Life in Camp

Life in Camp

There are as many as 1,200 campers plus 180 staff sharing Heritage Reservation with your unit during an average week of camp. It is essential that we all follow some basic guidelines, procedures and policies to make sure everyone has a great time while here. Our common Scouting bonds are the Scout Oath and Law.

Health Services

The primary function of Heritage Reservation Health Services is to render three types of medical care to campers and guests. Health Officers provide emergency care 24 hours a day, and coordinate with local EMS personnel if the situation warrants. They also evaluate and treat in-camp illness and injuries, referring patients to Uniontown Hospital as necessary. Third, camp First-Aiders are trained to treat minor injuries. The Reservation Health Officer also monitors the Reservation for health and safety concerns.

A Health Officer will visit each camp daily for the purpose of Sick Call. Sick Call is the best time for a non-urgent ill camper to be evaluated by a Health Officer. Sick Call occurs in your camp program hall at 11 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Annual Health and Medical Record

For all campers attending more than 72 hours (Boy Scout camps, Eagle Base and Independence 4 night) we require use of the Annual Health and Medical Record (#680-001), competing sections A, B and C. Those campers attending Camp Independence less than 72 hours, (2 or 3 nights) must use this form completing parts A and B.

Heritage Reservation Supplemental Medical Form

Each camper must also present a Heritage Reservation Supplemental Medical Screening Form at check-in. This form helps us meet several National Boy Scout standards, and comply with certain federal and state laws. This form also expedites the check-in process. A new supplemental form must be completed each summer, as close to the summer camp session as possible.

  • PART I must be completed for all campers, listing his or her allergies, and any prescription medications to be taken at camp.
  • PART II must be completed for campers under the age of 18 who are taking any prescription medications at camp. This part is to be signed by the Scout’s unit leader. With his or her signature, the unit leader takes responsibility for storing the medications securely, and administering the medications as prescribed.
  • PART III must be completed for all campers under the age of 18. It allows the Scout’s parent or guardian to indicate those non-prescription medications that we may administer to their child if necessary.

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Independence Dining Hall

The 800-seat dining halls in Camp Freedom and Camp Independence provide campers with excellent food service. During the Sunday check-in, the dining hall manager will review all procedures with your unit. It is important that you visit the dining hall on Sunday. It will ensure an enjoyable dining experience all week. The camp does its best to provide for dietary, religious, or special foods, and can store any special foods brought to camp on a limited basis. Camp Menus will be posted in May on our website. Please review them and share their needs via the online Special Diet Request form.

We serve meals “family style” while in the dining hall. The food is sent out to each table in serving bowls and platters. This is done by the use of a rotating waiter system. Each unit is assigned to a number of tables in the dining area. They will sit at these tables for each meal
during the week. An adult from each unit is required to sit at a table with the Scouts. Portion control is essential to the success of “family style” dining. The adult, staff member and waiter at each table have the duty to make sure everyone has an equal portion before anyone starts eating. A Scout is courteous and kind!

Table Waiters

  • Each table assigns a waiter.
  • When two Packs have odd numbers and cannot fill a table, another Pack in the same situation will be placed together at the same table. It will be the responsibility of the Packs to set-up a fair waiter system. A Scout is friendly.
  • Waiters arrive at the dining hall 20 minutes prior to each meal. It is important to be prompt. The dining hall manager gives all waiters instructions on their responsibilities at each meal. They set the table, get staff totem, get food, make sure everyone gets a portion before anyone eats and get seconds if available.
  • Waiters also clean-up after the meal and are dismissed from the dining hall by the dining hall manager.
  • Waiters rotate throughout the week. It isn’t assigned to all of the new Scouts. Older, more experienced scouts are needed to train first time campers on the waiter system.

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Campsite Amenities

  • Campers stay in camp-provided canvas wall tents, with wooden floors to keep campers off the ground.
  • Each unit will camp together, two boys to a tent and two adults to a tent.
  • Campers are provided a cot to sleep on.
  • Adults sleep in separate tents from Scouts.
  • Male and female adults will sleep separately unless married.
  • Each campsite has several picnic tables, dining flys, fire ring and garbage cans
  • Each campsite has a water source with potable water (safe for drinking).

Showers and Latrines

  • Several shower buildings are available in each camp. They are designated for youth male, youth female, adult male or adult female. Please respect the privacy of others.
  • Each campsite has a latrine. Units are responsible to keep it clean.

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Camp-Wide Emergencies

  • In the event of a camp-wide emergency, the camp siren may sound. At which time, all adults and Scouts are instructed to report to their campsites and do a roll call. A staff member will come to the camp site and account for everyone in each unit. Everyone is to remain in their campsites until the “all clear” signal, or other instruction is given.
  • A camp-wide emergency situation will consist of any severe weather, wildfire, lost or missing campers, lost or missing swimmers and any possible severe medical emergency. Anyone who becomes aware of an emergency situation or danger should notify the nearest staff member who will contact the appropriate camp leadership.
  • Any information in regards to a bomb threat, unauthorized visitor or dangerous animal should be reported to the Program Hall immediately.


All Scouts, leaders and guests must wear camp wristbands at all times. These bands are intended as a safety precaution to determine who should be in camp, where they should be and to signify that each participant wearing one has completed the proper camp check-in procedures. One is provided for every camp participant to the unit leader at check-in. Each additional wristband will cost one dollar. They are designed to last the week and this is our identification system so we know who belongs in camp. All guests will be given a wristband upon proper check-in at the Program Hall.

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Role of the Den Chief

Den Chiefs play an important role in camp. Not only do they help the leaders keep the boys on task but they are seen as role models to the younger boys. They tell stories of Scouting’s trail that await them. Early in your stay at Camp Independence, the Commissioner staff will offer an orientation for all Den Chiefs. This orientation will focus on the Den Chief’s role in camp
stressing the following:

Help the program for the Cub Scouts run smoothly.

  • You are an example and role model. . . not another Cub Scout
  • Safety
  • Help Scouts learn the rules of camp
  • Help build camp spirit and positive teamwork
  • Cooperate with leaders and staff
  • Use/Teach/Explain good Scout skills

Youth Protection

  • Help keep boys together
  • Emphasize the buddy system at all times
  • Observe and help your unit observe proper shower procedures
  • Never scream at, shout at or hit any Cub
  • Be a friend, be supportive, but avoid wrestling or horseplay
  • Communicate with leaders about any problems or homesickness
  • Don’t scare Cub Scouts with pranks or stories

Issues for Den Chiefs to Watch Out For

  • No knives for Cub Scouts without adult supervision and a Whitl ‘N Chip
  • No running in camp
  • No fires or matches in tents
  • No food of any kind in tents
  • Work with leaders and unit to adhere to camp schedule
  • Help boys understand how to behave at Campwide events and also at the campsite
  • Help Scouts understand when to quiet down and go to bed


  • Do not expect to shoot
  • Help boys or parents who need help
  • Show example by listening to the staff


  • Be prepared to assist staff as additional guards (you know your Scouts and their names)
  • Do not engage in horseplay
  • Help to organize boys at check-in area


  • Show example by being attentive
  • Be prepared to help
  • Space yourself in line during hikes


  • Assist with harnesses and helmets 


  • Show interest and excitement (it ’s contagious)
  • Let the Scouts do it, but be prepared to help any boy having problems
  • Be prepared to assist the staff in organizing these activities
  • Have fun, but be safe


  • Encourage the unit to participate
  • Help lead and organize


  • Help encourage proper behavior
  • Show good manners
  • Be positive about the food.