Program Areas

Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan operates 12 different Program Areas each summer. Both East and West Camp operate their own core program areas; Aquatics, Eco-Con, Handicraft, Pinnacle, Scoutcraft, Shooting Sports, Trailblazer. The Reservation Staff operates a number of program areas available to all scouts to add even more opportunities for adventure: the Climbing Wall, Horse Ranch, Cycling Base and Zip Line.

Jump To a Specific Program Area




Aquatics is the best way to cool off on a hot sunny day. In addition to the merit badges offered at Aquatics, Scouts can look forward to swimming for fun, enjoying belly flops or cannon balls off the raft, and taking out a boat: with a buddy, of course! If you are not a strong swimmer, the staff at aquatics are committed to help you learn to swim. More advanced swimmer can challenge themselves with Lifesaving merit badge and even work on Safe Swim Defense or Paddle Craft Safety certifications. We gear all our instruction and activities to be fun and make all scouts feel comfortable — and confident — in the water.


A popular event for troops is the war canoe races. Each week troops compete against each other to become the camp’s champion of these ten-man boat races. At the end of the week the East Camp champion battles the West Camp champion for the prestigious Killian Cup.

Merit Badges Offered At Aquatics




Climbing Wall

Check out our new climbing facility! With four-sides and checking in at 50, feet the new tower’s three climbing faces of varying difficulty is sure to challenge all scouts. The fourth face is exclusively dedicated to rappelling. The design allows scouts to top out and enjoy the views from the top deck.


During A and B Blocks, we offer Climbing merit badge to all who are interested. Stay tuned in the Dining Hall for details about the Night Climb. You can also test your balance on the slack-line or work on your technique with some bouldering.

Our qualified staff can help you learn to climb if you’re a beginner or help you train if you’re an experienced climber. The merit badge and the climbing wall in-general is suggested for older Scouts (13 and up), but activities for all age groups are available. In addition, leaders have the opportunity to complete Climb-On Safely training. For the more dedicated, Climbing Instructor Training is also available (Note: this is an exhaustive course that is time-intensive).

 Merit Badges Offered at the Climbing Wall


Cycling Base

The Cycling Base operates fleet of “fat-tire” bikes built to tackle Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan’s trails. Scouts and leaders of any experience level can ride trails that range from gravel roads to flow trails and even technical singletrack. Anyone interested in riding or learning about bike maintenance should stop by and speak with our knowledgeable staff. Cycling Merit Badge is available during A Block and B Block. Troops or individuals may sign up for longer trail rides during the afternoon Hour periods. These rides cost $10. Shorter trail rides are offered during most free program hours.


Merit Badges Offered at the cycling base


We have 21 bicycles available to scouts and leaders. They are 7-speed fat-tire bikes with indexed shifters. All are equipped with front and rear disc brakes. We have three frame sizes available to ensure that everyone rides a bike suited to them.


Please note that not all requirements can be completed at camp. Scouts will be able to complete some, but not necessarily all, of the rides in 7Bc. 7Bd cannot be completed during the merit badge classes.

Other Opportunities

  • Trail Rides

  • Open Rides


Ecology Conservation

At the Ecology Conservation Lodge, or Eco-Con, Scouts can participate in over ten nature-related merit badges. Scouts can enjoy fishing instruction, a hike along the nature trail and even a night under the stars. Our staff will help you experience and understand nature in a whole new way. There is always something crawling, swimming or slithering at Eco-con!


Merit Badges Offered At Ecology Conservation


  • Astronomy Overnight

  • Bird Hike

  • Fish Fry

  • Bog Boogie

  • Night Hike



Handicraft offers Scouts a chance to express their artistic-side with numerous arts and crafts merit badges. Stop by and throw some clay on a potter's wheel, paint a picture, or let your imagination guide you with the various tools at your disposal. Scouts will be proud to bring home their merit badges as well as their projects too!


Merit Badges Offered At Hanicraft


  • Reed Hike

  • Rocket Launch


Horse Ranch

During your visit to Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan, be sure to stop by our beautiful Triangle M Ranch, where you can take advantage of one of the few Scouting horse programs in the country. Horses are available for the merit badge and trail rides. The skilled ranch staff tend to a herd of over 10 horses, many of which are Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan veterans. The Triangle M Ranch program is a great way to learn to ride or practice. Our trail rides are a unique opportunity to check out the backwoods of Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan.


 Merit Badges Offered at the Horse Ranch


Before you head over to the ranch, take note of the following:

  • Participants must wear long pants, a shirt and boots (with heels: no Chacos!) to their merit badge session and/or trail ride

  • There are additional fees associated with all horse ranch programs, which can be paid at the Welcome Center.

  • All trips are subject to cancellation due to horse health, weather and/or low enrollment.

  • Troops will need to provide their own transportation to the ranch, which located directly across the road from Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan (due to time constraints, scouts should not walk).


Our ranch offers Horsemanship merit badge. (don’t forget to download our study guide if you’re taking this). There is a $45 fee associated with this badge, payable at the Welcome Center.


An hour-long riding experience held at various times throughout the day; a good experience for Scouts that have not earned Horsemanship Merit Badge, and for parents and guests who visit Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation.

Breakfast trail rides are available Tuesday through Friday mornings.

Capacity is 10 per ride.

Cost: $25. Payments must be made at the Welcome Center.

Times offered: Schedules will vary depending on other Ranch activities—check with your camp director, or a member of the Welcome Center staff.

Registration: You must register and pay at the Welcome Center only, by noon the day before the ride.

Additional Horse Programs – Take advantage of custom designed horse programs such as Breakfast rides and arena riding. If interested, discuss the various options with the Head Wrangler or High Adventure Coordinator. Additional fees vary by type of program.


For a safe, fun, and hassle-free ranch experience, take note of the following:

  • No person may bring or use any horse which is not one of the reservation’s horses.

  • Horse use is limited to registered Scouts or adult leaders and to persons on the reservation who shall be the same age or grade as the aforementioned Scouts.

  • Use of horses by any person must be in conformance with National Scout policies, including the wearing of reservation supplied helmets at all times when on horseback.

  • For program purposes, registered Scouts shall have priority of use over non-Scouts and adults.

  • Horse use is prohibited for unregistered youth that cannot meet minimum age or grade requirements of youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of their sex.



Designed as a unique opportunity for older scouts, Pinnacle offers a variety of merit badges chosen with the interest of older scouts in mind. There are several Eagle Required badges for scouts working towards this goal as well as many badges that related to career exploration.

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This summer both East and West Pinnacle will be offering the same badges.

Scouts must be at least 13 years of age or have earned the Star rank to take most Pinnacle Merit Badges: Chess and Fingerprinting do not have sign up restrictions..

Merit Badges Offered At Pinnacle


  • Chess Competitions

  • Cook-Offs

  • Science Experiments

  • Older Scout Program



Scoutcraft is where “scouts go to play.” Don’t expect the scenery to stay the same for long; staff and campers are constantly building new pioneering structures using their lashing skills and creativity. Other opportunities include fire building, camping, backpacking and pioneering.


Merit Badges Offered At Scoutcraft


  • Paul Bunyan

  • Wilderness Survival Overnight*

  • Totin’ Chip

  • Fireman Chit

    *Note: Scouts participating in the Wilderness Survival Overnight and are taking Wilderness Survival Merit Badge can attend the evening before they have completed/started the badge.


Shooting Sports

Shooting Sports affords scouts the unique opportunity to try Archery, Rifle and Shotgun. In addition to merit badge sessions, the ranges are open for open shooting every day. Safety is the main priority so the MSR staff is always working to ensure scouts learn how to safely handle a firearm. Scouts and Adults alike are encouraged to come down to the range to learn how to stay safe on the range and improve their marksmanship.


Merit Badges Offered At Shooting Sports


  • Platinum Pigeon

  • Silver Bullet

  • Golden Arrow


Training: All scouts must have the necessary Firearms Safety Training to participate on any NEIC range. This training is provided at MSR and is good for 2 years after completing the training. Scouts must present their FST cards when entering any of the MSR ranges – No Exceptions.

Eye & Ear Protection: A mandatory requirement of the Boy Scouts of America is that eye and ear protection must be worn by anyone at this area.  The camp will provide this or you may use your own.  For safety reasons, no targets other than those approved by the Range Safety Officer will be allowed.

Commands: The Shooting Sports program is run with safety as its primary consideration. All Scouts will be expected to obey all commands given by the Shooting Sports staff and all range policies.  Shooting Sports activities include: rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, archery, and black powder demonstrations. Any scout or leader who is uncooperative with Shooting Sports staff will be asked to leave the program area.

Practice and Costs: Any Scout taking a Shooting Sports merit badge should be aware that skill practice will be required; Scouts wishing to take Shotgun Shooting should be aware the shooting requirement can be expensive.

No one is allowed to bring their own archery equipment, firearms, or ammunition to camp.  All such items if brought to camp (in violation of this policy) must be left in the care of the Shooting Sports Director.  The items will be returned when the individual leaves camp.

Weather: During inclement weather, the ranges will open at the discretion of the Range Safety Officer of the area. The main concern is the safety of the scouts on the range. Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan has made great strides to improve the ranges to be able to continue to shoot during rainy weather.

Signing In: Please help out Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan by signing into each range when you use it. The attendance numbers and data collected will help improve the facilities and program for Shooting Sports. We can’t do it without you!

Thank you in advance for your help!



First time at camp? Don’t sweat it! At Trailblazer, first year Scouts can earn almost all of the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Requirements. Led by experienced staff members, Trailblazer is a comprehensive program which teaches young Scouts basic skills for camping, first aid, knots, lashings, swimming, map and compass, and nature skills. For older new Scouts, our Pathfinder program covers more requirements in less time! Here we also invite Scouts to experience all that Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan has to offer, from its towering trees, winding trails, and the crystalline Lake Killian!

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Daytime Program Offered at Trailblazer

2019 East Camp Trailblazer Schedule - Takes place during A Block, B Block, and either Hour 1, Hour 2, or Hour 3.

2019 West Camp Trailblazer Schedule - Takes place during A or B Block and either Hour 1, Hour 2, or Hour 3.

2019 Pathfinder Schedule - New to 2019! A rigorous first year program available for new Scouts ages 14 and older.

Please note both East and West Camp have different schedules for Trailblazer. Each schedule offers similar opportunities however the schedules differ based on resources and staff preferences.


  • Totin’ Chip

  • Fireman Chit