Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp - Mackinac State Historic Parks | Mackinac State Historic Parks

Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp

Mackinac History: A Continuing Series of Illustrated Vignettes, Volume III, Leaflet #1

Roger M Andrews … organized a contingent of eight Eagle Scouts to help at Fort Mackinac for the month of August, 1929. The experiment succeeded, and developed into a statewide program that has changed the lives of over 30,000 young men and women.

In 1929 Fort Mackinac retained original buildings that the Army had turned over to the State of Michigan in 1895. … Visitors wandered in and scrawled their names on the whitewashed walls. A small museum of assorted artifacts had been assembled in part of the Officers’ Stone Quarters … Visitors who trudged up the ramp … had the breathtaking view as a reward for their climb, but the fort building revealed little of their fascinating past.

Andrews brought a contingent of eight Eagle Scouts, the highest rank of Boy Scouts, to Fort Mackinac. [Hastily recruited and under the leadership of Ame Venema]… They stopped in Lansing to meet Governor Fred W Green, who presented them with a State Commission as Honor Guardsmen and administered the oath of office.

Well trained in the historical background of the fort and the island, they worked, on four-hour shifts, in teams of two, conducting visitors on walking tours. Their routine included putting the fort flags up and down, firing the sunset gun, and blowing reveille and taps on the bugle.

Could Andrews have guessed that more than 30,000 scouts would follow in their footsteps? Or that one of the scouts, Gerald Ford, would become the thirty-eighth President of the United States?

Author: David A. Armour
Publisher: Mackinac State Historic Parks
Illustrated, 12 pages, 1998
Price: $2.83