Camp Walden

Cheboygan, Michigan    

Lantern Review of Camp Walden

The many shapes and sizes of coed camps across the country demonstrate just how fun and powerful the experience can be. Here at Camp Walden, the coed program is as much about honoring tradition as it is about having a memorable summer. Within this culture, you’ll find an intentional focus on creating a supportive community based on positive interactions among campers and staff. To achieve this, they’ve created a set of guiding principles called TRUE, an acronym for, trust, respect, unity and empathy.

These four tenets form a framework through which they deliver their program. The campers enjoy a great deal of freedom in choosing their activities from a broad range of traditional camp options mixed with less traditional options like yoga, radio and gardening. Many of the programs are a mix of genders and ages, but the boys and girls campuses are separate and the dining hall has distinct boys’ and girls’ sides. There’s a subtle, implied message of trust of the campers, and that trust is enabled through a well-supervised program. More importantly, the trust reflects a caring culture that you often find in a family run camp.

Walden is a family legacy camp that embraces its roots in outdoor living. The campers are encouraged to explore overnight or multi-day canoeing and hiking trips in the scenic maple and beech forests of northern Michigan. It’s evident that an appreciation for the natural world is an important piece of the puzzle at Walden.

Perhaps the secret recipe to success here is their ability to retain key staff. Daily morning meetings among the directors and senior counselors help everyone keep a pulse on camp. Many of the senior counselors are educators and have been a part of Walden for twenty or more years. What this reveals is an inherent value on experience, which adds depth and continuity to a camp program.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 250 Campers per Session
  • 2-week, 3-week, 4-week, 7-week
  • Founded in 1959
  • $$$$

Director's Message

Hello, parents and prospective campers! Walden is a family-owned traditional summer camp boasting 56 years of tradition, 50+ activities, and a gorgeous Northern Michigan setting. We strive to make every camper feel like part of the Walden family by creating an environment where kids feel safe and valued as individuals. Walden is a place to make new friends, explore new interests and get to know yourself a little better--all while having the best summer ever!

Program Highlights

  • 50+ Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Tripping
  • Waterfront
  • Forest
  • Rural

Top 5 Activities

  • Waterski/Wakeboard
  • Soccer
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Horseback Riding
  • Tripping

Travel Information

Charter bus from/to suburban Detroit (First Session and Second Session); from/to suburban Cleveland (First Session); from/to Chicago (First Session) The closest international airport is Detroit Metropolitan (DTW), a four-hour drive. The closest regional airport is Pellston (PLN), which is 30 minutes from camp.


Camp Walden

(817) 923-9536

(248) 225-1256

Liz Stevens