For all of us who have experienced the magic of Camp Brosius, we have something to celebrate when you think of how long the spirit has survived. For 100 years Camp Brosius has provided a constant grounding for families to unite and grow in an adventurous yet relaxing environment that rebuilds our composure annually to face another year of challenges. I am from the fourth generation of a family that has come to Camp Brosius for what we believe to be every year since 1921. Whether open or not, we put foot on the hallowed grounds every year. We anxiously wait and look forward to 2022 when we can be resting our heads back at camp.
Our family is draped in history at the camp. My father and grandfather were named Carl Brosius Sputh Sr. and Jr. after George Brosius the camp namesake. My father would tell the story of our grandfather negotiating with Herman Wells to make the Normal College and Camp Brosius a part of Indiana University in 1941. He told us they went to Butler University first and was turned down. Stecher Cottage was originally built by funds that my grandfather raised to have a place where the men could go and smoke in 1934. My how times have changed. We have generations of stories of which many have been lost in time, but each one of us carries our own memories that we cherish.
A few years back the family and their friends raised some funds to help renovate the Sputh Round House that was in need of major repairs. When I toured the staff quarters upstairs before the project started, I saw a board that my dad had signed and dated in 1928 when he was 12 years old. Right under it was the name Eric Sputh 1991. Eric had stayed in the Round House as a staff member. Camp has always been a part of our family. My siblings and I would attend the children’s camp for six weeks and then stay maybe another week or two in Rows End Cottage with family. In youth the lake occupied most of our summers. Most of the family consider Camp Brosius home and keeper of our family spirit.
Camp Brosius is different for every family in what it brings to them. For my family it is a time when we all reunite and become kids no matter how old we are. We love competition, we love having extended time with each other and unfortunately love playing practical jokes. Awaking at the crack of dawn for a flight home having a the sail from a sunfish blocking your door, having a cabin wrapped in saran wrap, glasses of water falling off a door on you, rubber snakes in the bed, squirt guns or water balloons flying in all directions, the pranks have been endless and the smiles and laughter refreshing.
One summer there was a pandemic of beds being short sheeted. We have a big family and no one was spared. All week it went on and no one had caught the culprit. Each bed in the pandemic was so neatly done that my wife, daughter and I came to the conclusion that it must have been my mother, because none of my other siblings or family members could ever make a bed neatly. So we plotted and executed a plan to short sheet my mother’s bed, who was 71 at the time. She loved it and it was a great laugh, but she was not the culprit. Confessing on the last night was brother Ted and his wife Chris all proud of their skullduggery.
100 years is special. I have watched my kids and my grandkids do the same things I did when I was at their age in the timeless setting of Camp Brosius just as my father and grandfather did with us. Our family is spread all over the country, Camp Brosius has been a glue for six generations. It has kept us close and taught us all how important the roots, values and the traditions of family are in the frame work of our lives. On behalf of the entire Sputh Family and our friends who join us each year, we salute all those who have kept the traditions and spirit of this magical place in tact through the years. We celebrate 100 years of Camp Brosius and pray that the joy of this special place continues for eternity.
Sputh Family and Friends