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Last modified: Friday, December 5, 2003

IU Trustees hear recommendations to keep Camp Brosius in operation

The Indiana University Board of Trustees on Dec. 5 heard recommendations of a task force, appointed in September by IU President Adam W. Herbert, that will allow Camp Brosius to continue operation as a family camp and academic instructional facility with certain stipulations and organizational changes. Herbert will implement those recommendations.

Among the recommendations is that IU retain the Camp Brosius property, managed until the end of next October by the IU Alumni Association (IUAA), as long as the facility can operate on a self-sustaining basis. Also, the task force recommended that the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis assume ongoing responsibility for operating the camp as it currently functions and that the IUAA provide transitional assistance to the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management during the 2004 season.

The task force stipulated that the fee structure used for the 2004 summer camp season be adjusted in such a way as to generate a 20 percent increase in revenue from family camp fees and that the 2004 season serve as a test to ensure that the market is solid. Further stipulations are that a feasibility study into a capital campaign for non-essential but desirable improvements to the camp be undertaken and that enhancements to the fire alarm system be installed.

Herbert appointed the task force after September's Board of Trustees meeting in response to the IUAA Board of Managers' decision that, because of financial concerns and staffing issues, it would not renew the association's lease to manage the camp when the lease expires on Oct. 31, 2004.

IUAA had operated Camp Brosius, located in Elkhart Lake, Wis., since 1974 as a camp for association member families. About 900 people use the camp each summer. Fee rates have not been increased for several years, and the camp operates at 90-95 percent occupancy. For most adults, a 20 percent fee increase would be $100 for one week.

Academic classes also are conducted there for students in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management. The school's majors in both physical education and tourism management programs receive academic credit for course work performed on-site at the beginning of each summer season.

After the lease decision, IU alumni who had used the camp for many years contacted the university to express concern about the camp's future. Without contributions from such alumni and friends of Camp Brosius, said Ken Beckley, IUAA president and chief operating officer, the camp would have operated with a negative cash flow in six of the past seven years. The IUAA also absorbed salaries and benefits of $51,000 in the last year for the portion of IUAA permanent staff involved in the camp's operation.