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After covid, Camp Belzer (IN) - a public campus for Scouting

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Camps becoming public campuses...or  campluses ( I'm trademarking that. :))?

Crossroads of America Council (CAC) started renovation which will include a 9,400-square-foot Skip & Alex Lange Innovation Center with STEM labs, makerspace, team-building areas, climbing and rappelling areas, BB gun and archery ranges and a conference space for events up to 150 people.  Also Belzer Fieldhouse will be improved with added structures which include a 9,700-square-foot maintenance building , tool and tent storage, and a storage yard for vehicles.

A press release from the CAC said the center will be “at the heart of Camp Belzer” and “will become ‘activity central’ for the 200-acre campus.”

According to CAC Scout Executive/CEO Joseph E. Wiltrout,  “Really, we’ve gone through about a three-year master plan process and building implementation process all around our ‘Growing Future Leaders’ capital campaign,” Wiltrout said. “What we have really decided is Camp Belzer is going to be the front door to the public for Scouting to be introduced to, and we really are looking for the innovation center to be a vehicle that can be a collaborative partner for our school systems and educational partner for our school systems and a place where Camp Belzer and the innovation center can be woven into the fabric of the community’s outdoor needs and wants."

“So, you don’t necessarily have to be a member of the Scouting organization to participate in the activities at the intervention center or at camp.”

“There’s much more planned,” he said. “There’s RV sites planned, there’s family camping tents planned, there’s a welcome center planned, there’s a new pool planned. It’s all a matter of the more money you raise, the more you can do. Scouting is living, growing and strong in the 26 counties here in central Indiana, from Illinois to Ohio, that the Crossroads of America Council serves.

Camp size: 200 acres  Proximity to major city:  10-11 miles east of Indianapolis  Cost estimate: $7 million  Completion date: 2023

Covid closed Camp Belzer 2020 summer programs. Hope it survives Chapter 11.


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On 11/25/2020 at 5:37 PM, MattR said:

I wish them luck but $7M?

Yes, you heard right.  I saw the plans last summer and you could have heard my chin hit the ground.  I will write more about this later but right now I am still too mad about the decision to move on this project.  I want to finish my day of Thanksgiving on a positive note.

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On 11/25/2020 at 9:20 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:


I hope they still plan on having a wilderness area for Scouts.

They don't really have one now, unless you call a large open field area with a couple shelters and archery/bb ranges a wilderness area.  The trouble with Camp Belzer is that the city of Indianapolis grew up around it and it is now more of a "urban camp" than anything else.   Our troop has camped there a couple times, once for a district camporee and the other for a troop campout.  We really didn't really enjoy the experience. Raccoons were rampant and you had the constant drone from nearby interstate 465 to keep you awake all night.  :)

The camp is home to a pretty good Voyaguer Canoe Training program though.     But IMHO other CAC owned camps like Ransburg,  Krietenstein and Kikthawenund are much better facilities for scouting.  And don't get me started on what other grand ideas Mr. Wiltrout has proposed/implemented for the council.





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On 11/25/2020 at 4:06 PM, walk in the woods said:

He was the SE for my council and tried to do the same thing here.  

TFC? I always heard his Pro staff there met their numbers, but quickly burned a lot of bridges with volunteers. 

Edited by carebear3895
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