Indiana Humanities's award-winning Next Indiana Campfires program has always been about connecting nature and literature to spark conversations about Indiana’s future. But this year, as the
COVID-19 pandemic changes our daily lives and our communities, it’s about something more.

As we reinvent our favorite outdoor program for the age of social distancing there are many ways you can join us virtually. We’ve designed four ways to find renewal, refuge, relaxation or reflection in the weeks ahead: attending a virtual trek, watching or making a slow moment film, using our Campfires anthology to plan a hike and reading short essays by Indiana writers.

Meet us on the trail, virtually.

Join us for a one-of-a-kind Next Indiana Campfires experience. Through a mix of 360-degree videos and Zoom, we’ll “trek” along the White River and its tributaries. Along the way, we’ll read short texts and have conversations about the ways people have shaped the White River and how the river has in turn shaped the communities along it.

Note: If you’ve never been able to attend a trek like this because of accessibility issues, here’s your chance! 

Experience a “Slow Moment” in nature.

We’ve partnered with 12 Stars Media to produce a meditative, exploratory short film that takes you to a riparian woodland on an early spring day in Indiana. Whether on your own, with family and housemates sheltering in place with you, or with friends online, watch the film and use it as a springboard for thinking and conversation. Our website includes prompts and readings, as well as instructions for how to create your own “Slow Moment.”

Slip our Trail Companion into your backpack and head outdoors.

Next Indiana Campfires: A Trail Companion is a collection of some of our favorite readings from the Campfires series, along with a trail journal to record your thoughts and observations. Everyone who purchases the book this month will also receive a link to a second “Slow Moment” film shot in Meltzer Woods, a Shelby County old growth forest.

Read essays on renewal, refuge, relaxation or reflection

Each Monday in May we’ll feature a new short essay by an Indiana writer to help you connect with nature. Writers include Butler University’s Susan Neville and University of Indianapolis’s Kevin McKelvey. Be sure to follow along on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) as we theme each week around renewal, refuge, relaxation and reflection; you’ll find discussion prompts, literary quotes and more to help you think, read and talk until we can see you on the trail again.

Sign up for Next Indiana Campfires updates

Next Indiana Campfires is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. 

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