Youth camping returns to Detroit's Rouge Park this spring

Posted at 7:00 AM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 07:00:08-05

Detroit's only campground, Scout Hollow in Rouge Park, will reopen after more than a decade to bring back youth camping to the city of Detroit.

With the help of the Sierra Club, Detroit Parks and Rec, the YMCA and the Kresge Foundation, Scout Hollow will create overnight group camping opportunities for Detroit kids.

The 17.4-acre site is on a bend of the Rouge River in Rouge Park on the city's west side. It will be coordinated by Detroit Outdoors.

The Kresge Foundation's $200,000 grant will help Detroit Outdoors renovate the area to accommodate large groups, and will also stock camping gear that groups can borrow for their adventures. Detroit Outdoors will also hold leadership training for educators and youth development professionals.

“This reopens a long unavailable asset to connect city youth with nature. To really learn about nature, you must immerse yourself in it. There is simply no substitute,” Interim Detroit Parks and Recreation Director Keith Flournoy said in a release.

The site is mostly forest adn there are three camping sites at Scout Hollow that can hold up to 30 campers each. They expect to see 250 campers in the first year with around 1,000 campers annually within three years.

On top of the Kresge Foundation, Sierra Club, a environmental organization based in Oakland, Calif., gave a $20,000 grant to help reopen Scout Hollow.

“Rouge Park neighbors – and others across Detroit and surrounding suburbs – have an important relationship with this park that we are working to strengthen,” says Jackie Ostfeld, associate director of the Sierra Club Outdoors Campaign. “This will introduce camping under the stars to young Detroiters who might not otherwise have that opportunity."