Many of the troops that come to Camp Friedlander return summer after summer because of the wide variety of activities. We understand that younger Scouts and older Scouts like to engage in different things and the camp program is built to offer exciting opportunities for every age.

While Merit Badge instruction is the core of the camp program, there’s plenty more going on. Open program area times allow Scouts to explore a new interest, campwide games challenge patrols to compete against each other, and the Order of the Arrow holds events every night of camp. Your week of camp will be jam-packed with fun and new experiences — check out some of the great things waiting for you at Camp Friedlander.


We’re getting this question a lot: “What is that giant colorful thing out in the middle of the lake?” It’s The Blob! And what do you do with it? Get catapulted way up in the air, then come splashing down into Lake Marge! The Blob was added to Camp Friedlander for the summer of 2010 and is a unique lakefront activity that Scouts will be talking about all year long…

Blobbing is simple:

First, you walk out on the floating dock and climb up the platform.

 Next, jump out onto the blob and scoot your way down the 40 foot pillow and sit down on the end.

Then, you wait for a friend to jump off the platform behind you, and send you rocketing into the air!

Thanks to the support of the Order of the Arrow, new activities and camp program improvements like the blob are added to Camp Friedlander each year.


A scout’s first summer camp experience is a pivotal time in their Scouting career. Scouts who reach the rank of First Class within their first year as a Scout are more likely to stay in Scouting and will quickly be on their way to filling leadership roles in the troop.

The Camp Friedlander Trailblazer program gives first-year campers a jump-start towards their first rank advancements of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class. We pride ourselves on having the most effective first-year-camper program around. The knowledgeable staff and many outdoor resources available at Camp Friedlander teach Scouts the skills they need to meet requirements while giving them hands-on experience.

Our Trailblazer program accomplishes these objectives:

  • Teach and improve basic Scout skills.
  • Teach the patrol method through practical application.
  • Provide instruction on requirements for Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class or First Class in the following skill areas: woods tools, physical fitness, first aid, nature, ropes, cooking, camping, orienteering, swimming, and Scout skills.

The Trailblazer program is tailored to each Scout’s needs. Participants will be placed in patrols with others who need to complete similar rank requirements.  This will allow the first-year camper the best opportunity to progress toward the ranks needed along with providing the opportunity to earn merit badges during the other half of the day.


Not many camps in the Midwest can say they offer scuba and snorkeling classes. Scouts looking for a new challenge, preparing for a trip to Sea Base, or who just have an interest in underwater adventures will be thrilled by the scuba and snorkeling programs at Camp Friedlander. A local certified scuba diving group, taking advantage of the skills and equipment they have available, provides the Snorkeling BSA and the Scuba BSA program.

The Snorkeling BSA requirements introduce Scouts children and adult leaders to the special skills, equipment, and safety precautions associated with snorkeling; encourage the development of aquatics skills that promote fitness and recreation; and provide a foundation for those who later will participate in more advanced underwater activity. There are no additional fees to participate in this program.

Scuba BSA introduces qualified Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Venturing, and registered adult participants to the special skills, equipment, and safety precautions associated with scuba diving; encourages aquatics activities that promote fitness and recreation; and provides a foundation for those who later will participate in more advanced underwater activity.

The Scuba BSA experience contains two parts — Knowledge Development and Water Skills Development. During the first part, participants learn basic dive safety information and overview skills to be used during their water experience. The Water Skills Development session introduces essential dive skills, such as mask clearing, regulator clearing, and alternate air source use.  An instructor certified by diving organizations recognized by the BSA conducts the Scuba BSA program in clear, confined water.

Completion of Scuba BSA requirements sets the stage for additional training, but does not qualify the participant to dive independently, either in confined water or open water environments. There are no additional fees to participate in this program.

These programs are not recommended for younger Scouts. All participants must be classified as swimmers.

Scuba and Snorkeling participants must complete the SCUBA and Snorkeling Release form. If any of the answers to the medical self-assessment are “yes,” the SCUBA and Snorkeling Medical Statement, including a physician’s signature, is also required. Both of these forms can be found on the Camp Forms page.


Project COPE, or Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience, is an activity operated for Scouts over the age of 13, comprised of group initiatives, team building, problem solving, and physical challenge. The goals of COPE include the development of trust, communication, self-esteem, leadership, planning, problem solving, decision-making, and teamwork. Click here for more information.


COPE challenges participants to become more aware of themselves and others, their strengths and limitations. COPE is a great mechanism for rapidly developing a strong sense of team membership. Beyond all these lofty objectives, COPE is fun!  Groups who have completed our course are uniformly impressed by how much they have enjoyed the experience.


The first half of a COPE program consists of group initiative activities and events on our “low course”. This is a series of about a dozen structures, each one of which presents a problem intended for a group solution. The climax of the low course is a group effort to scale a 12-foot wall. The second half of a complete COPE program is the “high course”. This consists of 11 elements that require participants to negotiate cables, swings and nets high in the air. A simple, effective safety system protects participants at all times. The “low course” is geared toward team building and the high course is geared toward self-esteem.


Course Directors are BSA trained and certified to run the program. Our instructors and staff members are locally trained. The entire COPE program, our staff, facility and policies, are inspected and certified annually.


Two overriding concerns guide the staff at all times. First of all, we strive to assure a safe experience for all participants. Just as importantly, we also work to be sure that no one is made to feel awkward or uncomfortable during a COPE experience. COPE is Challenge By Choice©, meaning, at no time will any participant be pushed into doing something he or she chooses not to do.


COPE is for mentally mature Scouts age 13 or older. The program is a three-hour session for all five days of the week. A morning and an afternoon session are offered. Each participant will receive a unique gift to remind them of their COPE experience. Each participant must complete the Consent and Hold Harmless Form. This form can be found on the Camp Forms page.

Located near the southeast end of camp is the impressive 60-foot tall climbing and rappelling tower. Looking over treetops with a view north across the lake and views both up and down the Little Miami River valley, the climbing and rappelling tower is a signature landmark of Camp Friedlander.

All climbing participants must complete a Consent and Hold Harmless Agreement. Click here for more information.

Climbing & Rappelling

One side of the tower contains the climbing wall, with varying levels of difficulty for novice and experienced climbers alike.  Two rappelling portals, one at 30 feet and one at 50 feet, offer increasing degrees of challenge. There is also a 50-foot free rappel down the center of the inside of the tower.

Ice Climbing

One side of our tower is outfitted with special panels that simulate ice climbing. Scouts use ice axes and crampons to scale the wall. There is a nominal fee for this activity. Tokens can be purchased in the trading post.


Climbing and rappelling is available to all Scouts during open program times in the evening. Climbing merit badge is offered during the day. Climb On Safely training will be offered to adults. Anyone participating at the tower must complete the Consent and Hold Harmless Agreement. This form can be found on the Camp Forms page.