College Of Wilderness Knowledge

Your Title Goes Here

Birch Bend is 220 acres on a lightly developed lake in northern Minnesota. The lake is close to 30 feet deep, with sandy beaches and a variety of fish. Birch Bend is a private, relatively primitive campground, maintained by its members as a campus for outdoor youth education and for member camping. The camp is inspected and licensed by Morrison County.


The property includes about 30 campsites for use by both groups and families. There are large group campsites, smaller group areas, picnic tables, and fire rings. There is no electricity. There are pit toilets and water is supplied from two wells with hand pumps. The water is tested annually for bacteria and nitrate by the State of Minnesota. Most of the camp is heavily wooded. There is an open-air pavilion; picnic tables and a roof that will keep the rain off. There is a stone root cellar that can be used as a storm shelter and the basement of the farm at our entrance gate is also available. Troops or groups should bring their own first aid supplies and equipment. There are sheds on the property, which provide storage for the maintenance tools and other equipment. Members that use the facility are expected to maintain it. Scout Troops and other groups may use camp equipment for service projects.


The lake is a small recreational lake with little boat traffic. There is a swimming beach with a raft offshore that you may use. There is a public landing on the lake. The Pine Bend Association and Birch Bend do not provide lifeguards at the beach or supervise water or other activities. Birch Bend boats and canoes are reserved for member use except during the teaching of courses. Members using the facility must agree to follow the guidelines as posted.


The facility is available for use by Scouts BSA and other youth groups. Scouts BSA groups must agree to follow and enforce all safety requirements of the Boy Scouts of America as published in the current version of Guide to Safe Scouting and that all swimming and boating activities will be conducted in accordance with safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. They must also agree that their dress, language, and behavior are consistent with the Scout Oath and Law and to ensure that the camp’s grounds and equipment are treated with respect and left in an orderly and clean condition.


Groups may bring boats, canoes, and lifejackets for use. Youth groups are expected to provide their own supervision at the beach and in camp in accordance with the requirements of their sponsoring organization.


There is no fee for camping at Birch Bend. Groups are expected to participate in a service project while at Birch Bend. A list of suggested projects will be available through the camp host. Equipment and supplies will be provided.


If you are interested in registering for the College of Wilderness Knowledge courses, contact CWK Programs Coordinator by e-mail at Also, check the course schedule at