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Our philosophy

At Camp Carvela, we believe in the power of connection and the importance of inclusive, collaborative communities. 

Our unique philosophy and programming model emphasizes exploration and experiential learning while helping participants strengthen their connection to self, others, and the natural world..


5 core principles

We're committed to creating safe and meaningful experiences for all participants; we're guided by 5 core principles.

1 / Collaboration

We utilize 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

Our culture prioritizes encouragement and inclusion over competition. We 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."

3 / Unplugged Connection

We are an "unplugged community," meaning our camp is screen-free. We believe that disconnecting from the electronic world helps us reconnect with ourselves and with others in an authentic way.


Note: our staff is always equipped with a phone for safety purposes and emergency use.

4 / Free Time

We believe 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

Our culture is intentionally playful. We view play as a form of self-expression and create spaces in which participants can explore their creativity and joy.


Collaborative program design

Our approach to camp is different than most--our camp activities are designed and led by participants through a process we call "collaborative programming." 


With the guidance and support of our staff, participants have the opportunity to suggest ideas for new activities, organize group games, and lead their own programs. This unique kid-first approach to programming prompts participants to get creative, get out of their comfort zone, and practice their communication and leadership skills. It also means that two days at camp are ever alike; each session is as unique as the participants themselves!


Collaborative programming is grounded in the following beliefs:

Everyone is welcome

Camp is for everyone. Our community is gender-inclusive and welcoming to all. We emphasize inclusion, kindness, and respect in all that we do. 

Everyone is a leader

Leadership comes in many forms. Our community thrives when everyone can lead in way that embraces their unique skills and perspectives .

Everyone contributes

Collaboration is key. Our camp community succeeds when each individual participant feels heard and valued for their unique ideas, perspectives, and skills.

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