Scouting at Crane Division
| Camping & Hiking | General Info
& Recreation | Facility Use Requests
||The Crane Division of the Naval Surface
Warfare Center is located in south-central Indiana on
approximately 64,000 acres of rolling countryside. Originally developed as a state park or
forest in the 1930s, the facility was commissioned as a Naval Ammunition Depot on 1
December 1941. The base was renamed for Commodore William Montgomery Crane, the first
chief of the Navy's Bureau of Ordnance.
During World War II,
Crane's mission was manufacture and storage of conventional ammunition, primarily shells
for Navy guns, bombs, and pyrotechnic devices. In the more than half century since the
war, Crane has evolved into a center of excellence for the engineering and development of
electronics and advanced technology weapons systems. However, conventional ammunition is
still made and stored on the base, and safety rules, particularly those relating to the
use of fire, are strictly enforced.
Crane's outer boundary is roughly 10 miles on a side, enclosing just
under 100 square miles of gently rolling, mostly wooded terrain. There are several bodies
of water on the base, the largest being 800-acre Lake Greenwood. Several miles of scenic
hiking trails lead from the Crane Natural Resources Center around the Lake. A Lake
Greenwood Trail brochure is available from the Natural Resources Center or the Crane
Public Affairs Office.
A much smaller lake is located next to Camp Oberlin, a campground
located on the northwest corner of the base (see map). The camp is available at no charge
to scout troops by request on a first-come, first-served basis. See Section II for
additional information about reserving Camp Oberlin.
The more than 50,000 acres of woodland at Crane are home to abundant
wildlife. There is a large deer herd, as well as coyotes, wild turkeys, Canada geese,
great blue herons, and bald eagles. Exhibits and information about Crane wildlife can be
found at the Natural Resources Center.
All scouting activities at Crane are coordinated through the
Division Public Affairs Office. The Division works closely with the Hoosier Trails
Council, Inc., White River Trails Boy Scout District, and the Tulip Trace Council of Girl
Scouts, Inc. For additional information not contained in this guide, please contact:
Boy Scouts of America
Hoosier Trails Council
2307 East Second Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
Girl Scouts of America
Tulip Trace Council
5488 East State Road 46
Bloomington, IN 47401
Public Affairs Office
Building 1, Code 052
300 Highway 361
Crane, IN 47522-5001
II: Camping and Hiking Facilities
||The eight camp sites at Camp Oberlin can
accommodate a maximum of nine persons each. Larger groups can be accommodated at the
Cranewood Picnic Grounds.
Each Camp Oberlin site has a fire
pit, water faucet (potable), fire barrel, and area for tents. Fires are authorized only
within the boundary of the approved fire pits. Care and extinguishing of fires will be in
accordance with scout policy. Each troop is required to provide a fire water bucket, which
must be placed next to the fire water barrel located next to each fire pit for the entire
period a troop occupies a camp site.
As mentioned above, maps and details of hiking trails are contained
in a separate brochure, "Lake Greenwood Trail." Trails with a variety of lengths
and terrain are available for hiking. It is very important that hikers stay on marked
trails. Due to the size of the base and the often rugged terrain, it is easy to become
Crane is home to several varieties of snakes. While most are
harmless, there are some poisonous varieties, such as rattlesnake, copperhead, and water
moccasin. Do not touch or try to pick up any snake and always look carefully before
stepping off the trail.
Hikers should stay together (no stragglers) and follow the
prearranged hike plan. The daily position of hikers will be kept by Security Department
patrols to ensure their safety. In case of emergency, Security officers will look for
hikers at the indicated location, so it is important that the Security Department be
notified of any changes to the hiking plan.
Portable toilets are provided at Camp Oberlin. However, toilet
facilities do not exist on the trail or at other camp sites on the base. Latrines must be
dug at least 100 feet from any road and 100 yards from any camp site. It is necessary that
each hiking group come equipped with at least one entrenching tool or camp shovel. All
camp sites must be left in a wilderness condition as outlined in the Scout Handbook.
III: General Information and Recreation
||Center Entry and Exit - All campers and hikers
must enter and exit via either Bloomington Gate (Gate 1) at the intersection of Indiana
highways 45 and 58 or Crane Gate (Gate 4) on Indiana highway 558 of US 231. Check-in and
check-out procedures are outlined in Section IV.
and Fire Prevention - The entire Division is patrolled by the Crane Security
Department. These officers wear badges and are dressed in dark blue uniforms. They
normally drive marked police vehicles with warning lights. In case of emergency, it is
necessary that all orders given by these officers be obeyed at once. They protect you and
In addition, Command Duty Officers (CDO's) of the base make periodic
tours. They will usually be dressed in military uniform and will identify themselves. Your
encampment will be checked each evening. Your cooperation is required.
Smoking is prohibited except in designated areas.
Possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages or controlled
substances is prohibited.
Fire water barrels will be filled by the Crane Fire Department. Lids
should remain on the barrels when not being used.
Emergency Communications - Campers and hikers can be
contacted in cases of extreme emergency by telephoning the Security Department
Communications Desk at 812-854-3300. If necessary, the Security Department will deliver a
message or transport the person to the Administration area of the base. The person will
not be returned to the camp site or the trail; therefore, arrangements can be made to pick
up the individual at the Administration area.
Lanterns and Stoves - Only electrical (battery operated)
lanterns are allowed on the trail. Coleman and kerosene lanterns and stoves are not
authorized. Only at Camp Oberlin are compressed gas (propane/butane) stoves and lanterns
Adult Supervision - A minimum of two leaders is required for
each hiking group of up to 18 scouts. The senior leader must be 21 years of age or older.
The assistants may be 18 years of age, or younger if they are life or eagle scouts. One
leader or assistant is required for each nine scouts.
At least one adult leader or assistant over 21 years of age must be
with the scouts for the entire hiking trip or camping period.
It will be the responsibility of the senior leader to provide a
first aid kit. With parent's permission, emergency treatment will be provided at the Crane
Dispensary and the patient transferred to civilian care (refer to Emergency
Medical Data Form).
Firewood - Cutting of dead, fallen trees for firewood is
permissible. The cutting or defacing of live tress is strictly prohibited.
Potable Water - Potable water spigots are located at each
Camp Oberlin campsite. Water is not available on the hiking trail.
Food - There are no facilities to purchase food on the base.
Hikers or campers should either bring sufficient food supplies for their stay, or make
prior arrangements to have them delivered. The Crane Public Affairs Office should be
notified in advance of such deliveries.
Swimming - Swimming is not authorized in any body of water on
Fishing and Boating - Scouts and adult leaders visiting the
Division are authorized to use boats and canoes on Lake Greenwood and to fish on any of
Crane's streams or lakes.
Miscellaneous - Scout groups wishing to participate in
activities other than camping or hiking should discuss them with the Public Affairs Office
prior to visiting the Division.
Facility Use Requests and Division Entry/Exit
||An Emergency Medical Data
Form, signed by a parent or guardian, is required for each visiting scout. Blank
forms are available from the Crane Public Affairs Office, or may be printed from this
Advance arrangements for Security, Fire Prevention, and
assured compliance with Scout regulations is essential. Therefore, visit requests should
be submitted a minimum of two weeks in advance. Visit requests may be submitted by mail to
the address in Section I above or by calling 812-854-6409.
An Indemnity Agreement (see form),
signed by the troop's adult leader, must be sent to the Public Affairs Office prior to the
visit. It may be mailed to the address in Section I above, or faxed to 812-854-4165.
Requests for the camping sites at Camp Oberlin will be taken on a
first-come, first-served basis. If capacity is reached for any particular date, no more
requests will approved.
On Arrival at Crane - A list of names of all adult leaders
and scouts should be given to the officer at the gate. This list will be maintained by the
Security Department until the scouts' departure. An Emergency Medical Data Form for each
scout, signed by parent or guardian, will also be given to the gate officer. The forms
will be delivered to the Crane Dispensary and kept on file for the length of the visit.
POC: Public Affairs
Last Modified: November 02, 1998