Camping: Miakonda Museum
Hours of Operation:
Erie Shores Council, Boy Scouts of America, maintains a Scouting memorabilia museum dedicated to Scouting with an emphasis on Scouting history in the Erie Shores Council and its present and past camps. The Erie Shores Council and Camp Miakonda are both based in Toledo Ohio. The museum is located at Camp Miakonda which is Ohio’s oldest and America's 6th oldest surviving Boy Scout camp. The museum collection includes over forty uniforms on display and uniform elements from all eras of Scouting dating back to 1910, a complete collection of Scouting handbooks dating back to 1910 and memorabilia from all of the past National Jamborees including the cancelled Jamboree of 1935. Displays on Philmont, Cubbing, World Jamborees, Woodbadge, Region Four, Order of the Arrow, the Tribe of Gimogash and the Order of the Mystic Circle, past Senior Scouting programs including Air Scouts and Sea Scouts, early Scout equipment and BSA awards both local and national from every facet of Scouting are maintained as well. Highlights include one of the largest Hornaday Awards medals and badges collections in the country including one of the three original Type I design Hornaday medals and a magnificent collection of hand carved neckerchief slides. The displays also include numerous odd and unusual Scouting artifacts from the last one hundred years. Recently the council added $40,000 in additional large display cases to expand the museum complex. The museum collection continues to grow almost weekly.
The Museum is housed in two locations; one being the original building in central camp at Camp Miakonda and the other inside the new Jadel Service Center building at the front of camp. The original structure, built in 1917, has served as the camp office and as the camp trading post. By the late 1980's the building's condition had deteriorated to the point where it was going to be torn down. Tindeuchen Lodge #522 Order of the Arrow requested permission to undertake to save it. Through the efforts of the Lodge members, a team lead by Eagle Scout Christopher Reynolds restored the building and developed a Scouting museum that opened in 1991. The museum building is the oldest standing BSA camp building in the nation.
A historical trail highlighting Camp Miakonda's extraordinary past and facilities is maintained and an inexpensive patch that is available at the museum for those who complete the trail. The camp also has its own historical marker. By 1938, more money had been spent developing the 160 acre Camp Miakonda than what it had cost to purchase the original 72,000 acres of Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The Federal Government is estimated to have spent over $500,000 at Miakonda on Great Depression era civil works projects from 1933-1936. It is the only known Scout camp in the nation to have received such massive government funding during those years. The past facilities at Miakonda are the stuff of legend including an eight treehouse campsite, a tipi village staffed with real American Indians, and the world’s longest swimming pool which was nearly a tenth of a mile long holding 1.3 million gallons of water. The 10 acre lake at Miakonda was hand dug in the 1930’s by 1,000 men who dug and moved 1.1 million wheelbarrows of dirt during its excavation. The historical trail is about two miles long and has a souvenir patch available for purchase.
Automobiles are not allowed in the camp. For more information or if you have items to donate to the museum please contact Council Historian David L. Eby at 734-242-3445 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reservations are required to hike the trail and there is a food service on weekends that requires paid reservations as well should your group wish to use it. Miakonda also has over twenty cabins that date back to 1918 that units can rent. Camp Miakonda is located near the Michigan-Ohio state line and is easily accessible from I-75, US-23 and I-475.