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Bradford Woods Today (1950-)

Within 14 years of John Bradford’s death, his hopes for his beloved estate had started to come true. In 1950, Dr. Reynold Carlson, a professor in Indiana University’s Recreation Department, worked with students to  develop a master plan for Bradford Woods to utilize the property as a camp for children with disabilities, and a recreation center for all of Indiana’s children.  Shortly after Bradford Woods became operational in 1953, the Outdoor Center began a relationship with the Riley Children’s Foundation (formerly the Riley Memorial Association) and became the official site for Riley Camp just two years later. In 1957, Bradford Woods forged a partnership with the Monroe County School Corporation (MCCSC) to host environmental education programs for all its fifth grade students.

Many other organizations enjoyed the Bradfords’ generous gift as well. The Campfire Girls and the Girl Scouts leased land to create Camp To-wa-ki and Camp Tulip Trace, now known as Krannert and Griffith Villages. The northern part of the property was leased to the Boy Scouts, and for 50 years was known as Camp Bradford. The American Camping Association moved their national headquarters to Bradford Woods in the late 1950s.