Illinois District Turners

The cultural aspect of Turner life is very important to us. Always playing a major roll within every Turner society since their beginnings in America, it has evolved into something quite American. Originally, the aim was to keep the German traditions alive and prepare for the day when the Turners would return and overthrow the barons they fled from in 1848. As time wore on, the Turners came to love their new country and the freedom it offered. They fought valiantly for their beliefs and their new country in the American Civil War, and the thought of return to Germany became more and more remote.

Some of the early society's buildings were financed by singing groups, performing public concerts as a means to raise money. There are still Turner societies that continue this tradition. Public speaking is encouraged for all ages in all societies, as is scholarship and craftsmanship. "A Sound Mind" is a very important half of the Turner Motto.

Cultural competitions are held annually on the local and regional levels and every four years at a National Festival. This includes fine art, paintings in watercolor, oil and acrylics, woodcarvings, both machine and hand-sewn items. Crafts of all kinds and every imaginable hobby that people could be involved in, doll collections, stamp and coin collections, etc. There is also a section for Performance Arts which includes singing, dancing and oratory.

District Cultural Competition




Please save the date for our District Cultural Competition.  This is open to all member, spouses and children of the Illinois District.

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Secret Library

The Turner Camp library has been in existence for decades, sometimes housed in the Office by the Rathskeller and sometimes in the Ladies Auxiliary clubhouse. However, in 2006, Susan Gille (Lincoln) and Cris Hueneke (Northwest) received the "green light" to house the library in one of the one-room Camp cottages. Donated bookcases and a paperback carousel were installed and well more than a thousand books were moved.

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District Baers


The Baers is a fraternal organization within the fraternal organization that is Turners. Originally developed to provide a venue for older Turners to continue their athletic endeavors after they had reached an age where they could no longer compete as Actives in their society and inter-society competitions, Baers have evolved to be an organization of importance throughout Turners.

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Ladies Auxilliery

The Illinois District Ladies Auxiliary
The Illinois District Ladies Auxiliary built their Club House  circa 1933.  Shortly thereafter, the front porch was added.  This porch was used on nice summer days for the ladies to gather and socialize.  They held many activities there, including Card Parties.

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