Frequently Asked Questions
Mackinac or Mackinaw? Which one is right?
According to the Mackinac Bridge Authority: The French Pronounced it "aw" but spelled it "ac". The British heard it pronounced "aw" so they spelled it that way. Whichever way it is spelled, it is always pronounced "aw." When referring to the Island or the Bridge, it is spelled Mackinac. Mackinaw City uses the British spelling.
Where do the boys stay on the Island?
The boys and adult leaders stay at the Scout Barracks. The barracks is located behind the Fort (up "Cardiac Hill") and was constructed in 1934 and has been updated several times. The upper level is reserved exclusively for the Scouts. Adult leaders have separate sleeping accommodations on the main floor. The barracks has a large indoor dining area, bathroom and private shower facilities, and a commercial kitchen. A team of volunteers run the kitchen and generally feed 70-75 people at each meal.
A Typical Day on the Island
All Scouts participate in raising and lowering 27 flags around the Fort and other locations on the Island. Island flags are raised promptly at 9:30 am and lowered at 6:30 pm. All flags are raised and lowered simultaneously. The primary purpose of the program is service. Scouts serve as guides in the Fort and other paid admission historical attractions on the island. When not serving Guide Duty, Scouts may be participating in service and conservation projects on the island. Every Scout has off duty time every day where they can explore the island, go into the village, or hang out at the barracks.
Are Visitors Allowed?
Yes, but not inside the barracks. There are restroom facilities across the road from the barracks.
No matter what Troop or Field Service Council you are with, while serving at Mackinac everyone is a member of the Troop 111 Honor Guard. Your normal Troop numerals and Field Service Council Shoulder Strip are replaced with a special Troop 111 Honor Guard shoulder strip/numerals patch (provided). Scouts will be in full Honor Guard Class A Uniforms while on duty or in town (even if off duty). The honor guard uniform is a class A shirt, official BSA uniform shorts (with belt), red beret (provided), short (under ankle / "no show" ) BSA socks, Troop 111 neckerchief (provided), black or brown shoes (shoes must be completely black or completely brown), name badge (provided), green shoulder loops, Mackinac Service Camp patch (provided), and red windbreaker (when needed - available from the Troop). Class B uniforms consisting of just the BSA shorts (or long pants), BSA socks (low cut "no show"), black or brown shoes, and a t-shirt are worn for meals. Scouts off duty who choose to explore the back of the island and wilderness areas are not in Uniform. Troop 111 orders berets, windbreakers, and name tags for Scouts once they are selected to be in the Honor Guard. Uniforms can be expensive! Some Districts have uniform banks, and you can sometimes find parts on eBay or other resale sites.
How about the Food?
Your Scout will NEVER be hungry. Half of the money you pay to send your Scout on this trip goes to food. Our kitchen staff with help from the scouts prepare delicious and filling meals. Each meal has a variety of foods and is nutritionally balanced. We can accommodate food allergies/sensitivities and vegetarian/vegan with advance notice.
If you have ever been to the Island, you know there are lots of shops full of all kinds of things Scouts would love to have. Since everything is shipped in, prices tend to be higher on the Island then at home. In 2019, most Scouts found $40-$60 more than enough to treat themselves to ice cream, shakes, fudge, souvenirs, and other activities. We ask that boys not purchase fudge to take home until at least Thursday. By then, we have cleared out some refrigerator space.
This is a Scouting event on a historical Island, a throwback to a simpler time. We highly suggest leaving the electronics at home. Scouts cannot have phones with them while on duty. Things can get lost or damaged with so many boys sharing a sleeping area.
What about Adult Volunteers?
As with any Scouting activity, the Mackinac Service Camp can't run without dedicated adult volunteers. We need adults to help out in the kitchen and to serve as Uniformed Adult Leaders. Adults enjoy Mackinac just as much as the boys. E-mail email@example.com to inquire.