Edward N. Cole Canoe Base is a 1,440 acre piece of wilderness, nestled along the banks of the beautiful Rifle River in Ogemaw County, Michigan. We are one of the premier summer camping destinations for thousands of youth and adult leaders from all over the Midwest for over 50 years. We are owned and operated by the Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Are you and your unit looking for a traditional summer camping program? We offer scouts opportunities to earn over 95 merit badges during our week long summer camp program. We also offer nightly camp wide events, and daily programs designed to let scouts choose their own activities, providing opportunities for scouts to advance their skills in athletics, crafts, and basic scout skills, cooking, swimming and boating. This past summer camping season we have a unit return rate of over 85%
We offer a multitude of programs, and program options to help insure every unit is provided an excellent and fun filled program, that fit the needs of each individual unit. Programs outside of the merit badge program that have been designed for the varying age groups of your unit.
Our high adventure program provides older scouts an opportunity to stray from the traditional summer camp experience and put their outdoor skills to the test, on canoe trips on three of Michigan's most scenic rivers- the Rifle River, the Fox-Manistique, and the Au Sable. For more information please see the High Adventure homepage to start planning for your adventure now!
The Cole Canoe Base Staff looks forward to seeing you and your unit during the next Summer Camping Season!
- We offer a High Adventure type program normally offered only at the National High Adventure Bases. In addition, Cole Canoe Base also offers a full service traditional summer camp program, and is completely equipped to assist you and your unit with all of your in-camp needs for advancement, merit badge, and other program needs.
- Our camp differs from the program you may have experienced at any other summer camp, in that, it is a less structured program. Our emphasis at Cole Canoe Base is on canoeing and camping skills that are part of the foundation of the scouting program. Our staff will go out of its way to give you the kind of program your unit wants both on and off the river.
- We offer training in canoeing, canoeing safety, and related skills. We also offer Merit Badge counselors in many of the merit badges offered in other Scout camps. However, campers on the river may find it hard to complete difficult subjects without pre-planning and extra work.
- Our camp can be for the experienced troop, as well as, the inexperienced troop. Our staff will assist you in all the training necessary to insure your troop has an outstanding camping experience. The new troop will really have a fun learning experience and get their program on track for fun and adventure in a true Scouting adventure. The newest Boy Scout will have an exciting experience at Cole Canoe Base.
- We are the premier facility in the Michigan Crossroads Council, offering a longterm camping experience and High Adventure opportunities for Co-ed Explorer Posts and Venture Crews. The Base is extreme fun!
- The Rifle River is one of a very few large rivers in Michigan that is without dams and is protected by the Department of Natural Resource’s “Wild River Act”. It is not deep, but clean and also fast. There are no real “bad” spots in the river, but it does have a few riffles. No problems for even the beginner canoeist. You will travel through beautiful country with wildlife often seen. Fishing (including trout) is considered good. Wildlife sightings are an everyday experience.
- The Rifle River, which flows through our camp, is often considered to be one of the safest canoeing rivers in Michigan. Due to it’s shallow depth, even if one tips over they are normally able to stand up.
- We have over 130 canoes equipped with new paddles and US Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Devices. We will provide transportation and canoes for each unit. Voyager tents with floors and mosquito netting are available in a limited supply on a first come first serve basis for a nominal fee. Protection from insects is a must on the river. Canoeists must have closed toed shoes that secure to the feet at all times while on the river. We recommend old tennis shoes. No sandals or water shoes.
- Your camp fee includes all canoes for your river trip. Check in Sunday just after noon. We have staff on hand to serve you on Saturday with check-in if your unit wants to get the process done early.
- We are a full service camp and offer three complete programs.
- Our unique canoeing program is complete with everything you need for a fun filled High Adventure experience.
- Our traditional Scout Camp program, comes complete with a full merit badge program along with many extras. Try it, you will love it.
- The First Year Camper Program is HUGE!! Your New Scouts will be hooked on Scouting!
- We have been featured in Scouting Magazine!