OVERVIEW: Indiana Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Indiana Humanities
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Nonprofits, Other Subject: Other, Varies Audience: All, Young Adult

Connecting nature with the literature of well-known Hoosier writers, Indiana Humanities celebrated the state’s bicentennial alongside the Pulitzer Prizes’ centennial with a series of 16 scholar-led hikes and excursions. The conversations explored how place inspired Indiana’s nature writers and the ways in which the richness of the state’s history can inform discussions about conservation, stewardship, and preserving a legacy for future generations of Hoosiers. Some participants hiked, biked and canoed around the state with literary notables guiding them, while others took advantage of “Trek and Talk Toolkits,” which included discussion guides, snacks, and patches for creating one’s own adventure. Next Indiana Campfires’ sojourns took place from May through September of 2016.

IN Quote 2In total, 17 treks were carried out including a model program during the National Humanities Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. Scholars were asked to pen recaps of their events and professional photographers captured photos from a number of the treks. More than 60 percent of people who attended Next Indiana Campfires had never before attended an Indiana Humanities event indicating the strong appeal of this program in generating new audiences. The council reported that more than 685 people attended the 18 events, and that they worked with more than 20 community partners and scholars. More than 650 toolkits were designed and distributed and 80 percent of participants said that the events gave them a greater appreciation of the role authors and poets had in helping Hoosiers connect with the environment.

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  • Antelope Island State Park (Utah)
  • Central Indiana Land Trust
  • Cope Environment Center
  • Eagle Creek Park
  • Eagle Creek Outfitters
  • Environmental Protection Agency – Urban Waterways Partnership, Northwest Indiana
  • Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site (Indiana State Museum)
  • Great Salt Lake Institute (Utah)
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • LaPorte County Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Marian University EcoLab
  • Merry Lea Environmental Education Center (Goshen College)
  • Morgan-Monroe State Forest
  • Northwest Indiana Paddling Association
  • Prophetstown State Park
  • Red-tail Land Conservancy
  • Syracuse-Wawasee Trails
  • Wesselman Nature Society


  • Randolph County, IN
  • Syracuse, IN
  • Chesterton, IN
  • Albion, IN
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • West Lafayette, IN
  • Muncie, IN
  • Centerville, IN
  • Michigan City, IN
  • Geneva, IN
  • Martinsville, IN

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