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Culver Summer Schools & Camps


Culver Summer Schools & Camps has been making memories for children ages 7-17 for 115 years. Located on Lake Maxinkuckee in northern Indiana, Culver hosts nearly 1,400 children from over 40 states and 42 countries. Over 65 electives are offered on Culver’s 1,800-acre campus including leadership, athletics, arts and crafts, fine arts, academics, nature courses, scouting, and aviation.

General Info:

Address: 1300 Academy Road #138
Website: http://culver.org/summer
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (574) 842-8300
Gender of Campers: Coed, Boys and Girls
Dates: Junior Woodcraft (ages 7-9): June 7-10, 2023
           Woodcraft Camp (ages 9-14): June 16- July 29, 2023
           Upper School (ages 14-17): June 16- July 29, 2023
Hours: 8:00 – 4:00 PM
Ages: 7-17 years old
Activities: Leadership, athletics, arts and crafts, fine arts, academics, nature courses, scouting, and aviation.

What makes your camp unique?

Culver blends ‘summer camp’ with unique opportunities throughout a campus that is outfitted with a 94-horse equestrian center, a 120-boat sailing fleet, and an aviation school, Culver’s structure allows campers to develop self-confidence while learning the value of self-discipline. They learn to overcome self-imposed limitations, improve their skills, and learn how to push for their personal best.

Culver parents have marveled at how their sons and daughters return home with a greater ability to cooperate and interact with others, achieving not only their own goals but the goals of their community. Campers at Culver have returned year after year to enjoy the summer of a lifetime.


What activities are offered at your camp?

Over 70 electives are offered on Culver’s 1,800-acre campus including horseback riding, the possibility of earning a US Sailing certification through Culver’s sailing program, athletics, arts and crafts, fine arts, academics, nature courses, scouting, and aviation. For a full list of activities, please visit the Electives pages on our website at https://www.culver.org/summer.

What is the camper-to-counselor ratio?

Culver hires nearly 450 seasonal staff every summer. In the Upper School (ages 14-17) we have roughly 10 campers to 1 counselor. In the Woodcraft Camp (ages 9-14) there are 12 campers per 1 cabin counselor. Including all summer staff members, the total ratio is 3 campers per 1 staff member.

How much time do the campers spend outside?

Campers spend most of their day outside, with the exception of some indoor classes and meal times.

Does the camp provide lunch/snacks or do parents need to provide them?

All meals are provided to campers through our two on-campus dining facilities.

What is the typical daily schedule for campers? 

Woodcraft Camp (9-14-year-olds): Every Monday through Friday, campers receive formal instruction during five 45-minute class periods; three classes in the morning and two classes in the afternoon. Classes are divided into three two-week trimesters. Weekday afternoons and evenings are filled with athletic, aquatic and unit activities.

Upper School (14-17-year-olds): On weekdays, students receive formal instruction during six 45-minute class periods (four classes in the morning; two in the afternoon). Students have more than 80 classes to choose from, ranging from algebra and public speaking to sailing and photography. Students have some mandatory classes, which depend on the school selected (Naval, Cavalry, Aviation or Girls). The majority of classes are two weeks in length, although some meet for all six weeks. This gives campers the opportunity to explore a multitude of interests and activities. Afternoons and evenings are typically devoted to intramural sports, with the occasional free time that allows students to take advantage of Culver’s facilities.

On weekends the combined Woodcraft and Upper School Garrison Parade starts at 7:00 pm on Saturday evenings. On the second and fourth weekends of camp, students may leave campus “on permit” with parents or authorized friends or adults. Students attend one of five religious or spiritual life services each week: Jewish Prayer, Islamic Studies, Constructive Meditation, Roman Catholic Mass, or Protestant Chapel.

How old are the counselors and how are they trained?

Culver Summer School & Camps employs 450 staff members from all over the world each summer with an annual staff retention rate of 65%. Staff members must be graduates of High School or equivalent, at least 18 years of age (at least 1 year of college is highly preferred).

We provide online training prior to arriving on campus for our week-long staff orientation. In-person during staff orientation week we provide training specific to their role on staff including opportunities for CPR/AED, first aid, lifeguard certifications, and more.

What accommodations are made for campers with special needs?

Culver Summer Schools & Camps admit students and campers of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the schools. They do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, disability, national, or ethnic origin in the administration of their educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

Culver Summer Schools & Camps admit young people who manifest mature, responsible, and self-disciplined behavior indicative of the ability to live independently, under adult supervision, in a boarding camp environment. Those accepted into Culver Summer Schools & Camps must be physically and emotionally able to participate in the active life of the camps.

Is this an overnight camp?


Overnight Camp Questions

What does the camper’s living situation look like?

For Upper School (ages 14-17), campers live in dormitories located on the main campus near Lake Maxinkuckee. There are a total of 9 boys units and 7 girls units, each with about 40 campers per unit.

For the Woodcraft Camp (ages 9-14), campers sleep in A-frame cabins that house up to 12 Woodcrafters and a counselor. Each camper has a center bin, wardrobe and athletic bin assigned to them for personal items. Each group of four or five cabins comprises a unit, which also includes a head counselor and two to three assistant counselors.

How do parents and campers communicate?

Parents are given contact information sheets at camp registration with the phone numbers of their child’s senior counselor. We currently have a no-electronics policy here at Culver, so the best point of contact throughout the summer is the senior counselor. Campers are encouraged to send letters to their family to share their summer experiences.

We also utilize an online photo gallery where our camp photographers post photos of campers in their daily activities.

How does your camp handle homesickness?

Missing family, pets and home is natural for campers who are away from home, sometimes for the first time. Our staff is trained to work with campers on their feelings of homesickness.

Every summer we have several campers who experience a short adjustment period at the beginning of camp. However, once they get into the routine, campers focus on the excitement of new friends, activities, and achievements. Parent support of this normal process is also critical to a camper’s success.

What are the meals like at camp?

Our dining hall facilities offer kid-friendly, well-balanced meals that can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions and preferences. Along with the main line, campers always have access to sandwich and salad bar options as well.

Can parents visit the camp?

On the second and fourth weekends of camp, students may leave campus “on permit” with parents or authorized friends, or adults. We currently do not offer overnight permits.

What percentage of campers return every year?

We currently have around a 65% retention rate for campers.

Is the schedule highly structured, or do kids have a lot of free choices?

The current daily schedule is highly structured, however, campers will have small amounts of free time throughout the day and on some evenings depending on the camp program they are enrolled in. Our activities directors set up social activities throughout the summer for campers to encourage engagement with their peers (dances, pool parties, free skates, etc.)

Is transportation available to and from camp?

We currently have designated travel dates for arrival and departures to and from camp. If using Culver’s provided transportation, families must travel on these specific dates. For an additional fee, we will provide bus transportation to and from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.


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