Scouts BSA

Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation offers scouts and leaders first class program and facilities.  As a camp, we strive to meet your unit’s program needs and pride ourselves on providing customer service that goes beyond your expectations.  Troops that visit Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan tend to return year after year and we always have something new for them.  Our units find a second home in the Northwoods.


Traditional Camping

Your troop/crew/unit should handle registration and provide you with further instructions Your scouting unit should have a designated camp coordinator who’s your go-to person for any registration questions. Of course, our staff would be happy to answer any questions, as well. You can contact them here.

Provisional Camping

If you can’t make it up to camp the same week as your troop, we recommend attending with one of our provisional camping units (this can also be a great opportunity to spend a second or third week up north). Your Scout can either join our camp’s “Ship 129” which is led by former camp staff and other parent volunteers (Week 2, 4, or 6), or you can make arrangements for your Scout (and parent) to attend with another Troop (Weeks 1-6). To learn more about Provisional Camp, please visit our Register for Scouts BSA page.


The Northeast Illinois Council has been blessed with many Scouters, volunteers, and families who understand and appreciate the summer camp programs offered at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation.

These wonderful people know that we live in a time when finances can be greatly stretched, and it can be difficult to pay the summer camp fees (especially for families with more than one Scout). And they are aware that sudden financial hardships occur that could prohibit a Scout from attending one of these programs.  Thanks to them, we can offer financial assistance to these families.

Please forward this link to all your scouting families – even if they haven’t signed up for camp yet or asked about financial assistance.  Knowing such assistance is available might help us all get their scouts to camp.

Link: 2019 Cub Scout and Scout BSA Scholarship Application. Contact if you have any questions.


For six weeks each summer, Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan’s two full-service camps, East Camp and West Camp, serve thousands of scouts from the Northeast Illinois Council and beyond. We offer scouts and adults alike many opportunities for fun and learning.

Here’s what a typical day looks like.


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 Scoutcraft, Shooting Sports, Trailblazer.  Each camp also operates a unique Pinnacle Area designed to challenge older scouts of at least 13 years of age or Star Rank on either side of the lake.  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, Zip Line, and the Black Hole. Learn more about our program areas.

Click Here to learn about Planning Your Unit’s Program.

Merit Badges

Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan has a world-class merit badge program offering a diverse selection of over 60 badges.  Our highly skilled merit badge counselors are passionate about what they teach and are always finding new and fun ways to share their Scouting knowledge.   We are constantly growing, adding over twenty new badges in the past ten years, so there is always something new for scouts to learn. See all the badges we offer.


A week of advancement, programs, and fun is capped off with our popular Order of the Arrow Callout ceremony.  This Native American-based ceremony is a capstone program in which scouts are called out to participate in an ordeal that will solidify them as members in the Order of the Arrow.  If you are already an Ordeal member and have been for at least 10 months, camp is a great place to obtain the Brotherhood honor. Learn more about our OA programs.


The Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan staff knows our adult leaders take valuable vacation time to bring their scouts to camp and we really appreciate it.  For that reason we try to make camp just as exciting and beneficial for our leaders as our campers.  There are a number of program opportunities for leaders.  See what we have to offer!