Volcano Scouting is a group of scouts, adult leaders, and outdoor professionals working to bring Scouting back to Mount St. Helens through stewardship, education, adventure, and leadership opportunities. With help from the USDA Forest Service and Mount St. Helens Institute, we provide young adults with the resources they need to design engaging outdoor programs at the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center.


Our vision is to restore the lost connection between Scouting and Mount St. Helens. Prior to the volcano's 1980 eruption, five youth camps populated the shores of Spirit Lake. Both Longview and Portland YMCA's had camps as well did the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. The St. Helens Hiking Club also had a camp located near Harry Truman's famous St. Helens Lodge. Camp Spirit Lake was a nationally-recognized Boy Scout camp for its canoe-only access, water activities, and hiking program.

Images courtesy of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Archive. Camp Spirit Lake, circa 1979


Volcano Scouting was founded in 2015 by Newberg (Oregon) Star Scout Quentin Comus. After visiting the Science and Learning Center, he decided to approach the Mount St. Helens Institute about hosting more scouts at the facility. A partnership soon developed and in August 2016, Volcano Scouting hosted 40 scouts and adult leaders at its Volcanoree 2016. This five-day event featured camporee games, hikes, movies, education programs, and service projects.​

Later, in 2017, Volcano Scouting partnered with the USDA Forest Service to promote the Monument's recreation opportunities to Scouting groups in the area. That summer, over 75 visitors participated in the Merit Badge Weekend, Summit Hike, and VolcanoTrek 2017. Volcano Scouting also hosted a Spaghetti Feed and Silent Auction with Troop 520 to help decrease participant fees.


In 2018, Volcano Scouting hosted its second annual Merit Badge Weekend and first annual Hornaday Adventure Camp to foster stewardship, environmental education, and adventure leadership. Staff also held a Partnership Conference with local Scouting leaders, public land managers, and Volcano Scouting staff to discuss the future of Scouting at Mount St. Helens.


Volcano Scouting aims to serve scouts through four disciplines: stewardship, education, adventure, and leadership. These values ensure our programs are exciting and engaging for scouts of all backgrounds.


We believe the Earth is everyone's home. So why not leave it better than you found it? At Volcano Scouting, we require that all overnight programs include at least one service project that makes a significant improvement to the local environment or economy. Along the way, we instill conservation ethics, trail building skills, recreation management insight, and memories in our participants. Mount St. Helens is also home to a variety of Eagle Scout Projects!


Providing participants with meaningful programs goes along with providing exciting educational activities. Teaching Native American culture, ecology, geology, history, and conservation skills enable scouts to make an impact on the world. Times are changing, but we cannot forget what events and knowledge shape our interactions with ourselves, others, and the environment. Volcano Scouting is proud to offer presentations from outdoor professionals and hands-on activities at our programs.


Scouts and adult leaders alike live for adventure. Whether that's scaling a volcano or taking a stroll in the woods, recreation is an important part of our programs. Volcano Scouting offers a variety of outdoor activities that encourage participants to engage with their public lands and promote good health. Older scouts can venture through the Mount Margaret Backcountry, go canoeing on Coldwater Lake or climb to the summit of the volcano. 


We believe the best way to provide scouts with exciting and engaging programs is to let them design it. That's why Volcano Scouting is youth-led and adult-supported. Older scouts have the opportunity to staff with Volcano Scouting, alongside outdoor professionals, by planning and leading outdoor programs at the Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center. Additionally, we are proud to offer all participants with unique leadership training opportunities.





Quentin Comus

Founder and President

Ron Comus

Board Chair

Interested in sitting on our Executive Board?​

Registered Adult Scouters can volunteer with us by contacting volcanoscouting@gmail.com