Boy Scout troops and the Central Indiana community have a lot to look forward to in the coming years with the upgrades planned at Camp Belzer on the northeast side.
Camp Belzer, the main camp in the Indianapolis area, will get a new maintenance facility and innovation center as part of a $7 million investment in improvements at the site. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2023, with the maintenance center being built first.
“It’s just a blessing,” said Nathan Williams, who’s the charter organizer for Troop 123 and also works with Troop 959, both of which are predominantly African American. “… This is gonna be a state-of-the-art type of facility.”
The innovation center will be 9,400 square feet, Williams said, with space for indoor archery, rock wall climbing, a ropes course and BB gun shooting, along with a convertible space for metal working and woodworking. There will also be a conference center with room for up to 150 people.
Camp Belzer has been primarily used for scouting, but the investment also comes with more access for members of the community to take advantage of the upgrades.
The site is especially important for the troops Williams has worked with over his 13 years as a volunteer. Kids from the city don’t often get a chance to climb a rock wall or practice indoor archery.
“That’ll be huge to have that available to us,” he said.
Troops 123 and 959 have produced seven Eagle Scouts over the last three years, including three whose proposals were approved in October.
“We’re rockin’ and rollin’ and setting some records and doing some wonderful things,” Williams said.
Camp Belzer, the flagship camp for Cub Scout Day in the summer, is where many local scouts get their first scouting experience. Victor George, the director of philanthropy for the Crossroads of America Council, called Camp Belzer the front door to youth scouting programs.
Once renovations are complete, George said the site will have a good balance of traditional scouting elements to go along with the upgrades.
“Camp Belzer is poised to become the gateway to scouting,” he said.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.