Boy Scouts began serving as the
“Governor’s Honor Guard” on Mackinac Island 80 years ago. In 1929, the
Vice Chairman of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission obtained
approval authorizing the appointment of eight Eagle Scouts as the first
honor guard in Fort Mackinac. Future president Gerald Ford was a member
of this inaugural group of Scouts. Joining him were fellow Eagles from
across the state, including Joe McIntosh from Port Huron.
Scout barracks on Mackinac Island.
When the first group of Scouts reached Mackinac Island, they stayed
in the Fort Mackinac Barracks. In 1934, as a Civilian Conservation Corps
project, Scout Barracks were built just outside the fort walls. In
1974, the program was expanded to include Girl Scouts. Port Huron area
boys began serving on the island starting in 1981.
Duties on the island include raising and lowering flags each day,
serving downtown and in Fort Mackinac as guides, and doing a variety of
service projects to better Mackinac Island State Park. Lodging is at the
Scout Barracks located behind Fort Mackinac. However, it is not all
work and no play. Scouts keep themselves occupied by playing games and
working on merit badges at the barracks or exploring what the island has
to offer. There is always something to do on Mackinac Island!
Scouts Returning from Flag Duty