The Trail to Eagle (TTE) program is a specifically designed program for the older Scout to give him the opportunity to work on the merit badges he needs to finish his Eagle Scout rank requirements. It is a one week, highly structured program held at D-bar-A Scout Ranch. Scouts must be at least 1st Class rank by June 26th and at least entering the 7th grade. Trial to Eagle Course Director Ed Basar and his volunteer staff have been proud to sponsor this event for over 20 years and continue to set the bar high every year.
Since its inception in 1995, over 2,400 Eagle candidates from 12 states, 31 councils, as well as from the Far East and Trans Atlantic Councils, have attended this unique, one of a kind program. One of the largest attended camps had 191 Scouts participate from six states, eleven different councils, and a Scout from Shanghai, China. Scouts from nearly every corner of the Michigan Crossroads Council have participated in this event.
Over 55% of our candidates have attained the rank of Eagle Scout and even more are still working on achieving this lofty goal. We have had 60 staff members who have been with the program for ten years or more. There is a ratio of one staff member for every two youth.
During their week at TTE, Scouts earn, on average, over 6 merit badges each. The Scouts have earned, on average, over 1,000 merit badges each year with an average of over six merit badges per Scout. TTE is not a merit badge mill, but rather a highly structured week that allows ample time to work on merit badges. A scout must earn his merit badge; he is not just given one.
TTE camp typically will offer over 70 merit badges, including Eagle required badges. In addition, TTE will be offering many “see counselor” merit badges from our diversely experienced adult staff.
All participants, who are called “Eagle Candidates” will be divided into provisional units, and will be based out of the cabins at D-bar-A Scout Ranch. Overseeing the Scouts will be at least three Scoutmasters and a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM), many of whom are Eagle Scouts, and in most cases have gone through the TTE program. All meals will be served, by the highly qualified D-bar-A food service staff, in Dining Hall (Wyckoff Lodge).
While the emphasis is on earning merit badges, there will be many other high adventure activities which all add to the fun. These include: flag ceremonies, a waterball competition, war canoe races, “Basarball” (volleyball), Boy Scout Jeopardy, chess tournament, a camp wide Vesper Service, and the ever popular Order of the Arrow ice cream social.
Also throughout the week, the Eagle Candidates are competing in a patrol flag competition, as well as the highly coveted Troop Spirit Award. Troops demonstrate their spirit with cheers and songs performed at assemblies before and during all meals.
One of the MOST sought after distinctions is the George Thomas Award. This award is presented to Eagle Candidates who exhibit the same spirit and enthusiasm that this outstanding Scouter showed for the principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Upon completion of the Trail to Eagle Camp, there is a special honors ceremony for the Eagle Candidates. The special event is open to and highly encouraged for all parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to attend.
- Registered BSA Youth Member
- 7th grade and up and at least 1st Class Rank