THE SCARLET SASSAFRAS... Owasippe's"Unwebsite" & E-zine

Home | Owasippe Overview | Manistee Quest Treks | Tree Talk...Camp News | Save Owasippe News | Chief Owasippe & Sons | Owasippe Photo-Shoot | Sassy-Links And Portals | The Sounding Board | OSR Solution | OSR Resources FACQs | Archived Stories | O Summer Camp Program | Camp Staff And More | Editor's Prologue | Contact Owasiron
OSR Resources FACQs

Ideas and references for your use while at camp or after you return home...some old stuff and some very new...and some Owasippe trivia for good measure.


"No Trace Camping"
by Leave No Trace, Inc, of Boulder CO

A current philosophy espoused by the BSA which teaches that campers should have little to no impact on the environment that they temporarily occupy and borrow when camping, hiking, or performing other outdoor activity functions. This method is strictly enforced at Philmont Scout Camp in New Mexico and is proven to work and to help preserve our natural resources for generations to follow.

Leave No Trace logo

> Leave No Trace Inc

> OA Outdoor Ethics


The Sport of Orienteering

The skill of integrating the use of map and compass in a competetive setting over cross country terrain. Popular in Scandinavia, UK, and Canada. The sport plays well to the new BSA Venturing program for older Scouts and dovetails nicely into the requirements for the orienteering merit badge. A First Class rank requirement mandates that a Scout knows how to use a topographic map and a compass over a course of at least one mile in length.

US Orienteering Federation logo

> US Orienteering Fed

> Scout Orienteering

> Orienteering Gear

> Topo Maps, Books

> Trail Finder and Related Maps >>>

Trails.Com For Finding Your Route


Want Info On Hiking?

American Hiking Society


"Owasippe Hymn"
by E. Urner Goodman, Director 1925

All the wealth of earth and heaven,
Bless thy woods and dales.
Over all thy lakes and forests,
Happy youth prevails.
So may Scouting's bond of friendship
Seal our loyalty...
To the camp so dear to memory,
Hail, Owasippe.

"This Must Be Owasippe"
by Ed Kinnerk, June 1981

Well the summer is underway
From the city I came today.
Wait a minute, where can I be?
Well, this must be Owasippe.

The mighty oak trees, the sassafras,
The rolling valleys, the lakes of glass,
The sweetest sunset you'll ever see,
Well, this must be Owasippe.

A lasting friendship, a merit badge,
Discovering skills you never thought you had,
And there's adventure for those that dream.
It's all here at Owasippe.

Here the eagle with grace does fly,
A threatened hero in an endless sky,
A stirring moment for those that see,
That's what I call Owasippe.

And while you're here, you'll see
What Scouting can truly be
And pretty soon you'll find
It's in your heart and mind.

As the days pass you'll realize
Your choice to come here proved to be wise,
And maybe next year, if it's to be,
You'll be back at Owasippe.

And down your life's path and far away,
You may reflect upon your yesterdays.
You carry with you a memory
And its name is Owasippe.


"THE OWASIPPE CHANT" --- author unknown

Scouts come listen to my tale,
(Hail, Owasippe)
Let it ring from every hill and dale,
(Happy Scouts Are We)
Leave your cities far behind,
(Hail, Owasippe)
On a trail a whole new life you'll find.
(Sons of Owasippe)

Sing out loud and strong
With a heart that's brave and free.
Let us sing our joyous carefree song
...Sons Of Owasippe.

Join us in the forest green,
Where the wind blows free and the air is clean.
See our waters blue and clear,
We return so faithfully each year.

Out where pines grow straight and tall,
Where the rippling, singing waters fall,
There'll you'll find our happy Scouts
On the ancient, time-warn Indian routes.

Downstream flashes our canoe
On waters flowing swift and true,
White and Pine and Manistee,
All the streams of the Potawatomi.

Praise our great and mighty Chief.
Let us sing his name and feel no grief.
Once he ruled this wonderous land,
Now the Scouts have joined his loyal band.

We are guardians of this land, 
So, speak your mind and take a stand.
Protect the right and fight the wrong,
So our Scouts will always sing this song.

Sing out loud and strong
With a heart that's brave and free
Let us sing our joyous, carefree song
...Son's of Owasippe.


Q? What camp previously occupied the present site of Camp Blackhawk prior to 1980?

A: Camp Wilderness which was most recently a lone troop camp but at one time was a staffed camp with a camp lodge located on a bluff overlooking Big Blue Lake, ie. Barrett Wendell Lodge. You can still find some of the old fireplace bricks strewn through BH Site #5 on what is known today as the "Wilderness Hill".

Q?: What is the origin of the terra cotta eagle by the Ad Center flagpoles?

A: Camp Manistee, a previous Girl Scout camp north of Owasippe, who gave it to Owasippe as a token of its gratitude for helping move out and store camp program equipment in the "11th hour" when its property was sold off twenty years ago.

Q?: What is so unique about the north approach to Paradise Valley?

Just off of Russell Road and directly across from the two track entrance to Camp Hiawatha Beach is an entrance leading down into Paradise Valley, a unique ecosystem and cedar and hemlock forest that thrives off of the nutrients and springs provided by what many believe to be the resurfacing waters of Gerken Creek that flows out of Big Blue Lake. By the north entrance of the red trail leading down to the valley are the steel shoes which supported the four posts of a previous US Forestry Service fire watchtower. Also, adjacent to where that tower stood is a brass US Geologic Survey benchmark noting one of the highest points in the township, an elevation of 208.4 feet above sea level.

Q?: What is the creek that forms Lake Wolverine?

A: Cleveland Creek has two forks that feed into the south part of Lake Wolverine, sometimes called Cleveland Lake on federal maps. The East Fork emanates from an area known as Many Springs and the moraine in the Bass Lake area. The West Fork flows from an area called "The Jungle" near Holton Whitehall Road and through the Quaking Bogs and The Marl Beds and is "where the rippling singing waters fall" as depicted in the song, "The Owasippe Chant".

"Camp West Is The Best!"
Camp West, circa 30s
Camper Postcards From The Old Days On Owasippe Lake

Q? What Is A Quaking Bog?

A: From the 1994 Jim Marshall topographic map and geographic history: Muskegon County gets its name "muskeg" from the Potawatomi term for a bog, a wetland, that shakes and quivers. Hence the name given to the marshy area east of Camp Reneker by the Marl Beds. Bogs are wetlands that have a distinctive vegetation growing on a bog mat. As you walk across this type of bog, the surrounding trees and vegetation shake and quake because the mat is composed of vegetation floating on water several feet down beneath the surface you are walking on.
The danger inherent in these bogs is that you may break through the mat into the deep cold water below.

These unique lowland and wetland areas are the best places at Owasippe to study undisturbed nature because they were not displaced by lumbering activities in the 1870s which devastated the forest of its stands of virgin white pine. You can thank the Chicago Fire for creating such a demand for West Michigan timber. The bogs, however, were untouched because they would not support heavy wagons and horses and downed logs. Bogs are interesting because they show the complicated relationship between the different plant communities that grow at Owasippe. Over thousands of years, dead plants filled in these bogs with more peat and muck. Where this organic material met the surface of the water, that is where the bog began along with its unique vegetation.

THE SCARLET SASSAFRAS... Owasippe's"Unwebsite" & E-zine