River Leechman and his completed Eagle Scout Project. GOREC's Orienteering Course.

Greilick Outdoor Recreation & Education Center (GOREC) is the recipient of one of the greatest gifts to be given. Volunteerism. Service above self. Lasting Legacy. River Leechman, now and Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America, put together the first Eagle Scout Project to occur on GOREC’s property since………………. well maybe in forever. Here’s the story from our perspective.

In April of 2018 River contacted me about the possibility of doing his Eagle Scout Project. For some reference, here is the requirement:

“While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project must benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your unit leader and unit committee, and the council or district before you start.”  

Again, THE PROJECT MUST BENEFIT AN ORGANIZATION OTHER THAN BOY SCOUTING. Up until December 31, 2016 Eagle Scout Projects could not ocur on the 491 acres. It was being managed by the Boy Scouts for the Boy Scouts. As of January 1, 2017 that all changed as Rotary Camps & Services of Traverse City took over the management of the property.

I was thrilled to help River explore what could be done as a project here. It needed to be something meaningful. Something to enhance program. Most importantly, something he was passionate about. After talking through options, River chose reestablishing an orienteering course on the property. Over the decades of operation, a twenty four point orienteering course had been lost. Many factors led to this but the leading culprit was it was originally made using trees. Silver stars nailed into trees to be exact. Selective timber harvests, trees dying, and just good ole father time took their toll on the course.

River and I researched solutions. The course needed to be semi permanent, usable year round, easy to maintain, and allow for scaling difficulty based on a person or groups skill level. By the middle of June, River had planned and executed the project. In fact, he had the course installed and ready to run for groups GOREC was having the summer of 2018. To this date groups like the Young Marines, church youth group retreats, a Greilick Summer Camp Staff Reunion, a survival training course, and even some Map & Compass Clinics hosted by yours truly have used the course. IT. IS. AWESOME.

We are proud of River, now an Eagle Scout, and the 24 control point orienteering course he has redeveloped. It restores a historic program. It provides a unique way for groups and people to engage with the outdoors. They walk, they learn, they are able to gain a skill which will be relevant for the entirety of their lives. Knowing how not to be lost…. invaluable.

Thank you River. You have helped GOREC with a program which promotes what we are here for. OUTDOOR. RECREATION. EDUCATION.