Project Manistee Quest

$2,014 of $1,875 goal

Raised by 37 people in 72 months
The Manistee Quest is a week-long Boy Scout backpacking trek through the Manistee National Forest in western Michigan. This year, the Western Trails District of the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which covers the west side of Chicago, will be organizing a crew to do the trip. This funding request is to help us pull together the necessary gear for the ten scouts who will be making the trek.

Our district is located in one of the poorest urban communities in America. In North Lawndale, where my troop is based, the rate of youth unemployment approaches 50%. In 2001, a staggering 57% of residents were somehow bound up with the criminal justice system.

Scouting provides a path for boys to become really decent young men. It leverages the enriching and healing power of nature to build character.

The Manistee Quest will be the first backpacking trip for any of the crew. We will do three 15-mile prep trips this spring/early summer. After the 30-mile Manistee Quest, they will have earned their Backpacking merit badge, a token of the effort they will have made in preparing and carrying out the trip.

The scouts will be raising money to cover the costs of the trek itself ($285 per scout), transportation, and their personal gear.

We need money to buy the camping gear. We are focusing on lightweight backpacking because it is safer and better for the scouts. That means we are looking at specialized, quality gear, including tents, sleeping bags and backpacks. The gear we buy as a result of the successful funding of this project will be an investment in the Westside community. We will hold on to the equipment for crews to use again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. But we need to get started.

I hope you can help us out!
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An update on what's next: Now that we have a decent inventory of equipment (thanks to all of you), we have another backpacking trip scheduled for September (back to Kettle Moraine - Southern Unit). We'll probably have another one this fall (they need three three-day trips to complete their merit badge requirements). And now we are looking at another week-long trip next year -- to either Picture Rocks in Michigan's UP, or hopefully Isle Royale National Park in the middle of Lake Superior.

I really appreciate the extra donations that have come in -- we ended up with lots of extra equipment and related trip expenses -- trail food, pots, fuel, head nets for the bugs, bandanas, headlamps, paracord, water purification tablets, etc etc.

Thanks again everyone!
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What a fantastic trip. We covered over 30 miles over five days in the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, along Lake Superior. The scout's did great, although some sore feet and a few (lot) mosquito bites. With some last minute no-shows we had only four scouts which was too bad, but the ones that did make it had a great time. Some quotes from them:

"Going on this trip allowed me to do a few new things like for the first time ever I saw a sunset. Also I got to see the Milky Way."

"Thank you for your time and money to let me go on the quest. Trust me my time during this week was great. Your effort on this put a great impact on my life."

"I'm glad that you gave me the opportunity to witness something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives -- for that I say thank you."

Thanks everybody! The equipment worked out well, and now we have an inventory of gear that we will use for years to come. Our next backpacking trip is scheduled for September, and we put a deposit down for a week-long trip next year -- hopefully to Isle Royale.

jd
Ready to head out...
Sunset on Lake Superior
... and done.
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We're off on our quest tomorrow!
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We did our training backpacking trip this weekend on a section of the Ice Age in the Kettle Moraine State Park Southern Unit in Wisconsin this past weekend.We arrived to our first site after dark on Friday (longest day of the year) in a serious rain and thunder storm, which lasted through the night and into the morning. After drying out, we finally got on the trail around 1p and headed to our Saturday night site at a backpacker shelter a little over eight miles away. The afternoon was sunny, and warm, a beautiful day. Lush forest, lots of wildflowers, great views of the lakes. Home made spaghetti for dinner, straight to bed, and then back on the trail the next morning, heading back to pretty much our starting point. A hot and humid day -- next time MORE WATER. Everyone did great. A little over 16 miles. Next week -- the big trip to the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

jd
A _lot_ of rain Friday night...
On the trail Saturday
And on the way back Sunday
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$2,014 of $1,875 goal

Raised by 37 people in 72 months
Created December 24, 2012
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SC
$100
Shawn Cardinal
66 months ago

This is such a great gift you are giving.

JD
$30
John Davis
66 months ago

Glad it was such a successful trip. Inspiring! I hope it's the first of many.

$15
Anonymous
67 months ago
DB
$25
denise ballnik
67 months ago

Hi Jim, My son Aiden who just turned 14, joined the boy scouts 3 mos. ago and loves it maybe he could come on a trip sometime. Love Denise

TM
$75
Toni Minter
67 months ago

I remember some of those boys! Have fun! Love you Mr. Davis!

$200
Anonymous
67 months ago
$50
Anonymous
67 months ago
$15
Anonymous
67 months ago
$50
Anonymous
68 months ago
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