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IU’s Camp Brosius has been welcoming campers for nearly 100 years

Jul 17, 2018

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[Video: Sailboats on Lake Elkhart, Wisconsin, at Indiana University’s Camp Brosius. Blue skies and trees appear in the distance.]

[Words appear: Indiana University presents:]

[Words appear: Beautiful Lake Elkhart, Wisconsin,]

[Video: Sailboats on Lake Elkhart. Colorful lounge chairs line the shore.]

[Words appear: Indiana University presents:]

[Words appear: is where you’ll find IU’s scenic Camp Brosius.]

[Video: A Camp Brosius plaque that stands near the entrance of the camp.]

[Video: Camp Brosius guests are eating at picnic tables along the shore, near the main camp buildings. A sail boat is in the water. Colorful lounge chairs line the shore.]

[Video: Camp Brosius guests are eating at picnic tables along the shore. Trees line the picnic area. Sailboats are floating in the water.]

[Words appear: Operated by the School of Health & Human Sciences at IUPUI,]

[Video: Camp Brosius kids are playing in the lake. A few are standing on a dock getting ready to jump in the water. A camp counselor is there to help them swim.]

[Words appear: this family-friendly getaway,]

[Video: Camp guests are gathered near the main building for a meeting with camp counselors. All guests are sitting in chairs. The counselors are standing together as a group in front of the guests.]

[Words appear: combines a vacation with summer camp.]

[Video: A welcome sign displayed at Camp Brosius. It is a small bear carved out of wood, holding a sign that says ‘Welcome.’]

[Video: Camp Brosius kids are playing on a swing set near the guest cabins.]

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[Video: A family poses for a picture in front of one of the guest cottages at Camp Brosius.]

[Words appear: camp guests, which include several IU alums,]

[Video: Sailboats on Lake Elkhart, Wisconsin. A woman sits on a bench, looking outward on to the water.]

[Words appear: enjoy outdoor adventures such as]

[Video: A boy kayaks along Lake Elkhart. In the distance, another guest water bikes along the lake.]

[Words appear: sailing, kayaking, swimming and water polo.]

[Video: Two Camp Brosius kids sit on a green swing that has the word “Brosius” on it.]

[Video: A large group of camp counselors, all wearing purple polos and tan shorts, lead guests in a song.]

[Words appear: Several of Camp Brosius’ camp counselors are]

[Video: A group of Camp Brosius counselors pose for a photo with camp guests.]

[Words appear: IU students from all of the Indiana University campuses.]

[Video: Three girls pose for a picture on the playground at Camp Brosius.]

[Video: Two camp counselors lead an arts and crafts activity. The camp guests are sitting at a table working with glue, scissors, tape and markers.]

[Words appear: They lead guests in several activities, including]

[Video: Two camp counselors lead a hike with four young camp guests in the woods.]

[Words appear: tennis, archery, hiking and more.

[Video: A scenic view of the lake. Two cottages and sailboats are in the far distance.]

[Video: Sunset along the lake. The moon appears, as do the trees surrounding the lake in the distance.]

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[Video: Camp counselors lead a bonfire and cook s’mores with camp guests.]

[Words appear: camp fires, and, of course, s’mores.]

[Video: A close-up of the cottages at Camp Brosius. Volleyball nets and a basketball court appear in the front of the cottages.]

[Video: A lily pad near the lake.]

[Video: Sailboats on Lake Elkhart, Wisconsin.]

[Words appear: Who knew there was a little piece of IU]

[Video: Guests kayak, paddle board and water bike along Lake Elkhart.]

[Words appear: nestled in southeast Wisconsin.]

[Video: An empty chair and bench overlooking Lake Elkhart, with sailboats floating in the water.]

[Words appear: Indiana University]

[Words appear: Fulfilling the promise]


Indiana University’s Camp Brosius, set on the shores of Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin, has been welcoming campers for nearly a century. The resort combines vacation with a summer camp experience for the entire family.

As families arrive, they’re given a traditional Camp Brosius welcome: Camp counselors sing the IU and Camp Brosius songs.

The welcoming songs are part of the camp’s tradition, one that reflects a history dating back nearly 100 years. The Normal College of the American Gymnastic Union began offering physical education classes there for its students in 1921. In 1941, the Normal College merged with Indiana University, which took over management of the camp.

Now operated by the School of Health & Human Sciences at IUPUI, Camp Brosius offers what many might think of as a traditional summer camp experience, but with mom, dad and grandparents joining the fun.

Camp Brosius offers eight one-week vacations between mid-June and the first week of August. There’s also a family Labor Day Escape. Nearly 1,000 paying guests will visit Camp Brosius this summer. 

Archive photo of Camp Brosius in 1923
Camp Brosius in 1923.Photos courtesy of University Library Archives at IUPUI
An archival image of Camp Brosius from 1923

Most families spend a week at the all-inclusive destination, which is open to the public as well as to members of the IU community. Campers have a variety of lodging options, including lakefront cabins and cottages.

For many, making the annual summer trek to Camp Brosius has become a cherished tradition. One family, boasting five generations, shows up annually.

The week begins on Sundays, when guests check in with help from camp counselors, many of whom are IU students. Sunday evening, guests are served their first home-cooked buffet-style meal. Afterward, guests sing, interact, learn Elkhart Lake’s history and become acquainted during the opening campfire.

The next morning, guests experience another popular tradition at the breakfast buffet: Brosius eggs, which are eggs with cheese.

By day, kids and families engage in outdoor adventures, including sailing, paddling kayaks with glass bottoms and canoes, swimming, fishing, water polo and other activities like tennis, archery, bike riding and hiking. In the evening, guests enjoy campfires, movies and, of course, s’mores.

Elkhart Lake itself offers a unique feature. Because it is spring fed, the lake is crystal clear and turns a Caribbean shade of turquoise when the sun hits the water at the right angle.

People playing on the pier at Camp Brosius
Nearly 1,000 paying guests will visit Camp Brosius this summer.Photo courtesy of Camp Brosius

With age-appropriate, all-day children’s programs supervised by trained college students, mom and dad have time to relax and participate in as many – or as few – activities as they like.

A number of excursions are available nearby for adults, including the world-famous Road America, where camp guests can take in NASCAR, vintage, motorcycle or other competitive auto racing. Pete Dye-designed golf courses are nearby, and great hiking and geographical experiences are found in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine.

As the Travel Channel put it last year when it named Camp Brosius as one of the top five family camps, “For nearly 100 years, Camp Brosius has been creating outdoor adventures for families, so they definitely know what they are doing.”

While activities abound, Camp Brosius offers something else just as important: a refuge for busy families, offering them a chance to slow down, unplug and reconnect.

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