Boy Scouts enjoy Rambadt Park, first guests this season

REED CITY – Rambadt Park saw its first guests this season as Boy Scout Troop 304 from Comstock Park stayed at the park last weekend for a bicycle campout.

As the park gears up for its busy season, Reed City manager Ron Marek approved the opening of the park a month early to accommodate the Boy Scouts, in exchange for help with park cleanup.

“I asked if they would do some raking and they were eager to help,” Marek said.

Along with a volunteer group from General Mills Yoplait, the troop raked and cleaned up the park, before enjoying the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail on their bicycles.

The group of 11 scouts and eight adults arrived at the camp Friday, pitched their tents and built a bonfire. Saturday the group bundled up and set out on their first bike trip east on the trail at 9 a.m. The troop endured 30-degree temperatures at the beginning of the trip, but warmed up as the trip progressed.

“Only in Michigan can you can have frost in the morning and (warm temperatures) in the afternoon,” said Joe Ross, toop leader, said jokingly.

The scouts took a 25-mile trip to Evart and back, while five of them continued for a 50- mile trip to Lake Station and back.

Many of the scouts were working on their cycling merit badge, which has many requirements including bike and traffic safety and a series of shorter trips building up to a 50-mile trip.

“The boys determine most of their events and they wanted to do a biking campout,” Ross said. “My wife and I did the research and decided the Pere Marquette Trail would be a good route for both a 25 mile and a 50 mile group because it is all paved and not hilly.”

After taking a trip to the area to investigate the surrounding parks, Ross said Rambadt Park was selected because of it’s location near US 131, its campground and proximity to the trail.

Boy Scout Nick Brouwer completed the required trips for his cycling merit badge on the White Pine trail, which intersects the Pere Marquette Trail. Brouwer said he had a great time riding with his fellow scouts as they achieved the requirements for the same badge on a different trail.

“I like being outside,” Brouwer said. “This is a nice park.”

The scouts left the park Sunday morning, transported their bikes to Sand Lake, then rode 25 miles to their home base, American Legion Post No. 47, on the White Pine Trail.

Once scouts completed all the requirements for their cycling merit badge, they will be awarded at a separate ceremony, Ross said.