President Gerald R. Ford Field Service Council

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President Gerald R. Ford Field Service Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Grand Rapids, MI
Country United States
Scout Executive Michael Sulgrove
Website
http://michiganscouting.org/PresidentFord
 Scouting portal

The President Gerald R. Ford Field Service Council is a field service council of the Michigan Crossroads Council (MCC), a local council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The President Gerald R. Ford Field Service Council is the result of a 2012 merger of nine local councils into MCC due to depopulation of the area. The Gerald R. Ford Council and the Scenic Trails Council merged to form the President Ford Field Service Council. The field service council structure is unique within the BSA and necessitated by the large geographic area.

Organization[edit]

BSA Councils in Michigan. The President Ford FSC serves scouts in Western Michigan.

The field service council is divided into districts:

From the Gerald R. Ford Council:

  • Five Rivers District- Mecosta county, Montcalm county, most of Ionia county, and some of Kent County
  • Eagle Spirit District- Barry County and most of Kent County
  • Pere Marquette District- Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Lake, and Mason Counties
  • Lakeshore District- Allegan County, Ottawa County, and some of Kent County

From the Scenic Trails Council

  • Northern Trails District- Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, and Otsego Counties
  • Bay Trails District- Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties
  • River Trails District- Benzie, Missaukee, Manistee, Osceola, and Wexford counties

History[edit]

Gerald R. Ford council was formed by the merger of Timber Trails Council and Grand Valley Council in 1975, and was known as West Michigan Shores Council until 1995. At that time, the Council was renamed after Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States and an Eagle Scout from Troop 15 (now Troop 215) in Grand Rapids.

Camp Shawondossee was the former camp of the Grand Valley Council, located on Duck Lake in Muskegon County in Whitehall. The land is now part of Duck Lake State Park.

Camps[edit]

Gerber Scout Reservation[edit]

Gerber Scout Reservation
Location Blue Lake Township, Michigan
Founded 1951

Gerber Scout Reservation, is a Boy Scout Summer Camp located at Owassippe Rd., Twin Lake, MI 49457, Blue Lake Township, Muskegon County, Michigan. The camp first opened in 1951 and is currently owned by the Gerald R. Ford Council. The approximately 800-acre (3.2 km2) property containing Big Britton Lake, Little Britton Lake, and Mayo Lake was donated in part by the Gerber Products Company in 1951. The Gerber Scout Reservation is divided into three camps; one for Boy Scouts, one for Cub Scouts and a new camp for Venturing crews.[1]

In recent years, Gerber Scout Reservation attendance (all camps) has swelled from 900 in 1997 to over 2,300 in 2009. Much of this increase can be attributed to the 1998 initiation of the Cub Scout and Webelos Adventureland, a section of the camp dedicated to Cub Scouts. Gerber currently has the capacity to accommodate 400 Boy Scouts, 200 Cub Scouts and 100 Venturers each week or session. Activities offered at the camp include the waterfront, Honor Ground, Climbing Tower, COPE, Scoutcraft, Handicraft, Environmental Resource Center, archery, and shooting sports. In 2008, a technology center was added to the camp, offering a new-age spin on the traditional summer camp experience. On December 24, 2008, Merrill Dining Hall collapsed under the weight of heavy snow and for the summer of 2009 a wedding tent was used. The new dining hall, named the Centennial Dining Lodge, was completed in 2010 for the 2010 summer camp season.

Summer camp[edit]

The Boy Scout program at Gerber Scout Camp consists of one week per session of outdoor camping from Sunday to Saturday. During the course of the summer there is a total of eight weeks and two days at the end, seven weeks of camping, a staff-only week, and a period of four days from the time the last campers leave on Saturday until Tuesday in which the staff prepare the camp for the off season. Scouts come to have one of the most memorable weeks of their life in addition to earning merit badges. Scouts can also be inducted into the Order of the Arrow during a ceremony which is held on Wednesday nights.

Webelos Scout/Cub Scout Adventureland[edit]

Webelos Scout/Cub Scout Adventureland, or Cub Camp for short, is an overnight camp for Cub Scouts. For the first 4½ weeks of the summer it hosts Webelos Scouts, who are there for four days and three nights. In this time they go to ten program areas, an evening program and two firebowls, which are song and skit-filled events similar to a variety show held in the camp's amphitheater. Packs arrive on Sunday or Wednesday and leave on Wednesday or Saturday, respectively. For the last two weeks of summer Cub Camp hosts Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts. The Cub Camp consists of three days and two nights. Unlike the Webelos, Cubs only go to six program areas, one firebowl, and an evening program. They arrive on Sunday, Tuesday, or Thursday and leave on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, respectively.

Venture Base[edit]

The new DeVos Family Venture Base has completed phase one of construction. The base consists of 3 cabins and a central pavilion. Phase two of construction is planned for the fall of 2010 and the spring or 2011. Phase two will add two more cabins and a central building. The base is intended to be the starting point for future high-adventure related activities within the Gerald R. Ford Council.

Non-summer usage[edit]

While the camp experiences the most use during the summer camp season the reservation is in use nearly all year. This includes the usage of cabins, campsites and other facilities during the weekends and sometimes the week. During this time the camp ranger and family reside on camp. Many yearly activities occur during this time such as two Order of the Arrow conclaves (Fall and Spring) for the Nataepu Shohpe lodge, multiple training sessions for the summer camp staff, a religious retreat and a Venture Kickback weekend.

Camp Greilick[edit]

Camp Greilick is over 512 acres (2.07 km2) of beautiful terrain and is situated between Spider, Bass and Rennie Lakes, in the heart of the Grand Traverse region of Northern Michigan, just minutes from Traverse City.

Order of the Arrow[edit]

The FSC currently has one OA lodge as a result of a merger between the legacy council's lodges. The lodge is known as Nataepu Shohpe lodge, which translates into, "Guardians of the Shore."

Nataepu Shohpe Lodge[edit]

Nataepu Shohpe Lodge is based in the President Ford Field Service Council of west and northwest Michigan. The Lodge is very active and is divided into 8 chapters, the borders of which are the same as the borders of the council's districts. The one exception to the boundaries is within the River Trails District. This district holds two chapters, Wundchenneau and Wa-Wa Esh Ki.

In the lodge's first year the lodge provided over 14,000 hours of service to Gerber Scout Reservation, Greilick Scout Camp, and the west Michigan community. The Lodge holds an annual winter event (in January), a spring event(in May), a fall event(in August), and a strategic planning weekend for the lodge executive committee(in September).

Nataepu Shohpe Lodge was a part of the Order of the Arrow in the Boy Scouts of America. It came from the merger of Nacha Tindey lodge and Indian Drum lodge.

Nataepu Shohpe Lodge has an E.C. (executive committee) which includes a Lodge Chief, Vice Chief of Administration, Vice Chief of Inductions, Vice Chief of Program, Lodge Secretary and Lodge Treasurer. It also has eight (one for each chapter) Chapter Chiefs and numerous committee chairmen. There are monthly or bi-monthly meetings where the members plan upcoming events, report on current events and discuss ideas.

Nataepu Shohpe is a part of Section C-2 which encompasses most of the lower peninsula of Michigan. The other lodges in Section C-2 are Agaming Maangogwan(Water and Woods Field Service Council), Noquet (Great Lakes Field Service Council), and Kishahtek (Southern Shores Field Service Council).

Indian Drum Lodge[edit]

Indian Drum Lodge was based in the Scenic Trails Council of Michigan. The Lodge was divided into 4 chapters, the borders of which were the same as the borders of the council's districts. The Lodge held an annual winter extravaganza, fall fellowship and spring fellowships.

Indian Drum Lodge was chartered from 1939 up until last year. Indian Drum Lodge had an ecomm (executive committee) which included a Lodge Chief, Lodge Vice Chief of Administration, Lodge Vice Chief of Inductions, Lodge Vice Chief of Activities, Lodge Secretary and Lodge Treasurer. It also had four Chapter Chiefs and numerous committee chairmen.

Indian Drum Lodge was a part of Section C-2B which encompassed most of western and northern Michigan and the upper peninsula.

Nacha Tindey Lodge[edit]

Nacha Tindey Lodge was based in the Gerald R. Ford Council of west Michigan. Nacha Tindey is Lenni Lenape for "Three Fires". The Lodge is very active and is divided into 4 chapters, the borders of which are the same as the borders of the council's districts. Since 1997, its members typically put in over 10,000 hours of service annually to Gerber Scout Camp and the west Michigan community. The Lodge holds an annual winter banquet, two lodge conclaves(This is pretty much the same as a "fellowship". During these conclaves, the Arrowmen would help dismantle Gerber Scout Camp for the winter, or set up for the summer season.)

Nacha Tindey Lodge was chartered from 1975 until last year. It came from the merger of Jibshe Wanagan lodge and Nakida Naou lodge. Nacha Tindey Lodge had an E.C. (executive committee) which included a Lodge Chief, Vice Chief of Administration, Vice Chief of Service, Vice Chief of Program, Secretary and Treasurer. It also has four (one for each chapter) Chapter Chiefs and numerous committee chairmen. There are usually 10 scheduled meetings where the members plan upcoming events, report on current events and discuss ideas.

In the Spring of 2007 Nacha Tindey restructured itself with Gerald R. Ford Council and went from six chapters to four chapters.

In 2001, Nacha Tindey introduced the Takachsin. It is a necklace that is worn to show the Arrowman's achievements and services as well as how long they have been a member.

Nacha Tindey was part of Section C-2B which encompassed most of western and northern Michigan and the upper peninsula.

See also[edit]

References[edit]