Camp History




Camp Winton is an outstanding traditional Boy Scout camp, located on the edge of beautiful Bear River Reservoir, east of Jackson on Highway 88, and borders on the Mokelumne Wilderness.  The large, beautiful lake makes Winton a perfect location for a wide variety of aquatics activities. The camp itself sits in a forest woodland, surrounded by large granite boulders and towering cedars, pines and oaks.  The entire camp facility is perfect for all types of Boy Scout programming.  The camp philosophy is for every troop in camp to have a program of fun and adventure with value to every participating Scout. To accomplish this objective, the staff works to provide instruction in aquatics, personal fitness, outdoor adventure, nature/conservation/ecology, crafts and field sports.  Camp Winton offers a full Boy Scout resident camp program complete with merit badge opportunities, as well as a BSA High Adventure program called "Mokelumne Expedition."


Winton was conceived, circa 1954, when Golden Empire Council leadership established a great relationship with the executives of the "Winton" Lumber Company.  Along with these executives, Golden Empire Council located a site on Bear River Reservoir.  In 1956, then Scout Executive, Alden Barber, and his Executive Board approved funding.  Assistant Scout Executive, Martin Mockford was the construction director.  Two carpenters were hired and along with weekend work parties of adult volunteers and Scouts, the camp was constructed.


In 1956 and 1957, with camp still under construction, it was used as a base for Explorer camping. Explorers worked half a day on the camp and enjoyed an outdoor camping program for the other half.  During this time, the fireplace and chimney on the lodge were built.  To get enough rocks, the staff would have each camper trade a rock for their meal.  The campers with the largest rock would get to eat first.


Camp Winton was dedicated by the Order of the Arrow in a special ceremony, July 3, 1958, at "Dedication Point."  The "Point" was used for many years for the morning and evening flag ceremony, until the area grew too small for the amount of Scouts in attendance.  The Camp Winton symbol of the two "W"s, back to back, was taken from the Winton Lumber Company logo.  For over forty years Camp Winton has provided an outstanding camp experience to nearly 70,000 Scouts.


Each unit has its own campsite and Scouts eat cafeteria style at the camp lodge.  Camp Winton is remote and accessible only by foot or boat for Scouts. A road provides access for equipment, supplies and maintenance only.  Scouts hike a mile into camp with their personal gear; the camp truck or barge will bring in the troop gear.