Home » Events » Inaugural Scout Quest Coming to Gettysburg National Military Park Nov. 1-3

Inaugural Scout Quest Coming to Gettysburg National Military Park Nov. 1-3

For generations, members of the Boy Scouts of America have been visiting historic Gettysburg, PA to learn about the fierce three-day Civil War battle between Union and Confederate armies that took place there in 1863.  But there is so much more to experiencing Gettysburg than just learning about what took place on the battlefield that reshaped what our nation would become.

It was in Gettysburg that President Abraham Lincoln delivered his remarkable Gettysburg Address at the dedication of Soldiers’ National Cemetery, his speech ending with the words “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The inaugural Scout Quest 2019 is a unique opportunity for Scouts to visit and camp at Gettysburg from November 1-3, 2019, with opportunities to experience free interpretive programs exclusive to Scouts offered by National Park Rangers, camp on the battlefield with other Scouts, earn community service project hours working on a special project at Gettysburg National Military Park and work toward completing the requirements for the popular Gettysburg Heritage Trails patch and medal.  This program is being offered by the Gettysburg Foundation and the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park and has been developed for Scouts BSA and Venturing units (some content may be upsetting to younger Cub Scouts).

Event Information

Scout Quest packages – units can bundle Film, Cyclorama and Museum Experience tickets with Scout Quest t-shirts and exclusive Scout Quest event patches.

  • Package #1 – includes Film, Cyclorama and Museum Experience, Event T-shirt and Event Patch – adults $24, Scouts $20
  • Package #2 – includes Museum Experience and Event T-shirt – adults $16, Scouts $14

Exclusive Free Programming for Scouts

  • Engage with National Park Rangers to explore and learn more about the battle of Gettysburg located along the Gettysburg Historic Trails.

Scout Service Project

  • Earn community service hours by working with the National Park Service on a special project on the Gettysburg National Military Park at the Lydia Leister home.  This historic farm served as Union General George Meade’s headquarters during the battle.  Scouts will help clear brush and weeds along historic fence lines near the Leister home.  Participants are encouraged to bring work gloves (the Park Service will provide tools) and dress appropriately (long pants and long sleeve shirts) during the project.


  • This event provides an opportunity to camp on the battlefield with other Scouts (limited availability).

The Gettysburg Foundation will be overseeing reservations for Scout Quest weekend at McMillan Woods Scout and Youth Campground at Gettysburg National Military Park, along with Daniel Lady Farm Campground and Artillery Ridge Campground.  Camping at McMillan Woods is free (first-come, first-served), while Daniel Lady Farm and Artillery Ridge will charge a nominal fee.  Camping at McMillan Woods is limited to a total maximum of 280 campers.

Gettysburg Heritage Trails

  • Scout Quest is also an opportunity to work toward earning the Gettysburg Heritage Trails patch and medal by completing the five required elements:
    1. Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center
    2. Eisenhower National Historic Site
    3. Johnny Reb Trail
    4. Billy Yank Trail 
    5. Historic Gettysburg Trail


Reservations will open on September 12, 2019, at 8:00 AM and can only be made by phone.  More information is available on the Gettysburg Foundation’s website. To make a reservation, please call the Gettysburg Foundation’s Reservations Hotline at (877) 874-2478 or (717) 334-1243.  This event is open to Scouts from any council.

Weekend Schedule


  • If your unit arrives in Gettysburg before 5 PM, you can pick up your registration packet and t-shirts at the Visitor Center between 3-5 PM.  You can also pick up your registration packet and t-shirts at the Visitor Center starting at 8 AM on Saturday morning.
  • If your unit is camping at McMillan Woods, there will be volunteer staff (camp hosts) on-site to direct you to your campsite, parking areas, etc.  Check-in begins at 4 PM.  You will not be able to check-in earlier than 4 PM.  There will be staff members camping overnight at McMillan Woods to assist units as they arrive throughout the evening, realizing that some groups may be traveling some distance after school and work on Friday.
  • If you are camping at Daniel Lady Farm or Artillery Ridge campgrounds, similar arrangements have been made to welcome units on Friday evening.


  • Starting at 8 AM, you can pick up your registration packet at t-shirts at the Visitor Center.
  • The Museum, Film, and Cyclorama experience will be operating until 5 PM (remember to purchase your tickets in advance).
  • National Park Service staff will be providing free exclusive programs for Scouts between the hours of 10 AM – 2 PM along the Billy Yank and Johnny Reb trails (two stations on each trail).  These programs will last 15-20 minutes at each location.  The four program locations are Meade’s Headquarters (Lydia Leister house), Soldier’s National Cemetery, Little Round Top, and Spangler Spring (topic here is care of the wounded during the battle).
  • Shuttles to the Eisenhower National Historic Site leave the Visitor Center at 11 AM and 2 PM (remember to purchase your tickets in advance).
  • Units opting to participate in the service project at Lydia Leister farm will be scheduled for one-hour shifts (start times either 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 Noon or 1 (PM).
  • There is no evening program, so units are free to relax after dinner in their campsites or plan their own activities.


  • If your unit is working on the Gettysburg Heritage Trails program, Sunday is an opportunity to do any of the hikes on your own before departing for home.
  • Shuttles to the Eisenhower National Historic Site leave the Visitor Center at 11 AM and 2 PM (remember to purchase your tickets in advance).

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