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Camp Pahatsi, Golden Empire Council, near Soda Springs, California
Camp Pahatsi is one of two camps we visited in California, a state with so many summer camps that it would take all summer and then some to visit them all. We reached Camp Pahatsi after taking the interstate from Reno and then traveling on the all too familiar dirt road. This road, in fact, is so rocky that there were times when there was no dirt at all, but what a wonderful little camp we found at the end of the road!
The camp is centered around a lovely piece of water, Lake Kilborn. The main lodge overlooks the lake, and it features porch dining areas that overlook the water and perch above the boathouse. At first glance you might be tempted to call this camp a resort, and to some degree you'd be right if you did. The camp is leased in the winter months to a nearby resort which uses the property for cross country skiing and turns the rugged Boy Scout camp into a luxury ski outpost. The lodge itself is a beneficiary of this arrangement, having been renovated by the resort. As well, many of the fine buildings and facilities found at this camp have been built by the resort. It's an unusual and ingenious arrangement that benefits both the resort and the Scout camp.
The Camp Director, Chris Doty, welcomed us and gave us a look around camp. We then tagged along as large groups of newly arrived campers moved from area to area for program orientations, and we discovered quite a bit about the camp, its programs, and staff. The orientation tour proved that the camp is quite compact and little time is required to walk between program areas.
We were quite impressed with the rock formations at the lake; some giant boulders can be found at Camp Pahatsi – house size in fact. One of the most interesting events during our visit occurred at the campfire when the entire camp was instructed to stomp their feet simultaneously, at which point, seemingly, the entire fish population of the lake rose and made a bubble. We don't know how they did it; it's still a mystery to us. If you know how it was done – don't tell us! We prefer that mysterious memory of our delightful visit at Camp Pahatsi.
Leaving Camp Pahatsi, we headed down the interstate, just a short hour's drive, to Camp Marin Sierra.