Culver Summer Schools & Camps, est. 1902
Culver Summer Schools
All 1350 Campers gather in Eppley Auditorium to celebrate the start of another summer at Culver by hearing from the Woodcraft and Upper Camp regimental commanders, and by joining in the annual roll call of the states and countries represented in camp.
Independence Day Ceremony
Campers, staff and people from the local community gather at the Riding Hall Terrace each July 4th for a patriotic performance, presentation and salute of the Flags of the original 13 Colonies, the annual fireworks display, and a special appearance by General George Washington.
Members of the Naval Band, Concert Band and Jazz Band board the square rigged flagship of the Culver Summer Naval School fleet, the RH Ledbetter under the full moon to serenade town and lake residents and the traditional flotilla of boats, by playing old favorite tunes along the East and West shores of Lake Maxinkuckee. This tradition began in 1942 aboard the OW Fowler, the predecessor to the Ledbetter.
Garrison and Retreat Parades
Every Tuesday and Thursday in the Upper Camp and every Thursday in the Woodcraft Camp, campers perform a formal Retreat ceremony to officially mark the closing of the day. On Sundays, Woodcraft and Upper Camps join for the full Garrison Parade on the Riding Hall Terrace, all 1350 campers on review.
Naval Band plays Anchors Aweigh in Sally Port following Retreat and Parade
Following Retreat and Garrison Parades, the Naval Band marches to Sally Port, pauses and plays Anchors Aweigh to the delight of the children and adults who race to stand in Sally Port and literally "feel the beat".
Gold Star Chapel Ceremony – Final Sunday of Camp
To honor the Gold Star men of Culver, the Roll Call of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam
Upper Camp Troop and Girls' Hikes
The Summer School of Horsemanship and the girls enrolled in horsemanship take turns camping out in the tradition of the US Cavalry. Highlights include the ride to the camp site, living in old-fashioned Cavalry style tents, taking care of the horses in the field, cooking out, games and activities on horseback, campfires and sing-alongs.
Upper Camp First Class Sail
First Classmen from the Naval School, Troop, Aviation and Girls units sail "under the stars" one night a summer, enjoying the majestic night sky over Lake Maxinkuckee, a tradition of 60 summers or more.
Upper Camp Honor Organizations
Navy Drill Team
Air/Cav Drill Team
Girls Drill Team
Girls Honor Guard
Summer Mounted Drill Team
Upper Camp "Wherry Wednesday" and Surfboat Crew Races
Each Wednesday, campers from Naval Companies and Girls Decks compete in the Wherries, small row-boats unique to Culver, in the areas of sculling, push-pull, and single and double pulling. Each Friday, crews from the same groups row a half-mile or mile course in the Surfboats, 8 oarsmen and a coxswain in a tradition dating to the first summer of the Naval School in 1902.
Upper Camp Air/Cav Pegasus Drill and Challenge
The annual competition between the Troop and Aviation units includes a squad drill competition on the final Monday of camp viewed by the entire Upper Camp and a teamwork challenge course the following evening, both components of the annual Pegasus Award for the best unit in the Air/Cav Battalion.
Upper Camp Girls' Great Race
Girls Decks compete in a relay that incorporates signature strengths of the Culver Summer School for Girls-- teamwork, spirit, fun and purpose -- into a relay that includes each member of the Deck in Naval and athletic events, culminating in the each Deck singing their Deck song when their last runner arrives.
Upper Camp Naval School Communications Relay
The Communications Relay for the Naval Companies tests the skill of each group in the areas of Naval Competition: Code flags, semaphore and signaling, Wherries, surfboats, kayaks, sailing, and cryptography in an intense relay that involves every member of the Company and reaffirms the Culver focus on TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.
Upper Camp Tuxis Award program
The Tuxis system of awards was adapted from the YMCA in the very early years of the Culver Summer Schools. The program is based on individual initiative to challenge oneself to take advantage of all the major areas of Culver – military, athletic, academic and social. The individual earns points based on achievement in individual activities and team activities.
Woodcraft Council Fire
An experience of local northern Indiana native Americans presented in traditional dress, and dance. New story every week.
Woodcraft Pow Wow
A celebration of friendship and our Native American heritage mixed with the tradition of Woodcraft Camp. This celebration occurs on the last Monday of Woodcraft Camp.
Woodcraft Girls' Christmas in July
Gifts, music, decorations, trees, hayrides and so much fun! Santa comes to town for this very special annual Woodcraft Girl's only tradition.
Woodcraft Talent Show
Campers show off their musical, and theatrical talents to a packed house in Eppely auditorium. Singing acts, musical instruments, dance and skits have been enjoyed by our Woodcraft and Culver community.
Woodcraft River Trips
A traditional trip down the Tippecanoe River with a stop and sleepover at Beason Park. Older campers depart from Ora and younger campers from Tippy State Park.
A show and competition of military maneuvers led by our Military Director. Precision and confidence are prominent in this event.
Final Reveille by Naval Band
The Naval Band marches through the main campus playing Anchors Aweigh and their signature drum cadence to wake the Upper Campers on the final day of camp.
Final Ball and Officer's Figure
The Final Ball is the formal dance on the last evening of the Summer Camp session. The Officer's Figure is a traditional military "grand march" for Officers and dates.
The snack bar on campus where Upper Campers gather every day of the week, and Woodcrafters on weekends to socialize, play games, watch TV and have some of their favorite foods – hamburgers, fries, milk shakes! The current location below the Lay Dining Hall is decorated with Culver memorabilia. The first "Shack" was located in the Culver Inn near the site of the Huffington Library.