In 1959, a search began for a site for camping in Northern Illinois. One day, Morgan David, then pastor at First Baptist Church in Dixon, IL., had an appointment with his dentist, Dr. Curt Fisher, in Polo, IL. Dr. Fisher was a member of the church in Dixon. While chatting, David mentioned that the church’s Board was looking for a camping site. Afterward, when at lunch, Fisher mentioned the matter in the local café in Polo. As a result, five possible sites were identified.
A site that stood out was 160 acres which was south of White Pines State Park and owned by W. Floyd and Ann Stauffer. A Warranty Deed showed a price of $12,000 for the 1959 purchase. Fred Schwabenland loaned the $12,000 for the purchase after approval by the Illinois Baptist State Convention Board and Camp Board.
On Sunday, June 21, 1959, a Vesper Service was held on the unimproved camp ground. The Illinois Baptist State Convention President, Jed Johnson, presided over a service that featured Wes Holly, a country-western singer on TV Channel 6 in Rock Island, Illinois. The attendance showed the support of the churches. The money to pay for the camp grounds came from the selling of camp “shares” at $26 per share.
On November 2, 1959, the Camp Board chose the name Blackhawk Baptist Camp in recognition of the section of Illinois that had a significant relation to that name.