Overnight Summer Camps for Metro Detroit Kids

Have your child start a new adventure with one of these overnight summer camps.

Instead of spending the summer perfecting the art of being a couch potato, overnight summer camps in Michigan give kids the opportunity to try out new activities — think archery, kayaking, rock-climbing, hiking and more.

Plus, there’s the opportunity to make new friends from across the state while enjoying all the fun that the outdoors can offer. The skills and memories campers will gain often stick with them for years to come, too — among the many other benefits of camp.

Looking for more summer camps? Check out our interactive map to find the best summer camps for Metro Detroit kids.

Featured Overnight Summer Camps for Metro Detroit Kids

In this section, Metro Parent’s advertising partners share their top summer camp offerings.

LTU Marburger STEM Center Summer Camps

LTU Marburger STEM Center Summer Camps
Photo Credit: LTU Marburger STEM Center Summer Camps

July 8-12, July 15-19, July 22-26, July 29-Aug 2, 2024

The Marburger STEM Center at LTU offers innovative academic camps for students interested in engineering, technology, design and science. Expert instructors will introduce you to the latest advancements in modern labs and studios on campus. It provides students an opportunity to explore their passion, hands-on experiences in STEM fields in state-of-the-art labs and studios with industry experts as well as faculty mentoring. 

Camp Carvela

Camp Carvela
Photo Credit: Camp Carvela

June 16-Aug. 16, 2024

Camp Carvela is a co-ed summer camp located in Traverse City, Michigan. They offer overnight camp for kids ages 7-17 and day camp for kids ages 7-13. Camp Carvela sits on 80 forested acres on the shores of Bass Lake, giving campers seemingly boundless space to adventure, build and create!  

No two days at Camp Carvela are ever the same, thanks to their unique way of doing things — campers help design and lead through daily activities. So, in addition to “regular” camp activities like swimming, canoeing and crafts, campers might find themselves on a dinosaur safari in the wilderness, building a transformer out of found objects or organizing a camp-wide music festival! There is no shortage of inspiration at Carvela and their staff work closely with campers to bring their most unique, wacky and wonderful activity ideas to life.

Their staff members hail from all over the U.S. and the world, creating a rich and unique community here at Camp Carvela that blends languages, traditions and cultures. Carvela prides themselves on hiring staff that prioritize safety, inclusion, playfulness and creativity. All of their staff are CPR and First Aid certified and participate in an extensive multi-week training before each summer begins.

YMCA Camp Nissokone

YMCA Camp Nissokone
Photo Credit: Ryan Mertz

June 16 – Aug. 18, 2024

YMCA Camp Nissokone Oscoda is located on 170 acres of spectacular lakefront near Lake Huron. Nissokone is best known for its sailing, horseback riding, Teen Leadership Development (Wi-LD) programs and family camps. Camp Nissokone has been Michigan’s premier northern adventure camp connecting youth, teens and families to the outdoors since 1914. Nissokone has over 100 years of experience helping campers discover self-confidence while celebrating new friendships and accomplishments. 

Our caring, responsible staff empowers campers to learn about the world, develop interpersonal skills and try new and creative activities, whether a child is spending the night away from home for the first time or a teen is building leadership skills year after year. Nissokone was featured in Outside as a “Top 10 Camp in the US for Outdoor Adventure.” YMCA Camp Nissokone is an ACA-accredited, licensed summer camp. Transportation is available weekly from Birmingham and Plymouth.

Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
Photo Credit: Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

June 17-July 12, 2024

Experience accelerated STE(A)M camps for students in grades 3-11. Topics include archaeology, anthropology, meteorology, art, pre-med, various mathematics, AI, engineering, various biological and physical sciences, and so much more.

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp
Photo Credit: Heidi Erne

June 26-Aug. 18, 2024 (four two-week sessions)

  • Address: 300 E. Crystal Lake Road, Twin Lake
  • Phone: 800-221-3796
  • Cost: $1,730-$1,830 (varies depending on major, significant scholarships available for any motivated student, discounts for siblings and enrolling in more than one session)
  • Best for ages: 11-18 (Grades 5-12)

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is a summer school of the arts serving students in Grades 5-12 through programs in music, art, theater, dance and writing. Blue Lake strives to maintain an atmosphere where students who want to learn may do so in an environment which encourages creativity and recognizes the importance of each individual. Students are accepted at whatever their proficiency level may be and are encouraged to grow. Faculty and staff strive to motivate campers and share with them the joy of achievement in the fine arts. Enthusiasm is contagious at Blue Lake as campers discover, learn, experience, and succeed.

Blue Lake’s mission to inspire young artists to achieve their best has not wavered since their first day of camp in 1966. Blue Lake offers a unique opportunity for students to look up, get inspired, and discover their potential as individuals and as musicians, dancers, writers, actors, and artists. It is their tradition. At Blue Lake, they celebrate creativity, artistry, personal growth, and fun, in a special place where you can be yourself and do what you love.

Blue Lake offers two-week sessions in band, orchestra, jazz, choir, theater, dance, art, creative writing, piano and harp. Blue Lake aims to take students at their current proficiency and help them reach the next level, regardless of their ability or experience. Programs are available for all levels, beginning to advanced. Enrollment is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is no audition required for acceptance. Substantial scholarships to assist with camp tuition are available for motivated students, based upon both merit and financial need.

A session at Blue Lake is filled with arts-focused inspiration, accomplishment, motivation and traditional camp fun. Campers spend approximately six hours a day in instructional activities relating to the major and minor of their choice. The day is complemented with recreation, free time, and evenings full of concerts and recitals, master classes and workshops, campfires and friends. Campers stay in rustic one-room cabins with ten other students, led by college-aged cabin counselors. 

Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp welcomes 4,000 campers a summer, led by an esteemed faculty of 175 arts professionals, specialists, college professors and secondary school instructors, with 200 college students ensuring camper care, safety and endless camp fun. Blue Lake’s campus is located on 1,600 acres of rustic wilderness near the Manistee National Forest in West Michigan. Blue Lake’s campgrounds are 3 hours from Detroit, 45 minutes from Grand Rapids, and 15 minutes from the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, White Lake area and Muskegon.

More Overnight Camps for Metro Detroit Kids

YMCA Camp Ohiyesa

June 10-Aug. 23, 2024

Camp Ohiyesa mixes tradition and innovation. With staff from all over the world, the experience includes plenty of fun and a strong emphasis on character building and cultural awareness. It’s close enough for southeast Michigan families but far enough removed from the city to have space to explore 300 acres of fields, forest, wetlands and lakes.

Black River Farm and Ranch

June 16-Aug. 17, 2024

Described as “paradise at the end of a dirt road,” this overnight camp for girls ages 6-16 focuses on horsemanship and includes riding lessons with the horses each morning. It’s been family-owned and operated since 1962. Other camp activities include swimming, kayaking, arts and crafts, archery, night activities and much more.

Camp Carvela

June 16-Aug. 16, 2024

This co-ed camp prides itself for being “unplugged.” The outdoor adventures range from scavenger hunts to real-life fort building in the woods to Voyageur canoe rides, paddle boarding, lake games, bird watching and bonfires. Kids get a chance to create and lead activities too.

Camp Lookout

June 16-Aug. 16, 2024

Nestled on a hilly peninsula, this vehicle-free retreat, accessible only by pontoon, is an Up-North gem. Catering to ages 7-17, it fosters a supportive, playful, and imaginative environment. Whether camping on Lake Michigan’s beach or in the woods, it empowers young minds to co-create memorable experiences.

Crystalaire Adventures

June 16-Aug. 18, 2024

Here, older kids learn to live and work together — and get a better sense of who they are. They’ll explore caverns, backpack North Manitou, basecamp at South Manitou and more. Exciting programs for middle schoolers, too. Ask about custom programs.

Camp AGQ through the Ann Arbor Y

June 16-Aug. 11, 2024

Camp AGQ, nestled in the scenic woods around Burt Lake, offers a unique sleepaway experience for kids ages 6-16. Campers can enhance their adventure with optional concentrations like sailing, horseback riding, water-skiing and climbing wall (additional cost). A Mini Camp is also available, providing a gentle introduction for youngsters ages 6-8 new to overnight stays.

Camp Sancta Maria

June 16-Aug. 17, 2024

This residential, Christian-based summer camp was founded in 1933 and offers 96 acres of natural wooded areas and single-gender stays so that campers get the most out of their experience. Find horseback riding, archery, swimming and canoeing in addition to games, campfires, treats, crafts and other traditional camping fun.

Camp Walden

June 17-Aug. 3, 2024

When campers are ready for that overnight trek, this up-north destination delivers 150 acres of virgin forest, sparkling waterfront, meadows, rolling hills and trails. Campers ages 7-16 go water skiing, tubing, sailing and paddle boarding on spring-fed Long Lake. Horseback riding and other athletics are also featured.

Van Buren Youth Camp

June 16-Aug. 9, 2024

Established in 1950, this overnight camp caters to Grades 1-12, offering traditional activities such as riflery, archery, canoeing, kayaking and crafts. The “Little Bear” program provides a shorter stay for the youngest campers (ages 6-8), easing them into the experience. Leadership training for teens and a financial assistance program are also available.

Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake

June 17-Aug 2, 2024

Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake has been servicing campers from Metro Detroit and beyond for nearly 100 years. Their camp is the perfect place for children and families to be celebrated for who they are, disconnect from screens, connect with nature and friends, have amazing adventures, and create lifelong memories.

YMCA Camp Copneconic

June 17-Aug. 23, 2024

Fantastic campfire songs are just the start with YMCA offering overnight camps. Campers take action-packed field trips, go ziplining, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing, plus enjoy weekly themes like searching for gold or building a time machine.

Want your summer camp featured in this story? Connect with us!

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Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn
Amanda Rahn is a freelance journalist, copy editor and proud Detroiter. She is a graduate of Wayne State University’s journalism school and of the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. Amanda is a lover of translated contemporary fiction, wines from Jura and her dog, Lottie.


  1. One of the best summer camps for kids is Little Bands Music in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Students learn guitar, piano, ukulele, bass, drums and voice. They build their own band and learn to play together, learn all of the parts and have a blast!
    Little bands music.com


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