Camp Phillips was made possible through the generosity of Lewis E. Phillips, then head of National Pressure Cooker Co. (now National Presto Industries) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
In 1947, Judge Merrill Farr, a friend of L.E Phillips, took him fishing in Haugen, Wisconsin. While on that outing, Judge Farr took him on a tour of a nearby Boy Scout Camp, which unknown to L.E. Phillips was the purpose of the whole trip. What L.E Phillips saw that day became his own personal dream—to give the youth of today what he had been denied.
Within the following year L.E Phillips proposed to build a new Boy Scout Camp. It was determined that a site adjacent to Bear Lake, in Barron County, Wisconsin, would be purchased and gifted to the Chippewa Valley Council. An expression of the most sincere gratitude from the Chippewa Valley Council and families of all the boys participating in Scouts is owed to Mr. Phillips. By 1949, enough buildings and areas had been constructed to begin camping.
Camp Phillips was dedicated on June 22, 1952. It was hailed as a model for other camps in the nation and that description has stood the test of time. The reservation covers 1,400 acres, five lakes, and has beautiful pines and hardwoods. It provides an outdoor classroom that is unparalleled. The Chippewa Valley Council prides itself on the program and the site, and affectionately calls L.E. Phillips Scout Reservation “America's Premier Camp.”
In L.E. Phillips’ speech at the dedication of Camp Phillips he said “A man’s worldly goods are of little real value unless they contribute to the welfare and to the happiness of his fellow man.” Phillips said, “We must be mindful that all we have is but lent to us—and that the only way we can repay our debt to him who has given it is to give to others as we have received.”
L.E. Phillips’ commitment to philanthropy has left an amazing legacy for the youth of the Boy Scouts of America.