This Big Island purchase of approx. 110-acres culminated 20-plus years of efforts by SLIA and Joe Costello (former SLIA president) 
to acquire the Big island, to keep it in its natural state and from being commercially developed. Hal Schafer & Hal's Pals, local volunteers cleaned the island of dangerous debris and created safe walking paths that were finished in 2011.

The Grand Opening of Camp Big Island was in the Spring 2012 and it continues to
welcome visitors and residents daily via installed boat docks. Visitors and residents can arrive by water, explore the Island trails, 
and experience the beauty of the nature.


Only through the passionate efforts of former President Joe Costello, Hal Schafer & Hal's Pals and countless local volunteers, Boy Scout Island (The Big Island) was restored to its natural beauty for generations to come. Come visit!


THE BIG ISLAND of Sylvan Lake 


Sylvan's Big Island

Our wonderful story

Sylvan Lake, 844 Kelly Street, Rome City, IN 46784  |   Business / Lake contact: (260) 854-9862  r.a. stone interior designs | Quick email


Public docks, Sylvan Lake, Indiana
Former Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels, Sylvan Lake Indiana

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Big Island Sylvan Lake, Indiana
Big Island church services, Sylvan Lake, Indiana

Sylvan's Big Island

  • Public docks

  • Nature walking trails

  • Pavilion for shelter

  • Church services*

"It's nature preserved for all to see."

~ Hal Schafer, Hal's Pals & Volunteers

"To Joe, with congratulations on a great achievement. This is a remarkable story, that I plan to tell others. It’s a real role model  for the state of Indiana.”

--Former Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels

LOGO, Sylvan Lake Indiana
Winter, Island church, Sylvan Lake, Indiana

Hal's Pals

SYLVAN's Volunteers

Tons of scrap metal was removed by Hal Schafer & Hal's Pals volunteers in effort to make the island a safer place for visitors. Your efforts were invaluable. 

Sylvan's Big Island attractions

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In May, 2007, The Sylvan lake association raised $1.25 million to purchase the largest island on Sylvan Lake to preserve its natural, wooded beauty and historic value and protect it from commercial development.   Read more

home of famous author & Photographer, Gene Stratton-porter.