It’s no longer necessary to travel all the way to the Boundary Waters to experience primitive camping with your canoe. On a Saturday in September 2019, Preston Satzke along with family and friends installed two canoe in campsites on the south side of Chester Lake in Chester Woods County Park. Preston chose this as his Eagle Scout project. However, it took much more than a Saturday of installation to bring this project to completion. Preston had to choose and design the two areas that are named “Beaver Point” and “Mallard Point.” With the help of park staff, trails were mowed in with a forestry mower to provide an alternate access for campsite maintenance. In addition, the campsite itself had to be cleared with the same equipment.
Preston came to our FOCW Board in the spring requesting support for this project. The Board has offered financial support for the purchase of supplies in the past. This project received ready approval because in the 2016 Chester Woods Master Plan, this canoe in concept was approved and supported by the County Board. Preston’s planning included making campsite signs, planning for preparing tent pads, and repairing picnic tables and including a fire ring to each site. All together, Preston spent more than 100 hours working on the Eagle Scout project. Preston and his family came to our October Board meeting with a visual presentation of his work and submitting receipts for his expenses. Much to our surprise, his expenses came in under budget at slightly more than $300.
These campsites will be included in the online campsite reservation tool that is managed by the park. Each campsite will rent for the same amount as the non-electric campsites in the campground. Using the lake, hiking the park, and enjoying the campsite will be the draw for all who make use of this new amenity at Chester Woods County Park.