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The Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center began as the Higgins Lake Conservation Training School in 1941. Many of the buildings were proudly constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp from 1939-1942. Over time, many other individuals and organizations helped build the furnishings that gave the center its unique "up-north" style.
In 1972, upon the death of DNR Director Ralph A. MacMullan, the facility was renamed to the Ralph A. MacMullan Conservation School. It was later renamed the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center. Many people today call it the RAM Center for short.
Each summer, between 1941 and 1988, the DNR conducted the Teachers Conservation School where generations of Michigan teachers came to the facility to learn about conservation of Michigan’s natural resources directly from the people who managed them. The school underwent many changes throughout the following decades and was run by various organizations.
For several decades, the tradition continued with the annual DNR Academy of Natural Resources. Today, many groups and organizations regularly meet at the RAM Center to come together to learn about natural resources and connect along the shores of Higgins Lake. Many people fondly refer to the RAM Center as their second home.
Traditionally, reservations were open to nonprofit, government and education-based organizations, as well as private business with an outdoor or green-themed agenda. In March 2021, the RAM Center opened up to families and small groups that also incorporate an outdoor- or green-themed agenda during their stay.