Memorial Day Weekend Camping Trip

Gifford Pinchot Pennsylvania State Park   

Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29, 2017


This camping trip is a great opportunity to enjoy nature and to make new friends and to deepen connections with existing friends.  Historically the majority of WES families participate in this much treasured event (with around 100 WES folks) and this year we are opening up the event to American Ethical Union members and friends!


Registration portion of the packet is the last 3 pages. Fill out the online registration form or print the registration, mail, or email to Melissa Sinclair, Director of Lifelong Learning, Washington Ethical Society, 7750 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20012. Registration and payment due by May 15th.

2017 Camping Trip — Full Packet

2017 Camping Trip – Tentative Schedule

2017 Camping Trip — Packing List

2017 Camping Trip — Mailable Registration Form

REGISTER ON-LINE HERE (Preferred method)

Location: Gifford Pinchot State Park, a 2,338-acre full service park, is in northern York County along PA 177 between the towns of Rossville and Lewisberry. The park consists of reverting farm fields and wooded hillsides with the 340-acre Pinchot Lake serving as a prime attraction.

How many spots are available? We have reserved group camping spots for 200 campers.

Who is it open to? EVERYONE. With so many camping spots, I think it would be lovely for different age groups to come join in the camping trip and either join in on the planned activities or do their own activities and join up for meals or something – so many possibilities! Navigator groups. Teen groups. Young Adult groups. Family groups, etc.

Campsite: This is a traditional campsite at a state park. Camp map here. We are actually renting four joined group campsites. Campsites A, B, C, and D. Each campsite has places for tents, eating (picnic tables) and firepits. A bathroom with running water – showers, sinks and toilets – in other words, MODERN bathrooms are joined at the end of the group camping loop near where we are camping. (However, take note – last year due to such demand at the park, showers were usually cold, but I was also told, this should be remedied this year.)

Everyone will need a tent and camping supplies. Don’t have supplies? Some members have tents/supplies you can borrow, and REI also has a renting option. If you know you need camping gear, please contact Melissa early.
ALSO, if sleeping on the ground in a tent is not for you, there are hotels nearby. Details about nearby hotels can be found here. Come join for the day and evening and then go sleep in comfort down the road and join back up with the group in the morning. If enough people want to do hotel lodging, form a group for more fun!

Or drive up for the day only (Saturday or Sunday or both)!

Please note – if you wish to arrive on May 26th, Friday after 2pm to help set up the group campsite, you can do so with no additional fee. Contact Melissa by May 15th to commit to helping set up camp. She’ll even feed you Friday evening and Saturday breakfast from her own tent site to thank you for your help!


A designating swimming area for overnight guests is available when the beach is open for swimming. A playground, volleyball courts, and horseshoe pits are available. Horseshoe pits are adjacent to each of the pavilions. Disc Golf Courses: The Boulder Woods 18-hole course is perfect for those who want to develop their Disc Golf skills, while the Quaker’s Challenge course offers 18 holes of championship-length competition. Both courses are open to the public and are free to play. Score cards and course maps are available on-site.

Boating: Boat launch and mooring available at our group campground area. There are several types of boats and electric trolling motors for rent at the boat rental.

FIshing: The 340-acre Pinchot Lake has largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, muskellunge, catfish, carp, walleye, crappie and sunfish. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission laws apply. Pinchot Lake is designated a big bass lake. Special regulations cover the minimum size and creel limits for all species of bass. ADA accessible fishing pads are near Boat Launch 2 and a pier is in the Quaker Race Day Use Area.

Hiking: 18 miles of trails

There are more than 18 miles of marked and maintained trails at Gifford Pinchot State Park. Hiking only trails are marked with yellow blazes. A red blaze marks hiking trails that are shared-use trails with mountain bike riding or horseback riding. Mason Dixon Trail is marked with a blue blaze. Most trails interconnect to allow hikers to tailor their outing to meet their individual desires.

Biking: 4 miles of trails

The trails between the campground and the Conewago Day Use Area are for joint-use by hikers, cross-country skiers and bicycles. The Multipurpose Trail network consists of a 3.5-mile outer loop with a number of internal connectors. The trail surface is packed gravel and the terrain is mostly flat with a few gentle hills. The trail is suitable for family use and most bicycles. The trail winds through woodlands and along the lakeshore and is designed for a slow, leisurely ride. Fast and reckless riding is prohibited. Trail access for the general public is from the Conewago Day Use Area. Campers can access the trails directly from the campground. A seasonal bike rental is in the Conewago Day Use Area.

Other things to do:

  • Enjoy making crafts, learning to tie knots,  
  • Bring your favorite board or card games or sports equipment.
  • End the day with campfire songs and s’mores on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Strut your stuff at the talent show Sunday Night!
  • Browse through Gettysburg, Hershey, or the Amish Country nearby..

Two special notes about this campsite – No dogs (sorry) and no alcohol (as it true for all state parks in Pennsylvania).

********Emergency Information********

  • There is overnight camp supervision by Camp Hosts with a landline phone for emergency use.
  • First AID supplies will be brought by Melissa and we will put it in a central location.

How to get there:

Use GPS to Gifford Pinchot State Park, PA, but also print directions before you set out just in case you lose connectivity enroute. Details of finding the group tenting entrance will be sent to campers after you register.

Mailing Address of the camp:




Campground Office: 717-292-4112

Park Office: 717-432-5011