Great Lakes Field Service Council

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Great Lakes Field Service Council
Owner Boy Scouts of America
Headquarters Detroit, Michigan
Location Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties
Country United States
Founded August 14, 2012
Scout Executive Vic Pooler
Commissioner Jody Batten
President Jim Huttenlocher
 Scouting portal

The Great Lakes Field Service Council is a field service council of the Michigan Crossroads Council, a local council of the Boy Scouts of America. It serves the Detroit metropolitan area and covers all of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The council currently has eight districts, one council service center, and four camp properties.

The Great Lakes Field Service Council is the result of a 2012 merger of nine local councils into a statewide council due to an initiative to reorganize the administrative structure of the Boy Scouts of America.


BSA Councils in Michigan. The Great Lakes FSC serves Scouts in Metro Detroit.

The Great Lakes Field Service Council is divided into eight districts divided by the school and religious districts they serve.

  • Chippewa District serves the school districts of Anchor Bay, Armada, Avondale, Chippewa Valley, Clintondale, Lanse Cruse, Mt Clemens, New Haven, Richmond, Rochester, Romeo, and Utica.
  • Mahican District serves the school districts of Allen Park, Crestwood, Dearborn, Dearborn Hts No. 7, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Huron, Lincoln Park, Melvindale/North Allen Park, River Rouge, Riverview, Southgate, Taylor, Trenton, Westwood, Woodhaven, and Wyandotte covering the vast majority of the area known as Downriver.
  • North Star District serves the Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Troy, Lamphere, Royal Oak, and Madison School Districts and the Bloomfield Hills Stake (LDS).
  • Ottawa District serves the school districts of Farmington, Huron Valley, Northville, Novi, South Lyon, Walled Lake, and West Bloomfield.
  • Pontiac-Manito District serves the school districts of Brandon, Clarkston, Holly, Lake Orion, Oxford, Pontiac, Waterford, and the Grand Blanc Stake (LDS).
  • Renaissance District serves the school districts of Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck, Hazel Park, Highland Park, Oak Park, and Southfield covering the entire city of Detroit (except LDS units in the city which are grouped in either the Bloomfield Hills or Westland Stakes).
  • Sunrise District serves the school districts of Centerline, East Detroit, Fitzgerald, Fraser, Grosse Pointe, Harper Woods, Lakeshore, Lakeview, Roseville, South Lake, Van Dyke, Warren Consolidated, and Warren Woods.
  • Sunset District serves the school districts of Clarenceville, Garden City, Inkster, Livonia, Plymouth/Canton, Redford, Romulus, South Redford, Van Buren, Wayne/Westland, and the Westland Stake (LDS).


Michigan Boy Scout Councils prior to the Michigan Crossroads Council

The Great Lakes Council was a product of merging the Detroit Area Council and the Clinton Valley Council. On August 4, 2009, the two councils voted to merge and the new Council officially came into existence on October 1, 2009. On November 10, 2009, after a month-long contest, the new name Great Lakes Council was selected to represent the new council.


|Note: while these camps have historically been connected to Scouting in the Metro Detroit area, since 2012 they are all owned and/or operated by the Michigan Crossroads Council rather than the Great Lakes Field Service Council.

Camp Agawam[edit]

Camp Agawam
Camp Agawam.png
Founded 1918

Camp Agawam is a 140-acre (0.6 km2) camp located in northern Oakland County, Michigan. Camp Agawam is a Boy Scout Camp and is the third of four pieces of property owned by the Great Lakes Field Service Council. It was purchased in 1918 as Camp Pontiac and renamed in 1938. Camp Agawam features 9 campsites, 3 lodges, and 2 lakes. In 2009, Chippewa 29 received a National OA Grant and will redo the docks on one of the 2 lakes. There is a living history themed campsite called Fort Pontiac. Fort Pontiac was created by the Chief Pontiac Trail Committee (CPT) as a resource for Scout units to conduct primitive skills training. It includes a blacksmith shoppe, carpentry shoppe and brick oven that may be used by units that have a leader who has taken the FORT Skills training conducted by the CPT. The CPT also conducts living history themed weekends during which the CPT committee members are in attendance in period clothing representing 1775. During these times the CPT fort staff are demonstrating period crafts and providing hands-on activities to those in camp.

Effective January 1, 2013, the camp is closed.

Edward N. Cole Canoe Base[edit]

Edward N. Cole Canoe Base
Edward N. Cole Canoe Base.png
Founded 1964

Edward N. Cole Canoe Base is a Boy Scout Camp and Canoe Base for the Great Lakes Field Service Council in Ogemaw County, Michigan. Edward N. Cole Canoe Base is the second of four pieces of property owned by the Great Lakes Field Service Council.

The base was first opened in 1968 as the Rifle River Canoe base. It was renamed Edward N, Cole Canoe Base in honor of Edward Cole, VP General Motors Corp., and Detroit Area Council President in 1962. That same year, the service building and Bosco Lake were completed.

Cole has been a Nationally Accredited “A” Rated summer camp facility since 1980,[1] and its staff continues a tradition and commitment to service and excellence, in fact it boasts one of the highest unit return rates in the nation.[1]


View of Bosco Lake from the top of the Rifle Range hill

Cole is approximate 170 miles (270 km) north of Detroit just outside West Branch, Michigan located on the southern border of Ogemaw County. The camp measures approximately 1,480 acres (6 km2). The Rifle River runs through the main part of the camp and provides an excellent opportunity for units to canoe and tube down the river. The majority of the camp structures, campsites, and program areas are condensed into the northeast portion of the property, leaving the remainder as wilderness on the west side of the Rifle River (with the exception of the Shotgun Range). After crossing the foot bridge over the Rifle River Scouts have miles of uninterrupted trails and wilderness to explore and hike. The general terrain of the camp is flat, with only a few hills as one descends into the river valley.


Originally purchased in 1964,[1] Edward N. Cole Canoe Base was opened and operated under the name of the Rifle River Scout Canoe Base until 1977 when the name was changed to reflect the dedication of Edward N. Cole to Scouting in the Detroit Area.

The first summer camp was held in 1968 at the Rifle River Scout Canoe Base and has since operated a first-rate summer camp experience for young men and women looking to experience all that Scouting and the Great Lakes Field Service Council has to offer. Since its name change in 1977 Edward N. Cole Canoe Base has been colloquially referred to as Cole Canoe Base or Cole by its many visitors, and simply The Base by its dedicated staff.

Year Events
1964 Purchased from Bob and Wilma Foresman
1967 Purchased two 40-acre (0.16 km2) parcels from Consumers Power Company
1968 Purchased river frontage at base camp from Consumers Power Company. Built five campsites: Deer Run, Lucky Portage, Silver Creek, Broken Paddle, and Maple Flats
1969 First summer camp at what was then called Rifle River Scout Canoe Base
1974 Shop built
1975 Ranger's house built
1976 Suspension bridge erected across the Rifle River and shower building built by Bolivian Peace Corps Training Units. Bosco Lake developed and filled by Army Corps of Engineers
1977 Camp renamed Edward N. Cole Canoe Base by funds donated by Edward Nicholas Cole, President of General Motors Corp and Detroit Area Council President in 1962. Service building and Bosco Lake completed.
1978 Tenth anniversary of Cole Canoe Base
1979 Health lodge and rifle range built
1979 Memorial flag pole at service building dedicated
1980 Nationally accredited "A" Rated Camp for the first time, and has been so every year since
1983 First full-service season of summer camp, also first 100% national inspection. Pavilion built and dedicated by Troop 191, DAC Thunderbird District
1985 Front entrance built and dedicated to Ken Poulson
1986 Purchased 640 acres (2.6 km2) from the Greenwood Sportsman Club by the Martins and Slaviks
1987 Dedication of the Don and Olive Martin Wilderness property
1987 Dedication of the Joseph F. Slavik and Stephen F Slavik, Sr. Wilderness property
1988 Twentieth anniversary of Cole Canoe Base
1992 Claycomb Ecology and Conservation (Eco-Con) Pavilion opened and dedicated in July
1993 Eco-Con learning center opened and vehicle storage building built
1994 New Broken Paddle Campsite opened. The new shotgun range opened. Rifle range pavilion built and archery range remodeled
1995 Otto F. Kamman shotgun range built and dedicated
1996 Big pavilion addition, new trading post, and new crafts pavilion built. Waterfront Borich flagpole dedication. Bosco lake boating area pavilion built
1997 Cosgro campfire arena dedicated. Lucky Portage, Aspen, Deer Run and Broken Paddle campsites adopted. Michael Wearn Chapel opened and dedicated. New latrines in Broken Paddle and High Banks
1998 Thirtieth anniversary of Cole Canoe Base. Electrical power to Eco-Con and second Eco-Con learning center opened. Deer Run, Maple Flats, and Silver Creek campsites adopted. New gateway built, Rifle River campsite enlarged and adopted. Archery pavilion built. Sporting clays event added at the Otto F. Kamman Shotgun Facility
1999 Electrical power to Eco-Con, Rifle Range, and Cosgro Campfire Arena. Rifle Range rebuilt and expanded
2000 New shower building built and opened. New latrines in Rapids, Archery/Rifle River, and North Landing
2001 New Latrine built in Aspen. Two new campsites developed south of Silver Creek
2002 New outpost campsite, Whispering Pines developed west of the Rifle River. OKPIK cold weather camp developed. New latrine at Deadwood/Deadwood Oaks; Deadwood adopted.
2003 Kamman Administration Center remodeled and dedicated. New latrine in Maple Flats. Crafts and Outdoor Skills pavilions expanded. Bouldering Wall built in Climbing Area. Flagpole added to Rifle Range. Jacket and Paddle Building rebuilt
2004 Main Pavilion expanded and dedicated to John Dumas. Cosgro Campfire Arena expanded. New latrine at Lucky Portage. In September, the vehicle storage building burns down and is rebuilt
2005 Climbing Wall constructed in the climbing/bouldering area during August. The main span of swimming dock replaced. Interior of Kamman Center refurbished. Old refrigeration unit removed and a larger one is built onto the Kamman Center. Rapids campsite adopted. Archery range rebuilt and dedicated to the late Frank DeDene, a lifelong lover and volunteer of Cole Canoe Base. The new pavilion at Deadwood built and donated by Troop 1736.
2006 First arm of swimming dock replaced. Overhang added to Rifle Range. Aspen campsite expanded to the east. Deer Run and White Pines latrines torn down and rebuilt.
2007 Aquatics latrine torn down and rebuilt. New kayak storage racks built. A new pavilion in Aspen built by Troop 86. The last leg of swimming dock replaced. Bathrooms in the Kamman Center gutted and refurbished. CCB is the first high adventure camp to host a National Camp School.
2008 Fortieth Anniversary of Cole Canoe Base. New Bridgeview latrine built. Silver Creek campsite expanded. Trading Post expanded in memory of Dawn Chutorash. Fortieth Anniversary gateway built.
2009 Trading Post expansion completed.
2010 Pavilion at White Pines Campsite built. Foosball court built. Electronic bulletin board installed in Dumas pavilion. High Powered Rifle Range Opens for Troop Shoots.
2011 First-year camper pavilion built. Cosgro Productions area expanded. High Banks campsite expanded. Memorial bricks installed in Celebration Square. Crafts pavilion extended.
2013 Dedication of the Wanagon, a trailer-mounted mobile trading post built by Scouts of Troop 1490 (St. Clair Shores, MI). Designed to provide beverages and other treats at the sites of various functions around the camp, the name Wanagon is taken from a Native American word meaning 'Storage Box', and was used to provide supplies to loggers who worked along the Rifle River in generations past.

Campsites and facilities[edit]

Cole Canoe Base has 16 campsites, each including a flagpole, fire ring, and latrine. The campsites are Aspen, Bridgeview, Broken Paddle, Buckhorn, Deadwood, Deadwood Oaks, Deer Run, High Banks, Island Rapids, Lucky Portage, Maple Flats, Maple Highlands, Rapids, Rifle River, Silver Creek and White Pines.

Cole also has one cabin available year-round. The White Pines cabin located on the west side of the Rifle River is available for units to rent year round. However, during the summer months, the cabin is utilized by the permanent adult staff members as their summer residence. The White Pines cabin also houses the additional rotating staff members that come up throughout the summer to volunteer their time.

A second structure located on the far northwest end of the property is the camp director’s residence. Though this structure has no official name, the staff jokingly refers to it as "The White House". The White House houses many of the camp's archives, valuable animal mounts, and of course functions as a residence for the Camp Director and other executives visiting Cole all year round.

Summer camp[edit]

The first week of June marks the end of the spring camping season, with the annual Mix-Fix. The majority of the staff arrives the second week in June to begin “Staff Week”, and the unofficial start of summer camp. This week provides the staff an opportunity to prepare Cole for the summer camp season, but also provides the time necessary to provide the mandatory staff training time. Though the vast majority of the summer camp setup occurs during this week time frame, several of the dedicated staff members make trips throughout the fall, winter and spring to help maintain the property, and develop new programs and ideas.

The Cole summer program has several parts. The traditional summer camp program provided by all Scout camps around the country that include merit badges, nightly program opportunities, first-year camper experience, and other age appropriate activities to keep all age levels of Scouts and Scouters interested in the Scouting movement.

In addition to its traditional summer camp experience that Cole provides, it also has several unique programs not offered at every camp. Making use of the Rifle River and Cole’s 132 canoes, Cole Canoe Base offers a variety of river trips to its many visitors.

Utilizing the Rifle River Cole offers 1 Day, 2 Day, 3 Day, and the 4 days 50 miler. Each trip can be scheduled to fit each unit's individual needs and requests. In addition to the 132 canoes Cole has available to units, it also maintains 16 open top river kayaks and 100 tubes for units to use on the river.

In the recent years, Cole’s High Adventure Staff has branched out to make more High Adventure opportunities available to its units and visitors. Cole started by expanding to the Au Sable River. Cole now also offers a 4-day 75 miler on the Au Sable River to the units that visit Cole. Both the Rifle River and Au Sable canoe trips can be scheduled after arrival at summer camp.

The newest addition to the river programs available is the Fox-Manistique 100 miler. Taking place over 5 days in the beautiful woods and waters of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula units will canoe and explore all that nature has to offer. Due to permits and other arrangements made with local and state offices units must register for this high adventure activity at least 2 months in advance prior to their arrival at summer camp. Contact the Great Lakes Field Service Council office for more information.

In addition to the river programs, Cole also offers several other High Adventure activities both in camp and out. These include SCUBA, Pictured Rocks 50 Mile Hike, Climbing, Rappelling, Bouldering, Isle Royal 50 Mile Hike, Trail Boss, and River Ranger.

Merit badges[edit]

During the week-long programs, each of the various activity areas offers instruction in various merit badges, as well as other certifications. Please check with official Great Lakes Field Service Council sources for the most up to date information regarding its current merit badge schedule.[2]

Activity Area Merit Badges
Aquatics Canoeing, Lifesaving*, Motorboating, Rowing, Small Boat Sailing, Swimming*, Watersports, Whitewater, (Certifications) BSA Lifeguard, Mile and 2 Mile Swim, Snorkeling BSA, SCUBA BSA
Outdoor Skills Athletics, Backpacking, Camping*, Cooking, Cycling*, Emergency Preparedness*, Hiking*, Indian Lore, Orienteering, Personal Fitness*, Pioneering, Safety, Sports, Wilderness Survival
Ecology and Conservation Astronomy, Bird Study, Energy, Environmental Science*, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Fly-fishing, Forestry, Geology, Insect Study, Mammal Study, Nature, Oceanography, Plant Science, Pulp and Paper, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Space Exploration, Soil and Water Conservation, Weather
Shooting Sports Archery, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting
Crafts Art, Basketry, Leatherwork, Woodcarving, Music, Composite Materials
Cosgro Productions Cinematography, Photography, Graphic Arts, Journalism, Public Speaking, Theater
Other Bugling, Citizenship in the Community*, Citizenship in the Nation*, Citizenship in the World*, Climbing, Communications*, Fingerprinting and Crime Prevention, Fire Safety, First Aid*, Law, Medicine, Personal Management*, Salesmanship

*indicates an Eagle-required merit badge

Programs and activities[edit]

A picture from a flag retreat of "The A-Team" folding the flags after the final lowering the flags. This was taken in June 2006

Taking place the first and last night of the week, the Cole flag retreat allows Scouts and leaders to experience a respectful retreat of the flag of the United States, as well as any other flags being flown on the J. Chutorash flag pole. Upon arrival during staff week, a special team, the color guard, is formed with the sole responsibility of conducting the flag ceremonies. This team referred to as the "A-Team", consists of 8 to 10 staff members, a number which varies depending on the number of flags being flown, plus the “barker,” whose job it is to give facing commands.

During the ceremony, the majority of the staff lines up single file in front of the administration building facing the parking lot. The "A Team" lines up in two ranks perpendicular to the staff, facing the flag pole. The units visiting the camp line up by unit in the parking lot facing the administration building and flag pole.

The “Barker” asks for each campsite to report individually. Each unit present responds accordingly, often in a manner unique to that group or representing national identities present in the unit, before the “Barker” moves on to ask the staff to report. Immediately following the staff's report, the spoken command, "lower the colors", orders the "A Team" to move forward to the flag pole and begin the retreat of the flags. Before the flags begin to descend the pole, the order is given to "salute," at which time a 10 gauge black powder cannon blast is fired. After the flags are removed from the pole, they are ceremoniously folded in the traditional manner, which varies for each flag, before being presented to the senior camp leadership, who are lined up on the porch of the administration building, with the American Flag being presented to the Camp Director.

The units and staff are given the order to stand "at ease," and the Camp Director makes his way to the units for various announcements. On the first day of camp, this is to pray grace for the upcoming meal. On the last day of camp, he steps forward to thank the units for attending camp and provide other relevant information. This is then followed by announcements and awards from various program areas within the camp. The flags usually flown include the United States flag, the Michigan state flag, the Great Lakes Field Service Council Flag, and the Cole Canoe Base Flag. If a troop comes to CCB from out-of-state, their state flag will normally be flown as well. Additionally, if someone attending camp or a staff member is from a foreign country, that nation's flag will also be flown, with the tradition being that the "A Team" will present the flag to the foreign Scout in that Scout's native language.

Beast Feast[edit]

The Beast Feast is a traditional festivity held every Monday evening in the Outdoor Skills program area. Every troop brings in a dish for everyone to try out. There are cooking awards in several areas, and the staff themselves prepare all kinds of different foods, from pigeon to cookie dough to salmon.

Crafts on Fire[edit]

Crafts on Fire was introduced to Cole Canoe Base during Summer Camp 2004 by then Crafts Director Andy Linn. Immediately after Beast Feast on Monday, Scouts travel down the camp road to the Crafts Pavilion for art and craft activities by candlelight.

Leave No Trace[edit]

The Leave No Trace Wilderness Excursion is an activity introduced in 2009 by Eco/Con Director Corey Brewer. It takes place directly after the Beast Feast and Crafts on Fire on Monday evenings. Interested Scouts who attend the Leave No Trace Training Program on Monday afternoon hike over to the other side of the river with Eco/Con staff for an overnight stay at one of the wilderness sites located there. At this site, they have the opportunity to put Leave No Trace fundamentals into practice while exploring the wilderness of Cole Canoe Base.


Vespers is a service held on Sunday and Tuesday evening at the Michael Wearn Memorial Chapel or John Dumas Pavilion in a case of inclement weather. This consists of a non-denominational Christian Scripture service, as a parallel to the Catholic Liturgy of the Word, followed by a homily, or sermon, and the Lord's Prayer. Following this, Catholic attendees may stay for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, thus completing a full Mass. The camp is able to offer this because the chaplain is a Roman Catholic priest; however, if he is not able to be in camp for a week, another minister will be invited to preach and this setup may differ. Many Scouts and staff attend both services.

Eco/Con Live[edit]

Eco/Con Live! is an outdoor activity that takes place Wednesday evenings at the Claycomb Ecology Conservation Center. The Eco/Con Staff show various animals of the wild, and in the past, there has been a falconer with his/her falcons. Today, the event takes more the form of a showcase, with Eco/Con staff running various activities connected to Eco/Con.


L.O.S.T. (Legendary Outdoor Skills Tournament)is an event also on Wednesday at Outdoor Skills that is subjected to Orienteering. An orienteering course is built within the area and Scouts are given a variety of different team-building tasks. This was also introduced in 2006 by then Outdoor Skills Director Tyler Colman.

Scuba & Snorkeling[edit]

B.S.A. Scuba and Snorkeling Awards are obtainable at the Bosco Lake Aquatics Area, or these activities can be completed just for

Founder of the SCUBA program at cole canoe base J.J. Smith teaching a SCUBA B.S.A. class.
B.S.A.. SCUBA Award

fun. Experienced swimmers receive several days of lessons before heading out into the lake to view several sunken treasures, including a sailboat, a Tcanoe, a kayak, and a payphone sign complete with a phone.

Movie Night[edit]

Movie Night is an event that also falls on Wednesday. A movie is played for Scouts and Scoutmasters to enjoy. This program developed as part of a plan to host a campuswide program in the event of a rainout Thursday night. Due to its popularity, it was moved to a regular camp event in the summer of 2002.

Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival[edit]

The Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Festival is a Thursday tradition. Down at Bosco Lake, activities such as a tomahawk throw and crosscut sawing competition occur. In previous years, a root beer chug has been included in the lumberjack events, until it was brought back in 2009 for Scoutmasters only. The Ice Cream Social happens immediately following the Lumberjack Festival. This event takes place at the John Dumas Pavilion. Scouts are able to choose from many, many different flavors. The "Scoutmaster Special" is a plate which includes each flavor with a blue cherry on top. There is also a dance party which happens at the same time and place as the Ice Cream Social.

River Rat Rodeo[edit]

The River Rat Rodeo is a Friday festivity that happens during midday. Troops compete in water activities such as war canoes, canoe races, and rump bumps. The River Rat Rodeo is the last camp-wide event, other than the closing campfire. By Friday noon all of the merit badge classes and any other awards or rank advancement classes have come to a close. The Scouts and adult leaders work

Troops lining up to compete in the Canoe Tug of War event. Two canoes are tied together and competing troops paddles as hard as they can to overpower the opponent canoe.
The famous Friday afternoon River Rat Rodeo.

very hard all week to complete the classes they signed up for and the River Rat Rodeo is a fun way to cool off. But also show off some of the skills they have learned throughout the week though a wide variety of aquatic based events. There are more than enough events, and a very flexible aquatics staff so no matter how large or small a competing troop is any Scout who wants to participate or compete for their troop will not be excluded. In most troops, there is 100% youth participation. There are even events designed to give weaker swimmers the ability to compete for their troop safely and at the same level as a stronger swimmer. Throughout the week the Scouts make a friend outside their troops. Even though the River Rat Rodeo is an event where troops are competing against each other, unlike most modern competitions and sporting events, many boys and even whole troops cheer on their opponents. This and the excellent example of Scouting values in action.

Closing Flags and Fire Bowl[edit]

Following the closing flag retreat, troops process out to the Cosgro Campfire Area for the celebratory closing campfire. Most viewers agree that this is one of the most spectacular closing campfires offered at any camp, and to many it seems that it only

Evan "Tex" Peck standing in front of one of the campfires held each week during the summer camp season.

improves each year. Performances including skits, songs, and jokes by the staff and campers. After, new Eagle Scouts and Order of the Arow members are

View of one of the weekly campfires from the opposite side of Bosco Lake

honored for their achievements. All Eagle Scouts in attendance are recognized as well. Also, a John Wayne rendition of the history of the song 'Taps' is played, followed by 'Taps' done by bugle. Scouts and staff who serve in the military are often given the special mention for their patriotism, and a moment of reflective silence to give thanks for the nation of the United States is observed. The campfire is closed with a photo slideshow remembering the week at camp and a fireworks display.

This closes the week at camp, and troops break camp and return home the following morning.

D-bar-A Scout Ranch[edit]

D-bar-A Scout Ranch
D-bar-A Scout Ranch.png
Location Lapeer, Michigan
Founded 1950

D-bar-A Scout Ranch (Formally known as D-A Scout Ranch) is a Boy Scout ranch located in Metamora, Michigan.


D-bar-A Scout Ranch is approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Detroit just south of Lapeer, Michigan located on the southern border of Lapeer County. The camp measures approximately 1,700 acres (7 km2) of wilderness. The Flint River runs through the northeast corner of camp through the camporee field.


Originally opened in 1950, D-bar-A Scout Ranch was opened and operated for a full year before conducting its first summer camp program, since then D-bar-A-Scout Ranch has been providing quality Scouting experiences for Scouts from Southeast Michigan and around the Midwest.

In 2007, Great Lakes Council announced its "Go Green" campaign. This project started at D-bar-A and will continue into the rest of the council's projects. They will no longer be using disposables in the dining facilities, among other earth-saving projects.


D-bar-A Scout Ranch has 28 heated cabins and 13 tent sites, each including a flagpole, fire ring, and latrine.

The cabin sites are : Arrowhead, Beaver Creek, Chippewa, Christoph, Clearwater, Dan Beard, Draper, Eagles Nest, Fair Oaks, Forest Edge, Frischkorn, High Point, Hill Top, Hunters Creek, Indianwood, Jack Lord, James E. West, Johnstone, Lakeview, Lang, Little Prairie, Meadows, Oakridge, Rawhide, Shady Oaks, Tall Timbers, Trout Lake and Williams.

The tent sites are Aspen Grove, Cow Camp, Eastwood, Forester, Grandview, Hawthorne Hill, Highland, Migisi, Ribble House, Riverside, Skyline, Treasure Oaks, Whispering Trees and Brookside.

Lockwood Lake is the largest of the three lakes on the property along with Trout Lake and Beaver Lake and it is used by the Scouts for all of their aquatic activities. Although cabins exist in the Lockwood Lake region, the Scouts often shelter in tents, except for winter events. Facilities also exist for shooting sports, ecology conservation, and aquatics.

The Jack Lord area is used primarily for Boy Scout summer camp activities including swimming, canoeing, archery, rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, nature and conservancy education, crafts, climbing and bouldering, horseback riding and Suttler's Trading Company (trading post). 10 of cabins and tent sites are located in this area, as well as a new shower house and the James Hay pavilion and dining hall. Completed in 2010, Migisi Opawgan, one of the Great Lakes Field Service Council Order of the Arrow chapters, built a new fire bowl amphitheater that will sit right on the shore of Lockwood Lake. The new fire bowl was dedicated to Dave Morosky, a past Head Ranger of the Ranch. The Dave Morosky fire bowl is home to the opening campfire, provided by the staff, and closing campfire, provided by the Scouts.[needs update]

Summer camp[edit]

Merit badges[edit]

During the week-long programs, each of the program areas offers instruction in various merit badges, as well as other certifications. Please check with official Great Lakes Field Service Council sources for the most up to date information regarding its current merit badge schedule.[3]

Program Area Merit Badges Special Award
Aquatics Canoeing, Lifesaving*, Motorboating, Rowing, Swimming*, Mile Swim
Scoutcraft Backpacking, Camping*, Cooking, Cycling*, Hiking*, Indian Lore, Orienteering, Pioneering, Sports, Wilderness Survival, Climbing, Fly-fishing
Ecology and Conservation Astronomy, Bird Study, Environmental Science*, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fishing, Forestry, Geology, Mammal Study, Nature, Reptile and Amphibian Study, Soil and Water Conservation, Weather
Shooting Sports Archery, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting
Handicraft Art, Basketry, Leatherwork, Woodcarving, Music, Composite Materials
Summit Citizenship in the Community*, Citizenship in the Nation*, Citizenship in the World*, Communications*, Fingerprinting
M*A*S*H 949 First Aid, Medicine, Public Health, Safety
Wall Street Business American Business, Entrepreneurship, Salesmanship
Silver Spur Corral Horsemanship, Veterinary Medicine

* indicates an Eagle-required merit badge

Programs and activities[edit]

Horseback riding is available throughout the year. Trail rides are offered to participants who are older than 10 years of age, Corral rides are offered to all regardless of age. During the summer rides leave from the Silver Spur Corral and during the rest of the year they leave from the barns near the main entrance.

Flag Ceremonies take place before breakfast and before dinner every day of the week, allowing Scouts and leaders to experience a demonstration of respect for the flag of the United States, as well as any other flags being flown on the flag pole. Staff or troops are asked to do a skit or interactive song before the ceremony starts. This usually occurs 10 to 30 minutes before the ceremony if indeed a troop arrives for the ceremony that far in advance. During the ceremony, the majority of the staff lines up in front of the Jack Lord administration building facing the Hay Pavilion. The "A Team" lines up in two ranks perpendicular to the staff, facing the flag pole. The units visiting the camp line up by unit on the north side of the flagpole facing the Jack Lord administration building parking lot and flag pole. Following the raising of the flag, the units and staff are given the order to stand "at ease," and the Program Director makes his way to the units for various announcements. On the first day of camp, this is to welcome everyone to camp. On the last day of camp, he steps forward to thank the units for attending camp and provide other relevant information. The flags usually flown include the United States flag and the D-bar-A Scout Ranch flag.

The Western day is a ranch traditional festivity held every Wednesday evening in the Jack Lord Field area. There are cooking demos, corral rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, branding, religious awards display, & Order of the Arrow display. Other activities include the BB gun range, bull wrangling, and tug-o-war. Campers and guests at Western Day decide who is the next D-bar-A Scout Ranch Iron Chef, in an Iron Chef-like event.

Silent Swim is an aquatic obstacle course held at Lockwood Lake. During the Teddy Bear Swim, Scouts and Scouters swim in the lake at 6:30 am, much earlier than is normally permitted. A fishing derby takes place on Tuesday evening.

The Pedro Trail is seven miles long with two optional loops that bring the total length to ten miles. Upon completion, trail medals and patches may be purchased at Suttler’s Trading Company.

Flu-flu archery demonstrations are held at the archery range, demonstrating the use of Flu-Flu Arrows to hit moving targets.

During the Explosion of the Arts, Scouts bring their stories, poems, instruments, and voice to the crafts area. They will be able to share a poem, play an instrument, or tie-dye shirts. On Tuesdays, Scouts travel down the camp road to the Martorona Pavilion for art and craft explosion.

The competition for the Longhorn Award lasts the duration of the week-long summer camp. It is awarded to the unit judged to have the most spirit. Carrying unit flags, displaying patrol flags, giving the patrol yell, singing songs, and engaging in other demonstrations of enthusiasm all contribute to a troop's chances for success.

Marsh Madness is part of the Eco/Con merit badges, where Scouts investigate the bio-system of the marshes in camp. This event usually leads to all involved being covered in muck from the bottom of the marsh. Originally called the "Swamp Tromp," the name was changed when it was determined that the camp did not have swamps, but rather marshes. Eco/Con LIVE is an outdoor activity that takes place Sunday evenings at the Carl Piel Chapel, immediately following the Vesper service. The Eco/Con Staff shows various reptiles and their abilities.

Vespers is a service held on Sunday evening at the Carl Piel Chapel or Hay Pavilion in a case of inclement weather. This consists of a non-denominational Christian Scripture service. Many Scouts and staff attend vespers.

On Monday, a movie is played for Scouts and Scoutmasters to enjoy. New releases have not been the theme of Monday Movie Night in recent years, and the camp usually chooses one movie and repeats that movie for the entire course of the summer.

The Friday Camp Wide Activity is a Friday tradition. Down at Lockwood, activities such canoe pull, watermelon scramble, and various other water based fun. The entire event is not complete until the Lockwood Regatta is held, where units build a raft out of material found only at camp. One of the riders on the raft, must be at least 18, and be in full complete uniform.

Following the closing flag retreat, troops process out to the Jack Lord Fire bowl for the celebratory closing campfire. This closes the week at camp, and troops break camp and return home the following morning.

Other Programs[edit]

Trail To Eagle Camp[edit]

Trail To Eagle (TTE) is a national camp held annually the first week in July at Michigan Council D Bar A Camp in Metamora Michigan. Boy Scouts must be 13 years of age and attained the rank of First Class to register for the camp. TTE has drawn youth and volunteers from many different states. The goal of the camp is to help Scouts make significant strides towards earning the rank of Eagle Scout and to explore areas of interest to the Scout. The TTE camp program started in 1994. TTE typically offers 80 different merit badges including all the badges required to attain the rank of Eagle Scout (except hiking and cycling). The camp also offers a full complement of popular evening activities; volleyball or better known as "Basarball" (named after the founder of TTE, Ed Basar), Waterball, and war canoes, within a traditional summer camp environment. The Camp publishes its own daily newspaper called the "Aeire Chronicle". The TTE camp motto is "To fly like an Eagle, you've got to believe." Over 2,200 have attended TTE since its beginning and 57% of the Scouts have gone on to become Eagle Scouts.

Yucca Trail[edit]

The Yucca Trail is a horseback riding program that takes Scouts for four days and three nights of riding. During the course of this program, Scouts will be able to earn the horsemanship merit badge while exploring much of the unseen areas of the camp. Each Scout is assigned one horse to ride for the trip. In addition to riding the Scouts learn to take care of their horses including taking shifts at night to feed and look after the animals.

Ranch Hand[edit]

The Ranch Hand program is a week-long program where Scouts can work alongside the camp's wrangler staff and learn about how a ranch operates. During the week Scouts can earn the Horsemanship, Veterinary Medicine, and Farm Mechanics merit badges. In addition to the merit badges, the Scouts learn about how to use a forge to shape metal as well as others skills that are useful in running a ranch. At the end of the week, the Scouts participate in a cattle drive.

Lost Lake Scout Reservation[edit]

Lost Lake Scout Reservation
Lost Lake Scout Reservation.JPG
Founded 1965
Founder Harry Bennett

Lost Lake Scout Reservation (LLSR) is a 2,385-acre (10 km2) camp located in Freeman Township, Clare County in Northern Michigan. LLSR is a Boy Scout Camp and is the fourth of four pieces of property owned by the Great Lakes Field Service Council. It was purchased for $350,000 in 1964. Lost Lake features the very popular week-long summer camp. Scouts from around the United States can attend this camp. The camp has three lakes, the largest is 66-acre (270,000 m2) Lost Lake. The site is also the home of Bennett's Lodge, formerly a retreat owned by Ford Motor Company executive Harry Bennett. Throughout the year, especially summer camp, tours were offered of Bennett Lodge. Sadly, Lost Lake closed at the end of 2012. In 2003, Chippewa Lodge, the former service lodge to the camp, unveiled a new 10-mile trail, dubbed Chippewa "Chippy" Trail, in Lost Lake's back forty.

Order of the Arrow - Noquet Lodge 29[edit]

Noquet Lodge
Totem Arrow & Bear Claw
Founded 2011
Lodge Chief Adam Lardin
Lodge Adviser Mike McCoy

The council is served by the Noquet Lodge 29. The word Noquet means Bear Claw in the Ojibwa language. The lodge uses bears and bears claws as symbols on its insignia.[4] Noquet Lodge performs service to all Great Lakes Council Camps, hosts fellowship activities, promotes camping among council Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs, and attends regional and national Order of the Arrow events.

Noquet Lodge is divided into administrative units called chapters. There are six chapters, each corresponding to one or more of the council’s eight districts.[5] Chapters coordinate their own service and fellowship activities, as well as train teams which conduct the membership induction process.

Like all Order of the Arrow programs, the Noquet Lodge has youth leaders who are advised[citation needed] by appointed adults. The six lodge officers (Chief, Executive Vice-Chief, Vice-Chief of Administration, Vice-Chief of Activities, Treasurer, and Lodge Secretary) are elected annually.[4] The lodge’s work is performed by committees which have youth chairmen and adult advisers.

A volunteer Lodge Adviser is appointed by the Scout Executive. The lodge adviser appoints other adults to serve as advisers to specific lodge officers and committees. The Scout Executive also appoints a member of the professional staff to serve a Staff Adviser to the lodge.[6]

When the Great Lakes Council formed in November 2009 through the merger of the Clinton Valley and Detroit Area Council, each council had an Order of the Arrow Lodge. Those two lodges, Chippewa Lodge 29 and Migisi Opawgan Lodge 162, continued to operate while members of both lodges set up the structure for the Noquet Lodge. The Noquet Lodge became the council’s Order of the Arrow Lodge in May 2011.

The lodge is part of the Section C-2,.[7] Noquet Lodge is divided into six Chapters: Lalai Haki, Chippewa, Ottawa, Achowlogen, Pontiac-Manito, and Migisi Opawgan.

Migisi Opawgan Chapter[edit]

The Detroit Area Council received a charter to create an Order of the Arrow lodge in the summer of 1939.[8] Inductions for the new lodge were held at the Detroit Area Council’s two summer camps – Charles Howell Scout Reservation and Camp Brady. The initial inductions were assisted by the Munhake Lodge in Ann Arbor and the Chippewa Lodge in Pontiac. Throughout the summer, the lodge continued to initiate its own members.

The new lodge selected its name and totem as Migisi Opawgan, meaning “Eagle” and “Peace Pipe” respectively, in 1941. The name comes from the Ojibwa Language. The hyphens were removed from the lodge’s name in the 1980s. Eagles and Peace Pipes figured prominently in most lodge insignia during its many years. The Lodge was assigned number 162.

Continuing on its initial foundation at Boy Scout Summer Camp, Migisi Opawgan continued to provide service to the Detroit Area Camps. Although camps Brady and Howell were closed in 1959 in 1986,[9] the council acquired different camps which the lodge served. The lodge worked to support the summer camps at D-bar-A Scout Ranch starting in 1951 and Cole Canoe Base starting in 1969.

Migisi Opawgan was involved in the construction and funding of many major projects and Detroit Area Camps. Charles Howell Scout Reservation’s O-A Cabin was funded by Migisi Opawgan and its members. At D-bar-A Scout Ranch, the lodge was responsible for the construction and maintenance of a 10-mile hiking trail, the funding, construction, and staffing of the Thomas D. Trainor Scout Museum, and provided the labor for many other projects. Many of the lodge’s projects were developed over many years. The initial six-mile loop of the Pedro Trail was completed in 1991.[10] It was expanded to 10 miles ten years later. A fire bowl at D-bar-A’s Trout Lake was completed in 1995[10] and expanded in 2003.

Migisi Opawgan had many administrative structures in place, each representing the needs of the Council and its members. As the lodge grew, the initial camp based chapters were replaced by divisions of the council’s territory. At times, each chapter served one or more of the council’s districts. In 1974, a clan structure was adopted to provide a layer of administration between chapters and the lodge.[11] When lodge membership declined this level of organization was no longer necessary.

In addition to providing service to Council Camps, Migisi Opawgan participated in regional and national Order of the Arrow Activities, beginning as the host of the first Michigan State Conclave, held in 1947. Nine members of Migisi Opawgan have been presented with the Order of the Arrow’s Distinguished Service Award.[12]

Migisi Opawgan also hosted annual Pilgrimages to the council’s Abraham Lincoln statue which was on display at Charles Howell Scout Reservation and later moved to D-bar-A Scout Ranch. The Lodge and its chapters also hosted fellowship events for its members.[8] This event was continued by the Noquet Lodge which is the successor to Migisi Opawgan after its merger with the Chippewa Lodge.

Migisi Opawgan became a chapter within the Noquet Lodge in 2011. Migisi Opawgan Chapter recognizes its members at an Annual Awards banquet. Awards were presented to youth and adult leaders, lodge and chapter officers and committee members, and those who had distinguished themselves in outstanding ways. Awards included the Robert Rutherford Service Award, the Russell Neynaber Award, the Harold Oatley Service Award (formerly Arrowman of the Year Award), and the Extended Elangomat Award.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "bsadetroit Resources and Information". Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Chutorash, Gus (2007). "CCB-Summer-Camp-Leaders-Manual". Detroit Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  3. ^ Chutorash, Gus (2007). "CCB-Summer-Camp-Leaders-Manual". Detroit Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved June 20, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "Noquet Lodge Rules" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Bear Necessities Volume 1 Issue 1" (PDF). 
  6. ^ "Noquet Lodge Rules" (PDF). 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Migisi Opawgan History: 1939-1948".  External link in |publisher= (help);
  9. ^ "Migisi Opawgan History: 1959-1968".  External link in |publisher= (help);
  10. ^ a b "Migisi Opawgan History: 1989-now".  External link in |publisher= (help);
  11. ^ "Migisi Opawgan History: 1969-1978".  External link in |publisher= (help);
  12. ^ "Beyond Our Lodge".  External link in |publisher= (help);