September 24, 2018

Scout camp to provide eerie family fun Oct. 14


ALGER — Those hoping to get an early taste of Halloween and some after-dark thrills may find what they’re looking for at Cole Canoe Base Oct. 14.

During the third annual Haunted Campsite event, the base — which with its many outdoor activities is considered a nationally accredited Boy Scouts of America High Adventure Camp — will “take on a whole new life” after sunset, according to the flier. Activities will include a haunted hayride/walking trail, pumpkin carving, face painting, hot dogs and chili and more.

High Adventure Camp Director Gregg Zdan said many Scouting camps have been doing something similar for some time, some for more than 20 years, and he thought it would be beneficial for the community to have an event of its own.

“With us being located where we’re located and the facilities we have, we thought it’d be a cool thing to start up,” he said, noting it provides fun for staff, volunteers and the community alike.

One change to the event this year involves the arrangement of the haunted hayride/walking trail, which in past years was two separate activities. Zdan said the two were combined to improve the flow of the event, taking people from Point A to Point B and avoiding any redundancy. He said the haunted hayride is geared toward ages 8-18.

Zdan said from a staffing and volunteer standpoint, the Haunted Campsite event has always had an excellent turnout, with far more than 100 people working to make it happen, especially the haunted hayride. Community turnout has been around 50-100, but Zdan is hoping to have closer to 200 this year.

“It’s a fun event — we’re billing it as fun for the whole family,” he said. “We look forward to being able to get as many people in there to learn about what we do at the canoe base.”

The event begins at 6 p.m. at Cole Canoe Base, located at 1356 E. Greenwood Rd., Alger. Entry is $15 at the door for all, and $12 if purchased in advance by calling 989-873-1516. For more information, visit The event is also featured on

Cole Canoe Base has been in operation as a Scouting camp since 1964, and serves around 3,000 youths per year, according to Zdan. It participates in Rifle River watershed restoration and cleanup, forest district work and community outreach.


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