Bay-Lakes Council Museum Featured in National Magazine
Our very own Bay-Lakes Council Museum is featured in this month’s edition of the Journal of the International Scouting Collectors Association. There are over 75,000 items in the Museum’s collection which focuses on collectables…
…and history of the Bay-Lakes Council and its “legacy” councils (the smaller councils that merged into Bay-Lakes) and the Order of the Arrow Lodges. There are permanent displays at the Center for Scouting and inside the new Welcome Center at Camp Rokilio. Additionally, Camp Hiawatha, Gardener Dam Scout Camp and Bear Paw Scout Camp host exhibits pertaining to each camp’s individual history.
Among the collectables, there is a 1910 BSA Handbook that was rebound in leather and presented to participants at an event at the Waldorf Historia hotel. Baden-Powell was present at this event at which he official recognized the Boy Scouts of America. There is excellent attribution that documents that this handbook were owned by Gilbert Nelson. (He was the first Chief Scout Executive in 1915, and flew for the 8th French Army in Europe during World War 1. He died in 1918 and is buried New Haven, CT.)
A most unique feature is that the Museum team has perfected the “portable museum” that appears at many different Council and district events. Did you know the portable museum had 6,250 visitors in 2013, which grew to 9,505 in 2019. The displays appear at about 30 events yearly within the Bay-Lakes Council, and have been to Wisconsin Trade O Rees and the Philmont Training Center. Museum chairperson Dale Opgenorth attributes the fairly high number of annual visitors to the fact that the museum displays are taken to the scouting public. The displays are also customized for each different event. The Museum offers the Scouting Heritage and Collections Merit Badges and tries to fulfill display requests even for unit events. Memberships are available at $10 per year which includes an annual patch. A lifetime membership is available for $250 which includes each year’s annual patch. The annual patches are given out instead of membership cards.
The Museum’s website, in essence a virtual museum, is here: For more information, and to review of a copy of this article, contact Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org.