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Owasippe Scout Reservation




Owasippe Scout Reservation was created in 1911 as Camp White, with 40 acres of land on Crystal Lake in Whitehall, Michigan.  It is the oldest continuous operating Boy Scout Camp in the United States, having celebrated its’ 100th anniversary in 2011.

It all began in the summer of 1910, as a group of visionary businessmen from Chicago headed to Whitehall, Michigan to investigate the possibility of acquiring property for the purpose of building a Boy Scout Camp.  The group, led by A. Stamford White, Chicago Council President, met with the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce who agreed to donate 40 acres of land on Crystal Lake, with the agreement that the Scout group would purchase an additional 80 acres. 

In 1911, a group of Scouts and adult workers went to Crystal Lake, cleared campsites, dug a well and erected the first mess tent.

In 1912 the summer camp operation started in earnest with over 800 Scouts traveling by steam ship from Chicago, crossing Lake Michigan to Whitehall.  They then hiked the last few miles to camp with their gear.  Most of the Scouts who did attend, stayed for two weeks, enjoying the primitive facility.  Over the years Scouts modes of transportation varied; coming by boat, train, bus and car, making Owasippe a favorite destination for Scout camping.

In 1915, the Camp was renamed Owasippe, possibly taken from a local Indian Legend that surfaced about the same time.  The legend has become ingrained in every Scout experience at Owasippe since that time.

The camp continued to expand over the years as districts in the council opened their own camp facilities.  This expansion continued through the 1920s at Crystal Lake and then Big Blue Lake, several miles to the North and East.  It was only natural that the land in between these two lakes would be acquired over time.

By the 1960s, the property had grown to over 11,000 acres, which included Lake Wolverine (also known as Cleveland Lake).  The land acquisition had largely, connected the three lakes, creating a new Owasippe Scout Reservation.  At that time, there were as many as 18,000 Boy Scouts attending each summer.

Today, Owasippe sits on almost 4800 acres, adjacent to the 540,000 acre Manistee National Forest.  It still operates Camp on Big Blue Lake and Lake Wolverine. It has over 75 miles of wilderness hiking trails and many opportunities for your Scouts to create new experiences. Owasippe is now owned and operated by Pathway To Adventure Council, BSA.

Come join us as we explore all that Owasippe has to offer and be ready to experience the adventure.

Ranger Notes

You will receive a call from an Owasippe Ranger in the week before your stay to verify location and dates. The ranger will discuss any check-in or check-out procedures that may be needed. 

 - Pets are not allowed in camp
 - Personal ATVs and other off-road vehicles are not permitted anywhere on camp property
 - Per BSA policy, alcohol is prohibited on camp property

9900 Russell Rd
Twin Lake, Michigan 49457

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08:00 AM
11:00 PM

05:00 PM
11:00 AM


Camp Use Policy Back to Top

Policies for Safety and Vandalism

1.All activities will conform to BSA National Guidelines as set forth in the GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING.

2. The Scout Oath and Law apply to all in this camp.

3. All vehicles will be parked in designated PARKING areas, not campsites. No violations will be tolerated or permitted except in case of emergency or as designated by the Camp Master. Only drive on the designated  road and adhere to the posted speed limit.

4. Alcohol, drugs, pets, tobacco products, firearms and fireworks are prohibited  and under a Zero Tolerance Policy.

5. Build fires in properly designated areas and NEVER leave unattended.

6. All camp property, buildings and trees are not to be damaged in any way. The unit or group renting at the camp assumes full responsibiblity for any loss or damage to equipment. 

Check In Procedure Back to Top


Check Out Procedure Back to Top


Cancellation Policy Back to Top

Cancelations must be received in writing no less than thirty (30) days prior to arrival at Camp for a refund.

No refund if less than 30 days.

Cleaning Policy Back to Top

When renting building(s) and/or campsites please leave everything in better condition than you found it.  All garbage will be disposed of in designated disposal areas. Floors are to be swept and mopped.  All itsy-bitys in campsites are to be picked up.  A cleaning fee will be assessed if property is not left in an acceptable condition.