Generations of Boy Scouts think of Camp Miakonda as the setting for many youthful adventures, but the more than 150-acre camp in Sylvania Township about to celebrate its centennial is much more than that. It is a regional treasure.
The camp represents two of the Toledo area’s best assets — history and lovingly preserved green space for recreation. The camp, run by the Erie Shores Council of the Boy Scouts, is the oldest Boy Scout camp in Ohio and the sixth-oldest such camp in the United States.
Camp Miakonda’s history richly reflects the architectural and artistic history of the region and the country. In the 1930s, a crew of about 1,000 Works Progress Administration workers hand-dug the camp’s lake, moving more than 1 million wheelbarrows full of dirt.
Paul Robinette, the Depression-era architect responsible for early buildings at the Toledo Zoo, also designed many of Camp Miakonda’s first buildings. These elements of the camp have been preserved so that campers and other visitors can enjoy them, not only as functional buildings, but as historic structures.
The lush, green camp is an example of the great outdoor spaces that northwestern Ohio boasts. In recent years, planners and residents have come to value these green spaces for their contribution to the quality of life in the Toledo area. Parks planners, trail builders, and civic groups have scrambled to protect such land for outdoor recreation.
Camp Miakonda’s caretakers have been ahead of their time, preserving the region’s history and green space for a century.