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The Waterfront

 Camp Carvela is located on Bass Lake, offering campers plenty of opportunities to swim, boat, and float all summer long! Our waterfront activities include canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, and more.


You'll often find us playing shallow water games along the shoreline, jumping off the dock, or navigating the many small islands that can be found throughout the lake. Campers especially love to explore the lake in our Voyageur canoe, which holds up to 15 paddlers at a time! 

All waterfront activities are overseen by trained lifeguards and follow all guard-to-camper ratios as required by the State of MichiganEvery camper is required to take a swimming test before participating in any waterfront activity and all campers must wear a provided life vest when boating or paddling, regardless of swimming ability.

Swimming Test

All campers will complete a swimming test after arriving at camp and before participating in any waterfront activities.  The goal of this test is to assess each camper's swimming ability as a "non-swimmer," a "shallow water swimmer," or a "deep water swimmer." 

Our lifeguards and waterfront staff keep a detailed record of campers' swimming abilities to ensure campers only participate in activities appropriate for their skill level.  All boating activities, including paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking, are open only to deep water swimmers.


If desired, campers can re-take their swimming test multiple times throughout their session.


Campers with no or little swimming experience who are not comfortable in the water and who are not able to fully submerge underwater

Shallow Water Swimmers

Campers with previous swimming experience who are comfortable in the water and are able to fully submerge underwater.


Deep Water Swimmers

Campers who can swim from the shoreline to the raft, climb aboard the raft, jump off, and then swim twice around two buoys (approximately 150 feet apart) and then tread water for 2 minutes. 

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