Black Mountain, North Carolina    

Lantern Review of Merri-Mac

Much has been made about the friendships that can be found at camp; how they endure for years, or how they form a separate but loyal group beyond the school crowd. It’s powerful, and for those girls who return each summer to Camp Merri-Mac, the same is true. They’re a happy bunch here, yet what also strikes you is just how grounded they seem here. All those pressures from the school year simply melt away in a culture of acceptance and youthful spirit.

The recipe for success of this camp has now spanned three generations, which speaks to the enduring values that Merri-Mac supports. And if a “recipe” implies something that’s carefully crafted, you’d be right. The leadership of Merri-Mac has welcomed countless girls to their extended family through a carefully thought out and delivered program.

Prior to camp, families are asked to select their eight preferred activities for the summer. It’s a wide-ranging program, and the little details that allow the campers to progress in each of them demonstrate how important the details are here. Yes, camp is fun, but it’s also an important and rare opportunity for a growth in character and spirit. Much of that growth is delivered through the progression in their daily activities. Two activities before lunch and two after anchor the daily routine, while evenings provide a window into larger camp community events.

The culture of Merri-Mac is certainly Christian, but it attracts families of all faiths. What the Christian heritage brings is a consistent commitment among the staff and a steadfast belief that each camper should be celebrated for her individual gifts. The girls are encouraged, even emboldened, to use their time at camp to truly discover what makes them unique and special. Every day, the cabin counselor meets with each camper to review their day, to help her assess what is, what could have been and what could be. These little moments of self-reflection are part of why the girls here feel known and confident.

The White Feather tradition is yet another example of what great camps do to recognize and celebrate camper achievement. Campers are awarded pins that they collect on a felt pennant. Each pin represents progress, whether it is achievement in a camp activity or in character. Why this tradition is so valued is because the campers value it, which can only happen if it represents actual achievement. It’s not a hollow promise, but a testimony to perseverance, growth and dedication.

You’ll love the smiling faces that greet you as you come into Camp Merri-Mac. And you’ll love even more the joyful, contagious singing coming from the dining hall each day. Girls can be themselves, and their spirited voices roll through the Carolina mountains each summer.

Fast Facts

  • Girls Only
  • Brother/Sister
  • 229 Campers per Session
  • 2 week, 4 week
  • Founded in 1945
  • $$$$

Director's Message

Girls need three things to be happy. They need to be a part of a community. We are made to live life together, which is why really nothing more fun than an unexpected friendship. Second, they need a sense of adventure. We are made to be challenged, to grow and to succeed. Third, girls need mentors. In camp this happens with college aged counselors who are close enough to their age that they can help their campers imagine what the next steps in their growth should be. Finally, girls need the opportunity to overcome adversity. This is where a single-gender camp can be especially helpful, because it is safe to fail when you are with your friends. This is what directors at great camps get to see every day - and there is nothing better

Program Highlights

  • 30 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Tripping
  • Waterfront

Top 5 Activities

  • Riding
  • Kayaking
  • Pottery
  • Climbing
  • Archery

Travel Information

Car, Plane Asheville Regional Airport Greenville/Spartanburg Intl.



(828) 669-8766

Adam Boyd