2023 Parent Handbook

Page 1

2023 PARENT HANDBOOK

RIVERSIDE HILLTOP

Be Curious, not judgmental!

CAMP © Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook Be curious, not judgmental TABLE
CONTENTS CAMP A Message from our Director ............................................................................................................3-4 Specialized Activity Selection Process ............................................................................................. 5 List of Specialized Activities ................................................................................................................. 6 Elective Activities 7 Fancy Fridays 7 2023 Themes & Sessions ........................................................................................................................ 8 Packing List .................................................................................................................................................. 9 Camp Store 9 Directions to Camp 10 Important Dates ...................................................................................................................................... 10 Staying in Touch ................................................................................................................................11-12 Camp Is a Family Tradition Camp Songs 13 Camp Dance 14 Beads .................................................................................................................................................... 14 Clean for Ice Cream ......................................................................................................................... 14 Flagpole 14 Taps 15 Grateful Circles.................................................................................................................................. 15 Camp Life Camper of the Day/Camper of the Week ................................................................................ 15 Counselor-Free Dinner/Surveys 15 Riverside Daily Schedule 16 Hilltop Daily Schedule.................................................................................................................... 17 Well Camp Policies & Procedures ..................................................................................................... 18 Communication Policy .................................................................................................................. 18 Healthy Camp Begins & Ends at Home 19 Participation Guidelines 20 Pre-Arrival Screening...................................................................................................................... 20 Watch for Symptoms ...................................................................................................................... 20 Check-in Screening & Assessment 21 Check-in Procedures 21 Health History Form, Waiver Form, Medication Form ........................................................ 21 Camper Goodbyes........................................................................................................................... 22 Check-out/Pick-up .......................................................................................................................... 22 Cleaning & Disinfecting Camp 22 Clinic Protocol 22 Medications ................................................................................................................................... 22 Sick Call ........................................................................................................................................... 22 Sunscreen & Lip Balm 23 Hydration 23 Rest ....................................................................................................................................................... 23 Response to Positive Temperature ............................................................................................ 23 Dining Hall Procedures ............................................................................................................24-25 Water Bottle Refills 25 Guests & Visitors 25 Rule of Two/Active Supervision .................................................................................................. 25 Sample Menu .................................................................................................................................... 26
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CAMP

A Message from Our Director

Dear Parents,

Thank you for taking your valuable time to review this handbook. Its purpose is to inform you about the operation of Hermann Sons Life Camp and the changes we have made to make Camp the best it can possibly be for your child.

Every year as the summer draws to a close, we begin the process of evaluating our summer camp program. I read every camper survey, read every parent and staff member survey and come up with a plan to improve the summer camp experience for our junior members. This process is never easy as we value all opinions expressed. For the past two summers, the most popular meal (based on camper surveys) was the Chinese meal. However, it was also the least popular meal.

Another area which splits opinion (80:20) is the pick-up and drop-off procedures. Parents are asked to remain in their cars when dropping off and picking up their camper. We recognize that this may be a concern for some parents, but this process has proven to keep drop-off and pick-up well-organized and time efficient.

• This in-car drop-off and pick-up will be the process used in 2023.

In summer 2021, the overall health of our campers was very good, and it was again in 2022! I put this down to the additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures implemented since 2021.

In 2022, campers took even more control of their summer camp adventure by adding a half -day elective program each day. This worked very well, and we look forward to improving elective offerings again this upcoming summer. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE NEXT FEW PAGES, however, please do not forget to select and submit your child’s top 6 activities for the Specialized program as soon as possible.

Last summer, each week I scheduled all the campers their activity choices. Most of the campers received their top three activities (around 85%). This is only possible if the selection is completed in a timely manner.

SPECIALIZED PROGRAM (chosen at home): This is the traditional method campers have used to choose their activities. Before Camp, once you have enrolled your child, you will be asked to select their TOP 6 activities in order of preference. Your child will be scheduled 3 of those top 6 activity choices. Please keep in mind that campers who choose a double-period activity will only get 2 of their top 6 activities. These Specialized activities will be scheduled Monday through Thursday.

• The girls (Riverside) will attend these classes in the morning.

• The boys (Hilltop) will attend these classes in the afternoon.

Be curious, not judgmental!

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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BUNKING

Our priority when assigning campers to their dorm is to provide everyone in the dorm the opportunity for an excellent summer camp experience. As a parent or guardian, you will complete the Dorm Assignment & Check Out Form. Through this form, parents can request who the camper would like to share a dorm (cabin) with and whether they prefer a top or bottom bunk (bed). We cannot guarantee these requests. Form link: https://www.hermannsonslife.org/dorm-assignment-check-out-form

Please keep the following in mind when requesting bunk mates (friends/relatives).

WE DO NOT SCHEDULE CAMPERS TO THEIR DORMS UNTIL A COMPLETED HEALTH HISTORY FORM IS ON FILE.

Before camp, if you receive an email stating your child has “NO DORM” – that means they have not been assigned to a dorm because the Health History Form has not been submitted. If you need to make changes to the form after it has been submitted, bring an updated form on arrival day and provide it to the Medical Staff.

Getting campers in bunks with their friends is a high priority for us. We do have some bunking rules for you to consider.

• Remember we try not bunk campers together who are more than one year apart in age. The younger campers often cling to their older siblings which negatively affects both of their camp experiences. You will be asked what grade your child is entering after the summer.

o If a request is made by a camper to bunk with a younger child, the requesting camper will be placed in the younger cabin. Younger campers will not be assigned to older camper dorms.

o Placing campers in age-appropriate dorms provides them the opportunity to make friends of their own age and that provides for a better summer camp experience.

• The number of friend requests for assignment to the same dorm is limited to FOUR.

o Creating a large group of friends in one dorm is not beneficial to the rest of the campers in the dorm who have few or no friends. These campers often get excluded from dorm activities by the established friend groups. This happened in 2022 and I will not allow it to happen in 2023.

• We do not guarantee bed placement in the dorms. Campers will be assigned throughout the dorm. When requesting friends on the Dorm Assignment Form, the first name listed will be a bunk friend (top/bottom beds). The second and third names listed will be in the dorm. Only the first four requested names listed on the form will be placed in the same dorm.

• Placing campers in age-appropriate dorms sometimes means that the actual dorm your child is in is not their “expected dorm”. Dorm placements are not always linear. Sometimes we have a lot of younger campers in a session, or a lot of older campers in a session. This means that your teen camper may not always be placed in either Hawk or White Tail, or if we have a lot of 12-year-olds, they may be placed in Bob White or Coyote.

o AGE-APPROPRIATE placement of campers in dorms is more important that what dorm a child is placed in.

Best regards,

P.O. Box 629, Comfort, TX 78013-0629

Office: 830-995-3223

Be curious, not judgmental!

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook

SPECIALIZED ACTIVITY SELECTION PROCESS

We ask that all parents help their child complete the Activity Selection Form. This form is the foundational information we use to create your child’s unique summer camp experience. Please allow them to make their own choices with your help. Please keep the following information in mind when completing the form. Campers attending the Mini-Camp and Grief Support Session do not need to complete the Activity Selection Form.

THE LINK TO THE ACTIVITY SELECTION FORM WILL BE SENT TO YOU IN EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE.

Each camper is asked to select 6 activities. Campers should rank the activities from 1 to 6, with 1 being the one they want the most and 6 the one they want the least. If your child has no interest in an activity, please do not rank it. Your child will not be scheduled an activity not chosen!

• Our goal is to give our campers their top 3 activities. This is not always possible.

• We can guarantee that we will do our best to get your child’s top 3. Again, not always possible.

• We can guarantee that your child will get activities in their top 6. Sometimes we give our campers a generic schedule. We do this if the parents do not complete the form.

On arrival day, your child will have the opportunity to change their schedule. We will only be able to add campers to already scheduled activities if space is available. It is so important to discuss the activity selection with your child. It affects their summer camp experience if they do not get the activities they selected.

HERE’S WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER YOU SUBMIT THE FORM:

• The Executive Camp Director will schedule the camper activity classes with the objective of giving the campers their top 3 choices. If that is not possible they will try to give the campers 3 out of the top 4 choices, then 3 out of 5 and lastly 3 out of the top 6 choices, and so on.

• Each camper’s schedule is then reviewed by the Camp Director and posted on the camper’s bunk for arrival day.

• If your child is uncertain about their schedule, or does not want something listed on their card, they will let their counselor know. The counselor will then escort the camper to the Program Assistant who will help your child.

• Many times, campers change their minds regarding their activity schedule and we may be able to give your child the activity they desire but THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY.

• Throughout the day, campers will ask if they can change their schedule. The Program Assistant gathers this information and at the end of check-in, the Program Assistant will work on the schedule and see if they can change the schedule for your child.

• If a child is still unhappy on Monday at dinner, the directors will meet to see if there is anything that can be done. The vast majority of the time, the campers are very happy with their selections.

Form links:

BOYS:

https://www.hermannsonslife.org/boys-activity-selection-form

GIRLS:

https://www.hermannsonslife.org/girls-activity-selection-form

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
CAMP

CAMP

SPECIALIZED ACTIVITIES AT HERMANN SONS LIFE CAMP

______ Adventures in Nature* – Nature hikes and outdoor educational activities, like bird watching, are a part of this class.

______ Archery – Campers are taught basic skills of marksmanship using a re-curve bow and arrows.

______ Baseball – Good sportsmanship is emphasized while campers work on proper hitting, throwing and catching techniques and basic game play. Hilltop only.

______ Basketball – Participants learn passing, catching, footwork, shooting and other techniques in a team-oriented environment.

______ Canoe & Kayak* – Campers will learn basic skills while enjoying a fun double period at the Guadalupe River.

______ Cheer – Campers are taught a dance routine and a line dance. Riverside only.

______ Court Hockey – Campers work as a team to better understand offensive and defensive strategies. Participants wear athletic shoes. Hilltop only.

______ Dance – In addition to movement technique, campers are taught a routine. Riverside only.

______ Drama (Theater Arts) – Campers take part in theatrical exercises and activities.

______ Fishing* – Campers use bamboo poles to fish on the Guadalupe River.

______ Flag Football – Campers throw, catch and play flag football. Hilltop only.

______ GaGa – Supremely popular camp activity where campers play and have fun!

______ Golf – Campers practice driving into a net and chipping.

______ Outdoor Living Skills* – Campers experience outdoor adventures such as hiking, fire-building, outdoor cooking and other activities in wooded areas around Camp.

______ Rec Games – Campers participate in different sports-oriented activities throughout the week.

______ Recreational Swimming – Free swim time.

______ Riflery – Using air rifles, campers learn shooting techniques and positions while practicing essential safety fundamentals.

______ Rocketry – Campers assemble model rockets and launch them at the end of the week.

______ Sand Volleyball – Campers develop their forearm and overhead passes, serves and other techniques while playing on a sand court. Drills and games are played throughout the week.

______ Soccer – In addition to learning footwork techniques, campers scrimmage and use drills to advance their skills.

______ Softball – Good sportsmanship is emphasized while campers work on proper hitting, throwing and catching techniques and basic game play. Riverside only.

______ Tennis – Serving, strokes, scoring and sportsmanship are the focus of this activity.

______ Tumbling – Campers learn to strengthen basic tumbling skills based on their abilities. Riverside only.

______ Twirling – Participants are taught fundamental baton and flag-spinning skills along with a routine. Riverside only.

Ages 11-14 Only

______Challenge Activities* – Campers will participate in our High Ropes Challenge Course, Zip Line and the Giant Swing. Ages 10-14 only.

______ Climbing* – Campers will practice safe climbing techniques primarily on our bouldering wall and the 30-foot vertical wall. In addition, campers will participate in some low ropes course activities and learn knot-tying skills, rappelling and more.

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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ELECTIVE ACTIVITIES AT HERMANN SONS LIFE CAMP

Campers are given the freedom to choose half their schedule at camp daily. Some of the camps’ traditionally scheduled activities offered within the elective program daily include Camp crafts (lanyards, friendship bracelets, beads, etc.), ceramics, leathercrafts, free swim, yoga, archery and Ga-Ga.

Campers are provided a wonderful selection of activities each day. Some of these activities are Capture the Flag, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, mosaics, tie dyeing, Magic: The Gathering, improv classes, line dancing, martial arts, scavenger hunts, color guard (Flags), hiking, manis and pedis, Gaelic football, netball, cricket, and more!

Popular selections will be offered every period. Some activities will be offered once or twice a week.

FANCY FRIDAYS

Friday is the last full day at Camp. Counselors want to help the campers “blow their socks off” and finish the week with a bang!

EXCITING NEW FRIDAY ACTIVITY! In 2023 we will be introducing a brilliant new special event on Fridays called BRAGGING RIGHTS! During Staff Training, our counselors will be setting some “HERMANN SONS RECORDS” in over 25-30 different, fun activities.

On Friday morning, the girls will travel to Hilltop camp and try to break these records! We’ll keep track of camper and counselor records throughout the summer and post in the HSL newspaper who has Bragging Rights! Throughout the week during elective classes, campers will have opportunities to try some of these activities. I want to see all the records broken by the campers.

While this activity is running, campers will have the opportunity to participate in free swim, GaGa and crafts. Also, the campers from both Riverside and Hilltop will launch their rockets. After a morning of fun activities, a joint barbecue lunch will be held before the girls head back to Riverside for a rest period and redneck water games in the afternoon. With the addition of this activity, Game Night will move to Monday night and the Dance to Wednesday night. Back to Table

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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of Contents

THEMES AND SESSIONS FOR 2023

SIX SESSIONS – traditional summer camp sessions. Riverside Camp for girls and Hilltop Camp for boys.

These sessions will be: Session

Week #1

Week #2

Week #3

Week #4

Week #5

June 11 – June 17

June 18 – June 24

June 25 – July 1

July 9 – July 15

July 16 – July 22

Week #6 July 23 – July 29

NEON CIT-2 Week - NO JJC

MARDI GRAS CIT-2 Week - JJC Available

HOGWARTS CIT-2 Week – JJC Available

STARS & STRIPES CIT-1 Week – JJC Available

SUPER HEROES CIT-1 Week – JJC Available

ANIMAL PLANET CIT-1 Week – JJC Available

Keep the theme of the week your child will be attending in mind when packing.

TWO MINI-CAMPS! In 2022 we had a waiting list soon after registration opened for the Mini-Camp Session. This summer a second Mini-Camp Session has been added. We love our younger juniors and are excited to see more 8-and 9-year-olds sign-up for their first-time summer camp experience. Both camps are co-ed.

These sessions will be:

Mini-Camp

Mini-Camp #2

5 – July 8

30 – August 2

GRIEF SUPPORT SESSION in 2023. The Grief Support session is focused exclusively on children ages 8-17 who ae grieving the loss of a loved one.

If you wish to support the Grief Support Session or volunteer to help, please do not hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at ianb@hermannsonslife.org. We will be able to use in-dorm staff as well as staff to help with the kitchen and the running of activities. Session Name

July 5 – July 8

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
CAMP
Session
Theme CIT Schedule
Name
Dates
Session Name Session Dates Theme CIT Schedule
#1 July
FIESTA No CITs – RIVERSIDE CAMP
HAWAIIAN No CITs – HILLTOP
July
CAMP
Theme
DISNEY
Session Dates
Grief Session
& MARVEL HILLTOP CAMP

PACKING LIST

Wondering what to pack for Camp? This is a sample packing list. Tailor it to your child’s activity choices. Every camper will receive a water bottle on arrival.

• 6 each of shirts, shorts, socks and underwear

• 1 white t-shirt or pillowcase (for tie-dying)

100% Cotton works best.

• Swimsuit

• Light jacket

• Hat or cap

• Pajamas

• 1 pair of jeans

• 2 sets of single sheets

• Pillow with case

• Blanket or sleeping bag

• 2 towels and wash cloths

• Swim towel

• Laundry bag

Please note:

• Camp provides all sporting equipment.

• Toiletry items (soap, shampoo, toothbrush and paste, etc.)

• Sunscreen and lip balm

• Letter writing materials with addressed envelopes and stamps

• Something to wear to the Camp Dance

• Tennis shoes

• Shower shoes

• Flip-flops or sandals

• Anything else to make your stay happy such as a favorite stuffed animal or reading material

• Camp assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to personal items.

• Do not send snacks with your camper. Camp provides snacks twice a day.

• Please do not allow campers to bring electronic devices such as cell phones, iPads, music players, etc.

• Campers should not bring knives, fireworks or any weapon or explosive.

• No pets!

BE SURE TO LABEL ALL ITEMS.

CAMP STORE

Every camper will receive a non-refundable $20 voucher included in their Camp fee. Each week campers are taken to the store by their dorm counselor during relaxation time (not rest period). The camper will be able to spend the $20 voucher.

During the enrollment process parents can purchase additional camp store vouchers in the amounts of $20 and $40. While cash is accepted at the store, we will make sure campers use the $20 voucher included in the camp’s registration fee first. Credit cards are not accepted and no store credit for later payment will be allowed in 2023.

Camp merchandise can also be pre-purchased from the website store. The online store will only be available through June 1. These items will be packaged and left on the camper’s bed before their arrival.

Online store link:

https://www.hermannsonslife.org/store/

Be curious, not judgmental

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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IMPORTANT DATES

VOLUNTEER WORKDAY – APRIL 22, 2023

This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get volunteer work hours and parents to help us get the camp sites ready for the summer. If you can join us, please contact Ian Brassett at ianb@hermannsonslife.org.

OPEN HOUSE - JUNE 10, 2023

This is a perfect opportunity for campers and parents to check out the facilities, meet the staff, tryout a few activities, take a tour and test the food! Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 1 p.m.

DIRECTIONS TO CAMP

From Comfort take Hwy. 27 west toward Kerrville. Just outside of Comfort, turn left on Hermann Sons Road.

If going to Riverside Camp, drive 1 mile, then turn left on Altenheim Road.

If going to Hilltop Camp, don’t turn left on Altenheim. Instead, drive an additional 1.5 miles, turn left on Lindner Branch, drive half a mile, then turn left on Hilltop Camp Road.

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
CAMP

STAYING IN TOUCH CAMP

HERMANN SONS LIFE APP

Parents will need to download the Hermann Sons Life App in order to keep in touch with Camp during their child’s week at Camp.

The Camp staff will be posting lots of photos as the week goes by on the App. The App is also where parents will go to access the one-way email system.

We also use the App to communicate with parents during the week. For example, if for some reason we must close Camp, we will send a push notification on the App that will go to all parents. You will receive a code for downloading the App when you register your child for Camp.

Through the Hermann Sons Life App parents will be able to:

• EMAIL – Parents can send a one-way email to their child during their stay.

• PHOTOS – Parents can view and download photos taken at Camp.

• CONTACT – Parents can send direct email messages to Camp staff and to the Camp Director and much more.

PLEASE FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO DOWNLOAD THE APP

Go to your phone’s App STORE.

Download the Hermann Sons Life App

Create an account (free). You will need the access code.

EMAILING YOUR CHILD

Parents can email their camper through the contact page in the App. One-way emails sent by parents on the App will be distributed to campers daily, typically at dinner time.

• Emails are printed daily at 1 p.m.

• Emails received after 1 p.m. will be delivered to your child the following day.

When sending emails, it is important to be positive and encouraging. If your child receives an email stating “the dog misses you,” “we went to your favorite restaurant last night” or “I miss you terribly,” while well intentioned, it may cause your child to feel sad or have guilty feelings that they are having a good time without you.

TIPS: Ask them about their new friends • Ask them about their activities • Tell them how proud you are they are enjoying themselves without you • Remind them to help clean their area! Brush their teeth! Shower! • Tell them everything is fine at home, nothing new going on.

These messages will help reinforce their positivity at camp, reinforce their growing confidence and reinforce their independence.

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook

TO ENSURE EMAILS EMAILS ARE PUNCTUALLY DISTRIBUTED AND THERE ARE NO DELAYS: THE SUBJECT LINE SHOULD READ:

• CAMP (Riverside-Girls or Hilltop-Boys) DORM NAME and CAMPER’s NAME IN THIS ORDER.

• For example: Subject Line: Hilltop – White Tail – Ian Brassett

CAMPER MAIL & PACKAGES

If you wish to have your child receive mail (other than an email) or a care package during the week, it is best to bring it with you when you drop off your child. There will be staff member prepared to collect these items from you at the designated time. This mail will be delivered after lunch during the relaxation period. CLEARLY label the camper’s name and day you wish it to be delivered.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR THE CAMPERS

It is great for a camper to get a positive/encouraging letter from home. To make sure it arrives in time, you may want to mail it a week ahead. The address is:

Camper’s Name

Hermann Sons Life Camp - Riverside (Girls)

Hermann Sons Life Camp - Hilltop (Boys)

DORM NAME – This will be emailed one week ahead of your child’s camp session.

P.O. Box 629

Comfort, TX 78013

TIP

If you’d like your child to write to you, please give them stamped, pre-addressed envelopes. Many letters do not get mailed or will be lost in the post office system when they are not addressed correctly and completely.

This would also apply to extended family and friends. Have them drop the pre-addressed stamped envelopes to your camper before they leave home!

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
CAMP

The HERMANN SONS LIFE CAMP mission is to provide a quality, safe and caring summer camp program that develops healthy friendships and enriches the lives of both campers and staff by fostering self-esteem and independence through exposure to new experiences, group living and play.

CAMP IS A FAMILY TRADITION

At Hermann Sons Life is not unusual to greet a camper whose parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles have all spent time at Hermann Sons Life Camp! It is one of the strengths of our program.

Hermann Sons Life Camp is a family. While many members of the team are former campers who have grown through the Counselor-in-Training and Junior Staff programs, like most Texans (especially those in the Hill Country), we all love a camp that fosters renewing old friendships and MAKING NEW FRIENDS. New campers and staff allow the Camp to grow with exciting new ideas and energy.

Whether your child is a first-time camper or is returning for the sixth summer, we are excited to welcome them this summer.

RIVERSIDE AND HILLTOP CAMPS

Our camps are single gender camps, know traditionally in camping circles as a brother–sister camp. Riverside is home of the original camp (1954) and currently home to our girls’ camp. Hilltop opened in 1991 and is home to the boys’ camp. Geographically, between the two camps is the Hermann Sons Life Retirement Home.

The two camps coordinate and help each other out with staffing activities (Challenge, lifeguarding, transportation, CIT programming, etc.) along with Staff Development.

CAMP TRADITIONS

Much like Hermann pictured here hanging out at the entrance to Riverside, Camp has many beloved traditions. Many of them your child will learn as we go along this summer. Here’s a few things to mention.

WE SING

On Riverside especially, singing camp songs throughout the day is a fantastic part of the tradition that is Hermann Sons Life Camp. On our YouTube Channel you will find videos of our Camp songs so first-time campers and those returning to Camp can learn the songs. I highly recommend you learn a few. They are great!

Click here to go to our YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRhtPPY88bAaXmk1OjI2KCg

Be curious, not judgmental

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WE DANCE (and eat cookies!)

The campers and staff love to dance. Our weekly dance is held on Riverside on Thursday night and brings together the Riverside (girls) and Hilltop (boys) camps.

We have put together tutorials (with the help of many of our returning staff members) on some of the more popular line dances for both our NEW and RETURNING CAMPERS. Learn them in the comfort and privacy of your home before you trip the light fantastic at Camp!

The link for the line dances is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRhtPPY88bAaXmk1OjI2KCg

During the dance, our campers and staff have a blast! I highly recommend you check out our YouTube Channel and subscribe.

On Hilltop, one way we teach our campers the dances is by playing the songs during our meal times. Often counselors will get up and dance and the campers will join in.

Still, many of our campers believe that the best part of the dance are the cookies.

BEADS

For every year of attendance, both campers and staff receive a new colored bead. The beads will tell your Hermann Sons Life Camp story. Camper beads are plastic. Staff beads are wooden.

CLEAN FOR ICE CREAM

Campers and counselors are asked to do their part to keep the cabins clean. This is where Clean For Ice Cream comes in. A few examples of the chores that campers and staff should expect to perform daily are sweeping, making their bed, taking out the trash, etc.

ICE CREAM SANDWICHES WILL BE GIVEN TO THE CLEANEST CABINS AT LUNCH ON FRIDAY!

FLAGPOLE

Like many (if not most) camps in the United States, we gather around the flagpole in the morning and afternoon to raise and lower the American flag. At Hermann Sons Life we also raise and lower the Texas state flag and the Hermann Sons Life flag.

We repeat the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge every morning. While they are not required to say the pledge, we do expect all campers and staff to be respectful during the flag raising and lowering by standing quietly facing the flag and taking off their hats!

Be curious, not judgmental

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TAPS

Each night, at the end of the evening activity, each camp gathers and performs Taps. It’s an awesome way of calming the campers down before heading back to the dorms for the friendship circles, showers and bed. At the end of Taps, the Lord’s Prayer is said. Much like the Pledge of Allegiance, campers are not required to sing Taps or say the Lord’s Prayer, however, they are expected to be respectful of those who do.

GRATEFUL (FRIENDSHIP) CIRCLES / LIGHTS-OUT

After Taps campers head back to the dorms. Before entering the dorm, they gather in a circle (or small circles) and say one thing they are grateful for from the day.

CAMP LIFE

All campers are scheduled 3 specialized activity periods each half day with the remaining half day for the campers’ elective activities. The activities assigned will be determined by the camper’s activity choices. The lesson plans have been rewritten this year with the sole focus of improving the camper’s enjoyment of the activity. PLAY and FUN have been integrated into all the lesson plans.

Please keep in mind that there will be no FINALS in our activities this summer, instead we are introducing a brand new special event.

CAMPER OF THE DAY

Every day we will be announcing the “Camper(s) of the Day” for each dorm. We are looking for the most deserving, most helpful, friendliest camper who embodies all aspects of Camp. This camper will be acknowledged at one of the meals.

CAMPER OF THE WEEK

Each week we will be announcing a “Camper(s) of the Week” for each dorm. We are looking for the most deserving, the friendliest campers, the most helpful, kindest, etc. This camper will be acknowledged at the Saturday Showcase and awarded a special orange bead.

COUNSELOR FREE-DINNER / SURVEYS

We truly care about what our campers think about their experience at Camp. We will survey them twice each week. Each week Executive Camp Director Ian Brassett reports the results of these surveys to the Vice President of Member Benefits. Ian reads every comment. We evaluate the surveys closely for trends.

Be curious, not judgmental

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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To operate Camp in 2023 we will always follow the regulations established by the state of Texas and consider the guidelines set forth by the American Camp Association. This Well Camp Policy is designed to allay the concerns of campers, parents and staff. Hermann Sons Life Camp staff will continue to review state regulations and ACA guidelines throughout the spring and implement changes as needed.

WELL CAMP POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Hermann Sons Life Camp’s primary concern is the health and safety of all campers and staff members who live and work at Camp. The Well Camp Policies have been developed to create a culture of healthy living and to develop policies and procedures which will foster good practices and habits amongst both staff and campers.

Illness and contagion will never be completely eradicated from schools and camps. Enforcing and implementing a culture where good healthy practices exist will help in reducing the spread of sickness, and is an essential part of running a top-rated summer camp program.

Camps and schools are traditional breeding grounds for the spread of germs. Hermann Sons Life Camp is the summer home for campers from all over Texas as well as a number of staff from across the world. In this COVID-19 environment, keeping a healthy camp environment will be even more critical. While we cannot guarantee that an outbreak of COVID-19 will not occur, we will be implementing procedures to reduce the likelihood of spread.

In 2023, Hermann Sons Life Camp will have a fully staffed clinic on both Hilltop and Riverside camps.

HERMANN SONS LIFE CAMP’S COMMUNICATION POLICY

• Parents must be informed before their child is seen by a doctor for illness or injury. This call will be made by the Camp nurse referring the camper.

• Whenever a camper puts his/her head on a pillow in the Clinic, the parent is to be called even if the stay is less than four hours.

• If it is after 9 p.m. and the child is admitted into the Clinic for a non-emergent condition, the call can be made between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. the next morning. No later! Back

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A HEALTHY CAMP BEGINS AND ENDS AT HOME

The American Camp Association along with the Association of Camp Nursing has prepared a document for parents to use to help keep summer camps healthy and happy places. This is a summary of that document.

• If your child is showing signs of illness such as running a temperature, throwing up, has diarrhea, nasal drainage and/or coughing/sneezing, keep the child home and contact your camp director. This greatly reduces the spread of illness at camp but also supports your child’s recovery.

• Teach your child to sneeze/cough in his/her sleeve and to wash his/her hands often while at camp, especially before eating and after using the restroom. If you really want to achieve impact, teach your child to accompany hand washing with another behavior: keeping their hands away from their face.

• If your child has mental, emotional or social health challenges, talk with a camp representative before camp starts. Proactively discussing a camp’s ability to accommodate a child can help minimize - if not eliminate - potential problems.

• Make sure your child has and wears appropriate close-toed shoes for activities such as soccer and hiking, and that your child understands that camp is a more rugged environment than the sub/urban setting. Talk with your child about wearing appropriate shoes to avoid slips, trips and falls that, in turn, can result in injuries such as a sprained ankle.

• Fatigue plays a part in both injuries and illnesses - and camp is a very busy place! Explain that camp is not like a sleepover: they need to sleep, not stay up all night!

• Remember to send sunscreen that your child has tried at home. Teach your child how to apply his/her sunscreen and how often to do so.

• Impress upon your child the importance of staying hydrated.

• Talk with your child about telling their counselor, the nurse or camp director about problems or things that are troublesome to them at camp. These camp professionals can be quite helpful as children learn to handle being homesick or cope with things such as losing something special. These helpers can’t be helpful if they don’t know about the problem - so talk to them.

• Should something come up during the camp experience or afterward - you see an unusual rash on your child or the child shares a disturbing story - contact the camp’s representative and let them know. Camps want to partner effectively with parents; sharing information makes this possible.

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PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES

We need to make sure that the campers and staff who are arriving to Camp are, to the best of all our abilities, free from the coronavirus. We need to get the commitment from all participants to follow and enforce new policies and procedures.

If you have any concerns about this policy, please contact us to set up a time to talk with Executive Camp Director Ian Brassett at 830-995-3223.

Camp will continue some procedures implemented for COVID-19 prevention this summer, especially on arrival day and in the cleaning procedures.

PRE-ARRIVAL SCREENING

This summer there will be changes to the process of intaking the campers and staff into Camp. And this begins at home.

One week prior to the camper’s arrival in Camp an email will be sent to all parents (and staff). The email will request that parents strictly monitor the health of their child (or themselves). It is important to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 that campers and staff do not bring the virus into Camp. We need to take a symptomatic approach.

WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS

We ask that parents and staff look out for possible symptoms of COVID-19. It is important that we communicate the importance of keeping campers who show signs of exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at home. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

• Cough

• Fever

• Muscle pain

• New loss of taste or smell

• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

• Chills

• Sore throat

This list does not include all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

• Within one week of their child’s arrival time, parents will receive an email. In that email we will inform the parents of the cabin/dorm they will be in. This will allow us one week to ensure that the campers will be in the cabin/dorm with their friends.

• In our email, we will also confirm that we have the Health History Form for the camper.

• In our email we will also attach a copy of the Medication Form. This is where the parents will indicate what medications the camper will be taking while they are in Camp. This form will reduce the time spent at the Clinic.

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
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CHECK-IN SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT

We need parental assistance to run a smooth and safe summer camp program.

In order to run the Camp and open our doors, protocols must be enforced. Failure to do so will result in your child not being admitted to Camp.

To reduce the number of families on-site at any given time, there will be a STAGGERED ARRIVAL TIME FOR EACH CABIN/DORM.

Campers will not be permitted to enter Camp before their scheduled arrival time. Campers with multiple family members in attendance at the same Camp, should plan their arrival at the later scheduled time.

CHECK-IN PROCEDURES

Check-in times have been established to allow for a minimal amount of contact with non-Camp participants. Campers will arrive by dorm from the oldest to the youngest dorms.

PARENTS WILL BE ASKED NOT TO LEAVE THEIR VEHICLE DURING DROP-OFF. Check-in will be a series of stops conducted by our senior and medical staff. Our counselors will be assigned to their dorms. We know this is a difficult thing to ask of our parents, but exceptions cannot be made.

At the first stop, a staff member will welcome the family.

The senior staff member will greet the campers and check that all the paperwork including the Health History Form is on file and that the arrival is on schedule.

Having verified the information, the car will drive forward to a second station.

HEALTH HISTORY FORM, WAIVER FORM AND MEDICATION FORM

We will be sending each family a Medication Form. We ask that this form is completed and printed before your arrival in Camp, and brought with you to allow for a swift drop-off. All medication must be in the original container with doctor’s authorization. We cannot and will not administer medication not consistent with the directions of a doctor’s orders or provided in anything other than the original packaging. At the medication table you will discuss with the Camp’s medical staff the Medication Form, and ask the nurse any questions you may have about your child’s stay.

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
HILLTOP RIVERSIDE Back to Table of Contents

CAMPER GOODBYES AND LUGGAGE DROP-OFF

You will then go to the camper and luggage drop-off. At this spot, the staff will collect all luggage from the trunk and your child. Please do not leave your vehicle. Say your goodbyes in the car. A staff member will then assist your child to their dorm, introduce them to their counselors and allow the Camp experience to begin.

The counselors in the dorm are there for the campers. They will help them unpack, orient the campers to the dorm, review their activity schedule and, most importantly, introduce them to their new friends in the dorm. During the scheduled arrival times 4-5 counselors and the senior counselor for the dorm and the CITs assigned to that dorm will be present. YOUR CAMPER WILL NEVER BE ALONE.

• Parents may drop off camper packages when the luggage is dropped off. Staff wearing PPE will be able to accept the packages and mail.

• Public restrooms in Rattlesnake (Riverside) and in the Admin Building (Hilltop) will be made available for parents. Check-in for the camper will be halted until the parent is back in their car.

PICK-UP/CHECK-OUT PROCEDURES

The Saturday pick-up procedure will very much mirror the drop-off procedure. More information will be sent to parents via the Hermann Sons Life App and email.

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING THE CAMP

Cleanliness of the Camp is everyone’s responsibility. The counselors are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the dorms. The housekeeping staff will be cleaning and sanitizing the common areas in Camp and the kitchen staff will be responsible for ensuring the Dining Hall is both clean and sanitary.

CLINIC PROTOCOL

The goal of our Camp’s health care policy and plan is to ensure the health and safety of all campers (and staff) so that they may participate in all activities to the maximum of their capabilities.

Medical care by a licensed nurse or EMT will be provided. Anyone requiring evaluation and treatment beyond the scope of the Camp’s treatment procedures will be referred to an appropriate facility and/or their own physician.

Hermann Sons Life Camp recognizes the HIPAA law. Copies of this law are posted in easily accessed areas. Every precaution will be taken to keep medical information confidential. Information will be provided to cabin counselors who live with campers and activity instructors on an as-needed basis. This is done in simple code to further protect the confidentiality of the camper.

All campers and staff are required to have a completed Health History Form on file.

MEDICATIONS

It is important to note that all medications must be entrusted to the care of the medical staff and kept under lock and key in the Clinic. Under no circumstances can any medication be left in the cabin. Campers should not be in possession of medication at any time. The only exception to this rule is the carrying of injectable epinephrine (epi-pens) and rescue inhalers. Campers are allowed to carry these after it has been assessed that they know how to use them without assistance. Back to Table of Contents

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© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook

SICK CALL

Sick Call is scheduled four times daily: after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner. We also have a Sick Call scheduled after the evening activity has ended (from 9-10 p.m.), however this Sick Call is primarily intended for campers who are required to take bedtime medications. Medications must always be taken BEFORE 10 p.m.

SUNSCREEN & LIP BALM

It is important that campers and staff use sunscreen every day. At Hermann Sons Life Camp we will supply sunscreen to both campers and staff who do not have it. Sunscreen is available outside the Clinic and at the Dining Hall. While most campers have lip balm, there will be lip balm or Vaseline available in the Clinic.

HYDRATION

To prevent dehydration (and the inevitable sickness that follows), campers and staff must drink water - lots of water. Campers AND STAFF are required to carry a water bottle with them from breakfast through dinner.

REST

After lunch it is important that all campers rest. All campers must be on their bed resting. Some campers may wish to read. That is OK. Campers aged 11 and younger must be in bed by 10 p.m. at the latest. Campers aged 12-14 and older must be in bed by 10:30 p.m. at the latest.

RESPONSE IN CAMP TO A POSITIVE (100.4>) TEMPERATURE

This summer we will be quick to respond to a temperature, persistent cough and other symptoms related to COVID-19.

Camper or staff temp at or above 100.40F.

Temp is retaken after breakfast.

Return to activities. Monitor and retest.

Sr. Counselor packs camper. Moves belonings to porch of clinic.

Sr. Counselor/ Medical Staff reassure and hang with camper until pickup.

Senior staff clean and sanitize the dorm. Housekeeping thoroughly disinfects all areas dorm visited in past 24 hours. Parent called. Camper/staff removed from Camp.

Email parents of campers in dorm that a camper had a temperature.

Recheck entire dorm at subsequent two meals.

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NO MEDS TEMP <100.4 Temp= /+100.40F

DINING HALL PROCEDURES

The following procedures will be implemented in the Dining Halls of both Riverside and Hilltop. The changes made are to ensure we provide our campers (and staff) with a safe dining experience.

Most of the procedures and policies for our kitchen staff should be followed in any year. Safe food handling to prevent cross-contamination, proper hygiene for all staff, acceptable cooking practices and correct cleaning and sanitation are must-dos for any kitchen.

KEY CHANGES TO THE KITCHEN

• Increased staff due to the increased workload, specifically the increase in cleaning and sanitizing.

• Strict adherence to no outside kitchen staff allowed in the kitchens.

• Slight menu changes to accommodate the need for easier service.

MEAL PROCEDURES

• Campers and counselors will wash their hands before being called to the Dining Hall. One dorm is to be called for each socially distanced serving line.

• The door will be held open by a staff member who will remind the campers to sanitize their hands upon entrance into the Dining Hall.

• Campers and counselors will then line-up to be served their food.

• Once there is only one or two campers left to be served in the dorm, we will call the next dorm to repeat the process.

• Once the campers have their food, the campers will then report to their assigned tables.

• Staff are required to wear masks when serving in the Dining Hall.

SERVING

• The main food will be served cafeteria-style.

• We will be unable to accommodate special diets and private food in the kitchen.

• Individual serving packets of sugar, ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, Italian dressing, ranch dressing and BBQ sauce will be used to replace the bulk dispensers..

SEATING

• Each dorm will be assigned a set of tables.

THE TABLE

• Each dorm will have a cleaning cart wheeled out to their tables during the meal.

• This cart will contain:

• a bucket for waste (and a scraper),

• a bucket with hot soapy water and a couple of sponges,

• a bucket with sanitizer solution and scrapers,

• a bus tub.

• Once the dorm has finished the meal, the campers will scrape excess food into the bucket and wipe down their part of the table using the hot soapy water.

• One counselor will then collect the plates, silverware and cups and place them in the bus tub.

• Once the table is clean, the campers and most of the counselors will return to their dorm.

• One counselor remains behind to sanitize the table and benches and sweep when necessary.

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AFTER EACH MEAL

• The dining hall tables and chairs are to be completely cleaned and sanitized.

• The floor of the Dining Hall is to be swept and mopped using HOT, soapy water.

• The serving lines are to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

• All cups, plates and utensils are to be cleaned, sanitized and air-dried per state regulations.

WATER BOTTLE REFILLS

10-gallon water jugs are available so campers may refill their water bottles. These water jugs are set up around Camp and sanitized twice daily and at each refill. The water bottles do not touch the faucet.

GUESTS AND VISITORS

No guests, friends or family may visit the Camp during the camp session. This will again limit the exposure to the campers and staff from outside the Camp setting.

RULE OF THREE/ACTIVE SUPERVISION

To protect our campers and staff, it is against Camp policy for counselors and campers to be alone 1:1 in a dorm. No staff member should ever be alone with a camper where others cannot see or there is an expectation of privacy. Sometimes a counselor in broad daylight may escort a camper to the Clinic. There is no expectation of privacy while walking to the Clinic. This means if a counselor needs a private chat with a camper, they may go on to the porch where they are visible to others while still allowing for the privacy a conversation may require.

We also practice Active Supervision. We want our counselors to get to know our campers, Ask questions. Be interested in them and their experience at Camp. This is where the counselor’s true value and greatest impact on the life of a child happens and where the deep friendships with Camp happen.

During each session, a senior counselor/director may ask to speak with the campers without the counselors present. We are constantly evaluating our program and this time spent with your campers provides valuable feedback on our electives, scheduling and, of course, our counselors. These discussions usually directly affect counselor evaluations and counselor of the session nominations. Back to Table of Contents

Be curious, not judgmental

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook

Be curious, not judgmental

© Hermann Sons Life Camp 2023 Parent Handbook
Back to Table of Contents
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