The History of Pioneer Scout Reservation and Camp Frontier
The Pioneer Scout Reservation idea started in 1962. In that year Council President A. Gideon Spieker and the Executive Board of the Toledo Area Council appointed a Camp Development Committee to search for and recommend the purchase of property for additional camping facilities. Since 1917, Camp Miakonda on the DeVilbiss Boy Scout Reservation in Toledo provided one of the nation’s finest areas for camping, but with the growth of Scouting in Northwest Ohio, it had finally reached usage beyond its most efficient capacity. More camp lands and facilities were needed to continue high-quality camping for Scouts in the Toledo Area Council.
Through the vision and the perseverance of this committee led by Oscar Teagarden, Pioneer Scout Reservation was created in 1964 when 1,086 acres of beautiful rolling terrain from 16 connecting farms were acquired with 40 acres being later added in 1968 for an average total purchase price of $148 per acre. Almost two square miles of meadows and natural woodlands, traversed by the crystal waters of the St. Joseph River made the land ideal for Scout camping. Buildings from the various farms were being demolished in January 1965 and numerous Council and District camping events were held at PSR each year starting in 1965. To aid in the development of PSR the Districts held Conservation Camporees there starting in 1965.
Under the leadership of R.A. Stranahan, Jr. and Henry A. Page, Jr. general co-chairmen, a Camp Development Fund Campaign raised $1,271,615 in 1968. In the same year, a Building Committee headed by Richard P. Anderson directed the construction of dams for Lake Spieker and Lake MacNichol (the first of four lakes), Levis Road, main buildings, and facilities for the first planned camp named Camp Frontier.
During each year 1967, ’68, and ’69, crews of Scouts planted 10,000 knee-high white pines and Norway spruce trees with the help of the Michigan State Forestry Department. Winter camping began in early 1969, and the first weekly Boy Scout summer camp sessions were conducted that summer with Gary Lehman serving as the first Camp Frontier Director.
Pioneer Scout Reservation (PSR) was created with the land purchase in 1964 but not formally named until 1967 and later dedicated on June 28, 1970. The original plan called for the creation of five separate Boy Scout camps all located at Pioneer Scout Reservation. Each would have had their own facilities and programs. Because only one of the five was developed it has caused confusion about the relationship between Camp Frontier and PSR. They are two separate entities with the Reservation occupying all of the 1126 acres and Camp Frontier occupying part of the total acreage. Had they been built the other four planned camps would have been located on the remaining PSR acreage not occupied by Camp Frontier. Camp Frontier was opened in 1969.
2014 marked the 50th anniversary of Richard P. Anderson Pioneer Scout Reservation and 2019 marks the 55th anniversary of the creation of Pioneer Scout Reservation and the 50th anniversary of the creation of Camp Frontier.