Saratoga National Battlefield Trip

DALL·E 2023-10-25 21.44.22 - Pencil drawing on a pure white background of a close-up view of a single-occupancy tent, focusing only on the tent details with no surrounding element

When and Where

When: March 8-10, 2024, 6:30 pm — 2:00 pm
Nights: 2

Location: Rotary Scout Reservation, Campsite Shindakoo

Another amazing Winter Fun trip is in the history books. It could not have worked out better as all the pieces fell into place. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the adult leaders who ensured scouts arrived safely back and forth. Special thanks to Mr. George Wong, who faithfully went above and beyond. 

Next Trip: Next up is Saratoga Battlefield! “Here, in 1777, during the American War for Independence, American troops battled and beat a British invasion force, marking the first time in world history that a British Army ever surrendered. This crucial victory secured essential foreign recognition and support, instigated world-wide wars, affirmed United States independence, and changed the face of the world.” 

Preparation: Key is to prepare to mitigate concerns.  Pay close attention to the forecast.  We need to stay dry and comfortable. Mr. Lachance reviewed many tips.  Don't forget: layering, dry sleepwear, rain gear, a well-rated sleeping bag, padding, and gloves. Yes, hiking with an umbrella is a thing.  

Departure Time:  It's a long drive for the drivers.  The objective is to leave by 7 PM.  So be there well before 6:30 PM to assisted youth leaders.  

Cooking:  Two senior scouts will lead two separate patrols to prepare meals.  Remember that we all pitch in and work as a team.  Mess kit.  Extra water for cooking on the trail,

Requirements.  Numerous advancement requirements opportunities - Please let us know what requirement(s) you would like to complete. You need to take control and alert us which requirements to fulfill.  So bring your Handbook, compass, pen & paper, etc.

Historic Trail Award:  Attached is the questionnaire that you need to complete. 48 questions!  Are you serious?!  Yes, 8 scouts should be able to conquer this.  

Transportation Space:  It will be tight.  Don't bring anything that is not necessary.  No tents as we are sleeping in lean-to's.  No chairs.  

Class A and B's:  Same story.  Both Class A and B require green pants.  


  1. Earn the Trail Medal for completing the Saratoga National Historic Trail hike and quiz (70% correct); 
  2. Two hours of community service at Underground Railroad Educational Center. 

Campsite: Lean-to’s at Rotary Scout Reservation right outside of Albany 


Friday Night: 3 hour drive  Arrive at Rotory, assuming we have the lean-to site. 


Breakfast - Prepare and consume

8 AM Drive to Saratoga National Park.  (45 mins)
9 AM Hike.  Approx 8 miles (4 hours) to earn the Trail Medal.  
Lunch on the trail. Scout to manage for Cooking MB.

3 PM Underground Railroad Education Center
5 PM Drive back to camp

Dinner - Cook and consume
8 PM Campfire


Rotary Scout Reservation

The site we reserved is called "Shindakoo" (see kind of exact location on the map below).

Directions provided by camp: From points South of Albany, take NYS Thruway to exit 23. Get on 787 North to the I-90 interchange and take I-90 East across the Hudson River to Exit 8. Travel straight through 4 traffic lights on Route 43 (the 4th being in West Sand Lake at the intersection on Route 43 and Route 150). Shortly after you pass the BondedConcrete Company, take a Left on to Route 351. At the second traffic light(blinking light) take a Right on to Plank Road (County Route 40). Continue 1-½miles to the top of the hill. Take a Left (over bridge) onto Blue Factory Road(County Route 79). Take the next Left on to Davitt Lake Road. The camp is at the end of the road.

Rotary Scout Reservation is a wilderness adventure area set on 1300 beautiful acres in Upstate New York.  Located less than 30 minutes from Albany, RSR is operated by the Twin Rivers Council, BSA.

Purchased by the Troy Rotary Club in 1922, Camp Rotary was donated to the Troy Area Council, BSA, and began its summer camp in 1923. Spanning nearly 1300 acres, its programs have evolved from Aquatics in the 1920s to include Nature, Archery, Rifle Shooting, and more by the 1950s, with Handicrafts added in the 1970s. The camp introduced Mountain Living in 1982 and launched its COPE program in 1989. The 2000s saw the creation of the Community Safety Program among others. Approaching its centennial, Camp Rotary continuously updates its offerings to meet the changing needs of Scouts.

Official site:

Rotary Scout Reservation, Site Shindakoo
279 Davitt Lake Road
Poestenkill, NY, 12140
Coordinates(i): 42.704775275052°, -73.529552221298°
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Saratoga National Historical Park

Saratoga National Battlefield stands as a testament to a key victory in the Revolutionary War, offering scouts pursuing the Historical Trail Award a profound educational journey. This site, where American forces secured a crucial win, provides Scouts with an immersive experience into the events that significantly influenced the path to U.S. independence.

By traversing the grounds where these historic battles unfolded, you will actively participate in a learning adventure that highlights the strategic victories and challenges faced by the Continental Army. Engaging with this significant piece of American heritage allows us to appreciate the complexities of historical conflicts and the resilience required to overcome them. Earning the Historical Trail Award in such a historically rich setting not only educates, but also inspires a deeper respect for the sacrifices that shaped the nation's history. This exploration of Saratoga National Battlefield enriches Scouts' understanding of American identity and heritage through direct interaction with the landscape that witnessed the turning of the tide in the fight for freedom.

Saratoga National Historical Park
648 New York 32
Stillwater, NY, 12170
Coordinates(i): 43.012119969623°, -73.648878335953°
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Underground Railroad Education Center

The Underground Railroad Education Center, located in Albany, serves as a pivotal institution in bringing to light the heroic and often untold stories of the individuals who sought freedom and those who aided them along the Underground Railroad. This center not only educates visitors about the history of the Underground Railroad but also delves into the broader topics of human rights, social justice, and the fight against slavery.

During our last trip to Albany, we not only toured the museum at the Underground Railroad Education Center but also dedicated most of our time to a service project in the garden. It was a hands-on experience, contributing directly to the site's upkeep. We're looking forward to possibly seeing the results of our labor on this upcoming visit.

Underground Railroad Education Center
194 Livingston Avenue
Albany, NY, 12210
Coordinates(i): 42.6610895°, -73.75445°
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Camping Hiking Historical

Last updated on March 20, 2024