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Silver Trails Scout Reservation To Be Sold For Gravel

The Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America has decided to sell Silver Trails Scout Reservation, a 270-acre camp along the west side of Black River about 2 miles west of Jeddo, Michigan. Details are yet to be confirmed, but a BSA official said the pending buyer is a company related with Dan’s Excavating, Inc. or Ajax Paving, Inc. and would mine the entire camp for gravel. The current agreement with the company may be binding, or a commitment to sell with terms contingent on soil testing results and other items. The gravel company has already conducted soil borings. A possible sale price was said to be $1.8 million. There is no indication that the Michigan Crossroads Council notified any local unit of government, organization, scouters, or other parties that might want to protect the camp. Instead, the Michigan BSA has apparently determined that a gravel pit is the only future for Silver Trails.

For over a half-century, Silver Trails was owned locally by the former Blue Water Council, serving Saint Clair and Sanilac Counties. In 2012, the council was dissolved in a consolidation of the entire lower peninsula of Michigan. The new Michigan Crossroads Council took Silver Trails and has owned it for only about 7 years. In truth, however, Silver Trails is not really their land, but a product of our community and rightfully ours. The camp was established in 1945 on parcels that were sold for $1 to the former Blue Water Council. The land was essentially donated by these owners for the betterment of our community. The local Exchange Club built the main gate in 1945 and local Rotary Clubs donated and built the Rotary Lodge or Mess Hall in 1948. For 67 years, local scouts, scouters, volunteers, and organizations maintained and improved Silver Trails. Thousands of hours of work and thousands of dollars were invested in the camp by local people in the Blue Water Council.

Thousands of area youth have camped at Silver Trails and participated in many programs and events like summer camps, cub day camps, polar bear camps, klondikes, camporees, conclaves, and much more. Many area scouts have worked on camp staff. BSA consolidation in Michigan was promoted as a means to improve the scout program at local levels, but has instead decreased camp opportunities for our youth, soon to be eliminated with Silver Trails sold and graveled. The Michigan Crossroads Council has sold at least 5 other camps in Michigan since 2012, and national BSA many more across the US.

For many of us, Silver Trails is one of the most beautiful places in the world, located along high bluffs above the Black River where Silver Creek winds through mature forest and other small streams cut through deep shaded ravines. If you have not stood in the old-growth forest north of Silver Creek on a late summer afternoon as woodland birds call across the glowing cathedral of Hemlock, Beech, and Sugar Maple trees, you are deprived. Silver Trails is truly irreplaceable.

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Ask the BSA Michigan Crossroads Council to please stop this impending sale and give a local unit of government or an organization a fair chance to buy the camp. You may contact the following:

Donald Shepard
Scout Executive/CEO
BSA Michigan Crossroads Council
137 S. Marketplace Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48917

Gary Gilger
Deputy Scout Executive
BSA Michigan Crossroads Council

Christopher Hopkins
Chief Information Officer
BSA Michigan Crossroads Council

Jane Parikh
Public Relations Manager
BSA Michigan Crossroads Council

Barb Campbell
BSA Michigan Crossroads Council

·       Contact scouts, scouters, and former scouters.

·       Contact your political representatives and anyone else that may be concerned.

·       US President Trump serves as the Honorary President of BSA.

·       All former US Presidents serve as Honorary Vice Presidents of BSA.

Be sure to let your voice be heard on the Petition website.

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Blue Water Healthy Living


Rita S Lane June 8, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Dan’s Cousins, the Fuseline family, donated this 269 acre property to the local Blue Water Boy Scout Council many years ago. (1947) It was intended to give a lifetime of safe camping and happy times for local scouts. If we can find the original codicil, there may be a clause requiring lifetime lease. If so, an injunction will stop this sale.

Katie Mehlberg June 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Hi Rita!
Is there any way you can send this information to the emails above? I have heard many things about this intention but not many people know in-depth detail. It sounds like you have good information, from a good source. You should pass on your knowledge to the higher ups – you can help stop this sale!!
Best Regards,


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