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MAp t)F C~MP'Tp..~.~~t9~:~!'~~;,.


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An old mapof CampTopenebee, whichattractedmorethan8,500 visitorslast year. ,

CampTopenebee a ha~en ...forScoutsnationwide "

By WOODYDRESDEN For the Post-Tribune

" ; '. ."'.

ast night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again." That unforgettable opening


line is from the classic novel

..." "Rebecca," by Daphne Du Maurier. In the end, it was the '0" fire at Manderley that drove Rebecca away. For me, it was the dining hall fire at Boy Scout Camp Topenebee that brought me back home. Located on 0., Holmesville road near Michigan City, Camp Topenebee, or "Tope," is a revered place among Scouts. ..' For many of us, it was our second home


a place where

boys could enjoy .camping, hik" ing, swimming, fishing and ,.' canoeing. It was a place to learn new skills, make new friends and just have fun. Whether it was a week of summer camp or just a week'.. end, many of the happiest days , of my life were spent there ~




withmy fellowScouts.

Thedininghallat CampTopenebeeIn 2002.

Named after Chiet Topenebee of the Pottawatomie , Indians, Camp Topenebee was 'co" purchased by the former Pot.., tawatomie Council in 1948. ,', Although the camp is host to J

Scoutsfrom across the United

"'.;' States, it primarily serves ".,

eight countiesin Indianaand

:, Michigan. This territory is composed of 166 packs, 127 troops and 35 crews, totaling . more than 12,000boys and girls in our area communities. ...' Last year, the camp wel:.: comed more than 8,500,visitors through its gates. -, Camp Topenebeewas built by



Scouts,volunteersandthe gen-


:: support of area residents ..., erous and businesses. Many of the

-::,; existing buildings have plaques . memorializing a group or individual. The 169-acrecamp offers . a training center, archery-rifle range and 14 campsites. Each campsite was named after a dif- A current photo of the entrance gate, which was donated by the Joy




ferent AmericanIndiantribe,

selected by the troopinv{)lvedin its construction. On Feb. 4, Scouts from across the nation celebrated Scout Sunday. This is a day to recognize the contributions of

Manufacturing Management Club of Michigan City In 1960.

projects at Topenebee. I have so many wonderful ,

memoriesof Scoutingand

Camp Topenebee. Even now, I still consider obtaining the , youngpeopleand adults to rank of Eagle Scout as one of ::: Scouting. my greatest life achievements. ':. Since 1910,Scouting has been There are many opportunia program of fun outdoor activ- ties made available to those iri .: ities, peer-group leadership the Scouting program. So many :.. opportunities and a personal people in the ,community share :. exploration of career, hobby their time, knowledge and I.: and special interests, all financial support to teach Scouts about their hobby, pro:=: designed to achieve the Boy' fession or;skill- not forgetting Scouts of America's objectives those very dedicated individu..: of strengthening character, als who volunteer their time as I personal fitness and good citi'~ zenship. The national Scouting den, pack and troop leaders. It had been 20 years since I ..- Web site reports a membership i:;.-:;of 943,426Scouts and 543,971 traveled down that long, winding road at Topenebee. In that t~.. adult volunteers in 2005. , time, I always felt something ..;:= Scouting has, and always was missing in my life. will, need the support of the When I again stepped out of ~:.. communities it serves. Last ..:: year, the La Salle Council intro- the truck at Topenebee and :...- duced its Buy a Brick program looked around, I knew I had found it. that gives individuals the ": chance to be part 'of the legacy Again, I had a place that ~.. of Scouting. Engraved bricks needed me; I had a duty to fulfill, a debt to repay. The call of t:: may be purchased in honor~: memory of a present-former' Scouting had brought me home. :,. Scout, friend or loved one. In his youth, Woody Dresden := The bricks will be placed ..: around the flagpole at Camp was a member of Boy Scout Topenebee as an eternal memo- Troop 920.He obtained the rial. Proceeds from the sale of rank of Eagle Scout at the age ..:.. these bricks .(after material of 14 and Was involved in the '" expenses) WIll s.upport future Order oft~e Arrow. Today, he ~'


I:. I t

MoreaboutScouting . Tofind out moreinformation aboutthe Scoutingprogram,visit or call Dan Carpenterat (574) 289-0337,Ext. 307. Formoreinformationabout CampTopenebee,or the Buya Brickprogram,all CampRanger Skip Hartlineat 874-9455. AreaAdultScouterDanial Bolinger'isarchivingall information and memorabiliaabout Camp' Topenebee,to be preservedat the laPorteCountyHistoricalSociety. Anyonewith information,picturesor otherrelateditemsis encouraged to contacthimat Topenebee@,or call the campranger at 874-9455.




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volunteers his time to Scouting as a merit badge counselor and member of the Camp Topenebee property committee. DresdEmis a project manager for Garman Electric in Valparaiso, and is afreelance writer and photographer. Resourcecredits:,; www.Lasallecounci/; "History of CampTopenebee"by Michael Taylor. oi


Camp Topenebee Post Tribune Article  

Article from 2/18/2007 - Post Tribune

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