Frequently Asked Questions

We know you may have many questions when you are trying to decide to choose Camp Thurman as an activity for your family or group.
 
We’ve tried to anticipate many of them here in this section.  You’ll find them organized into the following sections:

Yes, if you don’t mind that they swim in their shorts and shirts. They swim twice daily, so if you can bring one to them as soon as you realize it, they may still be able to make the change for at least one of their swim times.

If at all possible, please bring a lunch to them before lunch time at 12 noon. If that is not possible, we have only granola bars, chips, and drinks from the snack shop to offer them, nothing more substantial.

We ask that parents apply long-lasting sunscreen before their child arrives at camp and send sunscreen in the camper’s backpack if you would like for the camper to reapply before the afternoon swim time.

For children who are too young to re-apply sunscreen, you must indicate on your registration form that they will need help. If you will send a spray sunscreen of your choice in your camper’s backpack, the counselor will spray your child with that sunscreen before the afternoon swim time. If your child sunburns easily, it is also a very good idea to ask them to wear their t-shirt even during swim time. They dry quickly.

If you would like for the counselor to spray afternoon sunscreen or to require your child to keep his/her shirt on, please indicate that on the medical section of your reg form. Otherwise, the counselor would not have time to check through all 12 backpacks to see if there is sunscreen there. You can also indicate on your registration form that you would like for your child to keep his/her T-shirt on throughout the day, even during swim time.

Most of our summer weeks in Texas are hot, so we are used to working with children in these conditions. Counselors are trained to be sure their campers are drinking water often throughout the day. The campers also swim twice daily, which helps keep the body temperature cooler. We have misters and fans scattered throughout the grounds. And, in addition the majority of our campground is under trees.

Please do not ask us to make a change of groups on Monday morning. Our groups are always formed with the maximum number of campers in each group. For us to move your child would mean making the group too large or moving out a camper who is already expecting to be in that group.

Please check your camper’s information by going to your MyCampThurmanAccount at least two weeks before your camp date and make sure you have listed the buddies you would like to have your camper placed with.

In the morning or the afternoon, you’ll need to park to come to the office area to pick up or purchase shirts or make snack deposits. On Monday mornings, there will be a snack-deposit table by the office, and T-Shirts which have been pre-purchased may be picked up at the new Bambi’s Trading Post just south of the camp office, behind the gazebo. If you did not prepay for a shirt or you did not submit a T-Shirt Selection Form in March, T-Shirts may be picked up or purchased at the trading post.

You’ll make the same left/right turn decision as you did with drop-off time when you come in the afternoon to pick your children up. Once again, pull up as far as you can in a traffic lane, regardless of where your camper’s group is located. Our traffic staff is trained to come to your car to ask you whose group your campers are in; then they will place a red card on your car to let the other staff know they have talked with you already. You may continue to move up in the lane even after a red card has been placed on your car. The traffic staff will bring your child to your car wherever you have moved to.

If you want to park, you’ll need to turn left as you enter the gates and park head-in on the east side of the lot.

You’ll find a graphic of our traffic pattern below. Essentially you will make a choice as you enter our gates. There will be a sign asking you to turn right if your child is under age 7 or 8 [that age may change each week, depending on the number of groups we have in the younger ages] or turn left if they are over that age. Please pull up as far as you can in your lane and continue to pull up until one of our staff comes to your car to get your children. Try your best not to stop on one of the yellow walkways so that the campers can use those to safely cross traffic. You do NOT need to stop right in front of your counselor’s sign. The staff member will walk with your children to the counselor.

If you desire to park, please turn left and park head-in on the east side of the lot. If there is no room, please ask a traffic staffer to direct you to a parking place. Please do NOT get out of your car if you are in a traffic lane.

After you park, please follow our traffic policy and cross the traffic only on the yellow walkways and watch your children carefully. Approximately 300 cars will be using those traffic lanes each day. If you don’t know where your counselor is stationed, you may ask a staff member. Generally, the groups start with the youngest children on the far north end of the drop-off area and then progress southward as the age of the groups increases so that the oldest camper groups are located at the far south end.

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Please call 817-274-8441 to reach the camp office. If you get our answering machine, please leave a message. We receive many calls during the day, and sometimes we will be on the phone talking with someone else when you call. In that case, your call automatically rolls over to the answering machine. We check those messages often during the day.

Most of the time, the kids are so busy having fun that there are not a lot of discipline problems. However, we are aware of that possibility, and we spend a good deal of time during training teaching our counselors how to handle discipline problems. The counselor has a set of steps they go through before they bring the problem to the office. One of those steps is for the counselor to contact the parent to let them know that they are having a problem with obedience from their child and ask for parent help in encouraging the child to be responsive to the counselor’s direction.

If, through the steps, the counselor is unable to control the camper’s behavior, the camper is brought to the office to speak with our director. He may or may not choose to contact the parents at that time. If the camper continues to disobey, then the director will call the parents and ask them to come and pick up the child. Usually that child is given another chance the following day to return and choose to obey.

If your child tells you they are having a problem with a bully, please let the counselor know right away so that the problem can be corrected and your camper can enjoy their week at CT. Feel free to call the office to discuss a problem as well.

It depends on the severity of the sickness or injury. If they just have a headache or a tummy-ache and need to rest in the air-conditioned first-aid cabin, then we do not contact the parents at the time, but we send a note home which says that they were at first-aid during the day and what treatment they received. We also do not contact parents by phone if your camper gets a scratch or a bump, but each trip to the first-aid cabin is recorded and a note sent home at the end of the day. If a bandaid is applied out in the field, there is no record of that.

If, however, the first-aid attendant feels the sickness or the injury is one which needs the parent’s attention, she will call to let you know what the situation is. Please be sure that you are available by phone at one of the numbers you listed on your camper’s registration form and be sure the person you listed as an emergency name and number knows where to reach you. We ALWAYS try to reach the parent first and use the emergency name and number only if we are unable to reach you at one of the numbers you listed on your form.

Each day at 9:00AM the counselor and his group of campers leave the front area and go to their tent site. If you arrive after that time, you will need to bring your camper to the office so that we can check them in and then take them to their group.

If you want to pick your child up early, please use our Early Pickup Request form. In addition you need to let both your counselor and the office know the time you will be coming to pick them up. We will do our best to have them in the office for you to check them out at the time you need them. However, the groups operate on a loose schedule, and it sometimes takes awhile before we can locate them. The office will try to remind the counselor so that you do not have to wait very long, but the counselor is concentrating on leading the campers through their activities, and they are not aware of the exact time of the day, so please be patient. It helps if you arrive about 15 or 20 minutes before you need to leave the campground to make it to your appointment. We do not do early pickups after 2:35, so please make sure your early pickup is before that time. Our gates close at 2:35 in preparation for the afternoon traffic.

Our camps are week-long camps, and the activities are different each day, so missing a day may mean that your camper misses an activity they’ve been looking forward to; however, there is no requirement that your child must attend every day. At the same time, there is no discount from your weekly fee if you choose not to send your camper one or more days during the week.

When you arrive on Monday morning, turn left as you enter the gates and park head in on the east side. Bring your camper to the office area, and you’ll find a table just outside the office door. The staff there will be able to tell you who your counselor is and explain where you’ll find them.

All medicine needs to be marked with your child’s name and be in the original packaging with dosages on the package. Please give this medicine to the first-aid staff member, who will be at a table just outside our office door on Monday mornings. Do not put medicine in your child’s backpack or give medicine to the counselor. The only exception to that would be an epipen or inhaler. Campers may keep epipens or inhalers with them or you may ask the counselor to keep those items if necessary.

Yes, we ask that campers not bring money, cell phones, anything in the way of toys, video games, etc.

We suggest a backpack for towels, lunches, goggles (if they wear them in the water). Other than that, they do not need to bring anything else.

No, our snack shop has granola bars, chips and drinks that they could use in an emergency, but nothing more substantial than that.

Yes, please pack the lunch in something insulated, to keep the food cool on hot summer days. An insulated backpack or an insulated lunch kit works well. Also, please send water. We do have water fountains and water stations scattered around the camp, but it always helps for the campers to have their own water readily available.

All girls are asked to wear modest swimsuits. Girl campers who have finished 5th grade or above are required to wear a modest one piece suit or a tankini with no more than one inch separation. In fact, tankinis are good choices for all the girls, especially at restroom time.

We ask that our campers wear sturdy outdoor clothes, some that will be okay to get dirty in. Our girls generally wear their swimsuit with shorts and a shirt over it. Girls’ swimsuits should be modest – even for the younger girls. The boys wear their swimsuit with a T-shirt. Shoes should not be new. They need to have closed toes for safety in climbing and walking in wooded areas. Shoes that can be worn without socks are preferable, but that is your choice. PLEASE put your child’s name on everything they wear or bring!

No, we have no staff to offer that service. All of our staff is actively involved in setup, prep time, or clean up before and after camp.

If you need to pick up your camper before the end of the camp day, please let both your counselor and the office know, and we will do our best to have them up front at the time you need them; however, we do not do early pickups during the last activity period of the day, so please arrange to get them before 2:35. Our gates close at 2:35 in preparation for the afternoon pickup time.

Sunshine Camp ends at 1:15PM. Please pick your child up between 1:15 and 1:25PM. Uncle Bill’s ends at 12:30. Please pick your camper up between 12:30 and 12:40PM. The full-day camp day ends officially at 4:00 PM, with groups beginning to arrive up front for pickup at 3:45.

Please do not begin to line up outside our gates before 3:45. If you do, and the line begins to block local traffic, the police will insist that we open our gates to let you in. When we have to do so, then the 3 activities that are taking place in the area up front have to stop so that you can pull in. Please don’t make our campers end their activities early just so you can line up early!

Final pickup time is 4:10. If in an emergency you realize you will not be on time, please call the office to explain, so that your children will not be worried.

Our gates open on Monday morning at 8:30. On the rest of the week, they open at 8:40. Please be kind to our neighbors and do not come earlier so that the cars line up outside our gates and block their driveways.

Full-day camp starts at 9:00 and ends at 4:00 each day. Sunshine kids come at 9:00 also, but their day ends at 1:15. Uncle Bill’s kids come at 9:00 and their day ends at 12:30 – before lunch.

You should receive a call from your counselor the week before your camp date. The counselors will send an email on Wednesday and then begin their calls on Thursday. If they get an answering machine when they make their first call, they will leave you a message with their name and then try again on Friday to reach you. If for some reason you haven’t received a call or a message by Friday morning, please call the camp at 817-274-8441 or send an email to [email protected] and we’ll let you know who your counselor is. If you arrive the first day of camp and you still do not know who your counselor is, please check at the table just outside the office door.

In the event that your camper is injured in some way that would prevent them from participating in camp activities, or if they get sick before the camp date and the doctor says they will not be well enough to participate, please let us know by using the My Camper is Sick or Hurt form to let us know.

Or if your child gets sick or hurt during his camp week and is unable to return, you also need to submit that form so that we can record the missed days on his record.Once we have received that, we will try to accommodate you by rescheduling their camp date if possible. If we are unable to reschedule, we will contact you to discuss other possibilities.

If your camper gets sick during the camp week, we do not make up sick days unless your child is out more than one day. In that event, we will do our best to make the days up later in the summer, but we cannot guarantee that we will have a group available which would fit your camper’s requirements.

Prepaying for a T-shirt gives you a small discount and helps us to know how many shirts to order so that we’ll have enough shirts for all who want one. You may pick up your camper’s shirt at Open House or any time the camp is in session. We do not pass out shirts to campers.

If you register by March 1st, we will send you an email asking that you look at the online selection of shirts and fill in the form to select one in the style and size you want for your child.  Your shirts will be ready to pick up during the two weeks before regular camp begins. Open House is the last time you may pick up a pre-selected shirt. After that it will go back into regular stock and you will need to use the traditional t-shirt pickup process.. If you do not submit the T-Shirt Selection Form, we cannot pull a particular shirt for you and we do advise that you pick up your shirt early in the summer season to have the best choice of styles/sizes, as we cannot guarantee that all sizes/styles will still be available when your camp week begins.

If you choose to have your T-Shirt mailed, you will receive an email in the spring asking you to go online and pick a style and size. We will have that shirt packaged and mailed to you before camp begins. If you select this option and you do not respond to the email to select your style and size, you will lose the extra you paid for mailing and you will need to go through the regular t-shirt line to pick your shirt from those still available.

Please do NOT send money with your camper. Our years of experience have shown us that campers and money do not mix. They tend to lose or misplace it and get very upset when they do. That’s why we designed the pre-pay deposits for the snack shop. If you want your child to have money to spend there, you can deposit snack money when you register or later through your MyCampThurmanAccount. If there is no option there to add snack money that means that your child’s camp has snacks included in the registration fee.

A request for Cancellation must be made at least two weeks before your camp date, through our Cancel A Week form ONLY.
No cancellations will be made by phone, email, or notes. Any of those methods can result in miscommunication or lost requests. When you submit this form, your request is automatically connected to our database, and we have an accurate, permanent record of your request.
Cancellations/Penalties: 
A 50% refund is available if you cancel at least two weeks before your session date. 
 If the week you are cancelling has a waitlist, and we are able to replace your camper with someone from the waitlist, you will receive a full refund less a $25 cancellation fee.
No refunds will be made for cancellations in the last two weeks before your session date.

As long as the week you are wanting to change to has availability, you may change weeks for your camper. Request for Change of Weeks must be made online with our Change of Weeks form. No changes will be made by phone, email, or notes. There is a $6 fee to make that change on the first request. Any subsequent changes would incur a $10 fee.

On the Summer Camp Availability page under the Register tab, you will find all the camp weeks listed and the current availability status.  That chart is updated at least once a week, so it will be pretty accurate.  At the beginning of the online registration process, after you have entered your camper’s age and gender, the list of camps which comes up will show only those which are currently available.  You will be able to register for any weeks shown there.

Our policy allows a 50% refund as long as you cancel at least two weeks before your camp date.  Traditionally we have a waitlist for each of our camp weeks by April or May.  If you cancel a week which has a waitlist, and we are able to replace your camper with one from the waitlist, you will receive a full refund less the $25 cancellation fee.

No cancellations are made by phone.  In order to cancel a week, you must use the Contact Us – Cancel a Week form on the website.

Over half of our campers do not come with a buddy.  We’ll be sure there is at least one other camper in the group who also didn’t list a groupmate.  New friends are quickly made at CT.

When you register online, there is a field on the registration form which allows you to enter up to 3 groupmates.  Be sure you list them in the order of your preference.  If we are not able to place your camper with all buddies listed, then we start with the first one on the list.

We are a Christian Camp, and we share Bible truths with our campers each day.  5 areas which we desire to share with your children include God’s creation of our world, helping the camper to understand that God created them to be wonderful, who Jesus is, that salvation comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, friendship with God (which includes obedience).

Yes, we have scholarships available each year. When there are scholarship funds still available, you can indicate during your online registration process that you’d like to request a scholarship, and we will let you know within two weeks if we are able to offer one to your camper.  Most of our scholarship budget has been distributed before March of each year, so be sure to register early if you are seeking a scholarship.

We also have some scholarships that are given by our Camp Thurman Supporters which may still be available later in the year. Please submit a written scholarship request form if you are interested in applying for these.

Yes, we do.  We offer an Extended Pay Plan. Your fees will be spread out over 4 monthly payments, with the first payment being made at time of registration.  If you need to spread your payments out even further, please send us an email to ask for a special payment plan.

If the week you are interested in is full, you may register for the waitlist for that week.  You will pay a $6 deposit at the time of registration.  If your camper is moved into that week, your deposit is applied toward the registration fees.  If we are never able to place your camper in that week, the deposit is non-refundable.

Campers are placed on a first-come, first-served basis from the waitlist until the last two weeks before the camp date.  So, if your child is #1 on the waitlist, and another camper moves out of a week or drops a week, your camper will be moved in.

During the last two weeks before a camp date, we will be grouping the campers, and if we need a particular age/gender of camper to fill out a group, we will go to the first one on the waitlist of that age/gender, so even if your camper is #1 on the list, he/she may be skipped because they don’t fit those age/gender requirements.

The maximum number of events a camper may attend in one summer is three.

We do not have overnight facilities.  Our GetAway Camp for our upcoming 7th, 8th, and 9th graders is located at a different campground.

Our policy is that your child may be grouped with his/her buddy as long as they are within one year of each other in age or grade.  However, you may not choose one buddy who is a year younger than your camper and another buddy who is a year older than your camper.  All campers in a group must be within one year of each other.

This year our Open House is on Saturday, June 6th, for the Regular Day Camp, Saturday, May 30th, for Uncle Bill’s Kids Club.  However, due to the consistent rainy weather, our new construction has been delayed.  As we stated in the email we sent to registered camper families, we are asking that only new families attend this season’s Regular Day Camp Open House.  From 8AM to 12PM you may come to walk the grounds, see the activity elements, pick up t-shirts, and ask questions.  There will be no guided tours.
Returning and new families may pick up tshirts by entering the Smith-Barry gate in the afternoon between 1PM and 5PM.
Other than Open House, we do not have organized tours of the camp, but anyone is welcome to come to the camp anytime it is open to walk the grounds on their own.  Please check in at the office for a Visitor’s pass.  If we have staff available, we will be glad to have them walk with you.

We do not have daily fees.  If your child misses a day due to other activities, there is no discount for the weekly fee.

If you register 4 children from the same family, the 4th child comes free.  Otherwise, there are no sibling discounts.

You’ll find camp costs on the individual camp descriptions and on the camp’s specific page.  Our fees range from $188 for Afternoon Explosion Camp to $450 for GetAway Camp.

In the summer season we have shorter-day camps each week for 4 yr-olds called Sunshine Days Camp. We also have a shorter-day camp called Uncle Bill’s Kids Club the week before regular camp begins; it is for 4 and 5 yr-olds only.

Our traditional day camps are for campers age 5 through those finishing 5th grade.

We also have Explosion Camps in the afternoons for ages 7 to 11.
For our tweens and teens the ETC and Breakout camps also start in the afternoon and run into the evening. And this year during

Week 6 we have a GetAway camp for campers entering grades 7, 8, or 9 in the fall.

We offer one-day camps throughout the year for families and groups.

During the non-summer season, Camp Thurman’s Challenge Adventure Programs give groups a chance to build teams and relationships. Check out the several packages designed to help your group.

Campers must reach the required age for their particular camp within one month of the start of that camp.  In other words, your camper could attend Uncle Bill’s Kids Club if they turn 4 by July 2, since that camp starts on June 2.

Campers who are placed in a camp with that one month flex are placed on a probationary basis.  If their young age proves to be a problem for them or for the other campers in their group, we will ask that you withdraw them with a refund and try again the following year.

We have programs for children age 4 through age 14.

Our camp office is located on the campgrounds at 3001 Sarah Dr. in the Pantego/Arlington area.  In the non-summer season the office is open most days; however, the staff may be involved in various activities. Please call before you come to make sure the staff is not out on errands or at a meeting. During the summer, it is open every weekday from 8:45 to 5.

 

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Our Challenge Adventure team building program offers a chance for teams and groups to reach a new level of communication and grow in relationships. Participants have the chance to support and encourage one another in testing personal limits and healthy risk-taking. All programs are personally designed to meet the needs and desires of your particular group. Check out our Challenge Adventure section to read about the different packages available. For more information about how your group can participant please send an email to Cindy Hatchell, Challenge Adventure Director.

Absolutely! Each year in October, we offer a Family Treasure Day, giving our camp families a chance to share Camp Thurman activities together. You can read more about this special day here.

We do not have staff who are trained to work with children with special needs. However, if we can meet the needs of your special needs camper with patience and love, they may be able to attend our regular day camps. If you are interested, please register them through the normal channels and indicate on their registration form that they have special needs. Our special needs coordinator will contact you and make a decision with you whether to give it a try. Our Challenge Adventure program also can set up a unique day for special needs groups.

The campsite is not available for parties or celebrations. We do have events for groups through our Challenge Adventure team building program, and it is possible to set a special Treasure Day for your group. Please send an email to our Community Outreach Director Mary Hibbs for more information.