Camp Tecumseh History
Our traditions are ninety years in the making.
Camp Tecumseh YMCA was established in 1924 thanks to a concerted effort of the YMCA of Indiana and citizens of northern Indiana. Since then, it has grown into one of the finest YMCA camps in the country.
How it started
In 1922, the YMCA of Indiana sought to establish regional camps across the state. The citizens of Delphi, Indiana presented a petition asking that the Northern Indiana camp be placed at a site along a bend in the Tippecanoe River. The YMCA of Indiana pledged that if Delphi could provide $3,000 to purchase the land, they had a deal. In one day of fundraising, the citizens of Delphi met – and exceeded – their goal. Camp Tecumseh welcomed its first campers in 1924.
The Camp Tecumseh name
Before the facility opened, YMCA of Indiana held a “name-the-camp” contest. The grand prize was a free two-week stay at the new camp. Jack Fisher, an 11-year-old from Battle Ground, Indiana submitted “Camp Tecumseh.” The Shawnee Chief is closely associated with local history, including the Battle of Tippecanoe. Fisher won the contest and he attended the first session of camp held in 1924.
In 1924 cabins were not complete, so campers stayed in tents. Early Camp Tecumseh cabins were wood frames with canvas roofs and canvas sides. Eventually the canvas was replaced by wooden shutters, but the same basic cabin structures were used until they were replaced in 1979. One of these old cabins remains on the camp grounds as a historical monument.
In the early days, the hub of camp activities was along the Tippecanoe River. In 2004, Camp Tecumseh built new cabins, a new lodge, and a new chapel near Marsh Lake, a man-made lake created in 1991. This area of camp became known as Lake Village. The original central hub of camp is now referred to as River Village.