What is Winter Camp?

For most people, Winter Camp is a five day camping trip spent at D-A Scout Ranch. It is open only to members of the Mahican Chapter of the Order of the Arrow and their guests. Everyone who attends must be a current member of the Order of the Arrow.

On a different level, Winter Camp is a reunion with old friends. It is a chance for Scouts to come together for a week and get to know each other a little better. It is a place where old friendships are renewed and new ones are formed. It is s a safe harbor in a storm, providing an atmosphere of acceptance that lets people be who they are, not who they are expected to be.

On still another level, Winter Camp is a youth-run (but well advised) activity where everyone is expected to particpate in every event. There is a great exchange of ideas between advisers and youth and with that comes learning and understanding. We fulfill the four purposes of the Order of the Arrow, namely:

To recognize those who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law and by such recognition cause others to live in a similar manner.
Winter Camp is open only to Arrowmen and many new members are eager to attend their first one, having heard of the fun of Winter Camp from others in their troop.
To develop and maintain camping traditions and spirit.
Winter Camp has many fine traditions and, while Winter Camp can't claim sole responsibility, members of Mahican Chapter are known for their spirit.
To promote Scout Camping.
Winter Camp achieves this goal in two major ways. First, it offers a camping opportunity at a time when most Troops do not (between Christmas and New Year's). Second, it provides many fine examples of activities, meals and programs which can be used to enhance the program of any Scout troop.
To encourage Scouts to develop a life purpose of Leadership in Cheerful Service.
Winter Camp provides adult role models who have this purpose, it provides at least one annual service project to the camp, and it gives Scouts a chance to lead.

What is the Winter Camp Universe?

The Winter Camp Universe is what happens at Winter Camp. A group of people spend a week together working, sleeping, eating, and playing. They form a bond of friendship. The Winter Camp Universe is what happens when everyone at Winter Camp comes together for the duration of the event. For a short while, everyone becomes immersed in the Winter Camp experience and no one notices the minor flaws in the games or each other.

Winter Camp Universe is also the name of this website. It is meant to encompass all things Winter Camp including the past, present and future of camp. One day, it will be a central repository for all there is to know.

What's in it for me?

Well, if you've been to camp, the answers are pretty obvious: you can find out what's going on, check in on old friends, help plan the next one, or relive the events of the past by checking into our pages.

If you haven't been, there are still things for you here, depending on your interests. First, a perusal of these pages will show you that Boy Scouts isn't just about "helping little old ladies". If you work with a youth group of any sort (or have friends who are willing to try something different) then you should check out our Activities list or our list of Meal Themes for new ideas.
If you have a great idea for a game or a meal but can't find anyone willing to try it, send it to the Idea Zone and we'll take a look -- if we try it, we'll let you know how it turned out. If you're interested in creative writing, you should read our Library. If you like reading about people you've never met, there are plenty of pages for that in our Reference section.

What's in it for you is like a lot of things -- the more you put in, the more you can take out.

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