Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Camp Marin-Sierra and Scouts BSA Summer Resident Camp

Q:  Where is CMS located?

    A:  In the Sierra Nevada off CA Hwy 20, about 3/4-mile from Interstate 80 near Emigrant Gap.

Q:  How do we get there?

    A:  On I-80 heading east from Sacramento or west from Reno, take the Hwy 20/Nevada City turn-off (Exit #161). Follow Highway 20 about 3/4-mile downhill to the Camp Marin Sierra sign and driveway on the right-hand (north) side of the road, where there is a large, red iron gate to the camp entrance.

Q:  How long does it take to drive to camp?

    A:  about 3 hours from San Rafael, CA; 90 min from Sacramento, and a little over 1 hour from Reno.

Q:  Can I get a map of the camp itself?

    A:  Click here to download a map of Camp Marin-Sierra facilities.

Q:  Do I need to bring a tent for Summer camp?

    A:  No.  Camp Marin-Sierra has a classic canvas wall tent already set up for you, just bring your sleeping bag and other personal gear.  Personal tents are permitted, but check regarding platform sizes and other site-specific info.

Q:  Do I need to bring anything?

    A:  Bring your personal mess kit with utensils, cup, and plate. Also, bring your uniform and extra outdoor clothes, rain gear, merit badges books, paper, pencils, and money for the Tradin' Post. It is recommended to have a backpack or duffel bag to carry your gear to the campsite, but not required. Download the Parent Information Guide for more information and consult your troop leadership.

Q:  What are the eating arrangements?

    A:  Both central dining outdoors at our commissary facility, and jamboree-style meals in your campsite are available. If you choose jamboree-style, we recommend you bring your own cooking gear; however, if you need to supplement that, you may borrow some gear from camp.

Q:  What merit badges are offered in camp?

    A:  Camp Marin-Sierra offers a wide variety of traditional Summer camp merit badges in the nature, outdoor skills, handicraft, aquatics, and shooting sports program areas.  Here is a list, and also see the Leader's Guide for details (4.6 Mb file).  All registered troops will receive copies of the Leader Guide and Parent Information Guide via email.

Q:  What happens if a specific merit badge class is full?

    A:  Most scheduled classes offer multiple possible sessions throughout the day.  For example, there may be 4 Swimming classes available.  Scouts should plan for the classes they want but have alternate plans if the time slot they wish is full.  Whenever possible, we will accommodate campers by opening up additional classes to meet their needs.

Q:  Is the lake water cold?

    A:  NO!  Chubb Lake is warm for an alpine lake, and reaches around 70-75 degrees during the Summer afternoons.

Q:  How big is Camp Marin-Sierra?

    A:  We have over 320 acres of scenic alpine forest and granite ledges surrounded by the Tahoe National Forest wilderness. Camp Marin-Sierra can accommodate up to 400 Scouts per week in 14 campsites, plus adult troop leaders and a staff of 50.

Q:  How much does a week of camp cost?

    A:  Camp Marin-Sierra is a relative bargain for a high-adventure base, and a lot less than many other Summer camp programs around the West!  Check our current weekly fees

Q: What weeks does Camp Marin-Sierra operate?

    A:  You can find the dates for the current season here

Q:  We have older boys in our troop; what do you have for them?

    A:  Trail-to-Eagle merit badges, Polar Bear plunge and Mile Swim, Swimming & Water Rescue, Paddlecraft Safety, Muzzle-loading (black-powder rifle), COPE course and rock-climbing, leadership and staffing opportunities. 

Q:  We have many new Scouts; what do you have for them?

    A:  Firem'n Chit, Toten' Chip, and Tenderfoot through First Class ranks can be earned in the Trail-to-First-Class program area. Also, many easier merit badges are available and appropriate for younger Scouts.

Q:  Can we hike out of camp and overnight in the scenic Tahoe National Forest?

    A:  YES . . . In fact we encourage it!  On Wednesday night (Troop Night) just inform the camp director and contact the commissary for backpacking meals (at least 24 hours in advance). The staff can recommend great places to hike out to and visit.  If you wish to come in a day early (Saturday) and hike out overnight, we do not provide food. However, you can get your site set up, hike out for the night, and come back by noon on Sunday for check-in.

Q: How do I get more information?

    A:  By phone:  (415) 454-1081 
     by fax:      (415) 454-5511 
     by mail:    225 West End Avenue; San Rafael, CA 94901
     by email

More Summer Camp FAQs

(c) 2024 Marin Council, BSA
225 West End Avenue
San Rafael, CA 94901
Phone:  415-454-1081
Fax:  415-454-5511