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Indiana Humanities’ award-winning Campfires program pairs nature and literature to spark conversations about Indiana’s future. Something about the combination of wild places, great writing, a warm campfire and cold beer gets Hoosiers talking in fresh and surprising ways about the world around us and our place in it.

Over the years, we’ve taken Hoosiers on indelible hikes and paddling trips, sponsored the creation of original films about Indiana waterways and published an anthology of our favorite Hoosier environmental writing.

Program Details

Upcoming Treks

May 7 | Cope Environmental Center
Centerville | Tickets

Join us for a trek through forests, grasslands, wetlands, prairies and ponds starting at Cope Environmental Center in Centerville!

June 18 | Hazel Landing to Oliver’s WoodsHamilton County (float trip) | TICKETS

We’ll paddle through a portion of northeast Indianapolis as we explore a popular spot from a new angle and consider the ways we can continue working to preserve this beautiful area.

July 23 | Blatchley Nature Study ClubNoblesville | TICKETS

Discover new connections on a flora-filled walk on this private nature preserve where Fox Prairie Creek joins the White River. We’ll walk boardwalks and hike up and down a few hills as we consider the ways watersheds tie us to Hoosiers near and far.

July 30 | Seidner Dune & SwaleHammond | TICKETS

Lace up your boots and hike through the Grand Calumet River Conservation Area (beginning at Seidner Dune & Swale Nature Preserve) with The Nature Conservancy. The trail traverses a mosaic of habitats, including a globally rare natural community known as dune and swale.

July 30 | En la reserva natural Seidner Dune & Swale
Hammond | ENTRADAS

Súmate a una excursión en Indiana nororiental por la ribera del río Calumet. Vamos a hacer senderismo por la zona de conservación del río Grand Calumet con The Nature Conservancy. En el sendero atravesaremos una panoplia de hábitats, en particular un hábitat muy raro a nivel mundial llamado duna y paular. Durante el camino observaremos una flora y fauna increíblemente diversa.

August 13 | Flatwoods ParkGosport (accessible trek) | TICKETS

Join us for a trek through Flatwoods Park, Monroe County’s largest park, to read, think and talk about trees. Led by naturalist Autumn Brunelle, we’ll learn to identify several species of trees while reading passages that encourage us to learn from trees and what they can teach us about ourselves and our environments.

September 17 | Blue RiverCorydon (paddling trip) | TICKETS

Don a life vest for an excursion through southern Indiana on the Blue River! The Corydon region is loaded with early Indiana history, and we’re excited to paddle through the area as we consider the ways that this winding path has influenced naturalists, artists, and other Hoosiers.

Past Treks

Originally called Next Indiana Campfires, this program was created in 2016 to help celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial. Since then, we’ve checked off some of our bucket-list experiences around the state. Here are the wild places we’ve explored so far (links take you to blog posts about the experiences):

#INSlowMoments

During this unprecedented time, it can be difficult to take time for ourselves, to slow down and to find joy in the small constants in life. So we’re encouraging you to pause and connect with the Indiana landscapes that have inspired generations of Hoosiers.

We’re excited to share Campfires: Slow Moments, a program that encourages Hoosiers like you to slow down and appreciate the beauty Indiana has to offer.

To participate:

  1. Go to your favorite Indiana nature spot. Bring your picnic blanket, pup or pent-up children. Stay for a while. Look. Listen. Scout the area for the best filming location.
  2. After finding your scenic spot, take a minute-long slow video. Capture the sights and sounds. Stay in the moment—don’t worry about production value.
  3. Make sure you save the video to your camera roll. You’re in luck—slow videos don’t need to be edited or cut.
  4. Post your slow video to Instagram, tagging @INHumanities and using #INSlowMoments. Share where you filmed your video, if you’d like, or keep your special Indiana spot a secret.

Create a Slow Moment

Program Highlights

Book

Next Indiana Campfires: A Trail Companion

Next Indiana Campfires: A Trail Companion is a collection of 30 of our favorite readings from the Campfires series, along with a trail journal to record your thoughts and observations. This one-of-a-kind anthology is the perfect addition to your backpack. Get your copy today.

Get your copy
Film

White River Films

In 2019 the Campfires program focused on the White River watershed and the larger question of how Hoosiers relate to water. To explore these connections further, we funded the creation of three short films about the White River.

Watch the films
Video

Slow Moments

Like our Campfires series, our meditative Slow Moments films use excerpts from Indiana writers to encourage connections between nature and literature and to spark conversations about Indiana’s future.

Immerse yourself

Partners and Funders

  • Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust
  • Upland Brewing Co.
  • Partners for the White River

Questions?

Contact Sam Opsahl, Program Associate:
sopsahl@indianahumanities.org | 317.616.3641

Explore our other programs