Special postal souvenirs celebrate Woodcraft centennial

Special community events, such as the upcoming centennial celebration of the Culver Academies’ Woodcraft camp, can be commemorated by the U.S. Postal Service -- and local offices -- with a pictorial postmark. This unique philatelic item is available only at the event or by mail order and will be a great hit with participants who want a very special souvenir, according to Rhonda Anderson, of Culver's post office.

Pictorial postmarks may commemorate a wide variety of local events such as fairs, conventions, philatelic expositions, parades, art shows, historical building anniversaries, opening day ceremonies for local sports teams, anniversaries of schools, universities, states, towns, and more.

Approved pictorial postmarks are announced in the Postal Service’s biweekly Postal Bulletin, so collectors across the country and around the world may request the pictorial postmark, as well as, those who attend the event itself.

"Please visit me on Friday, July 20 or Saturday, July 21...at the guest registration site at Culver Academies," says Anderson. "The Postal Service will set up a temporary retail station to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Woodcraft camp. I will provide a special pictorial postmark each day when you present an addressed or unaddressed envelope, postal card, or other item with sufficient First Class Mail postage. I hope to see you there!"

The special postmark coincides with the Culver Summer Schools' homecoming-reunion weekend July 20 and 21, which is the culmination of the community-wide celebration of the launching of the Woodcraft camp in 1912, during which the public is welcome.

Other events include: "Totem of the Beaver" (the centennial pageant, to be held on the Academies football field, a special Friday night performance July 20 starting at 9:15 p.m. with awards followed by the show); the Lake Fest parade, when longtime Woodcraft Indian Lore director Dick Zimmerman will be parade marshal and 100 Council Fire dancers will perform during the parade, Saturday from 8 to 9 p.m., the Summer Schools Garrison Parade (at the Riding Hall terrace).

The Crisp Visual Arts Center, on the Academies campus, will open to the public Sundays in July from 1 to 5 p.m. for a special exhibit of Indian art (1800s to the present) as well as photography relating to the Indian chiefs who taught at the Woodcraft camp.

Special Saturday night Council Fires in honor of the centennial include: (July 7) "Nanibojou" (the puppet show: how dance came to the Indians); (July 14) "Pilgramage to Lake Maxinkuckee" (the three principal tribes in the Culver area); (July 28) "The Little White Beaver Saga" (how Little White Beaver is of service to his tribe). All Council Fires start at 9 p.m. Parking is available near the intersection of State Roads 10 and 117, or adjacent to Culver Academies' tennis complex.

A special exhibit on the famous founders of the camp, and on its history overall, is on display this summer at the Culver Academies Museum & Gift Shop, 102 S. Main Street in downtown Culver.