Scout Troops arrive and begin the "check in" procedure at the Owasippe Scout Reservation Administration Center. The Ad Center as it is commonly referred to, is home to the Food Preparation Building, Snack Bar and Main Trading Post, as well as the Administrative office. Wi-Fi is available here as well as at the section camp lodges.
Outpost and Special Programs
Sunday afternoon, program participation is finalized and Scouts are ready to start their week. Monday morning, Scouts will find new adventures throughout the Reservation awaiting their arrival.
Swimming Ability Assesment
Orientation and medical rechecks begin along with swim tests. Every camper wishing to swim or undertake any aquatic activity, must take a test to assess the camper's ability to swim. Camp Wolverine Scouts do their swim activities at the large swimming pool located near the Camp Lodge.
Camp Blackhawk Waterfront
Aquatics staff prepares for the arrival of Scouts and Scouters who will be taking their swimming test. The testing process will determine whether each Scout is a non-swimmer, beginner or a swimmer. A Scout will only be allowed in a specific swimming area based on his swimming abilities.
As seen from Camp Blackhawk's dining hall balcony. Scout navigates the bridge over one of Big Blue Lake's feeder creeks. This Scout is on his way to dinner.
Main Trading Post
The Main Trading Post is located at the Reservation Ad Center. Scouts will find useful items such as tee shirts, sweatshirts, patches and merit badge books at the trading post along with a nice array of souvenirs. There is also a great selection of snacks. Each section camp also has their own trading post with a variety of items and snacks.
Scouts gather together at the Camp Wolverine fire bowl Sunday evening for Wolverine's opening campfire. The staff leads the Scouts and Scouters in song and skits. A great time is had by all, setting the tone for a awesome week ahead.
Diamond O Horse Ranch
Seeing parts of Owasippe from the back of a horse is an awesome experience. At the horse ranch Scouts taking Horesmanship M.B. learn the responsibilities of caring for a horse as well as proper riding technique. A Troop or individual Scouts may sign up for open riding as space is available. Scouts are escorted by staff along one of the horse trails.
Charles Nagle COPE Base
Scouts have the opportunity to physically and mentally challenge themselves at the COPE base (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience). This Scout rides the zip line over the valley below in the final segment of the COPE course.
Steve Fossett Sail Base
A number of boating activities take place at the Steve Fossett Sail Base. Open sailing, Small Boat Sailing M.B., Water Sports M.B., Motorboating M.B., lake tubing and fishing from the pontoon boat are some of the activities happening here. In this photo, Scouts receive instruction in safe motorboat operation.
Lake tubing on Big Blue Lake is one of the more popular program activities Scouts may participate in. The ability to participate is predicated on the Scout's swimming skill level. Space for this exciting program is limited.
Water Sports Merit Badge is offered on Big Blue Lake. Scouts gather at the Steve Fossett Sail Base where the speed boats are also located. Here, Scouts are receiving basic instruction in water skiing.
Small Boat Sailing is one of the most popular programs at the Steve Fossett Sail Base. Scouts prepare to launch their salboats.
One of the fun things there is to do at Owasippe is to spend an evening fishing from the pontoon boat. Our staff driver will be sure to put you right over the fish. The rest is up to the fisherman and of course the fish need to cooperate also. Here, a Scout poses with his catch before releasing the northern pike. Hopefully, this northern will grow a little bigger before it is caught again.
Camp Wolverine Swimming Pool
It might seem a little odd to be hiking through the woods only to come across the swimming pool. At Camp Wolverine the pool is the center of much activity, whether it be a Troop swim, instructional or merit badge class, there is always something happening at the pool.
White River Canoeing
Canoeing the White River has become a tradition over the years for many Scout Troops. The river flows through the Manistee National Forest, which is adjacent to Owasippe Scout Reservation. The trip ends at White Lake in the towns of Montague/Whitehall. The trip duration is between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the launch point.
Camp Handicraft Program Area
Both section camps have handicraft lodges. You will find this a popular spot most times of the day. Scouts have the opportunity to work on Leatherwork, Woodcarving and Basketry Merit Badges.
Scoutcraft Program Area
Scoutcraft is another popular area in the section camps. Scouts have an opportunity to work on Camping, Cooking, Pioneering, Emergency Preparedness, Wilderness Survival and First Aid Merit Badges. The Scout in this photo is working on a lashing project under the watchful eye of a Camp Wolverine staff member.
Scouts are receiving instruction in map and compass use. The opportunity to explore all of Owasippe's almost, 5000 acres, is greatly enhanced by becoming proficient in this skill.
Ecology/Conservation Program Area
This is a great place to spend time at if you want to learn more about Owasippe's ecosystem. There are number of unique features to be studied at our camp. The Wolverine watershed, the bogs and marle beds come to mind. Owasippe is also home to several endangered or threatened species such as the Karner Blue Butterfly, Eastern Box Turtle, Blanding's Turtle and Bald Eagle.
Scouts are building a retaining wall along the Orange trail preventing soil from washing into Lake wolverine. There are opportunities like this one that can be found throughout the reservation.
On any given day you will find Scouts fishing on the docks along the shore of Lake Wolverine in the Ecology/Conservation Program Area. The fishing is pretty good here. As you can see, this Scout is proud of the bullhead he has caught.
Field Sports Program Area
Camp Blackhawk and Camp Wolverine have their own Rifle, Shotgun and Archery Ranges. The merit badges associated with each range are offered along with open shooting. The Scout in this photo wants everyone to know which Troop he belongs to while waiting for his turn to shoot at the Archery Range..
Shotgun Shooting Range
Scouts get the opportunity to safely, shoot skeet under the supervision of the trained range staff. This Scout attempts to hit the clay pidgin as it flies through the air.
Lake Wolverine Tranquility
Enjoy the views from your campsite or follow the Orange Trail to the headwaters and beyond. The trail circles the lake, offering great lake views and opportunity to observe fauna and wildlife indigenous to Owasippe.
The Orange Trail
The Orange Trail is 5.1 miles in length and completes the circle around Lake Wolverine. The foot bridge in this photo is one of two you will need to cross near the headwaters at the Southern end of Lake Wolverine. These bridges allow you to cross over the two spring fed creeks flowing into the Lake.
The Red Trail
The Red Trail is 4.8 miles in length and takes you from Camp Blackhawk along Big Blue Lake until it turns inland to Paradise Valley, across Cleveland Creek and up to Chief Owasippe's grave. The trail passes near the Owasippe Museum and ends at the Southern end of Lake Wolverine at which point it joins the Orange Trail. These Scouts are crossing Cleveland Creek headed for Owasippe's Grave.
The Blue Trail
The Blue Trail is 8.6 miles in length and when connected to a portion of the Red Trail can easily be expanded to 10 miles. This Trail follows the perimeter of Owasippe Scout Reservation, past the Horse Ranch, to Reneker Family Camp and beyond to the Quaking Bogs and Marle Beds. In this photo Scouts cross the foot bridge to the Bogs.There are a number of jumping off points along the trail so it is possible to hike the whole trail or just small portion of it.
14 year old CIT Program
This adventure is for Scouts who may have an interest in one day working at Owasippe but are not quite old enough to be on staff as a full summer CIT. The three week program allows Scouts to spend 3 weeks together learning more about the camp and what is expected of a staff member. In this photo CITs are hiking the Blue Trail. They are at the Quaking Bogs, feeling the motion of the ground as it sways below their feet.
Order of the Arrow
The Order of the Arrow is very active at Owasippe, performing service to the camp and their fellow Scouts. The Order of the Arrow can best be described as Scouting's National Honor Society whose purpose is to recognize those who exemplify the Scout Oath & Law, promote camping, develop leaders and promote cheerful service. Here, OA members gather at the Wolverine Lodge after spending the evening working on a camp service project. They enjoy the fellowship as well as the ice cream.
This program is for first year Scout campers. The Scouts gather each for a lunchan feast put on by commissioners.
Scouts from the various Troops in camp put on the Friday evening, closing campfire. All the skits and songs make for a fun filled evening. It is a time to recount all of the great adventures the week's stay as brought....until next year!!!
Reneker Family Camp
Make it a family vacation with a stay at Reneker Family Camp. Trained and caring staff provides program opportunity for family members 4 years old to adults. The family in this photo represents three generations of Owasippe campers.
Okay, the Reneker staff doesn't always dress like this. This themed event for the kids takes place in the evening along with an ice cream social. The staff goes all out to make your family stay a memorable one.
More Carnival Fun
One of the staff engaging in a water balloon toss with a camper during the themed carnival event. Note the wading pool and the camp swimming pool in the background.
Family Camp Swimming Pool
The Family Camp pool is a favorite hangout for kids and adults alike. Swim instruction is available for 4 years and older. There is also fun time in the pool during open swim period. Of course, if swimming is not your thing, there is arts & crafts, nature hikes and more. If you don't feel like doing anything, bring a book and lay by the pool.
Family Camp Closing Campfire
Friday evening is campfire time. Fun songs and skits performed by staff members, entertain adults and kids alike. It is also time to say goodbye to new friends as well as old friends....until next year. These little ones have their picture taken with a new friend after the campfire.
Has your Troop made their site reservation for next summer? Sign up now for one week or two weeks stay. Have you reserved your Reneker Family Camp cabin(s) for next summer? The adventure continues......