Twenty-four miles northeast of Ludington, Camp Sauble State Prison opened near Free Soil in Mason County, Michigan in 1960. Since then, it became a prison "boot camp" for juveniles who had the choice of facing real prison or spending time here. Many of the inmates had faced prison thanks to drug-related crimes.

It was called the "ice cream camp" for a couple of reasons: 1) a nearby ice cream factory supplied the camp with ice cream, and 2) the fact it was a boot camp for troubled youth.

Other youth 'boot camps' can be found in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, New York and Texas, with other states following suit.

However, the one in Free Soil has shut down and has been abandoned since 2005. The photos below show you what the camp looks like these days.

You can always drive by and take some outside shots.
But, as always, get permission before you attempt to venture inside the building.

This could be an interesting sidestop during your next Michigan roadtrip!

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