Originally conceived as a spa camp, CAMP DIVA was born out of tragedy when a five-year-old named Diva Mstadi Smith-Roane lost her life due to a firearm accident on
January 25, 2004. Though her time on Earth was short, Diva lived up to her name, which means "divine goddess." She loved unconditionally, was respectful, laughed a lot, had a
positive attitude, possessed a pure heart, and led by example. She greeted everyone with her big bright eyes, friendly smile, sweet gentle voice, and a sincere hug.
In remembrance of Miss Diva Mstadi Smith-Roane, with the cooperation of Clover Smith (Diva's mother), Angela Patton founded CAMP DIVA in summer 2004, allowing Diva's spirit to live on through others. It was a chance to give girls in need the support system Diva was blessed with, and a chance to develop, in them, the characteristics Diva
possessed, as well as those she didn't get the chance to possess. It was also a way for Clover to continue to give the motherly love and support she gave to Diva.
Since beginning in 2004, CAMP DIVA has expanded to offer several after school programs, three summer retreats, and other programs that extend the experience throughout the year. CAMP DIVA is a camp like no other, where girls see
what a true diva is and should be, contrasting the world's amended and varied definitions of a 'diva.' While we do offer many hands on and traditional summer camp activities such as sewing, cooking, art, swimming, dance, sports, and performing arts, we also provide unique and powerful experiences through non-traditional activities to include workshops on life and social skills, fitness and nutrition, manners and etiquette, as well as activities like journaling and goal setting, team work and sisterhood building, yoga and spa visits, field trips and overnight stays, community service and social change projects, and much more.
Our unique approach to empowering girls as they grow into young women is celebrated during an annual closing ceremony. The purpose of the ceremony is to acknowledge and celebrate girls' major transitions, prepare girls to continue their journey toward womanhood with us, and to mark the end of each summer retreat and program.
*The program's objectives are grounded in the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration honoring African heritage from December 26 to January 1.