Camp Red Wing - Muncie, Indiana
Camp Red Wing is a Boy Scout Camp located southeast of Muncie, Indiana in Delaware County. The newly formed Boy Scouts of America found its way into the Muncie area by the early 1920's. It was not until 1924 that the Delaware County Council of Boy Scouts was formed. The following year, Aretus Rees and his wife gave the Scouts permission to use part of their farm along the White River for camping. It was in 1925 that the first summer camp was held. It was called "Camp Red Wing" at the Rees Scout Reservation. In later years, the Rees family made a gift of the land to the Scouts. In 1972, the Delaware County Council merged into the Crossroads of America Council who now oversee the camp.
Welcome to Camp Red Wing. Enjoy your tour through our camp. This site is intended to provide camp history as we share the past with the new. We always welcome comments and are always seeking people to share their photographs and history about this camp.
The name "Camp Red Wing" came from the name of a popular song of that era (1925) by Kerry Mills.
The Early Years
Camp Red Wing
Starting a summer camp program presented a struggle for the newly formed Delaware County Council. E.H. Justice was the new executive for the council. Part of his duty was to have a summer camp on the Aretus Rees farm southeast of Muncie. In 1925 he was able to put together a staff and set up a camp site on the bluff overlooking the White River.
In 1926 Lynn Perrigo was given the job of the council executive which included running the camp. Tents and cots were borrowed from a Y.M.C.A. for the month of July. With one week left, Mr. Perrigo rounded up the junior leaders and some volunteers. They camped on the site and prepared their own meals over campfire. They built a makeshift bridge over the river, erected tents, set up cots, installed dining tables, kitchen range, made plank dining benches, constructed a platform with diving board by the wide pool in the river used for swimming, and stocked up with supplies. The staff succeeded in completing all their preparations on Sunday forenoon before the Scouts and their parents began arriving at camp. (Years later a lodge was built on the site of their dining tent.
Ford Longsdorf was hired as the program director. He was a college senior preparing to become a Scout Executive. The junior leaders on the staff were a few older Eagle Scouts. That first time they included Robert Brady, aquatics, Thomas Tighe, storekeeper and librarian and Harry Cranor, instructor. They also had an adult truck driver and two cooks from Berea College in Kentucky.
A stock of craft work materials was obtained as well as a selection of appropriate books from the public library. A minister came to the camp each Sunday morning to conduct chapel service under the trees on a hillside.
In 1927, three weekly sessions were conducted. About thirty Scouts attended each session. They were grouped together for instruction according to their interests as Pioneers, Indians, Explorers, and Toolers. The schedule also included aquatic events, track meets, help with Boy Scout tests, a game night, a story-telling night, a stunt night, and an award night. Usually around 200 visitors would show for the Court of Honor. They would be seated on wooden benches around the campfire. The leaders would conduct singing, give talks and present skits. The story of Red Wing was always told and the Scouts were honored for their week at camp. A Bugler would play Taps while the guest returned to their cars on pathways impressively lighted by railroad flares.
For five years the program at the camp continued with only slight variation. In 1930, the camp came close to having a disaster because it rained almost constantly everyday during the first two weeks. The staff did their best to carry on under that handicap. The camp had nearly new, almost leak-proof tents obtained from a contribution of from George Ball.
Another contribution allowed for the drilling of a well so that the Scouts would not need to haul water from the distance Rees farmhouse.
Through another contribution, materials were obtained to build a better bridge for crossing the river. Ernest Ebrite (who later became a driving force in the council) and another teacher, Oscar Mossburg, constructed a swinging footbridge suspended on steel cables. At this time, the only way into camp was down a lane on the Rees farm and across the river. Everything had to be carried across the river.
Later, an arrangement was made with the farmer who owned the land north of the camp site to donate a right-of-way from the road ,along a line fence, to the northeast corner of the camp.
*information from My Years at Camp Redwing
by Lynn I. Perrigo - Delaware County Council Executive - 1927 through 1932.
CAMP RED WING CELEBRATING 80 YEARS !!!
SPRING CAMPOREE - "Roaming Camp Red Wing" - CELEBRATING 80 YEARS AT CAMP REDWING. 1925-2005.
The Golden Eagle District of the Crossroads of America Council held it's Spring Camporee in May, 2005. Activities were centered around the history of Camp Red Wing. Scouts followed maps that showed the location of the various building around camp - and the location of where old Scout building have been.. At the Saturday Campfire the Scouts heard the "Legend of Red Wing" and then celebrated with a Camp Red Wing Birthday Party. On Sunday Scouts gathered at the "Red Wing Chapel" to remember the Scouts of the past that made this wonderful camp possible..