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Each year scores of new girls from all over the world join us at Camp Nakanawa for one of our sessions.  We hope you will decide that Camp Nakanawa should be a part of your summer too.  Nakanawa, a private summer camp for girls, is located high on the Cumberland Plateau, in Crossville, Tennessee.  At an elevation of 2,000 feet Nakanawa enjoys clean, fresh, mountain air, and an average summer temperature of 75 degrees.  The environment is ideal for days spent out of doors. Environmental Impact Statement

Through pictures, we can share a little of the outside of camp. Scenes of Lake Aloaloa, the 150 acre lake, which is the center of Nakanawa with Junior Camp on one side, Senior Camp set on the other shore. Scenes of the rolling fields and beautiful forest that make up the 1,000 acres for which Nakanawa is named.  Our buildings, the cabins, the facilities all of this is the outside of Nakanawa.  But seeing this does not show you the inside, the real heart of Nakanawa, the part that makes this camp different from the hundreds of other camps with sparkling lakes and beautiful grounds. So as you look at scenes of the external features of camp, we will try to share with you some  of the inner aspects that make Nakanawa so special. 

First, the unique people who make each season possible:  The Camp Directors, Ann & Pepe Perron, are dedicated to preserving the traditions of Nakanawa.  Ann, who was first a camper, then a counselor has spent over 35 summers at Nakanawa.  Together, Ann & Pepe work to ensure that Nakanawa remains a place of beauty and wholesome fun.  Working with them are the Counselors and Staff, college students and graduates, teachers and Moms, who come to be enriched through the experiences gained from working with young girls in such a beautiful, wholesome atmosphere.

Many of the counselors are former campers who hope to pass on to the girls they work with the love they have for Nakanawa.  This love has been passed on from counselor to camper from Mother to Daughter, for over half a century and this legacy of tradition is a very special part of Nakanawa.


In this world of rapid change and shifting values, Nakanawa holds solidly to the idea that what is simple and natural and wholesome will always be of value to  growing girls.  Nakanawa has remained over the years, a solid rock on which thousands of girls have anchored their values and beliefs.  We think we must be doing something right since Nakanawa has been of such great benefit to so many for over 80 summers.  There are many things about Nakanawa that are hard to fully explain. There are some things you will notice immediately as you watch the campers in their activity classes.  Classes are held on weekdays with one day set aside as Free Day.

Free Day means canoe trips, hikes, trail rides, or free time to relax or spend time on a favorite activity.  Weekends are reserved for competition and special events.  The daily activity schedule is built around 6 to 8 periods of classes.  Since camp is a time for trying out new sports and discovering new talents, as well as concentrating on favorite ones, we ensure that all campers take a full schedule of varied activities.  At Nakanawa, we value each girl for her character and her special talents, which is one reason why everyone wears blue shorts and white shirts.  This takes the emphasis away from physical  appearance and girls learn to focus on a person’s inner self.  There is no competition to out dress others because we all dress alike.  Also, there is a beautiful simplicity in needing only a trunk full of blues and whites for the summer.  Notice how happy all the girls look in class and how much they all seem to be enjoying themselves.  There are many reasons for these smiling faces!  A camper at Nakanawa has a wide range of activities to choose from so that every camper can find areas in which she can excel.

There are physical activities – some that take strength and speed (like swimming, tennis, and fencing), some only skill and practice (like archery, riflery, and golf). There are creative classes (like arts &      crafts, drama, and dance),the camaraderie of team – sports (such as soccer, softball, and war canoe),and the challenge of individual sports (such as diving, horseback riding, sailing or wall climbing) – truly something for everyone. 

We encourage the campers to set individual goals and work to improve.

We spend as much time with the rank beginner as with the expert.  At Nakanawa, we are really more interested in a camper putting forth her best effort rather than being the best in that activity.  We see classes as a way for girls to have great fun while learning confidence in herself, gaining patience, feeling the accomplishment of working at a goal, learning to face disappointment.  Each class is challenging and fun especially those in which a girl excels.  You’ll notice that the girls look exceptionally healthy. We go to great lengths to see that Nakanawa is a safe, healthy environment with infirmaries and nurses in both Senior and Junior Camp and with a resident physician. Medical attention is prompt and thorough.  With lots of physical activity and clean mountain air, sunshine, nutritious food, garden fresh vegetables and plenty of sleep, it is hard not to be healthy!  There is a special emphasis on posture and exercise and everyone at Nakanawa sits straight and stands tall.

From watching the girls in classes, you can also see that many have reached a high level of excellence in camp activities.  Each counselor is a skilled instructor who loves her sport, gives lots of encouragement, and is willing to spend many extra hours teaching and helping.  There is also a system of promotions and recognition, which are announced each week at a Council Ring Campfire, so campers have great incentive to improve.  When one camper reaches a goal, the entire camp is excited and proud for her!  Girls learn sports, skills, and talents at Nakanawa, which they will enjoy for a lifetime!

There is another important reason why campers want to do well in their activities aside from personal satisfaction.  Each girl is also working for her team.  The Spirit of Nakanawa really begins with the two teams.    On the very first night of camp, the excitement begins with Team Drawings.  Each new camper draws to see if she will be an Amazon or Valkyrie.   These have been the two teams at Nakanawa for over 80 years.  Many new campers have sisters, mothers, even grandmothers, who were Amazon or Valkyrie.

If so, they may choose to be on that same team.  But whether through family ties or fate, once a girl belongs to a team, it is not long before she really feels she belongs. The teams each have meetings at a special spot in the woods and they share a sisterhood based on years of traditions.  They learn to love their teams because they stand for ideals that  are beautiful and inspiring.  They grow in friendship with their teammates through the summer as they share in activities.  Competition at camp is based on these two teams.

Swimming meets, soccer games, tennis round robins, all match Amazon and Valkyrie. In Senior Camp, the girls are divided into two age groups, Intermediate: ages 13 & 14 and Senior: ages 15 – 17, and they compete within these age groups.

Everyone is a part of these events, if not competing, then just as importantly Cheering!  Then the teams work together to plan special events and parties  for the other team.  The Valkazon Party, Surprise Party, Wienie Roast, Valkyrie Vespers, the Banquet.  Much creativity and special planning go into these events and the real pleasure is in doing something for the other team.  At Nakanawa you feel a real spirit of friendly competition because it is based on a sincere love for one’s team for another.  Being on a team, teaches a camper the special feeling of belonging, of sharing with others in victory and defeat, striving together for common goals, in giving unselfishly.  But the friendship between Amazons and Valkyries teaches the real meaning of love and this bond between the tow teams is the heart of Nakanawa. Nakanawa offers two camping experiences, a Two Week and a Four Week Session, with identical camping philosophies.

Our Two Week Programs are divided into Junior Camp for girls 8 to 11, and Intermediate Camp for girls 12 to 14.  This is a great introduction to camping and to Nakanawa!  For many two week campers, this is their first time at a resident camp.  All Two Week campers take a full slate of classes in addition to enjoying special events such as an Overnight, the Cookout, and Activity Meets.  We focus on fun while stressing basic ideals and values.  We strive to help every girl gain self-confidence and high self esteem through her achievements.

On the last day of the Two Week Session, each camp presents a Musical for visiting parents and guests before the Final Awards Night.