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About the RAM

RAM Center building

About the RAM

Nestled on the northern shore of Higgins Lake, the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center is available for families, small groups and individuals, nonprofit, government and education-based organizations, as well as private businesses with an outdoor- or green-themed agenda. It is owned and operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Combine the fun of summer camp with the facilities of a premier conference center. Unplug yourself from modern distractions and reconnect with your family, friends or fellow team members. There is lodging available for up to 135 participants (double occupancy) in six rustic lodges, and there are several large conference spaces that can accommodate up to 250 guests, as well as several smaller meeting spaces for a more intimate group setting.

104 Conservation Drive
Roscommon, MI 48653


The Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center (RAM Center) began as the Higgins Lake Conservation Training School, established in 1941. The campus occupies 32 acres of wooded land, including 660 feet of Higgins Lake shoreline. Many of its existing buildings were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp from 1939-1942, and many other individuals and organizations helped create the furnishings that gave the center its unique "up-north" style.

In 1972, upon the death of DNR Director Ralph A. MacMullan, it was renamed as the Ralph A. MacMullan Conservation School then later, conservation school was changed to conference center.

Between 1941 and 1988, the DNR conducted the Teachers Conservation School each summer where generations of Michigan teachers came to Higgins Lake to learn about conservation of Michigan’s natural resources from the people who manage them. The school underwent many changes throughout the following decades, run by various organizations.

For several decades, the tradition continued with the annual DNR Academy of Natural Resources, held each summer at the RAM Center. In addition, a number of groups and organizations have regularly met at the RAM Center over the years and fondly refer to it as their home.

In March 2021, after closing for approximately one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Conference Center reopened and for the first time, extended invitations to families and small groups.

Teachers learn about gun safety at Teachers Conservation School at RAM Center
Teachers Conservation School circa 1950
Academy of Natural Resources at the RAM Center
Academy of Natural Resources 2018