Camp Adventure is an outdoor environmental education facility that has served Muncie and the surrounding communities since 1994. It is owned by the Muncie Optimist Club, and operated and maintained by Muncie Community Schools. Every year, MCS, as well as schools from surrounding county educational systems, send thousands of children from kindergarten through 12th grade to our outdoor facility. This partnership between public and non-profit entities has provided recreational and educational benefits to students, as well as the wider community.
Our Great Facilities
Camp Adventure is divided into five distinct areas: the low area, the pond and creek, the woods, the open field, and the Challenge Education course.
The low area is best suited for nature study, including: plant and animal identification, soil sampling, language arts activities, and fine arts and experiences.
The pond and creek areas are perfect for water studies of all kinds. Studies may be performed on, in, under, or around the water.
The wooded areas include a fifteen acre, non-accessible area that is separated from the reset of Adventure by Bell Creek. This area is being developed as a wildlife preserve with an interpret trail that will eventually be open to many different groups.
The open fields are in the process of being converted to natural prairie grass with native Indiana wildflowers and will be the future home of the Adventure Butterfly Garden.
Camp Adventure has been an integral part of the Muncie Boys & Girls Club since 1939. The original camp was located on a leased tract of land southeast of Muncie and was developed as a summer camp for the Boys Club. In 1949 the owner of this land decided to not renew his lease and members of the Optimist club then began a search of the Muncie area for a new campsite. They found a forty-one acre tract of land southwest of Muncie. They land was owned by George and Lois Piepho and they were glad to sell the land, knowing it would be the home of the new Camp Adventure.
Club members took on many fundraising projects to come up with the necessary funds of $4,000 to purchase this campsite. After buying the property, they immediately leased it to the Boys Club on a long-term lease for $1.00 per year.
The Optimist Club, along with Boys Club staff and members, began to clear the property. One half of the property was covered with weeds, and the other half with native woodland, which had never been disturbed to allow camping. The wooded area was left undisturbed, and after three years of clearing work, the opened area wad developed into a dining hall and an area camping area. Through the cooperation of labor unions and local building supply houses, this building was finished in 1954.
In 1958 the Optimists and the Boys Club received a $12,400 bequest from the estate of late Edward Blue. They money was used to excavate a mosquito-ridden marsh to create a lake. The Optimists named this body of water “Lake Henry” in honor of the past club president, Henry Biber. The Optimists recognized the great need for a bathhouse and restroom building for campers to use and built these both in 1961.
A log cabin lodge was built in 1974 that would sleep forty campers and was created in three sections. A professional mason was hired to caulk the interior of the log walls, but all other labor was performed by members of the Muncie Noon Optimist Club.
Throughout the following years, the building had major improvements such as a new kitchen stove, stainless-steel sink, and an exhaust fan installed. It was only possible by the credit and donated labor and material that came from local businesses and residents. Camp Adventure had become a household name in the Muncie community, and everyone knew it was being used for a good cause- to help children!
Muncie Optimist Club
Chartered in May 1928, Muncie Optimist Club was sponsored by the first optimist club in Indiana, the Indiana Optimist Club. In November 1921, a group of twenty interested businessmen met in the Hotel Roberts to organize Muncie’s first Optimist Club. The club decided to branch off from the Optimist International and continued to operate separately from the national organization.
Through the efforts of George Piepho, a local funeral director, the club was finally able to reorganize and become affiliated with Optimist International. The reorganized club’s charter was presented to Piepho by David C. Roberts. More than 300 people were in attendance at the charter party at the Roberts Hotel. At the reorganization, the club boasted a roster of sixty-five active members, plus a list of honorary members. The reorganized club has remained strong over the years, while being active in helping the community and children throughout the county.
Optimist International is an association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to “Bringing Out the Best in Kids.” Adult volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct positive service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. With their upbeat attitude, Optimist Club members help empower young people to be the best that they can be.
Each Optimist Club determines the needs of the young people in its community and conducts programs to meet those needs. Every year, Optimists conduct 65,000 service projects and serve well over six million young people.
The Optimist Creed
Promise Yourself …
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Optimist International Website