GSR Camp Use Guidelines

Tent Camping

Units camping in tents may have reserved a specific campsite or tenting area at the time of their reservation. If not, they will need to select an area upon check-in. If a unit chooses to camp in a designated campsite, they may access the site via appropriately equipped vehicles in order to drop off equipment. Only equipment trailers that have been detached from the tow vehicle may remain in the campsite area. Vehicles owned by persons with disabilities may remain with specific permission. Vehicles traveling off of main camp roads should be capable of off-road travel. All units must be aware that no winter road maintenance (snow removal or sanding) is performed on campsite roads. All campsite and secondary roads are closed to vehicles during snow and mud season.

Units choosing to camp in the Backcountry unit will access the area on foot from the main parking lot of either camp. Units camping in the Backcountry should provide an approximate location of where they plan to camp for the weekend. They should indicate at this time if they plan to relocate for their second night in camp as well as any planned long duration hikes and where they may be. They should understand that depending on where they end up camping, they may or may not be visited during the weekend by the Campmaster.

Platforms are available in the sites and may be used. Climbing or hanging on tent frames is not permitted and damage costs from such will be assessed to the unit.

Picnic tables may be moved as needed, but must be returned to their prior location before check-out.

BSA Fireguard policies are in effect at all times. Ample fire water must be present at all times once a fire has been kindled.

No dishwashing is permitted in the Latrine washstands.

Cabin Camping


Cooking is only permitted in cabins equipped with kitchen facilities. Cooking may only be done in the kitchen area, and no fuel-fired cooking equipment may be used inside the cabin (other than the provided stove/oven). No food will be left anywhere in the cabin following check-out. The units are responsible for the cleanliness and putting away of any kitchen equipment used.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

All sleeping facilities are equipped with Smoke and CO (Carbon Monoxide) detectors per BSA standards and local fire codes. They must never be tampered with under any circumstances. Units should observe building evacuation procedures in the event of an activation. Occasionally batteries do go dead over the course of the weekend. Replacement batteries are available from the Campmaster or the Ranger. If the detector in your cabin “chirps” or indicates “low battery,” please inform the Campmaster. DO NOT REMOVE THE BATTERY. 

Wood Stoves

Some cabins are equipped with wood stoves. Operation guides are posted in these facilities. Wood stoves are not to be used for cooking or boiling water. No clothing or other materials should be placed within the hearth area for drying. Units are responsible for cleaning the area around the stove prior to their departure as well as restocking the firewood inside the building. Fires remaining in the wood stove should be allowed to burn themselves out.

Gas Heat

Some cabins are equipped with gas heating units. In these cases, the heaters are controlled by an on/off switch located in the cabin. The thermostats are pre-set for 65 degrees and are not adjustable. Units must take care to keep the doors and windows closed while heating units are in use. Do not tamper with any gas valves or controls unless there is an emergency. In the case of a pilot that has gone out, please contact the Campmaster. 

Electrical Appliances and Heaters

Unit provided space heaters and additional electrical appliances (other than medical devices) are not permitted. Fuel fired heaters or lanterns are also not permitted inside the cabins. 

Cleaning Supplies

Cabins are equipped with brooms and dustpans. All cabins should be broom swept before check out. In cabins with bathroom or kitchen facilities, cleaning supplies are provided. Additional cleaning supplies are available from the Campmaster if you run out.  

Winter Maintenance

The Rangers will make every effort to have roads and parking areas plowed and sanded prior to Friday night check-in and during the weekend as needed. In order to facilitate this, vehicles and trailers must be parked in the designated areas. Cabin access that is blocked by unauthorized vehicle parking will not be plowed or sanded.

Snow shovels are provided at the cabins as well as sand/salt. If a storm occurs during the weekend, the units are responsible for keeping the exits shoveled to provide access and egress. 

Beds and Bunks

Each cabin is equipped with a set amount of beds/bunks and is arranged in a specific arrangement. Beds may not be moved around the cabin. It is important to check for mattress vandalism during the check-out procedure. 

Other Furnishings

Tables, Chairs, and benches are arranged in order to protect emergency egress. If these furnishings are moved, care must be taken to protect egress routes. All furnishings must be returned to their original location prior to check-out.

Cabin Sleeping Capacities

All buildings at GSR which are approved for sleeping have a maximum sleeping capacity. These capacities may not be exceeded. If a unit arrives with more people than their cabin allows, alternative arrangements will need to be made such as tents or the addition of an extra cabin. Additional cabin space will be as available and at the expense of the unit.

Rules and Regulations

Daniel Webster Council camps are operated for the benefit of all registered Scouts and Scouters in accordance with standards of the council and the Boy Scouts of America. Rules for acceptance and participation in camp programs are the same for everyone without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin. Towards that end, policies and procedures have been established that pertain to everyone in camp.

These guidelines are meant to help all of us preserve the camping facilities for the future use of the Scouts and Scouters of the Daniel Webster Council and its guests.  The rules of Scout camps everywhere are based on the Scout Oath, Scout Law, and common sense.

Every precaution is taken to insure the safety of all campers and every effort is made to make their camp stay a pleasant and memorable experience. Please insure units follow these basic guidelines to help them enjoy their stay in our camps.

Public Use of Property

Due to the provisions of the Conservation Easement which is held by the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, the following public use is permitted on the Griswold Scout Reservation:

Hiking – Day hiking is permitted anywhere within GSR. Hikers are permitted in to park their vehicles in the main parking lots of either camp. Hikers are not permitted to park anywhere else, camp overnight, or utilize any program areas or equipment.

Horseback Riding – Horseback riding is permitted. Horses may be ridden on camp roads throughout GSR. Trailers may be parked in either of the camp main parking lots. Horse owners must clean up any mess left by their animals in the parking lots including hay, or manure.

Hunting – Hunting is permitted by the public in accordance with NH State laws. Hunting is permitted throughout GSR outside of a 300’ radius of any building. Hunters must park in the designated parking areas and are not permitted to drive into the Backcountry.

Fishing – Fishing is permitted by the public on any body of water in GSR with the exception of Lake Eileen during the Summer Camp Season. Fishermen must be licensed in accordance with NH State Law. Boat access is available for small boats and paddlecraft. All vehicles must be parked in the main parking lot and may not be driven into the Waterfront Program Areas for boat launching/retrieval.

Camping – Public camping is not permitted on GSR property.

Snowmobile Use – Snowmobile use is permitted on any state maintained corridor, designated trail, or on any frozen body of water when sufficient snow cover is present and trails are open for use ( December 15- March 30).

ATV Use – Public ATV or Trail Bike use is NOT permitted at GSR.

With the exception of Snowmobile use, access guaranteed to the public under the provisions of the Conservation Easement ceases during overnight hours. Persons or vehicles found trespassing after dark should be reported to the Ranger. 

Permits and Paperwork

All units must have an approved in advance Camp Permit to use the camp facilities.  This must be presented to the Campmaster when arriving in camp. Tour Permits for out of council units as well as Unit or Group Rosters are required at check-in as well. All units / groups must physically check out with the Campmaster before leaving the camp.

Unit & Group Leadership

All units / Groups must have at least 2 adult leaders in camp at all times, one of which is 21 years of age or older. Youth Protection training is mandatory for adult leaders. Proof of training must be attached to the unit roster.

Water & Restroom Facilities

The availability of sanitary facilities differ depending on where a unit is staying as well as the time of year of their stay. In some cases, flush toilets may be available in central locations, or inside unit cabins. During the winter months, when the seasonal water system is unavailable, campsite latrines will be utilized. Units are responsible for the cleanliness of these facilities and should take the appropriate actions to keep them clean, and clean them as needed during and at the end of their stay. In cabins that are equipped with bathroom and shower facilities, units are required to clean and sanitize the area prior to check-out. Bathroom facilities that are locked or out of service for the winter MAY NOT BE — — USED.

Water is available on the loading dock of Gilbert Hall for Hidden Valley and at several frost free hydrants at Camp Bell. During months that the seasonal water system is in operation, water is available at all GSR latrines.


Latrines are located in close proximity to each campsite or cabin. Only human waste is to enter the latrine vault. They are not to be used to dump leftover food or trash.  This results in extra expense to the Council when they are pumped out. There is no washing of dishes permitted in the washstands of the latrines.

Automobiles and Parking

According to national policy on transportation of Scouts, the following guidelines will be enforced at camp:

Drivers must be 18 years old or older and possess a valid license. Vehicles must have a valid inspection sticker, be in good mechanical condition, and carry minimum liability insurance of $50,000 – $100,000. Neither truck beds nor trailers may carry passengers. There will be only one passenger per seat belt. All traffic regulations must be adhered to.

Private vehicles are not permitted to park in campsites or on the access roads into camp. All vehicles must be returned to the parking lot after loading or unloading gear during check-in and checkout.

Those who are physically disabled and require a vehicle for mobility may be issued special permission by the Ranger or Campmaster to access areas off limits for vehicles, and must agree to abide by the rules in order to maintain the privilege.

In the event of an emergency or significant weather event, unit leaders may be required to move their vehicles to permit emergency operations.


Adults over the age of 18 may smoke only in designated areas. Designated smoking areas are in campsites at the campfire ring, out of view of youth members. Please be responsible for properly disposing of your waste.  Youth under the age of 18 are not permitted to smoke. NO smoking is permitted in any building or Council owned vehicle. No smoking is allowed within 50’ of a fuel storage facility or vessel. 

Alcohol & Drugs

The Boy Scouts of America have firm policies regarding alcohol and drugs, which are not debatable. Any staff member, leader, or camper unwilling to abide by these policies will be removed from camp immediately. Possession, consumption, or being under the influence of alcohol, illegal, or non-prescription drugs will not be tolerated on property of Boy Scouts of America. Anyone facilitating or participating in the aforementioned will be dismissed from camp immediately.

The Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America supports all local laws, codes, and ordinances of the government bodies in whose territory we operate facilities. Additionally, the council supports the National Council, BSA policy on drug abuse.

Knives, Axes, & Saws

May be used in campsites and program areas. Proper axe-yards and Totin’ Chip rules should be followed. Proper use and care will be regulated by the unit leadership, however the Campmaster or Ranger has the right and responsibility to intervene should they witness any unsafe or prohibited actions.


Fireworks of any type are prohibited in camp. Any fireworks or pyrotechnic items will be confiscated and disposed of by the Ranger. Units who are in possession of, or actively engaged in the use of fireworks may be required to leave the property under the discretion of the Ranger. In cases of possession or use of items illegal in the State of NH, local or state law enforcement may become involved.

Firearms & Weapons

May not be brought to camp unless expressed permission has been obtained by the Ranger. Units participating in Shooting Sports programs will utilize firearms and ammunition provided by the Daniel Webster Council. Any departure from this policy must be approved by the Ranger. Other Firearms, BB guns, Paintball Guns, Slingshots, Bows, Crossbows, Blow Guns, or weapons related to martial arts or personal protection may be confiscated by local or state law enforcement until a solution is determined. If any person in possession of such items refuses to turn the items over, they will be immediately dismissed from the property.

Exceptions are as follows:

Any on-duty member of local, County, State, Federal law enforcement, or military personnel who are on Council property in an official capacity.

Legally licensed hunters or trappers who are engaged in hunting/trapping activities during open season dates.

Hunting & Fishing

Griswold Scout Reservation is protected by a Conservation easement held by the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game. This easement allows for public hunting access by legally licensed hunters. During hunting season, hunters are permitted to hunt any area of the Reservation that is beyond a 300’ radius from any building.

Special care should be taken during hunting season to protect the safety of all Scouts and Scouters using the property during hunting season. Hunting is allowed in accordance with the laws of the State of NH seven days per week.

During hunting season (Sept – Jan) Scouts should exercise the following when moving around areas beyond main camp.

  • Travel in groups. Make noise, sing songs. Make yourself known to any hunters that may be in the area while maintaining respect for the outdoors.
  • Wear bright colors.
  • Respect a hunter’s space. If a hunter is spotted, be respectful and keep a wide berth.
  • Move in a direction away from gunshots when possible. Never attempt to seek out the source of gunshots or other hunting activities.

Fishing is permitted by any legally licensed person on any of the lakes, streams, or ponds within the Griswold Scout Reservation. During the summer months, access is restricted to Lake Eileen as well as other aquatic program areas. Any scout or Scouter who wishes to fish while visiting GSR must adhere to all NH laws and regulations pertaining to fishing including those governing licensing requirements.  Anyone who is 16 years of age or older who engages in any type of fishing within the State of New Hampshire must possess a valid NH fishing license.


Use of ATVs on the Griswold Scout Reservation is strictly limited to Council Operated ATV programs and authorized maintenance and operational activities. No public or unit use of ATVs is permitted on the property unless expressed permission is given by the Ranger.

If your unit encounters ATV or trail bike riders, keep a safe distance and inform the Campmaster of Ranger.


Pets are not permitted to stay overnight in camp and are not permitted in buildings. Any pets brought in to camp for a visit must be properly licensed, immunized and under the handler’s control at all times (on a leash). This policy does not pertain to pets of permanent camp residents or service animals. Owners are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their pets


Portions of the New Hampshire snowmobile corridor system run through the Griswold Scout Reservation. These trails are maintained by local snowmobile clubs when ample amounts of snow are present from December 15 thru March 30th. Snowmobile use is permitted by the public on any of these trails or on any frozen body of water within the Reservation. Snowmobile use IS NOT permitted by anyone on other areas of camp or by ANY scout groups. Units who mistakenly bring snowmobiles to camp will be instructed to leave them on the trailer. Violation of these instructions may result in the unit’s dismissal from camp. If any problems are encountered with snowmobile riders, inform the Ranger and he will take appropriate action.

Care should be taken by all scouts and scouters to avoid interaction with snowmobiles and trail grooming equipment by giving each a wide berth. Both can be heard long before they approach. It is the responsibility of both parties to yield to one another, however the best way to avoid an accident is to avoid the interaction as completely as possible.


Fires are a significant part of the camp experience, however they also pose a potential hazard in camp, particularly if drought conditions or high winds exist. The Ranger or Campmaster may restrict or prohibit fires under these circumstances. Please observe the Fire Danger sign (located on the Hidden Valley Admin porch) and follow Unit Fireguard procedures outlined by the BSA. Campfires may be built in any established fire ring or fireplace. Do not move fire rings or build new ones without permission of Campmaster or Ranger.  Please observe fire safety rules at all times- never leave fires unattended. The Campmaster and the Ranger have the authority to restrict or prohibit any unit from maintaining a fire if and when unsafe practices are observed or reported.


In accordance of New Hampshire State Law, no firewood may be transported into the State of NH from out of state unless said firewood has been heat treated in accordance with USDA guidelines. Furthermore, firewood may only be transported into the State of NH for the purposes of home or commercial heating and NOT for camping activities.

Firewood that has originated from within the State of NH, may not be transported across county lines. Furthermore, only unprocessed timber may be burned. No painted of stained wood, engineered wood products (plywood, particle board, OSB), construction debris, pallets, or nail embedded wood is permitted. Engineered “Firelogs” are not permitted in any wood stove or fireplace.

Due to the strict guidelines established by the State of New Hampshire, NO FIREWOOD MAY BE BROUGHT ONTO GSR PROPERTY FROM ANY OFF-SITE SOURCE. Cut and split firewood is available for use in woodstoves. There is an ample supply of firewood in the surrounding woods for outdoor fires. Also, there may be a supply of split softwood for this purpose. Check with the Ranger to determine if this supply exists and where it can be found. Any fallen timber may be cut up and utilized as needed. Cabin firewood supplies must be restocked from the cut hardwood firewood supply following use. No softwood is allowed in cabins for use in wood stoves. Any group that cuts down or damages live or standing timber will be held financially responsible.

Tree Cutting

Cutting of standing timber may only be done only with permission of the Camp Ranger. No live trees are to be cut.  (No chain saws are permitted in camp without prior approval- see policy below.)


Chainsaws may only be used by authorized adults in accordance with BSA policies. Eye & Hearing protection as well as proper protective clothing must be worn. The Ranger maintains a list of personnel who have been authorized by the Daniel Webster Council for chainsaw operation on Council property. See the Ranger for clarification.

Any person who operates a chainsaw or fells a tree more than three inches in diameter must be approved by the Camp Ranger. Operators must be at least 18 years old and meet one of the following requirements: (1) be a professional forester, (2) be a certified arborist, (3) have received training in these techniques from the Ranger section of National Camp School, (4) have written documentation of having other training in these techniques that is recognized by the state or federal government, (5) successful completion of BSA Chainsaw Safety Training course (No. 20-136)

In addition to the above BSA policy, Chainsaw operators must have expressed permission of the Ranger to operate a chainsaw or fell trees on Council property.


All garbage is to be bagged, tied and placed in the dumpster. If for some reason, the unit is not able to comply, they must remove the trash from the property when they depart. Absolutely no trash is to be left in any trash receptacle a cabin or campsite. Be sure to close all dumpster lids and doors after the trash has been deposited. Never leave trash next to a dumpster. If the dumpsters are full, trash must either be removed from the property by the unit, or brought to the Ranger’s attention for disposal.

Camp Service Projects

A list of project ideas will be maintained in the Campmaster’s Station.  The Campmaster has hand tools (bow saws, clippers, rakes, shovels, etc.) available for use in service projects.  All tools and gear must be returned to the Campmaster prior to checkout.

Vandalism & Damages

All vandalism and destruction of property will be reported to the Ranger.  The Campmaster will fill out an incident report and include it in the weekend Campmaster’s Report.  Units responsible for vandalism and destruction of property will be billed through the Council Service Center for the replacement cost of the damage including materials and labor costs. In extreme  cases, and under the discretion Ranger, the unit may be dismissed from camp.

Personal Property

The Daniel Webster Council cannot be responsible for loss or damage to personal property at camp. It is recommended that campers have insurance coverage for property brought to camp. Damages to vehicles incurred on camp roads or from environmental factors are the responsibility of the vehicle owner.

Off Limit Areas

The following is a list that are off limits to members of units in camp.

Private Residences –  There are three private residences on the Reservation for the three Rangers. These areas are off limits unless making contact with a Ranger. In that case, please respect the privacy of the Ranger and his/her family. Make sure to knock or ring the doorbell and wait for a response. NEVER enter unannounced or until invited inside. Units arriving late at night must respect that family members may be sleeping when they arrive and should behave accordingly while in the immediate area of a private residence.

Maintenance Facilities – The buildings and adjacent grounds of the Maintenance Facility is off limits to all youth or adult leaders that are not engaged in a project that requires them to be in that area.

Storage Lots – Areas used for storage of equipment, vehicles, building supplies, etc. are off limits

Gravel pits/log yards/stump dumps – These are working areas that are home to dangerous and constantly changing conditions. Scouts and Scouters may pass through these areas when enroute to other areas, but should not spend more time than necessary. These areas are strictly off limits and must be completely avoided when heavy machinery is actively in use.

Shooting Ranges –  Shooting ranges should be avoided at all times when they are in use. Shooting ranges should never be approached from any direction other than the main entrance regardless if they are thought to be in use or not.