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How Camp Takimina Came to Be

The Camp Fire Girls organization began in 1910 in Maine and was the sister organization to Boy Scouts. Camp Fire was started in Columbia in 1919 by the first female graduate of the journalism school at the University of Missouri, according to oral history.  Although originally created for girls only, Camp Fire became co-ed in 1975.  

Camp Takimina (tock a meena) was purchased in two parcels: the first 30 acres in 1960 and 20 acres several years later. The lodge was designed by local Architect Hurst John and completed in 1968.   

In 2015, the Missouri Trails Council of Camp Fire was dissolved by the national Camp Fire office. It was the last Camp Fire council in Missouri. To ensure that Camp Takimina remained a community resource and a place for youth to learn about themselves, their community and Mother Earth, a non-profit group was formed, and they purchased the property.  Friends of Takimina was created and is managed by a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving Camp Takimina. Camp Fire alumni from all over the Midwest still visit.  

Through the years, Camp Takimina has been available for rentals by individuals, groups, and for special events.  The University of Missouri’s YMCA summer program, Camp Mudd, has had a long-standing partnership with Camp Takimina and has been using the property for many years.   

In August of 2020, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, City Garden School was looking for an alternative to indoor classrooms. The open air and natural distancing at Camp Takimina was a perfect solution and has since become a very symbiotic collaboration.  

As the last Camp Fire camp still located in Missouri, Friends of Takimina’s ownership meant that Camp Takimina could continue to honor the history and traditions of the 100+ year old organization.  They are honored to house relics and memories from other Camp Fire councils around Missouri.  Takimina’s history is also well-preserved through the names of different locations on site. 

Pieces of History

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It is an honor to be able to provide a second home to the relics and pieces of history from other Camp Fire Camps.

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The totem poles near the upper parking lot were relocated from Camp Shawnee in Parkville, Missouri, after the Heartland Council was dissolved and the camp was sold.

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There is an ember log buried at camp that was created and continued from Camp Fire ceremonials, council fires, and awards ceremonies from over the past 20 years.

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The symbolgrams painted on the wall in the lodge tell a story about the history and name of Camp Takimina.

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The Camp Fire Labyrinth displays the symbols of the Camp Fire Law.

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