Scouts may only bring bikes for the Mountain Biking program. Scouts may not ride around camp except as part of this program and must submit their bike to inspection by the Adventure Sports director. Leaders may bring a bike to ride around camp but must observe the 5 MPH camp speed limit, must submit their bike to inspection at the request of the Camp or Adventure Sports Director. Leaders may not ride after dark.
Daily Inspections-A safety checklist is provided to your unit, and your junior leadership is advised to inspect their camp each day for the items listed on it. The Camp Commissioner Staff may also conduct safety inspections of your campsite daily and as needed.
Emergency Procedures-All emergencies must be reported immediately to the Camp Management, Health Officer or the nearest staff member. In the event the camp emergency signal sounds, please return immediately to your campsite and begin accounting for each of your Scouts. Staff runners will report to each campsite to collect head-counts and to pass along any pertinent information. For more specific information concerning emergency procedures please refer to your campsite bulletin board. In the case of severe weather during the day campers may be retained in program areas, during the evening campers may be evacuated to camp buildings at the direction of the camp director.
Firearms in Camp-Personal firearms and bows are prohibited on camp property. We already have the finest target rifles available. Only camp arrows and ammunition may be used. B.S.A. policy forbids the use of handguns as part of a Boy Scout program
Fireworks in Camp-Fireworks are not permitted in camp. Violators will be expelled with no refund.
Fishing Licenses – Campers 16 and over who wish to fish at Ockanickon are required by state law to have a fishing license. These are available through the state web page and through some local merchants located approximately 25 minutes from camp.
Hazing in Camp-Hazing will not be tolerated at camp. Your unit leadership is responsible to see that it does not occur.
Illegal Drugs & Alcohol in Camp-Illegal drugs and alcohol are prohibited on camp property. The use of or the possession of any illegal drugs or alcohol on camp property will result in immediate expulsion from the property. Local and state authorities will be contacted. All prescription medication must be kept with the Health Officer who may grant exceptions for fast-acting drugs for severe conditions like Epipens, fast-acting inhalers and emergency heart medication..
Knives & Axes in Camp-Those Scouts using knives and axes at camp will be required to carry a Totin’ Chip card signifying that they have completed a basic axe and knife safety course. Sheath knives are not permitted in camp. The purchase of knives at the Trading Post requires the possession of a current Totin’ Chip card.
Leaving Camp-Anyone, Scout or leader, who is leaving camp MUST first check out at the Camp Office (or at Totem Lodge with the Duty Officer, between 5PM & 8AM) and check in upon returning. Scouts are not permitted to leave camp unless they are signed out by their adult leader at the Camp Office in the presence of either parent or legal guardian. All visitors picking up Scouts at camp must also sign in and sign out.
Liquid Fuels in Camp-Liquid fuel such as white gas, unleaded gas, or kerosene must be stored in a lockable non-flammable container.
Lost & Found-All lost and found items should be turned into the camp office. Leaders are encouraged to have each Scout label his belongings with his name and troop number before his arrival at camp. Lost and found items are located at Totem Lodge or the camp office. Scouts should also check the program areas they may have visited for lost items.
Off Limits Areas-For safety reasons, certain areas of camp are off limits. The rifle range, shotgun range and archery range are off limits except to participants who have been given permission to enter by the area director. The pool and boating areas are off limits when unstaffed. The maintenance area and staff quarters are restricted access areas.
Parking-All vehicles must be parked at the camp parking lot located near the lake. Permits to park in camp are available for handicapped persons through the Health Officer.
Personal Hygiene-The camp environment is often very conducive to the transmission of illness. Due to this, all campers and staff are encouraged to shower regularly and always wash their hands before meals. It is important that everyone keep themselves reasonably clean. Hand sanitizer is also available at most of the latrines in camp.
Pets in Camp-State health and safety codes specifically forbid dogs and other pets at camp during the camping season. No exceptions.
Quartermaster-The QM is located at the Maintenance Area (behind the Dining Hall) and has hours listed on the Master Schedule. All equipment and supplies must be signed out. Damaged or lost equipment will be charged to your unit. (Emergency toilet paper supplies may be obtained at Totem Lodge at all other times.)
Requesting a Campsite-Units can request a campsite for one of two reasons, either out of facilities needs like having access to power or because of simple preference. Units may request a site for either reason but units with facility necessities will get first choice of campsites. Campsite submissions can be submitted any time after the May 3rd Leader Meeting and can be emailed to email@example.com with the subject line “Campsite Request” or called in. Please include your name, unit, week and preferred campsite with all requests. Units may also request to stay with a particular unit staying their week and those requests can be submitted via the same channels. Please remember that meeting a site request is not guaranteed and medical needs will receive priority where possible.
Swim Tests – Units are strongly encouraged to administer swim tests before camp. If a unit completes swim tests before arriving, properly printed buddy tags can be ready for the unit on arrival and can save a good bit of time during Sunday Check-In. Swim tests can be administered by a BSA Aquatics Instructor, BSA Aquatics Supervisor, BSA Lifeguard or Red Cross Lifeguard. Test details are included as part of the Swim Test Record itself and this document can be mailed or faxed to Ockanickon once complete. Swim Test Record (PDF) – Swim Test Record (Editable RTF)
Telephone, Faxes, Mail & Email -Ockanickon Scout Reservation’s telephone number is to be used for emergencies and camp business only. The camp telephone number is: (215) 297-5290. The camp’s fax number, (215) 297-8702, is also to be used for business purposes only. Faxes sent to individual campers will not be delivered. Mail service is provided to all campers and staff. Outgoing mail should be deposited by 10:00AM each morning and stamps are available at the camp Trading Post. The mailbox is located on the Camp Office porch. Letters to campers should be addressed as follows:
Troop #, Campsite Name
Ockanickon Scout Reservation
5787 State Park Road
Pipersville PA 18947
The camp’s email address is for business use only and emails addressed to campers can not be delivered. Thank you for your understanding.
Tobacco Policy-The use of tobacco products is discouraged by the B.S.A. Adults who use these products are asked to refrain from smoking in the presence of Scouts, in doorways or on porches. Please use the designated areas.
Trees-Trees are a valuable resource. No tree, living or dead, may be cut down without the permission of the Camp Director. Units will be charged if they violate this policy.
Troopwide Restrictions-Unit leaders have the prerogative to not allow their Scouts to participate in some activities or deny Scouts usage of specific departments, facilities or tools. These policies will not be expressly enforced by the Ockanickon Camp Staff but we will support you in these decisions.
Uniforming-Articles of clothing that exhibit slogans or products that are against Scouting principles are prohibited on camp property. The official Boy Scout Field Uniform (worn correctly) which includes the uniform shirt, socks and shorts, is proper dress for dinner (unless otherwise announced). During the week, uniform parts can be obtained through Bucks County Council by making a request at the Trading Post. During the day, dress may be shorts and t-shirts. No tank tops, sleeveless shirts or bathing suits are to be worn during meals. Footwear is required at all times. Scouts seen wearing open-toed shoes will be sent to their camp site to change footwear.
Visitors in Camp, Sundays and Saturday Mornings Only-Parents may accompany their Scouts to camp on Sunday and leave by 7:00PM. No visiting during the week is permitted. Leadership changes must check in at the Camp Office when they arrive. All visitors (who are here to pick up a Scout) must sign in and out at the Camp Office or with the Duty Office after 5:00 PM. Prior approval or check-in/check-out is not required for visitors on Saturday morning. All leadership changes, late arrivals, early departures and any other event requiring a Scout to leave between check in Sunday and check out on Saturday for more than a day must be made no later than closing time on Sunday.