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The story of Camp Tosebo began in 1912 as a camp for boys only. Now, over a century later, Camp Tosebo is available year round for all to enjoy. Bring your family, friends or plan a corporate retreat, and enjoy the history that is Camp Tosebo. 

camp tosebo history

Founded by Noble Hill, Camp Tosebo was established in 1912 as a private summer camp for the Todd Seminary for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. The camp attracted boys from all over the country, and even though the Todd School was closed in 1953, the summer camp carried on with its eight-week summer program for another twenty-four years. 

The current owners continue to preserve the rich historical tradition of this camp by maintaining its original buildings and conserving the natural beauty of its surroundings. 

Your stay promises the tranquility and heritage of the past with the conveniences of today.



Back in 2001, a few Tosebo Alumni began corresponding and now there are over 270 alumni who have been located and are able to re-connect with old summer friends. An alumni website – - has been created. It features Then and Now pictures, Reunion Recaps, the Truck Restoration, and an ever expanding gallery of old camp photos.

All are welcome to take a look back into the 65 year history of Camp Tosebo.

Are you a former Tosebo camper?

Would you like to get in touch with other campers?

If so, visit our Alumni Website at 

or contact


The End of Summers, Camp and My Innocence

By Lawrence Meyer
The Washington Post

Renting a Piece of Vacation History

By Dianna Stampfler

Reprinted from Summer 2011 issue of Michigan HOME & Lifestyle Magazine.

Camp Toseo lake access

The Restored TOM THUMB Golf Course

 We are really excited to offer the restored TOM THUMB golf course for family fun. Nine holes with angle, obstacles, and an occasional leaf make the course fun for all ages. Putters and balls are supplied and we're sure you'll find TOM THUMB golf to be another fun opportunity at Camp Tosebo.

 In 1928 near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Garnet Carter decided to miniaturize the game of golf. His plan for a full size course was taking too long to build. He needed something to entertain his guests at the Fairyland Inn. He came up with the idea of miniature golf. The game became an immediate hit! Even serious golfers came out to play the game.

The game attracted so many people that the natural grass turf became bare. So Carter looked for a substitute. He had several processes patented. One of the processes was for the surfaces of his miniature golf putting surface. He used recycled cotton hulls, which were being processed in Chattanooga into cottonseed oil.

 Cottonseed oil was also hydrogenated and turned into Crisco brand shortening. Garnet took the byproduct of the Crisco process, mixed it with green paint, and rolled it out. Soon, thousands of TOM THUMB kits were sold all over the country and for about $3000 you could start your own business. Carter took the earnings from the miniature golf game and put the profits into a new tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain. That new attraction he called Rock City.

 Camp Tosebo's course was originally installed about 1930 in this same location. The signature hole for every TOM THUMB course is the hollow log on number 9. Today's course has the original log for you to putt through. Have fun and enjoy the challenge of TOM THUMB miniature golf.

Tom Thumb Mini Golf Camp Tosebo
Tom Thumb mini golf course Camp Tosebo

Did you know Camp Tosebo was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000?

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