Scouting and the DNR

  • Scouts and the DNR: A Long Tradition of Conservation Collaboration


    Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations are among the oldest of the Department of Natural Resources partners in improving habitat and air and water quality, and supporting outdoor recreation activities. The Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010. The Girl Scouts' centennial was celebrated in 2012. Conservation projects completed by scouts, and supported by the DNR, have touched the lives of Michigan's citizens across the state and in many different ways over the years. As important as their service to protect our natural resources are the organizations' commitments to getting kids outdoors. The DNR congratulates and thanks the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for their untold hours of service and their commitment to our state's natural resources. We look forward to another 100 years of partnership.

Iron Belle Trail Challenge

  • 2018 Iron Belle Trail Challenge Flyer PDF icon

    The Department of Natural Resources inivites you to join us once again in recognizing the great hiking opportunity we have on the Iron Belle Trail. So lace up your hiking boots and grab your water bottles! This year’s Iron Belle Challenge will take place June 2, 2018. In September you can show further support by participating in a stewardship project on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 22, 2018. Each person participating in the hike will receive a commemorative patch. If you also choose to return in September and do trail maintenance, you will receive a rocker patch to attach to the hiking patch.

  • 2018 Iron Belle Challenge Hike Registration Form PDF icon

    Let us know you'll be participating in the 2018 Iron Belle Challenge hike on June 2. Submit the form to Raymond Rustem at

  • silhouette of hiker with trees, sun and bird and Iron Belle Challenge 2018, Trail Stewardship 2018 Iron Belle Trail Patch PDF icon

    Patch for all Iron Belle Challenge 2018 participants, and rocker patch for those who participate in a stewardship project on National Public Lands Day.

  • group of girls hiking on paved trail through wooded area 2017 Iron Belle Challenge photos

    See some photos of scouts participating in the 2017 Iron Belle Trail Challenge hike.

  • Comments from 2016 Iron Belle Challenge hike participants

    See what scout groups thought about last year's hike.

  • Daisies, from left, Braelee Bentley, Elizabeth Robison, McKinley Pietila and Maddie Turner. Scouting groups help inaugurate the Iron Belle Trail

    Read about the inaugural Iron Belle Trail hike in 2015, when some 2,100 hikers from 130 Scouting units covered a total of 14,000 miles of trail. 


  • Conservation Stewardship Awards

    Conservation Service Award patchTo honor scouts who make a commitment to participating with the DNR in stewardship of Michigan's natural resources, we have created a Conservation Stewardship Award. By completing activities and other scout achievements and providing conservation stewardship service hours through the department, younger scouts can earn a Conservation Stewardship patch and older scouts are eligible to earn a Stewardship medal. Older scouts are also eligible to receive additional pins to attach to the medal.

  • For more information on the DNR Conservation Stewardship Awards

    Contact Ray Rustem at 517-284-6070, or email

  • Michigan Scouts Earn DNR Stewardship Awards

    See a list of Michigan Scouts who earned Conservation Stewardship Awards for their work with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

  • Service Projects for Scouts

    Here's a list of service projects that your troop, pack or den may want to adopt. Some may be appropriate for Boy Scout Eagle or Girl Scout Gold awards. The list includes the name and location of the project, age range for participants, approximate number of work hours to complete, best season to participate and a DNR contact.

  • Share your Projects

    We would like to hear and share information about your conservation stewardship projects. Updated 10/16/13.

Get Involved