Camp Belzer Ranger Kevin Hobbs is ready for another summer of fun at the 200-acre facility, which has become an Indianapolis institution.
“This is the 101st year of Camp,” Hobbs says. “It was originally founded as the Indianapolis Boy Scout Reservation. It later became Boy Scout Reservation of Indianapolis in 1922, and in 1923, it became Camp Chank-Tun-Un-Gi. It later became Chief Belzer Reservation in 1948 and was called Camp Belzer.”
Hobbs says that a group of dedicated people have helped the camp grow over the years.
“It was formed by a group of Indianapolis investors who wished for a place for Scouts to camp,” Hobbs says. “In 1948, the name was changed to honor Chief F. O. Belzer, the longtime Chief Scout Executive in Indianapolis.”
Hobbs estimates that 2,500-3,000 youth from ages five-17, both boys and girls, attend the camp each summer. Camp Belzer, 6102 Boy Scout Road, Lawrence, is surrounded by forest in the middle of the city. It has been acclaimed as one of the best day camps around.
“The summer camp lasts for five one-week periods, from Monday through Friday,” Hobbs says. “The camp gives children the opportunity to experience the great outdoors and to learn and challenge their skills.”
Camp Belzer’s goal is to provide new experiences of the highest quality for every child who enters their gate.
“The activities include swimming, hiking, BB guns, archery, rafting, physical challenge courses, crafts, STEM activities and games,” Hobbs says.
Hobbs adds that he and the staff at the camp keep things fresh by adding new activities.
“This year, we are going to have a GaGa pit and bounce houses,” Hobbs says. “We also have a great activity center that is used for conferences, weddings, birthday parties and celebrations in general.”
He stresses that Camp Belzer keeps everything practical and unique for every child’s visit. Other activities include BB gun shooting and safety, swimming and outdoor cooking opportunities.
“The activities increase youth confidence and physical activity (without their phones),” Hobbs says. “They also learn how to get along with others and work as a team.”
A hot lunch is included Monday through Friday for all Cub Scouts. Adults may purchase the same lunch for $3 a person, payable at the Leader’s Meeting each day.
“Camp Belzer is geared for the younger youth in the summer, although the Baden Powell Camp held here also is geared for Scouts to earn specific merit badges,” Hobbs says. “This runs at the same time as the Day Camp. We also feature a family camp opportunity in the month of July where Scout and non-Scout youth are presented the program.”
Hobbs adds that Scouts should bring their swimsuits and towels each day. They should also bring a water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray (non-aerosol).
Camp Belzer also has a Belzer Trading Post featuring snacks, souvenirs and T-shirts.
Non-Scout tag-a-longs are welcome to attend for a daily fee, paid at camp each day. Everyone in camp must submit a completed health form.
Camp Belzer Scout Camp is located at 6102 Boy Scout Road in Lawrence. You can give them a call at 317-546-6031 or visit them online at campbelzer.org for more information.