We are proud of Michigan and look forward to hosting you in our homes and camping with you when you come to MIC 2020.
We hope to introduce you to Michigan on this web page and why we think Michigan is a pretty special place. You can tell where Michigan is from space. We think the distinctive peninsulas that make up our state look like like a hand and a mitten. You can even tell someone from Michigan by how they will use their hands to point out where they live in the state.
The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the beautiful "Mighty Mac" bridge. Once a year we are allowed to walk the entire 5 miles on Labor Day. The Mighty Mac is the longest suspension bridge with two towers between anchorages in the Western Hemisphere.
If you are from the Upper Peninsula we say you are a "Yooper." If you are from the Lower Peninsula you are a "southpaw" or "troll" (because you live below the bridge). On most weekends you will find a lot of Southpaws driving north to visit their cottages or to hunt in the Northern Lower Peninsula or crossing the Mighty Mac to go to the Upper Peninsula.
Life in Michigan is defined by four of the five great lakes. Our state touches Lake Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie. The Lakes control our weather and they hold one fifth of the entire fresh water on the planet! They really are great inland seas. We have lighthouses, ships, ship wrecks, and many maritime traditions you won't find in any other place so far from
the ocean. Michigan also has many smaller lakes, and rivers. No one in our state lives more than five miles from fresh water. Many of our scouts learn to swim, canoe, water ski, kayak and sail at an early age.
We experience four distinct seasons (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring). Our winters can be long and cold. However, when you come to Michigan in July-August you can expect highs of about 28 degrees centigrade and lows of 15 (82-59 F). We say if you don't like our weather just wait a few minutes and it will change. You will want to bring layers and rain gear.
Michigan is covered in forests. Much of the original old growth forests were cut for lumber to build cities like Chicago, but we are happy that our forests have returned. Our scouts are used to camping under trees.
You can learn a lot about a place by what they think is funny. For many of our guests where English is not their first language some of these jokes may not make sense, but talk to your hosts and they will help you understand why we laugh.
You might be from Michigan...
....if you define Summer as three months of bad sledding.
... if your definition of a small town is one that doesn't have a lake.
... if snow tires come standard on all your cars.
... if at least 50% of your relatives work for the auto industry.
... if you have ever gotten frostbitten and sunburned in the same week.
... if you learned to pilot a boat before the training wheels were off your bike.
... if you point at the palm of your right hand when telling people where you grew up.
... if "Down South" to you means Toledo.
... if traveling coast to coast means going from Port Huron to Muskegon.
... if you refer to your relatives in southern Michigan as "trolls" or "lopers".
... if the "Big Three" can mean either Ford, Chrysler and GM or Domino's, Little Ceaser's and Hungry Howie's.
... if a Big Mac is something you can drive across.
... if you have no problem spelling Mackinac Island.
... if you have as many Canadian coins in your pockets as American ones.
... if your kid's baseball or softball games games have been ever been snowed out.
... if the trees in your backyard have spigots.
... if you know that a place called "Kalamazoo" really exists.
... if you bake with "soda" and drink "pop".
... if you know what a pastie is.
... if you don't have a coughing fit from one sip of Vernor's.
... if you know how to play Euchre.
... if you classify your friends and relatives as "yoopers," "trolls," "Canadians," or "not from 'round here,".
... if you know at least 2 yooper jokes.
... if fudge and Bicycles remind you of your honeymoon.
... if you can name all 5 of the Great Lakes, and point to their locations around your left and right hands
... if you used to think Deer Season included an official school holiday.
... if you know that Pontiac and Cadillac are cities.
... if you've been to Hell and to Paradise and back again.
... if you had Tornado Drills in elementary school.
... if you know all the words to Gordon Lightfoot's classic ballad, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
... if you can actually pronounce Ypsilanti.
... if the first decision you have to make on an international trip is, "bridge or tunnel?"
... if you own only three spices - salt, pepper and ketchup.
... if you design your Halloween costumes to fit over a snowsuit.
... if you have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
... if you have 10 favorite recipes for venison.
... if you've taken your kids trick-or-treating in a blizzard.
... if driving is better in the winter because the potholes get filled with snow.
... if you owe more money on your snowmobile than your car.
... if summer takes place the second week of July (and it still rains!!).
... if you know which leaves make good toilet paper.
... if you find -20F a little chilly.
... if the trunk of your car doubles as a deep freezer.
... if you attended a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewelry and your snowmobile boots.
... if shoveling the driveway constitutes a great upper body workout.
... if you know the 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction.
... if you drink "Vernors" and play "Euchre".
... if you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by.
... if you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Pellston is the coldest spot in the nation.
... if your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March.
... if you instinctively walk like a penquin for five months out of the year.
... if you have worn shorts and a coat at the same time.
... if "vacation" means going up north on I-75.
... if you know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
... if you often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day
... if you can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
... if you see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings.)
... if you carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.
... if your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
... if down South to you means Ohio.
... if a brat is something you eat.
... if your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole barn.
... if you go out to a fish fry every Friday.
... if your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
... if your doctor tells you to drink Vernors and you know it's not medicine.
... if you know what a Yooper is.
... if you know that UP is a place, not a direction.
... if you know it's possible to live in a thumb.