Why should I participate in the Mackinac Island Honor Guard program?
The Mackinac Island Honor Scout Program strives to inspire Scouts to the highest ideals of self worth and dignity, that they may become caring, capable and competent young women, and to expose Scouts to diverse experiences that we hope will build and enhance their character. It is also a wonderful place to meet new people and make lifelong friendships. Mackinac Island has a magic all its own! It is our hope the experience will facilitate:
Is the Mackinac Island Honor Scout Service Camp a GS Destination or Getaway?
No. Mackinac Island Honor Scout Service Camp is an opportunity to serve your community and at the same time, meet new friends, travel to a beautiful part of your state, and work toward badges or service for your Silver and/or Gold Award. This program thrives on the skill and knowledge of returning Scouts. Unlike a typical GS Destination or Getaway, we encourage and expect Scouts to return every summer until they have graduated. The Honor Guard is a select, elite group of 56 Scouts in 7th-12th grades and offers an experience that is unlike any other in Scouting.
When do the Mackinac Island Honor Scouts serve on the Island and
where do they stay?
Honor Scouts serve for one week (seven days) during the summer, from a Saturday to a Saturday. Each year our Troop must reapply for the Scout Service Camp. If our application is accepted for the following year, we will receive notification during the month of December of the dates of our week of service for the following summer. Our tentative week of service is scheduled for the third week of June each year.
We stay in the Scout Barracks located behind Fort Mackinac. All 56 Scouts bunk in the upstairs area. Our meals are prepared by the Scouts and eaten family style in the dining room on the main level. The adults sleep in the leaders’ room located on the first floor. The Scout Coordinator (former Honor Guard Boy/Girl Scout) has separate quarters within the Barracks. The Scout Coordinator is the liaison between the State Park and the Troop and is ultimately responsible for the decision to invite our troop to return the following summer.
How do I apply for the Mackinac Island Honor Scouts?
In order to be considered for selection as an Honor Scout, you must be a currently registered Cadette or Senior Girl Scout; you must have completed seventh grade and one year as a Cadette by the time we serve on the Island; and you must have demonstrated your commitment to community service through your school, community or Girl Scouting.
Each fall, every new Scout who wishes to be considered for the program must submit a written application, as well as a reference from their troop leader and a reference from another adult. Applications are only available at the information meeting which is held in November. You may contact the Senior Adult Advisor for the exact date, time and location of the meeting. There is a non-returnable $25.00 fee that accompanies the application and will be applied to your fee if you are accepted.
Who leads the troop?
Our Troop uses the patrol system and experienced Honor Scouts serve in the fourteen leadership positions, including two Co-Senior Patrol Leaders, four Patrol Leaders, Assistant Patrol Leaders, and Leaders-in-Training. The Senior Patrol Leaders run the in-town training meetings and the court of honor meetings where all the leadership decides on the agenda for each general meeting. On the Island, the Senior Patrol Leaders act as the liaison between the Scout Coordinator and the Troop. The leadership for each patrol is responsible for training the Scouts in their patrol and ensuring that they are provided with all the information they will need to successfully serve during our week on the Island.
Girl Scouts learn leadership by being Leaders.
Additionally, there are eight Adult Advisors who accompany the Scouts to the Island and who attend the in-town trainings. The adults serve as just that – advisors. The Scouts are the true leaders of this Troop.
What are the trainings like? Do I have to attend them?
Attendance at all six trainings is mandatory and Scouts are expected to serve the full week on the Island to participate in the program. The 6 in-town training meetings are held between January and June. The trainings are held on weekends, and there is one Friday to Saturday overnight. Adults and Scouts are expected to attend all the training meetings. It is very important that girls and parents read all the printed information provided. Training gives you the opportunity to get to know one another and to form a cohesive Troop. Training also provides a venue to develop leadership characteristics and the skills necessary to successfully carry out our service on the Island.
Skills you will learn include flag procedures for raising and lowering flags in perfect unison, folding flags, and marching. You will be introduced to Mackinac Island geography and history, guide duty information, expectations for community living in the Scout Barracks and working as a team!
Can I earn any badges or patches while on Mackinac Island?
Yes, there are eight specially designed Mackinac Island Honor Scout Interest Projects that you may earn, some of which may be applied toward requirements for the Girl Scout Silver and Gold Awards.
What is the cost to be a Mackinac Island Honor Scout?
The fee for new Scouts is $300.00, and returning Scouts pay $275.00. These fees help defray the costs of:
The additional $25 cost for new Scouts is to cover the cost of socks, patches and the rental fee for their uniform jacket and sweatshirt.
Thanks to our generous alumni, our Troop offers a scholarship program for those Scouts who feel they are in need of financial assistance. You would need to contact our Senior Adult Advisor for further information. This is a private matter between you and the Senior Adult Advisor and would be kept strictly confidential.
The cost of the Mackinac Island uniform is borne individually by each Scout and the cost is approximately $150.00. We offer some used uniform pieces at the In-Town Meetings at a greatly lower cost.
What is the Mackinac Island Honor Scout uniform, where can I get it, and how much does it cost?
A Mackinac Island Honor Scout wears a custom designed uniform (not the same as the Cadette and Senior Uniform).
The required uniform is: khaki slacks, khaki shorts, 2 white polo shirts, white sweatshirt, brown shoes, 2 pair khaki socks, khaki Girl Scout badge sash, Girl Scout USA pin and World Association pin, navy windbreaker with Mackinac insignia, clear rain poncho, and a wristwatch.
The slacks, shorts and socks will need to be purchased from the UNIFORM catalog of Lands’ End (catalog distributed at the first General Meetings). When ordering from Lands' End, please use our school code so our Mackinac Troop will receive credit: "Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit Troop #327 - #9000-9459-0." You may purchase the polo shirts, shoes, clear poncho and wristwatch wherever you can find a bargain, as long as the uniform parts meet the Troop criteria. The Troop will provide the white sweatshirt and the navy windbreaker (and one-time rental fee has been included in tuition of first year Scouts).
You can expect to spend around $150.00 for new uniform pieces, including the shoes. Used uniform parts are often available, and this can reduce some of the uniform costs. Any uniform parts in the Troop’s possession will be made available at the first and/or second training. The Scout's name must be on each uniform part. At the Overnight session in April, uniforms will be checked to make sure each Scout has her entire uniform, that it fits properly, and is correctly labeled.