Camp Miakonda Museum Blog

A Note about the Blogger: David Eby

Miakonda and PSR; A History Comparison


The first piece of Miakonda  (78 1/2 acres) was purchased on May 23, 1917 for $12,000 from a farmer named Paul Blair. The second piece of land they paid $25,000 for in 1922 which was about 50 acres. The third piece they bought in 1932 and was 33 acres for about $8,600. The fourth piece was the Outpost which they bought in 1953 for $30,000. (Which was sold for $4.4 million in 2003.) When the Council owned all four tracts of land Miakonda totaled 210 acres. The Outpost was fifty-one acres so now Miakonda is about 160 acres. The average price per acre paid for Miakonda was about $360.00 for the total 210 acres. PSR was $148.00 paid per acre in comparison. With the Outpost gone the average price paid per acre for Miakonda's remaining acreage is about $285.00. 

Miakonda and PSR mirror each other in many ways as far as their respective histories. Both started out with no official names during their very early years. It was 1924 before Devilbiss/Miakonda was given an official name and 1967 before PSR was given an official name. Both are a "Reservation" named after a local prominent citizen. Both have a camp within the reservation. Camp Miakonda at Devilbiss Scout Reservation and Camp Frontier at Richard Anderson Pioneer Scout Reservation. Neither held a summer camp operation during the first years of it's existence but both had Boy Scout camping going on during those years before each held their first summer camp operation. PSR was founded in late 1964 when they bought the original land and what became Devilbiss was founded in 1917 when they bought the original 78 1/2 acres of land. Camp Miakonda did not come into existence until 1924  with the advent of summer camp seasons at Devilbiss. Only a part of Devilbiss was called Camp Miakonda (the area known today as East Camp) and only during the summer months. Camp Frontier did not come into existence until 1969 with the advent of summer camp seasons there and was a part of PSR's total acreage. Camp Miakonda had 49 Boy Scout summer camp seasons (1924-1972) and in 2017 (Miakonda's 100th anniversary year) Frontier will hold it's 49th summer camp season (1969-2017), tying Miakonda for the number of Boy Scout summer camp seasons held. In 2018 Camp Frontier will have it's 50th annual Boy Scout summer camp season, finally surpassing Miakonda's 49 Boy Scout summer camp seasons. In 2022 Miakonda will hold its 50th annual cub day camp season surpassing the 49 years it hosted Boy Scout summer camp.



I have come across booklets about Toledo Council Philmont trips called "Philgrimage" I was never sure quite what they were until today. Our Council Philmont trips started in 1946 and have continued ever since. Although there was a 1942 trip that was Region IV that was led by Toledo adults and included a number of Toledo Scouts. Philgrimage I took place in 1949. What it was, was the first Miakonda summer camp staff Philmont trip. It was just for the summer camp staff. The council had other treks each year for other Scouts. Philgrimage II took place in 1950, Philgrimage III in 1951 and Philgrimage IV in 1953. What started in 1952 was the first Miakonda Staff Yellowstone trip. Those took place in 1952, 1954 and 1956. The Miakonda staff trips to Philmont and Yellowstone alternated each year. We have the patches and other items from the three Yellowstone trips. The Philgrimage trips took place when John Claerhout was here. When he left they seem to have ended. Each trip had a professionally produced memory book" for participants that included a roster of the participants and a day by day itinerary of what took place. Kind of like a diary.  I think we have all the booklets. Anyway, a bit of Council Philmont info to share with you.

Dad & Lad/Mom & Me: Origins 


The Dad & Lad Cub Scout council event started in 1981 and remained as that through 1984. Starting in 1985 either parent could attend with a child at the same event. This continued until 1997 when the first Mom & Me event was held separate from the Dad & Lad event. The 1997 Mom & Me patch was the first pink patch in council history.

Hayes Area Council


Prior to Feb 1 1929 there existed a BSA Council named the Hayes Area Council. it was comprised of Ottawa and Sandusky Counties. On Feb 1, 1929 they along with Wood County became the Hayes Area District in the Toledo Area Council. In the 1940 annual report all three counties had become individual named districts. The split took place between 1930 and 1940. 

Also in 1929 there was a Maumee Valley Area District that included Defiance, Fulton, Williams, Henry and Paulding Counties. In 1933 these counties were removed from our jurisdiction and spun off into being a separate council.

 The Great Depression hit and caused chaos among Scout Councils around the nation in late 1929. In 1931 our professional staff was cut in half because of it. 

Council Cub Event Origins


I was able to determine that the first Cub Family Campouts were held in 1994. They were originally held by each district and not a central council event. I still have to determine when the Mom & Me event first took place. Dad & Lad started in 1981 so I would assume Mom & Me started shortly thereafter but who knows. 

First Council Cubbers PowWow – 1945 (2015 is the 70th anniversary event)

First Council Cub Day Camp –  1973 at Camp Miakonda. Cost was $2 a day and you received a drink. 

First Council Dad & Lad event - June 20, 1981 at Camp Miakonda

First Council Mom & Me event held - ??????

First Council Construction City Cub Scout event held - 1991 (Started as a district event)

First Cub Family Campout - 1994 (Held in each district)

A ways off but 2022 will be the 50th annual Council Cub Day Camp season. Miakonda had 49 Boy Scout summer camp seasons between 1924 - 1972. Five years after Miakonda's 100th anniversary year there will have been more Cub Day Camps (50) there than Scout summer camps held there (49). 

Frank Braden: Toledo Council Executive


In the gallery at the bottom of the page is a photo of Frank Braden and others. The photo and info came from Paul Myers, a nationally known collector and historian from Indiana that I communicate with. It is quite surprising to me that Frank Braden did not start a OA Lodge here in the early 1940's as he did in his previous stops.  Mr. Braden was our council executive from 1940-1944 and was the man most responsible for bringing Woodbadge to the U.S. He was the first Woodbadge trained person in our Council and he attended the first course ever held in the US (along with Green Bar Bill) then was on the staff for the first American courses ever held. He was the Course Director for the 3rd National Course. He and Bill Hillcourt wrote the original American Course syllabus. 

Brotherhood sashes with the bars did not exist until the 1940's. How they recognized the difference between Ordeal members and Brotherhood members was by the shoulder the sash was worn on. In the attached photo you see those on the bottom (Ordeal members) wearing their sash on the right shoulder and those in the top row (Brotherhood and Vigil) wearing them on the left shoulder. Mr. Braden is in the top row in the center. 

Districts History of the Erie Shores Council 

6.22.2015, revised 9.11.15

The earliest records we have of District organization within our Council is found in the 1918 Toledo Council Victory Yearbook which was compiled by Council Executive J. St. Clair Mendenhall (1914-1919). Given Mr. Mendenhall’s organizational skills it would seem likely that he instituted district organization within our Council during his administration. It should be noted there were Council Commissioners starting in 1912 but whether there were District Commissioners at that point or Districts is unknown. If they did exist then they likely were the numbered districts.

In 1918 there were thirteen (numbered and not named) districts which were organized within the City of Toledo that seemed to be laid out by ethnic neighborhoods. They were District 1, District 2,  etc.

UPDATE: In the 1927 Council Annual Report: "Mr. Thiel becomes the new Reservation Superintendent and Field executive of our new North-West District on December 1, 1927."  In 1927 we also had a West District, East District, South District and a North Central District. No others were mentioned.

In 1929 there existed the following Districts: North Central, North West, South, East, West, Hayes Area District and Maumee Valley Area District. The Hayes District was Ottawa and Sandusky Counties. It is presumed that Maumee Valley District was Wood County.

In 1933 there existed South Suburban, West, North West, South, Port Clinton, North Central, East, Fremont and Bowling Green Districts.

In 1935 there existed the following districts: North, North West, South, South Suburban, East, West,  Bowling Green, Fremont and Port Clinton Districts. 

In 1939 there existed the following districts: North, North West, South, South Suburban, East, West,  Sandusky (County), Ottawa (County) and Wood (County) Districts. 

The old West District (we have a single patch from this district) was renamed the Seneca District on April 16, 1951. Carl Doebler, (the long time council Philmont Chairman,) was the first Seneca District Chairman.

In 1952 there existed Northwest, Commodore Perry, Wood, Anthony Wayne,  Turkeyfoot, Sandusky, Ottawa, Peter Navarre and Seneca.  

On May 14, 1969 the Seneca District was dissolved into other districts.

On September 1st, 1978 Peter Navarre District ended and was merged into Commodore Perry District. 

In 1981 there existed the following districts: Anthony Wayne, Commodore Perry, Northwest, Ottawa, Sandusky, Wood and Turkeyfoot Districts.

In 1989 there existed the following districts: Northwest, Commodore Perry, Anthony Wayne, Turkeyfoot, Ottawa, Wood and Sandusky Districts. 

In November 1993 Ottawa District and Sandusky District merged to create Eagle Bay District

In February 2002, Anthony Wayne District and Turkeyfoot District merged and became Swan Creek District.

History of Pioneer Scout Reservation


Pioneer Scout Reservation - Founded in 1964

Pioneer Scout Reservation was created in 1964 when the original 1,068 acres was purchased. The land was composed of 16 adjoining farms in Ohio and Michigan. The earliest known council camping event held at PSR was held in 1965 when 49 Explorers from all seven districts held a "Expedition to Pioneer" campout in October 1965. Different Districts in the Council (and units) held camping events at PSR starting in 1966. It was officially named Pioneer Scout Reservation in April 1967. Before that it was called “the new camp” or “Camp Pioneer”.

Camp Frontier - Founded in 1969

The original plan called for five different camps to be developed at PSR. The first one built was Camp Frontier in 1969. The other four planned camps so far have never been developed. The first summer camp season held at Camp Frontier was in 1969. There were very few buildings in the early years. The 50th annual summer camp season at Camp Frontier will be held in 2018. That year it will surpass the forty-nine annual summer camp seasons held at Camp Miakonda between 1924 and 1972. In 2019 it will be the 50th anniversary year of Camp Frontier and the 55th anniversary year of Richard Anderson Pioneer Scout Reservation.

Districts Helping to Build Pioneer Scout Reservation


Peter Navarre District had Spring Conservation Camporees starting in 1953 and continued non stop through at least 1965. Eleven of the thirteen events were held at Oak Openings Park. They planted trees, pruned evergreens and cleared out ditches. The Kiwanis Club supplied the patches each year. Their 1966 event was at Pioneer. They would have been part of the tree planting program that year. 

Also I checked on which districts had camporees at Pioneer between 1965 and 1968. So far I have found that Northwest held both their Spring and Fall 1966 camporees at Pioneer. They held their first Conservation Camporee in 1965 but I do not know if it was at Pioneer but I am guessing it was. They (Council Scouts) planted 10,000 trees a year there each year between 1965 and 1968.

Turkeyfoot held their Spring 1966 camporee at Pioneer. Commodore Perry held their Fall 1966 event at Pioneer. Seneca held their Fall 1966 event at Pioneer.

I have not been able to find out (so far) whether Sandusky, Wood, Anthony Wayne and Ottawa held 1966 (or 1965) events at Pioneer but my guess would be they did. We have at least six different patches for at least six of the Pioneer district events held there in 1966. They name Pioneer on them (or "New Camp"). I am assembling a display frame with the early district patches for display at Loftus. They also had a 1965 Council Explorer event at Pioneer but I do not know if they made a patch for it. We may have one and not realize what it is. They officially named the place Pioneer Scout Reservation in 1967. That was when the plan was to have five different camps within it. As you know only Camp Frontier was actually developed. It makes things confusing as they are two separate entities with Frontier being part of PSR. Pioneer started in 1964 and Frontier in 1969. 

Unrelated but interesting is that in 1942 we had 5,000 youth members in the council. In 1966 we had 18,000 youth members in the council. Mentioned in the 1966 newsletters. 

Background Color on Service Stars Denoted Years of Service


Service stars were introduced in 1923. When introduced, they had no numbers on them. It was the background color that determined years of service until the change in 1946 when the background color indicated program. The backs were felt, not plastic like today's. The following color combinations were used:

1 year - gold star on green 1923-1946
3 years - gold star on gray 1932-1936
5 years - silver star on red 1923-1931
5 years - gold star on red 1932-1946
10 years - gold star on purple 1932-1946


Service strips were used before service stars from 1913 until 1924. They were worn on the right sleeve. Wide stripes were used until 1920 when narrow stripes were introduced. A green service strip for 1 year, a red strip for 3 years and beginning in 1921, a gold strip for 5 years.

Kipawa High Adventure - Canadian Canoe Trips


What year was the "Kipawa" trip and where did it take place at?  These were high adventure trips in the 1950's that were organized by Toledo Scouter John (Jack) Loesch. Mr. Loesch was an expert canoeist and a renowned outdoorsman who was part of many high adventure council activities. He taught canoeing at National BSA camp schools. The trips were taken to the Kipawa Lake area in northern Quebec. Canoeists would travel 150 miles in their canoe and camp along the way in true Canadian wilderness. Jack Loesch was a great promoter and supporter of Council High Adventure trips and attended many of them as well as led the Kipawa trips. He was part of the first council Philmont Trip in 1946. He owned the Ford automobile dealership in Maumee. Mr. Loesch was the second person in the council to receive the Silver Antelope and received it in 1945. He was also on staff at the 1947 World Jamboree in France.

We have (2) "Explorer Expedition" patches. One is dated 1955 and the other has no date. The question was "Where did both of these expeditions take place at and on the second patch with no year on it, what year did it take place?  The Explorer expeditions patches were Philmont Trips as best we can tell. We do not have council newsletters from 1955 or we would know for sure. It is possible they were some other high adventure trip. I do not know the date of the one patch but believe it is in 1950's. We sent multiple council Philmont contingents every year for many years. There was a time in the 1950's where we sent out Philmont contingents weekly. We had one volunteer who spent the summer at Philmont and it was his job to take care of the Toledo units as they arrived at Philmont. And for a number of years we led the nation in the number of scouts sent to Philmont. The Miakonda summer camp staff would have their own Philmont trip after camp ended. In 1952, 1954 and 1956 the camp staff had trips to Yellowstone National Park instead of Philmont. We have patches from all three trips. 

There was also a Timagami Canadian Canoe trip in 1960. This trip was taken as a high adventure trip by the Miakonda Staff in 1960. They were unable to attend the National Jamboree that year because of working at camp so they got this trip instead. The group had silkscreened neckerchiefs made for each participant. Among those attending was Larry Wright and David Bitter who were the first two OA Vigil members of our Lodge. The Miakonda Museum owns one of the trip neckerchiefs. 

Council high adventure trips first started in 1919 and never stopped. We had a council high adventure program second to no one. Our council has quite a rich history.  (Photos at the bottom of the page) 

The Honor Medal


The Honor Medal, Scouting’s highest award for heroism, has been awarded a number of times in the Erie Shores Council since the medal was created in the early days of the Boy Scouts of America in 1911. Originally it was presented in three versions with those being bronze, silver and gold. The original design was a Maltese Cross with the Scout emblem being in the center with it hanging by metal chains off a second class pin. It was later changed in 1921 to only a gold medal and redesigned. Created by artist Belmore Browne, the design of the new medal included a red ribbon to symbolize a “red badge of courage”. The gold medal included an ancient symbol in its center that represents fire, air and water (red, white and blue). For exceptional cases of heroism, the post 1921 version medal was presented with crossed palms attached to the ribbon.

In 1914 Bellevue Scout Guy Payne was awarded the Bronze Honor Medal by the National Council. The circumstances for which he received it are unknown. 

In 1920 Toledo Scout Gerald Hyter was awarded the Bronze Honor Medal by the National Council. The circumstances for which he received it are unknown. 

In 1925 the Gold Honor Medal was presented to Toledo Boy Scout Leonard Pufall. Three young girls got too far out in deep water and called for help. Leonard went to their aid, bringing two of them safely to shore. He then went back to help the third. A passing boat brought the girl in but Scout Pufall went under during the effort and never came up. The National Council awarded him the Honor Medal posthumously. It was presented to his widowed mother in Toledo and included a citation signed by Dan Beard. Leonard was eighteen at the time of his death.

1926 – Nick Heban of Rossford was presented the Honor Medal. He saved two people from drowning.

1929 – Franklin Hearn of Toledo was presented the Honor Medal. He saved two girls from drowning.

1929 – John Rothfuss of Sylvania was presented the Honor Medal. He saved two women from drowning and resuscitated one of them.

1930 - Lester Moebius of Toledo was presented the Honor Medal. He saved two girls from drowning.

1966 - Richard Zirn of Toledo was presented the Honor Medal. He was 12 years old.

There may be other recipients as well from our council, we just have not yet rediscovered them. They would have been between 1930 and 1957.


First Blog


I spent the day going through old council newsletters looking for start/end dates for the districts both past and present. Northwest goes back into the 1920's  Wood goes back into the 1930's. 

Between 1946 and 1957 over 1,000 Toledo scouts attended Philmont. We sent over 100 a year for many years. In 1961 and 1962 we led Region 4 in Philmont attendance (95 people in 1962). 

December 1962 council report: We had 22,000 youth members, 6,000 leaders and 500 sponsoring institutions. In 1962 there was a Boy Scout TV show on WTOL that went 13 weeks. Leo Paquette, a Toledo Scouter  was the TV Scoutmaster in the series. It promoted Scouting. Leo was brought up in the Toledo Orphanage and was a Scout there and served in WWII in the Marines. Medal of Honor recipient Mitchell Paige devoted an entire page to Leo Paquette in his autobiography because of Leo's outdoor skills and knowledge of wild plants and other things that were safe to eat. He knew if he was with Leo he was never going to go hungry. Leo was a school teacher in Toledo after the war.

1964 National Jamboree - We sent seven council contingent troops to it.

1960 council report: 1,600 people attend the annual council dinner. 236 boys attend the Protestant retreat, 2,669 boys attend summer camp (all from Toledo Council), 296 boys attend the National Jamboree, 38 explorers attend Philmont, 365 scouts attend Catholic retreat.

1957 Jamboree: 222 youth and 18 leaders attend. Three 14 day Canadian wilderness canoe trips (Kipawa) completed. Two 24 day Philmont expeditions held. 

1991 - James Brown becomes second council Distinguished Eagle Scout award recipient. Lou Klewer was the first.