Dear Kickapoo Parents,
Welcome to Kickapoo Kamp! We are excited that you have chosen to join our kamp family. Whether this is your daughter’s first or fifth summer at Kickapoo, we look forward to sharing a fun-filled time together. Each summer our kampers enjoy making new friends, reuniting with old friends, and feeling a part of our kamp family!
The purpose of the parent information section of our website is to help you prepare for kamp. We encourage parents of new and returning kampers to use the information in the pages that follow as a valuable resource.
To accomplish our goals, we need the support of both kampers and parents. The easiest and most important way that you can help to foster the Kickapoo community is by adhering to our rules and policies while ensuring that your kamper understands them as well.
We thank you in advance for your assistance. We are available to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re looking forward to another great summer at Kickapoo.
The camp experience is known to add to a child’s self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. Children who attend residential summer camps develop the skills to help them adjust to college life and work as a member of a team in the workforce, while having fun. Kickapoo is proud of the kamp experience that we provide for girls.
Our history and our smaller size set us apart from other private girls’ camps. Limiting our enrollment to about 110 kampers allows us to emphasize the "family" atmosphere we feel is so important. All kampers, from age 6 to 17 know each other and all the counselors by name. Our evening activities are all-kamp activities, so all ages participate together. Relationships develop among girls of all ages, not just within the kamper's own age group.
We strive to hire counselors who are wholesome role models and are dedicated to children. Over 20 activities both challenge and interest kampers. Kickapoo is a place with well-maintained facilities, exciting programs, delicious home-cooked meals, and a family environment conducive to a fun-filled, learning camp experience.
Kickapoo is licensed by the State of Texas, which inspects each camp annually for compliance with the strict code of standards for Texas camps. Kickapoo is also an active member in the state camping association, Camping Association for Mutual Progress (C.A.M.P.).
Since 1925, generations of families have enjoyed the traditions and shared the memories of their summers spent at Kickapoo Kamp. This tradition has been carried on by three generations of the Ford-Findlay family who are genuinely committed to a quality camp experience for girls.
In choosing the term for your daughter, it is important to keep your family’s long-term plans in mind. Give careful consideration to the time of summer that will work best for your family as well as the goals that you have for your daughter(s) in sending her to camp. Selecting the right term is important and is easier if you understand the commonalities and differences among our terms.
If you find there is something we haven't covered or that you have a question about, please call us any time and we'll be delighted to help you. All of the sessions will include... participation in tribe activities and tribal competition, as well as fun evening programs and themed parties. Every day except Sunday, there are five activity periods that the girls sign up for on the first full day of kamp. Every kamper takes swimming and riding every day and 6 other activities every other day. If a kamper doesn’t want to take riding, she may choose two additional activities. There are many to choose from, and each girl has the opportunity to choose according to her interests.
The three-week session provides kampers the opportunity to get anything and everything they want out of kamp and is ideal for both returning and beginner kampers who want the authentic kamp experience. Three-week kampers have more time to improve their skills in activities, participate in all of our themed evening programs, and spend a longer period of time making and maintaining friendships with their cabin mates, tribe members, and other kampers. Only three-week kampers can qualify for our Horseshoe Club and our Turtle Club, and earn two activity charms each summer. Of course, three-week kampers enjoy all of the kamp traditions, including the traditional end-of-term banquet & talent show, and the blanket ceremony in which the winning tribe is announced at a beautiful campfire ceremony.
Two weeks is an ideal choice for girls who want the authentic kamp experience, but have other sports camp, music camp or travel opportunities that make a three-week term more difficult to schedule.
We have two types of two-week terms. Our first term of the summer is a two-week term in which ALL kampers stay for the two-week term. Term 1 is ideal for families who feel that 2 weeks is a length of term that will fit their schedule and budget for many years. Term 1 is for all kampers, ages 6-16. While Term 1 kampers miss out on a few evening activities, the two-week kampers who attend Term 1 have an opportunity to run for a variety of tribe officer positions, and also get to experience the traditional end-of-term banquet & talent show, and the blanket ceremony in which the winning tribe is announced at a beautiful campfire ceremony.
We also have 2 two-week terms nested within our three-week terms. Within terms 2 and 3, our 3-week terms, we reserve 3-4 cabins exclusively for our one-week/ two-week kampers. These terms are ideal for kampers who are not quite ready for three weeks, but want to transition into a three-week term when they are older. The two-week kampers arrive for the last two weeks of the three-week term, after the one-week kampers leave, so they get to experience the end-of-term banquet, talent show, and the beautiful campfire blanket ceremony.
Once a kamper finishes 7th grade or turns 13, they may no longer attend our two-week term within our three-week terms. These kampers generally transition into a three-week term by the time they are 11-13.
Our one-week term is a short introductory term for younger kampers who want to experience kamp life. Within our 3-week term, we reserve 3-4 cabins exclusively for our one-week/ two-week kampers. This “taste of kamp” is lots of fun. The one-week term is ideal for girls who have not yet been to sleep-a-way camp or are not ready for a longer stay at kamp and may want to transition into a two or three-week term in the future.
When they do return for a two or three-week term, they will get to experience our end-of-term traditions such as Banquet, Wishboats, Blanket Ceremony, and awarding of trophies for many of our activities and Honor Camper.
One-week kampers get to participate in classes alongside other one week and three-week kampers and get to experience night activities, tribal competition and themed parties at kamp as well. There are a few tribe offices reserved for one-week kampers.
On opening day of each three-week term, our three-week and our one-week kampers arrive. Our one-week kampers stay until Sunday afternoon, when we have a small awards ceremony and a rotation that allows parents to observe their daughters participating in some of our activities before their departure. All of our one-week kampers are under 13 years of age, and the vast majority of our one-week kampers come back the next summer for a two or three-week term. Because of the brevity of the one-week term and the fact that one-week kampers do not get to experience our end of term traditions, the one-week term is not included when determining our awards for terms attended.
Kickapoo has several families who take advantage of the positive environment at kamp and enroll their daughter/daughters for five or six weeks. Twice the amount of time means twice the friends and twice the fun!! A few kampers like to attend the two-week term at the first of the summer and return for three weeks during the last of July.
If your daughter stays for two terms, there are some things that you should keep in mind as you make your plans for the time span between consecutive terms.
After our award ceremony at the end of the first term, you will take your daughter with you for some family time in the area. You may take her laundry with you if you wish to do it yourselves, or you may leave it in the designated location, and we will send it into town with the counselors’ laundry. Rather than waiting in line on Monday, you may bring your daughter back on Monday morning any time after 7am. Just let us know what time you expect to return and check in at the office when you arrive back at kamp. When your daughter arrives, she will draw for her bunk and will be able to move to her new cabin.
At Kickapoo Kamp, we dine in a family style atmosphere. Our cooks work hard to prepare well-balanced kid-friendly meals. We do not profess to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian. We strive to have more than one source of protein at each meal.
If your daughter has special dietary needs, which are supported by a physician’s examination, you will need to call the director, Laura Hodges, to discuss the details. If we cannot accommodate your daughter’s needs, we would recommend that you look for a camp that serves buffet style meals.
We are very excited about our partnership with CampMinder. Utilizing this system makes it easier for parents to access information and keep up with many of the tasks associated with sending their daughter to kamp.
Through your Parent Account you can:
You set up the parent account when you completed the application process. You can access your account through the Parent Login on the home page of our website.
Once logged in, you will see a variety of options available through your new account:
With over 80 years of experience, we've learned a few things about homesickness:
The best ways to prevent homesickness:
While your child is at camp: (There is more specific information about dealing with significant homesickness later in this document, in the section “Keeping in Touch.”)
Sending your daughter to camp for the first time can be difficult for both the parent and the child. In order to ease the transition, we would like to pass along some tips that professionals as well as veteran kamp families have shared with us. The more that your daughter knows about what to expect, the less nervous she (and you) will feel about coming to Kickapoo.
All Laundry Bags must be clearly labeled with the kamper’s first and last name. Two and Three-week kampers send laundry each Monday morning. On Sunday during Rest Hour, our kampers change their sheets and prepare their dirty sheets, towels, and clothing for the laundry. The cabin kounselors supervise and assist as needed. Each girl is given 2 copies of a laundry slip where she records the items that she is sending to the laundry. Each kamper will turn in two copies of the slip to her kounselor. One copy is to remain in the cabin, and one copy is turned in for office records. On Monday morning, the girls carry their laundry to the activity shed where it is picked up by a commercial laundry service. The clothes are washed, folded, and shrink-wrapped, and returned to kamp that afternoon.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a commercial laundry service, and while they do a great job, items that are sentimental or special should not be sent.
Uniforms: Kickapoo Kamp does require a special camp uniform for Sundays and closing activities. We want Sundays to be different from other days, so campers wear green camp shorts with a camp T-shirt. They are ordered prior to May 1 and are paid for separately. The uniform order form is located in the Forms an Documents section of your CampInTouch parent account.
Trunks: Do not bring over-sized trunks. Standard trunks or footlockers (about 13” high, 36” in length) will be allowed in cabins. Others must be stored. Bring musical instruments, radios, CD/MP3 players, costumes, special attire for our parties, or anything you think might add to your comfort or to the attractiveness of your cabin. One large fan is furnished for each cabin. In the interest of safety, no irons are permitted in camp.
Book Donation: For many years it has been the custom of each camper and counselor to bring one good book for the camp library. This is not required, but if you do bring a book, please Write your name and date in the book.
Valuables: Campers are requested to leave valuables at home. They are not needed at camp, and the camp cannot be responsible for any items left or lost by campers.
Packing List: Below is a suggested list of needed clothing and equipment at kamp.
This list is appropriate for a 2 or 3 week stay. One week campers can adjust quantities accordingly. All belongings should be well-marked.
Aerosol spray cans of insect repellant are not allowed in the cabins. We recommend insect repellant wipes.
(They will be confiscated and due to lack of storage space, will not be returned, except for expensive items such as cell phones and iPods)
A note about electronics: We want the girls to be able to listen to appropriate music in the cabin. We know that electronic MP3 devices and personal game players have a place at rest hour. We are asking that you not send personal DVD players or bring movies for electronic devices such as PSP and that you take all videos off of your MP3 players. In addition, any device with internet access or the ability to chat across the room, such as I-touch or Nintendo DS, is also prohibited. It is impossible for us to keep up with all of the technology that comes out, but suffice it to say that we want you to have the ability to listen to music and play a personal game, but anything else is not allowed. Kamp is a great time to get away from the world of technology. Having a cell-phone at kamp is grounds for being sent home.
Please understand that it is not possible for us to list every item that may create a problem or has the potential to cause property damage. The final decision about the suitability of an item lies with the director.
Each day at kamp is lots of fun, and the nights are a blast! Each year we select a theme for the summer, and we plan our evening activities according to the theme. The theme is revealed during January and February, and the kampers who attend Kamp pizza parties are the first to find out what the theme is. Once revealed, descriptions of the major parties are posted on our website home page under a link for “Summer Night Activities.” Many kampers bring costumes from home and look forward to dressing up, while some kampers visit the Costume Room and create their look on the day of the party.
NEW Kampers – All new kampers are REQUIRED to have a uniform (Kickapoo t-shirt and shorts) and tribe shirt. The order form is posted in the “Forms and Documents” section of your parent account, which you can access through the Parent Log-in on the home page of our website, and the charge is automatically billed to your statement. The uniforms and tribe shirts are delivered during the first 2 days of each term.
RETURNING Kampers –Kampers who need new uniforms may order them as well. The order form is posted in the “Forms and Documents” section of your parent account, which you can access through the Parent Log-in on the home page of our website, and the charge is then billed to your statement. The uniforms and tribe shirts are picked up during the first two days of each term.
Be sure to select the correct quantity and size:
Throughout the term, kampers have opportunities to shop in the “Trading Post” for items such as water bottles, laundry bags, “sit-upons,” flashlights, batteries, stationery, stamps, forgotten toiletries, T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. Many of these items can be viewed or pre-ordered through our online store.
One Sunday of each term, the girls may donate up to $3 to a regional Children’s Home. The money that is donated goes to help children who do not have the same advantages as our kampers.
Each day, after rest hour, kampers have the opportunity to select one beverage from the cold beverage machines. There is a selection of drinks ranging from soda to PowerAde and water. $0.75 is charged to the kamper’s Trading Post Account for each beverage that she selects.
All of these purchases and donations come out of the kamp store deposit. Each kamper has an account sheet with the deposit made by parents and records each purchase the kamper makes. The balance of the account is returned to the parent at the end of the term. There is a minimum deposit amount included on your statement.
No cash is used at kamp.
Some kamp families prefer for their child to fly to kamp. If you would like this option, please select a flight that arrives in San Antonio between 12 and 2pm. Then, contact Hill Country Limousine Service directly at (830) 896-1429 to arrange for your daughter to be met at the airport and driven to kamp. They will provide you with all of the necessary information and forms that are required. All costs associated with transporting your daughter from the airport to kamp will be paid directly to Hill Country Limousine Service.
In most cases, it is possible to coordinate the arrival of your daughter’s flight with that of other kampers, and doing so can save you money. If you cannot find a flight that arrives between 12 and 2, please contact Laura. Please let us know that your daughter is flying, so we know when to expect her.
Opening Day is better if you know what to expect. We hope the following information is helpful to you.
WHEN TO ARRIVE:You should know that although the check-in procedure does not start until 1:30, the line of waiting cars may be very long by that time. Many kampers are very excited about being at kamp and want to be here early to see friends, get their bunk assignment, and get settled. We check kampers in as quickly as we can, but the wait can be long. We usually have all kampers checked in by 2:30ish, so if you don’t like to wait in line, come about 2:30! We do ask that you arrive no later than 3:00 though, so we can start our afternoon activities in a timely manner.
HOW IT WORKS: As you arrive, line up on the road by the green building and wait near your car until a staff member comes to you with instructions. Please do not unload or allow your daughter to leave the immediate area while you wait in line or get into another family’s vehicle during check-in. KAMPERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO UP THE HILL TO THE CABINS UNTIL THEY HAVE COMPLETED THE CHECK-IN PROCESS WHICH INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
◻ BAND AID
◻ BUNK DRAW Outside of the Band-Aid, there is a bunk-draw table under the trees. Your kamper will go there with her bunk draw ticket to draw a number that corresponds to a bunk number in the cabin. We will record her bunk number for our records and write her bunk number on her bunk ticket. Your daughter should hold on to the bunk ticket until she arrives in the cabin, at which time she will give it to the counselor in the cabin. Please note that kampers may not draw a bunk in advance for a friend who has not yet checked in, and kampers may not jump in line to check in by joining friends in a different vehicle other than the vehicle in which they made the trip to Kamp. After your kamper finishes at Bunk Draw, she will be given a Helmet Ticket so that she can be sized for a helmet at the activity shed.
◻ ACTIVITY SHED
◻ CABIN - Here you can meet one of your daughter’s counselors. Your daughter will get her bunk. Men are not allowed in the cabins, so if the kamper has a dad or other important male bringing her to kamp, we will get a counselor or Pawnee to help the kamper. If this policy presents a problem, please make a request for special circumstances in advance.
◻ NEW 2 and 3 week kampers: Get dressed for Riding and Swimming Placements. Parents may accompany their kampers. We ask that you complete the Riding and Swimming Placement Activity before getting your daughter settled in her cabin. (Helpful Hint: Pack a pair of jeans and a bathing suit at the top of your trunk or pack it separately in one of the items you will carry to the cabin yourselves.)
◻ Riding Ring: Here, new 2 and 3 week kampers will have an opportunity to meet a riding kounselor and demonstrate her riding ability and comfort level with horses. Don’t worry if your daughter doesn’t have much experience. We have lots of beginners!
◻ Waterfront: Here, new 2 and 3 week kampers will meet with a swimming kounselor and demonstrate her swimming skills and comfort level with swimming in Turtle Creek.
◻ NEW 1 week kampers: We find that most of our 1 week kampers are placed in beginning riding and swimming classes, so it is NOT necessary for them to be assessed on opening day. If your daughter meets the following requirements, please make sure she completes Riding and Swimming Placement Activity.
◻ She has been enrolled in riding lessons on a regular basis for several months, and/or she owns her own horse and rides routinely.
◻ She swims frequently and knows 3 or more of the strokes taught by the American Red Cross. (front crawl, back crawl, breast stroke, elementary back stroke, butterfly, side stroke,)
◻ Kounselors will help kampers get settled/ unpack. Mothers or other females who have accompanied the kamper at check-in may help with this process.
◻ SAY GOOD BYE! Give your kamper a big hug! Our goal is for all parents to depart by 3:30. Remember to tell her that you are excited for her and that you hope she has a blast. She will spend the rest of the afternoon involved in activities with her cabin, and tonight each new kamper will find out if she is a Cherokee or Choctaw. At tribal meetings, tribe officers will be elected and cheers will be learned. Our first kamper-only activity begins between 4 and 4:30 p.m.
*After check-in, all of this should take less than 2 hours!*
Kamper mail is delivered to and picked up from Kickapoo daily. Address kamper letters to:
Mail from home and friends is essential to a positive kamp experience. Nothing takes the place of a handwritten letter from a loved one. We suggest you mail the first letter the week before the kamp term starts so that your daughter receives mail at the very first mail call! Don’t worry that you do not know the name of her cabin yet; we will still make sure that she gets it.
Packages are especially treasured by our kampers, but please avoid sending an item on the “What not to Bring to Camp” list. These items will be confiscated, and due to lack of storage area, they cannot be returned. We suggest that you limit packages to no more than 1 per week, including packages from relatives and friends. A large number of packages could interfere with your daughter’s involvement in kamp activities. Please be aware that we will not be able to allow families to leave packages at kamp to be delivered on designated days during the term. Unfortunately, we just do not have the space required to store these packages securely. If you need to mail a package in town for a quick delivery, there is a 24 hour self-serve automated postal center at the post office in Kerrville. Also, both FedEx and UPS deliver to kamp!
Kamp families are responsible for all fax expenses of their kamper. All incoming faxes are charged at a rate of a $1 for the first page and 50 cents for each page after that. Only international kampers may send outgoing faxes. The charges will vary by country, and this option is only available on a limited basis.
Thanks to our partnership with CampMinder, kampers may receive emails while they are at Kickapoo.
Once the summer begins, you will be just a few clicks away from the latest Kamp news and photos and the new system to email your kamper.
When you enter your account via the “Parent Login” on the Kickapoo website, the “Online Community” section will move to the top of the page and include a number of new icons to help you stay in touch this summer.
In the Online Community section, click on:
Write the email and select your recipient(s) in the email program, and then add a game or stationary to give it some pizzazz. Each email recipient, as well as a game or stationary, costs one CampStamp, the currency for the email section.
Parents can purchase CampStamps for personal use or to share with family and friends. A credit card must be on file in the “Credit Card for Email & Photos” section of the Online Community to buy CampStamps:
From favorite meals to the evening activity, you can read about the daily adventures at Kickapoo!
You can view daily photos of Kamp life to get a glimpse of memory-making in action. Select favorites to email to your kamper (They will be printed in black and white) or purchase downloaded photos, prints, or gift items.
A credit card must be on file in the “Credit Card for Emails and Photos” section to make any purchases.
You can purchase prints, downloaded pictures, or photo gifts.
If you want the grandparents or other family members to see the pictures, read the news, or send emails to your kamper? “Guest Access” enables you to grant access to the areas you choose.
All it takes is clicking on the “Guest Access” icon, and entering the name and email address of those to be invited, as well as the sections of the “Online Community” you want them to see. The guests will receive an email with a link to create a special account for use in the summer.
Guests must also have a credit card on file in “Credit Card for Emails and Photos” in order to purchase any photos or CampStamps.
Credit Card for Emails and Photos
Both parents and guests enter their credit card information for CampStamp and photo purchases. Your information is stored via the secure site
Since mail is not likely to arrive before the end of the term, your daughter may give the Assistant Director a one-page letter once each week. The assistant director will scan the letter and send it to the email account in CampMinder.
Kickapoo has one telephone line for business purposes. Phone calls to kampers are not allowed, and kampers do not have access to a phone to call home. If you want to check on your daughter, you are more than welcome to call the office. The assistant director will be happy to answer your questions and check with your daughter's cabin counselor and the first-aid attendant if necessary. Please feel free to call as often as it takes to make you feel comfortable with your daughter's camp experience.
Kickapoo Kamp does not allow our kampers to bring digital cameras to kamp. This policy includes any device that captures digital photos or video, such as the video Nano and the iPod touch.
Specifically, we are concerned with how and when digital photos are taken with digital cameras. As you know, before digital photography, film had to be developed in a photo lab. This step put serious limits on anyone who thought of taking inappropriate photos. Today, photos can be taken and loaded on the Internet for the world to see in just a few minutes.
For example, a compromising photograph taken by one kamper of another, such as someone in the shower or getting dressed, may begin as a prank. But once that photo makes its way onto the Internet, it will become a nightmare for the parents, the child and the camp.
Kickapoo Kamp staff will continue to take photographs during many group activities and post them to our website so you can enjoy seeing your daughters and other kampers. The girls can bring disposable cameras, 35mm film cameras, or Poloroid cameras that do not have a digital backup.
We feel that our policy helps to create a positive camping experience. As you know that experience is based on the friendships our kampers make, the activities they participate in and the bonds they share.
Due to the popularity and convenience of e-readers, we are going to allow e-readers such as Kindles and Nooks with the following guidelines.
We hope this policy is helpful to our kampers who love to read during rest hour and before lights out. Please know that our intent in restricting the use of the e-readers is to maintain the kamp experience as one that helps us escape from the “real world” and enjoy living in community and appreciating the great outdoors.
Imagine this: It’s been 3 days since you dropped off your daughter at kamp. You get a letter from her saying, “I hate it here! I miss you sooooooo much! There are bugs! It’s hot, and did I mention that I miss you? All I want to do is give you a great big hug! PLEASE COME GET ME!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!”
First of all, take a deep breath and realize that it’s quite normal for campers (and counselors) to experience some degree of homesickness during camp. Most campers write letters during rest hour or before bed, which are times that campers tend to experience the most homesickness. While there can be moments when homesickness arises, these are rarely evidence of a true dislike of camp. Typically, these feelings are infrequent throughout the day, and will go away after a day or two. Usually by the time you receive these letters, she will most likely be just fine.
If you do receive a homesick letter, please take a moment to write a very positive and encouraging response. An email is the most expedient choice. Tell your daughter that you are confident in her ability to cope with her new adventure and that you are proud of her. Tell her that you understand her feelings, and share a story of a time that you felt the same way! Ask her about camp, her activities, her counselor and friends. And, remember not to tell her you miss her or cannot wait for her to come home.
Here is a sample of a great letter a real parent wrote:
Of course, you are welcome to call our office to check on your daughter’s progress. We strongly discourage a phone conversation with your kamper, as this can often make the homesickness worse.
Think of camp as a learning experience. Sending your child to camp offers a wonderful opportunity for both you and your child to practice “letting go.” Learning to let go allows children to develop autonomy and a stronger sense of self, make new friends, develop new social skills, learn about teamwork, be creative and more.
Each cabin is self-contained with a central area for the bunk beds and separate rooms for the sink, shower, and toilet. The cabin for our youngest kampers houses 6 girls with 2 counselors while the others hold from 8 to 12 kampers with 2 counselors. Each cabin has a large fan, but air-conditioning is not available at our facility. Our evenings are cool and days are comfortable so it is not really necessary.
Kampers are placed in cabins by grade or age. A kamper can request to be in the same cabin with a friend as long as they are in the same grade or are the same age. Please make this request in writing on the application, or email the director. Final responsibility for confirming cabin request confirmation lies with each kamper's parents. Kickapoo tries to meet every request, but the director makes the final decision.
There are three age divisions at Kickapoo. These divisions are used for competitions as well as honors. When a kamper moves into a new age division, they must once again earn all honors such as firelighter and club membership.
The age groups are as follows:
Our founder, Charles L. Ford, always said that summer camp should be a second place for learning. He felt that camp offered an alternative form of education, focusing on forming a connection and living in communion with nature.
Like many summer camps, Kickapoo Kamp has a long and rich history, with a strong influence from indigenous cultures. As part of the process of developing his vision for a summer camp, “Chief” visited summer camps in the Northeast and discovered a philosophy that is foundational to many summer camps. Many of the camps he visited had programs based on a homogeneous concept of indigenous peoples. Camp leaders blended North American tribal nations’ ideas and teachings into a foundational belief system and curriculum.
Mr. Ford and his wife both grew up in Ennis and Frankston, Texas, near the Kickapoo Mountains. In tribute to their roots, “Chief” and “Budgie” Ford founded Kickapoo Kamp in Monteney, Arkansas, in 1925. In establishing Kickapoo Kamp, Charles L. Ford and his wife adopted many of these tenants with a desire to give campers an understanding of and appreciation for nature and Native American culture. We can trace almost all of our traditions and ceremonies, including naming our teams after Native American tribes and our Firelighter Ceremony back to Kickapoo’s early years. We strive to honor our roots while maintaining a respectful approach to our traditions.
All kampers are divided into two tribes at Kickapoo – the Cherokees and the Choctaws. New kampers are inducted into their tribes on the first evening of kamp. Kampers who have relatives who have attended Kickapoo will be placed in the same tribe as their family members. We try to honor parent requests if made in writing.
Each tribe elects officers as follows:
Seniors-chief, medicine man, scribe, assistant scribe, head scout, and 2 senior scouts. (7 total)
Juniors- 2 junior scouts
Junior- 2 junior-junior scouts and one mascot (the youngest member of the tribe)
The chief is the highest-ranking leader of the tribe. She is responsible for the organization of all tribe meetings and activities. She is in charge of motivating the members of the tribe. The chief should collaborate with other senior officers to plan skits, songs, cheers, and chants. She also organizes the assignment of tribe sisters and communicates with executive staff members. Most importantly, the chief is a role model for all kampers.
The medicine man is second in charge and leads alongside the chief. This spirit leader collaborates with the chief regarding all tribe activities. Additionally, she leads the songs, cheers, and chants, signaling when to start and stop. If the chief cannot be present at a meeting or activity, the medicine man takes the leadership position. Most importantly, the medicine man is a role model for all kampers.
The Scribe is part of the leadership team and plans alongside the chief and medicine man. She is the record-keeper. She keeps a notebook with the names and ages of the tribe members, big and little sisters, the lyrics to new songs, cheers, and chants, and the results of all tribe competitions. She and her assistant scribe create a keepsake log, which is presented to the Assistant Director and becomes part of Kickapoo’s archives. Most importantly, the scribe is a role model for all kampers.
The Assistant Scribe is part of the leadership team and assists the scribe in record-keeping and in the creation of the log for the term. Most importantly, the assistant scribe is a role model for all kampers.
The Head Scout, is the leader of the scouts, including senior scouts, junior scouts, and junior-junior scouts. Scouts are responsible for welcoming new kampers, including all tribe members, in official and unofficial camp activities. Scouts set an example of citizenship at kamp.
The Mascot is the youngest member of the tribe and is in charge of positivity. She is the embodiment of Kickapoo’s belief that a kamper is never too young to lead.
During the term, the youngest kampers and the oldest kampers are paired as “big and little sisters.”
Holding an office in the tribe and being a “big sister” to a younger tribe member are two of the ways that Kickapoo helps build leadership capacity in our campers.
The competition between the tribes is a friendly rivalry. The girls compete in sports, relays, and table manners. Competitions take place within each age division.
Each week the tribe with the most points for that week is awarded the privilege of flying their flag under the American flag for the week. At the end of the term, the winning tribe is awarded the Blanket.
In order to increase the fun factor at kamp, there are two other tribes at kamp. The Pawnee tribe consists of our kampers in leadership training. These girls are no longer kampers and are learning the leadership skills that will help them to become outstanding counselors. The Mohican tribe is for the counselors. Pawnees and Mohicans are not eligible to win the Blanket (but don’t tell them that!)
A Firelighter is chosen because of her ability to put others first and her enthusiasm for participation and inclusiveness. The highest honor at kamp is that of Firelighter. Firelighters for each age division are selected by the staff each week through a voting process.
At the end of the term, the Honor Camper Trophy is awarded to the junior-junior, junior, and senior firelighter who receives the most counselor votes.
Swimming and Riding are the most popular activities at Kickapoo. In order to recognize the kampers who are the best among their peers, we have clubs in each age division for 2 and 3 week kampers.
2 week kampers are eligible for the Swim Club and the Ride Club for their age division. Kampers are selected to become members of the club based on their performance in class, compared to others within their age group. Kampers who are selected as the new members of the Swim Club and Ride Club receive a charm with an “S” or an “R” in their awards envelope.
3 week kampers are eligible for the Turtle Club and the Horseshoe Club for their age division. There is a process in which kampers have an opportunity to try-out for the clubs by showing their knowledge and prowess in comparison with their peers. Kampers who are selected as the new members of the Turtle Club and Horseshoe Club receive a charm with a turtle or a horseshoe in their awards envelope.
Each kamper is awarded ribbons based on her performance in Sunday’s swim relays as well as her participation in her classes/activities. These ribbons are placed in each kamper’s awards envelope.
Each kamper signs up for the individual activities that interest her. On arrival day at kamp, new kampers go to horseback riding and swimming for an evaluation of their skill level. These activities are scheduled for each kamper based on the evaluation. If it is later determined that the placement is wrong, the appropriate change will be made. The first morning of kamp is devoted to selecting the remaining activities. Classes meet every other day except for horseback riding and swimming, which meet every day. With five classes per day, each kamper can select six other activities. Note: Kampers have the option of taking horseback riding every other day or not at all. This would increase the number of other activity selections available.
Two week campers who attend Kickapoo during a 3 week term will sign up for their activities on the afternoon that they arrive. As each girl is settled and her parents have departed, she comes in to Lodge to sign up for her activities.
When a kamper has her birthday at Kamp, it is lots of fun! The whole kamp sings “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl, and she is given a tiara to wear throughout her special day. After lights-out, she and her cabin come down the hill for a birthday party – complete with decorations, cake and ice cream hosted by the executive staff with the support of the Pawnees (when possible). Her photo is taken in the morning when she gets her tiara, as well as during her party. We post these pictures on line so the birthday girl’s adoring fans at home can see her on her special day.
Parents may send gifts for their daughter to open at the party. Please indicate that this is your preference by writing “Hold for Birthday Party,” on the outside of the package.
Each day, after rest hour, kampers have the opportunity to select one beverage from the cold beverage machines. There is a selection of drinks ranging from soda to PowerAde and water. $0.75 is charged to the kamper’s Trading Post Account for each beverage that she selects.
A Typical Daily Schedule at Kickapoo can be seen below. Sundays are different in that there are no classes. Sundays include a longer cabin clean-up time, a non-denominational church service (or mass for Catholic kampers) and an evening Vesper Service.
Kickapoo has a director of health and safety living on-site while kamp is in session. She is certified by taking a class through the American Red Cross in line with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ rules and regulations. The First-Aid Attendant organizes and dispenses all kamper medications, including PRNs, over-the-counter remedies and vitamins. In addition, she cares for kampers who have a minor injury or a temporary illness, checks for lice, and inspects cabins for cleanliness. If a kamper has a more serious injury or illness, with permission of the director, the First Aid Attendant will transport the kamper to the doctor with whom we have a partnership or take her to the hospital, which is less than 8 miles away. Of course, in case of an emergency, we will call 911.
The director of health and safety will contact you if your daughter has to spend the night in the Band-aid, if she needs to see the doctor, or if she receives any medical attention outside of kamp.
The state requires that any prescription medications to be ADMINISTERED DURING KAMP BE IN THE ORIGINAL CONTAINERS WITH THE KAMPER’S NAME AND THE DOCTOR’S INSTRUCTIONS ON THE LABEL.
Our first aid station, the Band-aid, is stocked with commonly used over-the-counter medication such as children’s and adult strength Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Robitussin, Pepto-Bismol etc., but if your child requires specific medication, please give these to the first-aid attendant during the check-in procedures. Any instructions concerning over-the-counter medications must be in writing and presented to the first-aid attendant.
While you are welcome to send over-the-counter medicine for your daughter to use on an as-needed basis, please know that we stock most of these medications.
Here’s a note from the American Camp Association about the use of long-term psychotropic drugs (Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, etc.):
At Kickapoo Kamp, we dine in a family style atmosphere. Our cooks work hard to prepare well-balanced kid-friendly meals. We do not profess to be gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian. We strive to have more than one source of protein at each meal.
If your daughter has special dietary needs, which are supported by a physician’s examination, make sure that you have contacted, Laura Hodges, to discuss the details well in advance of your daughter’s arrival at kamp. Additionally, please make sure that the information is included in the camper’s health history and that you discuss any issues with the First-Aid Attendant on opening day.
If your daughter has a food allergy it is important that you educate her about what foods to avoid, symptoms of the allergic reactions, and how and when to tell an adult about a possible allergic response.
All of our counselors receive CPR training during Pre-kamp training.
Your child’s health and safety is our number one concern. To inform ourselves about the facts regarding head lice, we have checked with the National Pediculosis Association, Inc., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are following their guidelines for treatment and prevention of future outbreaks.
We urge all families to check their daughter for lice within 72 hours of bringing her to kamp. This is the best way to prevent the spread of lice at kamp. If you find and treat your daughter for lice, please inform the first-aid attendant so that she can follow up. Some parents may choose to shampoo their daughter’s hair with preventative shampoo or use a professional service prior to her arrival at kamp.
As part of the check-in process day on opening day of kamp, each kamper’s head will be checked If a kamper is found to have lice, the parent and the kamper will need to leave kamp to get the kamper treated or arrange for the kamper to be treated. The kamper cannot go to her cabin or participate in any kamp activities until she has been fully treated for lice.
Please educate your daughter about the risks of sharing brushes etc. Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct contact of the head or hair with an infested individual. Lice can also be spread through the sharing of personal articles like hats, towels, brushes, hair ties, etc. Please know that head lice do not jump or fly and generally cannot survive longer than 24 hours off the host.
We anticipate that we have the situation under control.
The required health documents are available in your Parent Account. When you enter your account via the “Parent Login” on the home page of the Kickapoo website, click on “Forms and Documents.” At the top of the page you will find all of the necessary forms for the summer.
Camper Health History – this online form is to be completed or updated each year. This is the parent health history document and includes places to enter insurance information, allergies, any prescription medications, etc. in addition to the health history. All information is entered online and can be updated at any time. You may enter information about your daughter’s immunization history here. If you do so, it will carry over to the next year. If not, you will have to fax back an Immunization Form each year.
Physician’s Examination and Immunization – print the forms and fax in
We are aware that insurance companies require you to wait 365 days before paying for a new physical, but our policy is that the physical should be completed within 3 months of your daughter’s arrival at kamp. Walk-in clinics can offer an inexpensive option if you find yourself in this situation. Waiting until the last minute can make it difficult to get an appointment.
Don’t forget to go to the web site to download and print the Physician’s Examination form and the Immunization form.
We have a system for submitting these forms - Faxback. Print the “Physician’s Examination” and the “Immunization” form and take them to the doctor’s office. After it is filled in, fax it to (866)326-5319, and it will update to your daughter’s file automatically. Again, the parent may complete the immunization record in the Health History (which will roll over each year that your daughter comes to kamp) OR use the form and fax it to number. The unique barcode on the documents links the information to your kamper. Please do not take a picture of the form and email it to us. It must be faxed in with the barcode on the front page or scanned and saved as a PDF and emailed to us.
If your physician does not complete the form printed from your Parent Account, you will still need to print the form and use as the first page when faxing each document.
We have a camp insurance available with 100% coverage up to $3,500/accident and $1000/sickness at a nominal cost. If you choose this coverage, you won’t have to worry about co-pays associated with your own family insurance. If you choose not to take this insurance, deduct the fee from your statement, and we will have the doctor or hospital bill you directly in case of accident or illness.
If a kamper has a serious or persistent injury, illness, or condition, with the permission of the director, the First Aid Attendant will transport the kamper to the doctor with whom we have a partnership, or take her to Sid Peterson Hospital, which is less than 8 miles away. Of course, in case of an emergency, we will call 911.
Mealtime is a favorite time of day at Kickapoo. EVERYONE gathers in the dining hall at the same time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a time for conversation and connection, and a time for eating delicious kamp food. Kampers and kounselors enjoy listening to and participating in lively discussions during the meal and singing songs during dessert after lunch and dinner.
We change tables each week by drawing table numbers as we enter the dining hall. This random grouping allows kampers and kounselors to meet new people who may not be in their cabin or classes. Seven to ten kampers sit at a table with one-two kounselors. The kounselors reinforce table manners such as chewing with mouth closed, placing napkins in lap, proper use of utensils, posture, passing food to the right, and consideration of others. All meals are served by our table-aids, senior kampers who are selected for this leadership position.
We always have questions about the food we serve. We are not the best choice for girls with serious food allergies or food-related medical conditions or vegans. Kampers with dietary allergies or preferences, such as eating a gluten-free diet, or being lactose-free can probably manage without too much trouble. If a kamper has special dietary needs, a discussion with the director is advised.
Please read the description of the food we serve to make sure that your daughter will be able to eat a balanced diet while at kamp. We encourage you to look at the to determine if Kickapoo can meet your daughter’s nutritional needs.
We serve three high-calorie meals a day and do not have snacks. We find that kampers eat heartily at meals when they don’t have snacks.
Breakfast consists of two courses. The first course is cereal and milk. Almond milk is available for those who are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. Some examples of the cereals that are served are Honey-Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, Froot Loops (1 type is served each day). The second course includes a protein such as eggs, bacon, or sausage, and a bread item such as pancakes, biscuits, tortillas, blueberry muffins, or rolls. Yogurt is also available. Fresh fruit or juice is served at every breakfast.
Lunch and dinner are somewhat interchangeable. We serve one entrée, one side dish with starch such as potatoes, macaroni and cheese, or rice, one vegetable dish, a salad, and one bread item such as rolls, tortillas or buns. After both lunch and dinner, dessert such as cake, ice cream, cookies, cobbler, or pudding is served.
After rest hour, there is a time during which kampers can get a beverage such as soda, sports drink, lemonade, or water if they so choose. The cost of the drink is deducted from their Trading Post (camp store) account.
On Saturday and Sunday nights, we serve buffet style. Either barbecue on a bun, lunchmeat and cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, or hotdogs are typically served. Options that are included in each buffet are peanut butter and jelly (mixed together), tuna salad, pasta salad, watermelon, and punch.
A special note about vegetarians – If there is not a meatless selection that can provide protein at a meal, we have a microwaveable protein substitute to serve vegetarians. These are frozen items such as black bean burgers or “chicken” nuggets.
While we do not have any formal closing activities for our one-week kampers, we invite parents to arrive Sunday between 1:00 and 1:30. Kamper’s belongings will be in the activity shed, organized by cabin. Starting at around 1:10, a cabin kounselor will be in the activity shed to help you locate all of your daughter’s things. The first-aid attendant will also be there to return all medication that was dropped off. You may load your daughter’s belongings before the kampers come out of lunch, or you may load them after greeting your kamper. At about 1:30, you will get to experience our tribe pep rallies. Following the pep rallies, you can greet your kamper and pick up your daughter’s envelope containing the remaining balance of your trading post account and the ribbons that your daughter earned during her week at kamp. You may also come in the office to sign your kamper up for our next summer before leaving.
Kickapoo’s closing activities provide a variety of opportunities for your daughter to share her summer kamp experience with you. The girls are always excited to have you experience all of the festivities, and we hope you will enjoy this special time together. We welcome siblings and extended family members, but request that you do not bring pets. Unfortunately, due to insurance restrictions, only kampers can participate in class activities. We request that parents bring NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES on the premises.
Our closing activity schedule is as follows:
We welcome all parents and family members to each event. Please wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes and clothing for hot summer weather. Please park in the area adjacent to the tennis courts (where you parked on opening day). We feel that an organized parking plan adds to kamper safety, and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Please understand that no men are allowed to go inside the cabins during any of the closing events, as girls will be changing clothes and need privacy.
After you have enjoyed the class demonstrations on Friday, you should stop by the office to clear your daughter’s account. We will be available in the office between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30p.m. The cost of the kamp yearbook is included in the fee and will be mailed to your daughter in the fall. Most families pre-order a kamp DVD, but if you did not do so, and you would like to, you will be able to do so when you clear your daughter’s account after class demonstrations on Friday.
Then you may take your daughter to Kerrville to dinner with you. This is also a good time to buy some snacks for the cabin parties Friday night. In addition, many kampers like to shop for a small gift for their big or little sister in the tribe and their cabin counselor. However, please return to Kamp by 7:45 p.m. for the Final Sing Song and Blanket Award. It is important to return to Kamp on time. You may want to bring a portable chair with you.
On Saturday from 8:00-10:00 a.m., your daughter will be BUSY packing to go home. Please do not arrive before 10:00 a.m., as we will be busy!!! AT 10:00 you may load your car with all of your daughter’s belongings. As soon as all cars are loaded--around 11:00 a.m.--we’ll hold the Final Awards Ceremony under the trees by the Lodge. During the Final Awards Ceremony, each kamper receives ribbons, certificates, and activity charms. Plaques and trophies are awarded to the outstanding kampers in several categories. Kampers and parents are on their way home by 1:00pm.
During Friday’s trip into Kerrville, your daughter will ask you to get some food for Friday night’s cabin party. Please keep in mind that 8-12 girls can only eat so much food! While junk food is popular, so are fruit and other healthier options. Please note that Kickapoo does not supply ice, plastic ware, cups, etc. If you think you may be in charge of drinks, you may want to bring a cooler.
While in town, your daughter may also wish to buy a small gift for her counselors and/or her big/little sister in the tribe. We prefer that you not give counselors cash, but gift cards to Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and iTunes are greatly appreciated. You may prefer to buy a more tangible gift. That is fine as well. Popular gifts include jewelry, picture frames, beach bags/ towels etc. These also make fun gifts for big/little sisters, perhaps incorporating her tribe’s colors. We have found that our parents and kampers are more creative that we are! Gifts are not required. It is up to each family to decide. A nice card is another gesture that is greatly appreciated.
The following links can help you in planning your stay in the Kerrville area.
If a custodial parent is unable to pick up his/her daughter from kamp, he/she MUST complete the Kamper Pick-up Authorization Form in the forms section of your parent account, which you can access through the Parent Log-in on the home page of our website. No kamper will be allowed to leave kamp unless we have this completed form.
Stacey – mother of an 11 year old camper
Karen – mother of an 11 year old camper
Bonnie – mother of a 12 year old camper
Angela – mother of a 10 year old camper
Misty – mother of a 10 year old camper
Stephani – mother of a 9 year old camper
Laura - mother of a 10 year old camper
Carol – mother of a 13 year old camper
Kathy – mother of a 15 year old camper
Kerrville, Texas • USA