HISTORY OF CAMP FREELAND LESLIE
The Camp Freeland Leslie property was originally purchased in 1970 by the no longer existent DuPage Area Council. At the time, that council also owned and operated a summer camp at Wolf Lake, known as Northwoods Scout Reservation (NWSR), located just a few miles west of CFL. The current property was first used as a summer camp in 1972. The only buildings in the camp were the Troop Service building and the two cabins along the lake. The DuPage Area Council sold its other property at Wolf Lake, and in 1975, CFL was opened as the council’s sole summer camp operation. In 1992, the DuPage Area Council and the Two Rivers Council merged to form the current Three Fires Council. Camp Freeland Leslie has been the council’s premier summer camp ever since.
Over CFL’s 40 year history, countless changes and improvements have taken place. Many of these improvements have come through the hard work, planning, and fundraising by our Repair and Maintenance Committee (R & M), along with other dedicated staff and volunteer Scouters. Camp Freeland Leslie is being constantly updated to accommodate an evolving and dynamic Scouting program.
Beginning in 1975, the Staff Kitchen was built. The Wheeler Building, which currently serves as the Camp Office and Health Lodge, was opened in 1978. The C.O.P.E. Course and current Staff Site were constructed in 1985. In 1986, the Staff Shower building and Deicke Program Center were built. During the 1990’s, year round camping began at CFL and the Scoutcraft Shelter, Archery Shelter, several new staff cabins, the Boathouse, and Eagle’s Nest were built. In addition, the New Frontiers program area was added and the High Adventure Program began.
Beginning in 2000, development continued with new waterfront docks, new program storage sheds, and the remodeling of the Commissary and Trading Post. In 2002, the first Webelos Adventure Camp was held. 2006 saw the construction of a new Shower House and Ranger’s Workshop. In 2007, a handicap accessible campsite, Yorktown, was opened. Eagles Nest was rebuilt in 2008 and the Dining Pavilion was opened in 2009. During 2010, a new Shotgun Range and shelter was opened. In addition, the chapel was expanded. In recent years, four new staff cabins were built. New Frontiers was relocated and the shelters were completed. A metal working forge and some new campsite shelters were completed in 2013. In 2014, a walk-in freezer was installed outside the commissary, and a fishing dock was installed on Lake Emrick. In 2015, a skeet range was built and the archery range was relocated at shooting sports. In 2016, a jumping air pillow was installed in place of the flying squirrel event, the archery range shelter was completed by the Order of the Arrow, and the range offered additional programming such as sporting arrows, chalkball, and pistol shooting.