The first camp at Quaker Haven was held in June, 1925. Sixty-three people attended, sleeping in tents. Aaron Napier, a New Castle, Indiana Friends pastor, was instrumental in the vision and the creation of the camp.
In the spring of 1927, construction on the Beulah Lodge began. The three story building housed dormitory space, class rooms, sun porch, kitchen and dining room, and crafts. Later, a boys dormitory and canteen were built to meet the shortage for sleeping space.
January of 1950 saw Western Yearly Meeting buying half interest in the camp. Indiana and Western Yearly Meetings have equal representation on the board and share equally in the management of Quaker Haven.
In the early 1950’s, twelve log cabins, bathhouses, and a chapel were constructed overlooking Dewart Lake. The board also purchased an additional 10 acres of farm and woodland making a total of 160 acres.
In the early 1970’s, with the help of dedicated volunteers, a year-round retreat facility was built sleeping 38 people. Then in 1972, a managers home was built, opening the way for the first year-round managers, Jerry and Letitia Dain, who were hired in 1976.
The mid and late seventies saw the construction of the RV area (40 campsites) with bathhouses, Quaker Hall (1979), dining for 200, recreation room, offices, souvenir store, crafts, and many other activities.
In the early 1980’s, George Fox Cottage was built, sleeping 10 for year-round use, new modern mens and womens bathhouses for the cabin areas were built, and, in 1989, construction started on the Hunt Lodge which sleeps 22 year-round. Oak Haven Lodge was added in 1996, with sleeping capacity at 27.With the Friendship Lodge, Fox Cottage, Hunt Lodge, and Oak Haven 100+ guests can be served in the winter months.
Quaker Haven, a camp for all seasons, continues to grow and has plans to meet the ever changing needs of those that attend now and in the future.
Quaker Haven Camp provides a natural retreat facility to support youth and family ministries of Western Yearly Meeting and Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends and the body of Christ.
Quaker Haven Camp was designed as a place to help people develop a closer relationship with God, to acquaint them with Jesus Christ, and to help them grow in Christian understanding through the framework of Quaker ideals and the Friends way.
The environment of the great outdoors, in the freedom of relaxation and retreat, encourages individuals to take a more introspective look at themselves in order to find meaningful relationships with other people and with God.
All people are welcome to come and enjoy what God has allowed us to have in order for our guests to find their own personal comfort and to grow in their own personal faith.
Who owns the camp?
Indiana and Western Yearly Meetings Religious Society of Friends (Quaker).
Who pays the bills?
The camp is responsible for paying all bills incurred by normal operations, however, these efforts are supported monetarily by Guest fees, Donations, Youth camps, and special Catering/Banquet services offered by the Quaker Haven Camp staff.
Are the buildings heated and do they have indoor plumbing?
Yes. Modern heating/AC and plumbing are available in all buildings except cabin areas.
Is your food normal camp food?
No way, our food is awesome! In fact, much of our food is created by and overseen by our talented Food Service Director, Jenny Shutters.
Who can use the camp?
We welcome all guests who want to rest and grow in the Lord. Quaker meetings are given preference, but the camp is open for all denominations.
Can we bring our pets?
According to State Board of Health, working pets are welcome (seeing eye and hearing dogs), but other pets must stay at home or at Westwind Kennels (located 1/4 mile north of camp – 574-834-1306).
Is the camp peaceful? What about smoking, alcohol, and radios?
The Quaker Haven staff works hard to see that the camp is pleasant and peaceful like its beautiful surroundings. Quaker Haven Camp is a smoking, alcohol, and drug-free campus. We ask that you also leave radios/stereos at home.
Are there snakes in the lake?
Like any natural lake, there are a few non-poisonous snakes in the lake. However, they are rarely ever seen and usually keep their distance from campers.
What do you do in the winter?
There are six full-time year-round staff here at the camp. During the winter we keep busy maintaining the grounds, cleaning buildings, preparing meals for winter retreats, hosting banquets, building projects, and catching up on other work that we don’t have time to do in the summer.
Who are Quakers?
The Quakers, or the Society of Friends, are a Christian Protestant denomination. The term “Quaker” refers to a member of the Religious Society of Friends. The term has 2 reputed origins. One refers to people “quaking” or trembling when feeling moved by the Holy Spirit to speak in Meetings for Worship. The other according to Elfrida Vipont Brown, came about when George Fox was arrested in Derby in October of 1650 and charged with blasphemy. Fox was questioned intermittently over an eight hour period and at one point told the magistrates to … “Tremble at the word of the Lord”. It was Justice Bennett who coined the name “Quakers” for the followers of George Fox.
What do Quakers believe?
Quakers believe in one holy, almighty, all-wise and eternal God, the Father, the Creator, and Preserver of all things. They believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord and Savior, by whom all things consist and in the Holy Spirit, preceding from the Father and the Son. These three are one in the eternal Godhead. They believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and strive for a simple and meaningful worship service. Generally, worship services or meetings are mildly ritualistic. A blend of singing, prayer, and preaching are in Quaker services in a way that combines good order and flexibility, making room for God to be our leader.
Do you have a church here?
Yes, Dewart Lake Community Friends (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) with Pastors Dan and Cara Burnham, meets in the log chapel (Aaron Napier Meetinghouse) year-round at 10:00 am every Sunday morning. During the summer, there is a boat-in service that meets on the lakefront at 8:30 am – 9:00 am. Sunday School is from 9:15 – 9:45 am.
What is the charge for life vests, canoes, and rowboats, sports equipment, etc.?
There is no extra charge for these items to registered guests staying with us, pricing available for single-day use