Isle Royale Group Camping
Wayne Pennington (wayne@MTU.EDU)
Tue, 19 Mar 1996 08:52:03 -0500
For anyone interested in going to Isle Royale National Park (in Lake
Superior) this summer: be advised that the National Park Service has
instituted a new *reservation* system for groups, and that this system
will be enforced. The intention is to make the wilderness experience
a better one both for groups, such as Boy Scouts, and for the others
who visit this paradise. I think the idea is a good one.
A group is defined from 7 people to 10 people. Up through six people,
and you don't need to make advance reservations. From seven through ten,
you need to call 906-482-0984 or write to Group Camping Reservations,
Isle Royale National Park, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, MI 49931.
If your group is more than 10 people, you *must* break into two smaller
groups, each with its own distinct and non-overlapping itinerary.
Under no circumstances will the Park permit reservations to be made for
a group of more than 20, no matter how you try to break into smaller-sized
units. (This makes sense -- there simply are not enough different trails
and group campsites to manage three fully independent "groups" from one
single institution, such as a Scout troop.)
We all know that BSA regulations require two adults for every group of
Boys, and that group-size limits are sometimes difficult for troops to
fit into. But we also all know that Boy Scout groups sometimes get
themselves bad reputations by being too large and unruly a group where
wilderness experiences are expected by the other backpackers in the area.
I think that the solution that the Isle Royale people have come up with
is an excellent one, and hope that they don't get flamed over this.
A few suggestions: Think about how to deal with the group sizes before
you call. These rules are not flexible, and no amount of pleading for
a special case will get you anywhere. Think about what sort of experience
you expect to have on Isle Royale, and how the experience, for the Scouts,
should be a reward, not a right. Then, if the group size needs to be
made smaller, work with your troop leaders (the Scouts) to determine a
mechanism to decide who gets to go (rank, leadership, team and Scout spirit).
Then call. The Isle Royale people will work with you to help decide on
an appropriate itinerary, and will provide you with information that will
help you be better prepared for your trip. (If you really think that you
absolutely have to have a larger group size, then Isle Royale is the
wrong place to go.)
I can provide more detailed information by direct e-mail for anyone who
wishes to have it. But I am not a member of the Park Service, and cannot
replace a call to the number listed above.
Wayne D. Pennington e-mail: email@example.com
Scoutmaster, Troop 208, Houghton, Michigan
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++in the beautiful Upper Peninsula++++
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City