Do you offer a 1-week term? We have a special, one-week term named “Spark Week” that is only for new 6-9 year old campers so they can catch the spirit and experience some of the fun we have at camp prior to attending a full two-week or three-week term! The daily schedule of this starter camp is different from our longer camp terms in that campers will choose from 18+ activities in addition to participating in many of the highlights of camp.
Starting at age 7, campers may attend our two-week or three-week programs where they will have more time to establish relationships, participate in more activities, and grow in the body, mind, and spirit.
How are counselors recruited? How are they trained? Our counselors are recruited from over 20 colleges and universities throughout the United States. Olympia has a very thorough hiring process of its college-age counselors, which includes interviewing, contacting references, and conducting criminal background checks of all candidates. From over 400 applicants, approximately 50 are invited to join our returning staff each summer.
Additionally, each counselor agrees not to drink or smoke while employed at Camp Olympia.
Our counselors bond together for a one-week, rigorous training clinic prior to the start of camp. From this, our counselors emerge with a firm understanding of the Olympia program along with a high level of safety consciousness.
What is the counselor to camper ratio? Though the state of Texas only requires a 1 to 10 counselor to camper ratio, Olympia goes above and beyond by striving to staff 1 counselor to every 4 campers in each cabin. We firmly believe that each camper should receive individualized attention for our outstanding counselors.
How much money does my camper need to bring to camp? The answer is ZERO! Campers are not asked NOT to bring money with them to camp. We do not offer any a “snack shack” or “canteen” found at other camps. We do have a camp store called the Country Store, but campers may only use their earned merits to purchase items like toys, t-shirts, hats and stuffed animals. (Many campers flying into camp have traveling money with them. This money is locked up during their stay at camp and may be used to purchase store items or camper photos on the last day of camp as long as permission has been granted from a parent.)
What are MERITS? Merits are little red disks that are earned throughout the day at camp for good deeds, great effort or special achievements. Campers are rewarded by counselors for things big and small at camp. It may be helping a friend, cheering on your team or shooting a bulls-eye! These merits are collected and recorded each day. Campers may choose to save their merits to earn the Merit Club patch, spend their merits in the always fun Country Store, or donate a portion of them to our Philanthropy Club that benefits a charity each year.
Who is Merit? Merit is the name of our mascot, a lovable yellow Labrador Retriever! She”sends” emails and contributes to our newsletter throughout the year!
What if my child is a picky eater? Having kid-friendly meals is an important aspect to any overnight camp. We work hard in putting together a camp menu that is not only nutritious, but one that campers will like. Campers enjoy several food options at each meal, so even picky eaters have choices! Breakfasts has options including a hot dish (ex. pancakes, biscuits & gravy, etc.), eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt and cereal. A salad bar, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and fresh fruit are available at lunches and dinners in addition to the main meal being served.
Will you be able to work with my camper’s specific dietary needs? It is important to us that each child’s special dietary needs are met. Communication is key! Prior to camp, we ask that you indicate any special needs on our Camper Personal Information Sheet and on the Medical Form. Additionally, upon arriving to camp, if necessary or desired, you and your camper can meet with our chef to ensure that the proposed menu meets his/her needs.
How would my child’s medicine be distributed? Are there any nurses on site? Olympia has two registered nurses on site at all times. They will distribute any necessary medicine to your camper at designated times during the day and night. Our nurses also treat minor illnesses, provide a little TLC and decide who needs to see the doctor. If the need arises, Huntsville has an Urgent Care facility as well as a hospital that is approximately thirty-two miles from camp.
What is a typical day like at Camp Olympia? Campers stay busy at camp! From our “Wake-up” Radio Show to “Lights-Out” at bedtime, our day is packed with fun! At camp, no two days at camp are exactly the same! Each camper will receive an activity schedule, based on their activity preferences, on the first day of camp. The schedule shows 6 activity periods on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 4 activity periods on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. These 10 activity periods give campers the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that interest them. Additionally, every night, there is a different program planned for campers ranging from cookouts to dances and talent show to carnival!
Below is an example of a “typical” day at camp for our 2-week and 3-week campers. For a look at the typical day for our SPARK week, click here.
Typical Day at Camp for our 2-Week or 3-Week Terms:
7:45 AM – Wake-up
8:15 AM – Breakfast
9:15 AM – COLOCO (“Camp O is going crazy!”)
9:25 AM – Spartan/Athenian
10:15 AM – Refreshments
10:30 AM – Activities/Breakout
12:00 PM – Radio Show/Free
12:45 PM – Lunch
1:30 PM – Rest Period
2:45 PM – Snack Time
3:00 PM – Activities
6:30 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Nightly Program
10:00 PM – “Day is Done”
Are the cabins air-conditioned? YES! Each cabin and bathroom has air-conditioning. This is a HUGE benefit on hot summer days. Additionally, our dining hall and most other indoor facilities are air-conditioned and have ceiling fans. Olympia also benefits from the shade of the many trees we have all around camp.
My camper wants to attend camp with a friend. Will they be in the same cabin? On the camp application form, there is a space to indicate ONE cabinmate request. While we cannot guarantee that the request will be granted, every effort is made to pair requested friends together as long as they are close in age. If a cabinmate request was not indicated on the application, please contact the office prior to May 1 with your request.
Is Olympia accredited? What does being accredited by the American Camp Association mean? The American Camp Association sets the best standards in the camping industry, and we proudly are ACA certified. Being ACA accredited is the best guarantee of professionalism in camping because it lets you know we have voluntarily taken the time to insure our program and our site meets the strictest codes of safety and excellence. Click here to learn more about ACA accreditation.
Does Camp Olympia provide transportation for Opening and/or Closing Day? What if my camper is flying in to attend camp? Camp Olympia does offer transportation to camp for Opening Day from several areas in Houston. However, it is important to note that a minimum of 15 campers is necessary from each of the designated areas in order to provide transportation.
Camp Olympia truly is a global camp and provides transportation to and from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. We request that all arrivals should be arranged between 11:00AM and 1:00PM on Opening Day and all departures should be scheduled between 11:00AM and 1:00PM on Closing Day.
Will I be able to call my child at camp? Campers do not have access to a phone and are not permitted to bring cell phones to camp. Instead, campers are encouraged to write home as often as possible. Parents should feel free to call to talk with a staff member or one of your camper’s counselors at any time for information, concerns or suggested about your camper’s stay.
Am I able to email my camper? At camp, mail is a BIG DEAL! We encourage parents to write letters or emails your camper. All emails for your camper should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent through your Parent Account.
Are outside packages allowed at camp? Family and friends are asked NOT to send outside packages to campers. Any package will be returned to sender. This policy was implemented because in the past, the high volume of packages created a distraction from the true purpose of camp, a messy cabin environment, and unnecessary competition amongst campers and pressure on parents, plus made it more difficult to manage our camp environment. Instead, we encourage you to write your camper frequently, as campers really enjoy receiving letters and emails. Camp does, however, still offer its camp-approved Special Delivery Care Packages for families to purchase for their campers.
What is an Early Bird? Early Birds are campers that sign up for next year’s summer camp on Closing Day. Early Birds secure their spot for the following summer, are rewarded with 50 merits, receive their official Early Bird T-Shirt, and have extra time at our Early Bird Party on the last full day of the camp term.
What is the best way to update my contact and/or billing information? One easy way to update your contact information and billing preferences is by accessing our Parent Log-In page. Of course, you can always email us or call 936-594-2541, and we would be more than glad to assist you.
Do you suggest any other resources for helping families get prepared for sending their camper to camp for the first time? Olympia recommends an excellent resource book, by Dr. Christopher Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski, named The Summer Camp Handbook. This book is now available for online reading at http://www.summercamphandbook.com/. It has wonderful pointers on what to look for in choosing a camp, how you know if your camper is ready, and how to handle homesickness.