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CAMP DETAILS FOR LOCKHART WILD ADVENTURERS CAMP

Thank you for registering your child for our 2024 Lockhart Wild Adventurers Camp.

This page provides important information about preparing your child for camp; we know it’s long, but please read it thoroughly!

 

Camp Location:

Lockhart State Park 2012 State Park Rd, Lockhart, TX 78644

Drop-off and Pick-up Instructions - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY.

When you arrive at the gate to the state park on the first day of camp, please either park in the parking lot adjacent to the ranger station (Park HQ Building) or the next parking lot on your right just past the swimming pool. (See map at the bottom of this page.) There are restrooms and a water bottle filling station available in the ranger station (Park HQ). The camp sign-in/out location will be at the picnic tables directly behind the swimming pool (easily accessible from either parking lot). There will be camp signage directing you to the sign-in and out location. Please make sure to park legally and do not park on the grass. 

At camp sign in, you will be issued a paper pass that will allow you to enter and exit the park for camp pick-up and drop-off for the entire week. Please do not discard this pass as you will need it for entry and exit all week. If different vehicles/individuals will be doing the pick-up and drop-off please let the staff member know they can issue you a second pass at that time. 

​IMPORTANT NOTE: Earth Native’s contract with Lockhart State Park includes park entry for Pick-Up and Drop-Off ONLY. If your family visits the park outside of an official program day, or if a parent/sibling decides to stay in the park before or after pick-up, you will need to pay regular park entry fees and get a regular park pass for your vehicle's windshield. Adult fees are $3/per person and children under 13 years old are FREE. Your Earth Native pick-up and drop-off pass is valid ONLY for that purpose and does not allow you to park and leave your vehicle to hike or camp or participate in any other activity. If you park and leave your vehicle to use the park without a regular park pass you will likely get ticketed by the park police and risk the possibility that your vehicle may be towed.

Please call our main number at 512-299-8870 if you have any questions about the sign-in location or have trouble finding it. You can also refer to this Google Maps Link or scroll to the bottom of this page to view a map of the sign in areas.

 

Camp Times 8:00am-2:00pm:
Drop-off: Please arrive between 8:00am and 8:15am daily for sign in. Note: You may want to come a little early on the first day as sign-in takes a few minutes longer on the first day when we are checking in with parents and making sure kids have everything they need for camp

 

Pick-up: Please arrive to pick-up and sign-out between 1:45pm and 2:00pm each day. All children not signed up for extended hours must be signed-out by 2:00pm.​

Extended Hours: 2:00pm – 4:00pm each day  (Please sign-up and pay for this service in advance.) See below for details.

No Early Arrival/Late Pickup:
Although our staff is on-site both before and after sign-in and sign-out, they are NOT available to supervise children outside of the arrival and pick-up times indicated above. This time is used for program planning and debrief, and it is critical to us being able to provide each individual camper and the group with the best week possible. We know that this is challenging for working parents and appreciate your understanding. If you are unable to pick up by 2pm we offer extended hours (4pm pick-up) for an additional $20 per camp day.

Late Pick-up Fees:

Additional fees will be charged to parents who are more than 15 minutes late to pick-up at a rate of $2 per minute. Please note: there is no grace period for extended camp hours. Late fees begin at 4:01pm.

Optional Extended Hours:

Extended camp hours are available up to 2 hours after regular camp hours for an additional $20 per camp day. Extended hours pick-up is available between 3:30pm-4:00pm. Campers who are signed up for extended hours are NOT available to be picked up between 2:15pm-3:30pm as they will not be back at the sign-in area until 3:30pm. If you did not choose and pay for the optional extended hours at registration and would like to add it, please email us to have this added.

Swimming at Camp:

This camp includes daily afternoon swimming at the Lockhart State Park pool (except on Tuesday when the pool is closed for cleaning). Lifeguards are present at the pool at all times. Earth Native Instructors will also provide extra eyes for safety. Please see info below about what to pack for swimming. Campers will swim after lunch for a little over an hour. Please pack a swimsuit for your child in their backpack. We also highly recommend long sleeve swim shirts for all kids for sun protection since the pool area is in the full sun. Campers will have an opportunity to reapply sunscreen prior to swimming. Changing areas are available at the pool facility. Campers who wish to swim in the deep end will be required by the pool staff to pass a basic swim test prior to entering deeper water. Children who can not swim, or aren’t strong enough swimmers to pass the swim test, will be required to stay in water shallow enough for them to stand. The pool is closed on Tuesdays for maintenance and cleaning so Tuesdays the camp will play down by the creek in the afternoon.

Authorized Adults:

During registration we asked for a list of all adults, including parents, who will be picking your child up from camp. If there are any additions/changes to this, please log in to your Earth Native account to update this information. Once logged in, click on "My Account" from the menu bar. You will see all campers (participants) listed here. If mobile viewing, participants will be listed in a drop down. You can update any information you completed in the registration form during enrollment.

Sign-In and Sign-Out:
It is our policy that each camper be signed-in every morning and signed-out every afternoon! Please make sure that everyone who is authorized to drop-off or pick-up your child during the week is aware of the need to do this. We will check identification at pick-up until we know you, and this must match the names of individuals authorized to take home your child.

We also ask that if there is someone that your child knows well (parent, uncle, grandparent etc.) who is NOT authorized to pick them up due to custody issue or restraining order or similar situation that you let us know so we are aware of the situation.

What Your Child Should Wear:

  • Comfortable clothes that can get very dirty/wet and are appropriate for the weather

  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes that can get wet and very dirty

  • Raingear or poncho if significant rain is in the forecast

 

What to Pack:

Please send the following items with your child in a small/medium backpack that can fit ALL of their personal items including their lunch and water bottle. (Please do not send your child to camp with a bag on wheels or a satchel they have to carry over one shoulder or send your child with a pack that is too small to fit all of their items in.)

  • Packed lunch

  • Mid-morning snack

  • SWIMSUIT

  • Long sleeved swim shirt (highly recommended) for afternoon swimming

  • Towel

  • FULL 27 oz. (or larger) water bottle is REQUIRED (Please do not send disposable water bottles.)

    • ​In the heat it is critical that your child drink enough water. If your child does not bring a water bottle they will not be able to attend camp until they have one.

    • If you ordered an Earth Native water bottle during registration it will be given to you at sign-in on the first day of camp and there is a water bottle filling station in the ranger station. 

  • Personal supply of sunscreen

    • Please apply your child’s sunscreen before you drop them off. While our instructors will do their best to monitor and remind campers about re-application, it is very helpful if campers of a reasonable age are able to monitor and help themselves. The swimming pool is in the full sun, so be mindful of this when applying sunscreen.

  • Bug spray!!

  • Optional - Notebook & pencil 

Note: Please make all purchases in advance of camp. Our instructors are not authorized to take payment at camp.

 

What NOT to Pack:

  • Electronics/Phones

  • Excessive sugary snacks or caffeinated energy drinks

  • Excess extra clothes

  • Knives (Carving and knife use are not a part of this camp)

  • Extra items of any sort. We will be covering a fair bit of ground on foot each day, and heavy backpacks become a challenge for all. Bring what you need and nothing else.

Safety Note:

We take safety very seriously at Earth Native and summer heat is definitely the number one hazard we face here in Texas. In order to prevent heat related illness, we will require your children to drink water throughout the day. If your child does not like to drink water, please consider adding about 1⁄4 or 1⁄2 juice to the water to give it some flavor. Alternately EmergenC or similar drink packets can help the kids to drink more and replenish their electrolytes. Also, please consider packing your child some salty snacks to encourage drinking and to help replenish the salt they are losing through perspiration.

Though we have lots of tricks up our sleeves to get reluctant children to drink a safe amount of water, on occasion we have a child who is unwilling. If your child is unwilling to drink a safe amount of water throughout the day we will call you to help, or perhaps to pick them up if the unwillingness persists.

Preparing for a Hot Camp Week:

Earth Native has safely and successfully hosted thousands of kids and hundreds of camps in 100+ degree weather. After all of this experience we’ve noticed that our campers often have a harder time on Mondays. We believe that this is largely due to the fact that many kiddos are not hydrating well on Sunday (so they show up at camp a little dehydrated) and with the late summer nights and no school, many kids also often don’t get enough sleep the night before camp. 

 

Given these observations, we highly recommend having your kids drink lots of fluids the weekend before camp and that they get a solid night’s sleep (early bedtime) on Sunday so their bodies are fully operating and ready for adventure.

Weather Policy:

Our camps run rain or shine, however we will delay or cancel a day of camp in cases of dangerous/severe weather (such as tornado warnings, flash flood warnings, etc.) If camp is canceled for a day you will be notified via email, text and it will be clearly marked on the webpage for your camp. If you have questions about cancellations please first check our website, if you don’t get the answers you are seeking then please call the main school number at 512-299-8870.

What to Expect:

Monday Morning

Please arrive at the sign-in location between 8:00-8:15am to sign your child in. An instructor or our Camp Director will greet you at the sign-in table. Please keep your child with you until after your camper is signed-in! At that point your child will be invited to join the rest of the group in a game or explore our hands-on “nature museum”. This is a good time to check-in with a camp instructor if you have any questions or concerns.

Daily Schedule

Each morning there will be a group game that campers can join as they arrive, and a nature-table set up for those who prefer a quieter or more stationary activity to start off their day. This is followed by one of the staff sharing a nature story that introduces a general theme or focus for the day. After the story, campers start their adventure for the day. Campers finish the afternoon with swimming or creek time.

Dirty Clothes

At Earth Native School we encourage campers to really connect with the natural world! Often that means getting right in...be it mud, charcoal or berry-juice face paint. Don’t be surprised to see children and adults with dirty faces at the end of the day. Please send your child to camp in clothes and shoes that can get dirty and wet. Bringing a change of clothes and/or keeping some large trash bags in the car during camp week for kids to sit on at the end of the day is a great way to minimize the impact of dirty campers! We also recommend a bath/shower for your child each day after camp.

Lastly, please take a moment to read our Student Code of Conduct

If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 299-8870 or info@earthnativeschool.com

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

What did Your Child Learn at Summer Camp Today?

Is it “enough” for your child to come home from camp with a sparkle in their eye and dirt on their knee? We think so, but some parents might wonder, “‘Where is the curriculum?" Is my child actually learning anything at this nature camp?” We use a principle called “invisible school” to teach. (It’s not really invisible, you just have to know what to look for!)

Our curriculum is taught in a variety of ways – through storytelling, games, hands-on doing, challenges, and the art of questioning. Furthermore, only a portion of our camp curriculum is set in stone – it is more important to us to notice who your child is and what in the natural world captures their excitement and curiosity! Nature provides many more opportunities for learning and discovery each week than we could ever follow. So, within very broad guidelines and intentions, we allow nature and the children to be our guide.

If your child says “We had fun! We sneaked and hid and ambushed and wandered around and got lost,” please understand that this is our pedagogical method at Earth Native School. Based on how hunters and gatherers taught their children, camp is designed to be an “invisible school” that flows with the energy cycles of your children and the opportunities that nature presents. We are confident you will find that, in one short week, we’ve begun to reach our goal for your child: to awaken awareness, to provide tools for inquiry; and to create learning routines for life-long naturalist studies.

So, if you ask your child what they “learned” at camp, you might get a vague answer, or none at all. Instead, we invite you to ask them questions that will allow them to show you what they know... here are some suggestions:

- Are there any wild plants that you like to eat? Can you show me? (Instructor Tip: Be sure to ask them if they know of any similar looking plants that cannot be eaten! Ask them how to tell the difference, and if YOU don’t know, look them up in a field guide! We emphasize and role model this important safety technique when eating wild edible plants and encourage you to do the same!)

- I’ve heard you can build a shelter out of branches and leaves; can you tell/show me how?

(Instructor Tip: To build a human-size shelter can be a several hour project in a location where all the natural materials are close at hand. You can build a doll-size shelter much more quickly, and then test its effectiveness with a “rain storm” from a water bottle.)


- Is there a way to move silently to get close to animals? (Instructor Tip: Ask your child if they learned any sneaking games that they’d like to show you.)

- Is this an animal track? How many toes does it have? Which way do you think the animal was going? Does it have claws? What kind of animal might have made it? (Instructor Tip: Asking lots of questions before deciding “who” it is can lead to more learning! Animal track field guides are lots of fun.)

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