Spend a Spectacular Summer at Camp Carvela

Detroit Mom partnered with the amazing people at Camp Carvela to bring you this post. All opinions are our own.

When you think of summer camp you might have visions of packing up your belongings and heading somewhere that felt just a little far away. Spending a week or two with new friends swimming, making crafts, and sleeping in cabins. At Camp Carvela on Bass Lake in Traverse City, those nostalgic summer camp days are alive and well. You can rest assured that sending your kids to overnight camp at Camp Carvela will give them the most spectacular summer they’ve ever had.

About Camp Carvela

Camp Carvela is an all-gender overnight summer camp for ages 7-15 located in Traverse City, Michigan. Camp Carvela is part of Project Foxwood, an outdoor education collaborative that also includes Camp Lookout and Crystalaire Adventures. Its unique camper-led approach to programming gives kids the opportunity to design and lead camp activities, which makes it welcoming to campers of all interests. They are known for their small camp size — Camp Carvela’s sessions are capped at about 60 campers. This ensures the staff are able to form meaningful relationships with each camper and the campers are able to form a personal connection with everyone they choose.

Camp Carvela’s Philosophy

Camp Carvela’s philosophy is different from most; they prioritize creating a collaborative, inclusive camp community that prioritizes connection (between campers, with oneself, and with the natural world). They utilize five core principles to create a safe and meaningful experience for everyone:

  1. Collaboration: Camp Carvela utilizes a collaborative programming model that empowers participants to co-create their own experience. This model fosters strong communication skills, decision-making skills, and leadership skills while giving participants agency and independence.
  2. Non-Competitive Culture: Camp Carvela prioritizes encouragement and inclusion over competition. They utilize language and leadership practices that create supportive spaces for participants to try new things and take healthy social and physical risks free from judgement and the fear of “failure.” They love to play hard and have fun, but they place little to no emphasis on winning (i.e. no “color wars” or cabin competitions). Their programming and activities are inherently non-competitive and their programming is designed to foster playfulness and inclusion.
  3. Unplugged Connection: Campers and staff are screen and device-free throughout their time at camp. They find that campers and parents love this aspect of camp and find it offers a tons of benefits, even after kids return home.
  4. Free Time: Camp Carvela believes that unstructured time creates invaluable opportunities for creativity, communication, and connection. Participants have free time throughout each day to relax, explore, and play–alone or with others.
  5. Playfulness: Camp Carvela’s culture is intentionally playful. They view play as a form of self-expression and create spaces in which participants can explore their creativity and joy.

Camp Enrollment

Summer camp enrollment is happening now! Camp Carvela offers several options for campers beginning at three night mini sessions for newer campers, one and two week overnight camp options, and a teen leadership experience for ages 16-17. Spaces are filling quickly so head to their registration page for more details and to complete your registration.

To see even more summer camp options, be sure to check out our 2023 Detroit Mom-Approved Summer Camp Guide!


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