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Camp Robert L. Cole

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Headquarters  Sacramento, California
Founded  1954
Owner  Golden Empire Council
Country  United States
Phone  +1 800-427-1417
Camp Robert L. Cole
Location  Cisco Grove, California
Founder  Alden Barber; Ed Wilson; Jim Carnahan
Address  Sterling Lake Rd, Truckee, CA 96161, USA

Camp Robert L. Cole is a Boy Scout camp in the Tahoe National Forest in Northern California. It is notable for its high altitude of 6,700 feet (2,000 m) and the surrounding alpine forest and lakes. It is located 7 miles (11 km) north of Cisco Grove, California off of Interstate 80 (I-80), about 32 miles (51 km) west of Truckee, California. It is on the south shore of Lake Sterling on leased land owned by the U.S. Forest Service.



There are 16 tent campsites, an archery range, a rifle and shotgun range, and campfire bowl. The camp features a six-day, 50 miles (80 km) trek through the nearby mountains known as the Cole Trek. The many nearby lakes and streams support trout. Cole also offers Mountain Biking Treks, Rock Climbing, Mountain Man Program, and a unique Build Your Own Program week. The waterfront program includes swimming, canoeing, snorkeling, small boats, and board-sailing. The camp provides a limited number of Scouts with a series of activities that will help them satisfy many of the requirements for First Class rank.


The camp has two main buildings, a rangers cabin, and a bike shop. The largest building contains a kitchen and food storage room on the first floor and bunk rooms on the second. The second building contains camp offices and a dispensary on the first floor, and bunk rooms on the second floor. There is a shower building with eight shower stalls and a handicap accessible shower and toilet. A trading post provides snacks and merit badge supplies during camp. Meals during summer camp are served cafeteria style. Open fires are not permitted. Only propane and butane lanterns and stoves are permitted in the camp. As of 2015, the camp is open for summer camp during three weeks from July 20 to August 8. The cost is $250. As of 2015, the entire camp could be rented for $200 per day.

Current use

The camp is currently used for one week each summer by the White Stag Sierra leadership camp. They provide ongoing leadership development for youth 11-18. Attendees have come from as far as Mexico and China. It is also used by the Sacramento Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for their Young Men summer camp program during two weeks in July.


In 1952 and 1953 Buttes Area Council Executive Alden Barber worked closely with volunteers to identify a new summer camp site in the Sierra Nevada mountains near a lake. They found Lake Sterling, a Pacific Gas & Electric reservoir, and discovered that it was within 5 miles (8.0 km) of 10 other small lakes suitable for back country treks. They opened the Glacial Trails Scout Ranch at Sterling Lake in 1954. The property consisted of 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land leased from the United States Forest Service Land and 100 acres (40 ha) leased from PG&E. The council built a permanent kitchen in 1957, and after a severe winter storm, were forced to rebuild it in 1958. It was reconstructed once again in 1970, during which volunteers also built a new staff dining building. The Buttes Area Council and the Mount Lassen Council were merged with the Golden Empire Council in 1993.

The camp was closed in 2003 and 2004 when the Golden Empire Council was unable to pay for improvements required by the Placer County health dept and the U.S. Forest Service. Robert L. Cole, President of Goodwin-Cole Company, contributed $260,000 in a matching grant to help pay for the necessary upgrades. The camp was reopened as a high-adventure camp in 2005.

On July 21, 2007 the Camp was renamed to honor contributions made to the council and camp by Robert L. Cole, President of Goodwin-Cole Company. The Cole family continues to support the camp and facilities.


The weather during summer camp season typically ranges from 56-94 °F. It rains an average of ½ inch during July.


Camp Robert L. Cole Wikipedia

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