If you’ve been to Michigan, you know that it’s also called the Mitten State. And you’ve probably also heard of Mackinac Island, a small island town that seems to be frozen in time.
But what you don’t understand, what you couldn’t understand unless you were a part of the program, is how the Island Experience helps teenagers grow.
For six long years, I was a part of the Mackinac Island Honor Scout program. As the M and I read, they represent the island that we serve on. The H shows that it truly is an honor to be a part of. And the S stands for scouts, as in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Each week a different troop serves on Mackinac. It generally flip-flops between a Boy Scout troop and a Girl Scout troop.
There are so many things that I loved about the program, and so many things that I’ve taken away from it.
The dedication required to be a part of the program is one thing, and all of the skills we’re taught is another, but my favorite part would have to be the bonds we make with our fellow scouts. Throughout the year, you learn to love those that you serve with, and then once you hit the island, you’re spending everyday with them for hours on end. If you don’t get close with your group, it’ll be a long week.
There are also multiple different activities that each group does. Ours would have a picnic dinner that we’d bike to before riding around the entire island. Another thing that we do were group pictures. Each year we’d go to a different location and take a picture, first with the entire group, then broken down into the individual group pictures.
Over the course of our stay we make memories that last a life time and friendships that are everlasting.