Frontier Camp strives to create a fun, adventurous, and wholesome community that fosters Godly growth, respect, and unity among campers and staff. Your child's safety is our number one priority while he or she is here at Frontier Camp. While we cannot completely eliminate the possibility of a child becoming ill or being injured while at camp, we strongly believe that camp needs to be a secure environment for the child to learn and grow. We are licensed as a youth camp and inspected annually by the State of Texas, and we have been accredited by the American Camping Association since 1982. Our accreditation insures consistent evaluation of our compliance with all of the over 300 ACA standards and sub-standards regarding safety, health and operations.
Our ministry has always taken the protection of our campers very seriously. We adhere to a Child Protection Plan (CPP) that takes a 360-degree approach to camper safety. That circle of protection includes our campers, our staff and the camper’s parents. The protective circle is fostered by our commitment to protect our campers and camp staff, and consists of carefully screening and hiring the right staff, following health and safety policies and procedures that meet or exceed industry standards, rigorously training our staff, and effectively monitoring and supervising all aspects of camp.
We believe that the best way to protect our campers is by hiring the right staff members! The power of Christian camping resides in the young role-models that have a visible walk with the Lord living out their faith daily in front of your camper. Therefore, we are very thorough in the screening of all of our staff hires. The majority of our new staff come recommended by our former staff. This provides us with quality new staff applicants as we don't often hire people unknown to the Frontier Camp family. Our application is extensive and we ask many personal questions about family history, social involvement, spiritual background, and moral beliefs. These questions are designed to screen out candidates that do not meet the standards we set for our staff. Each application is carefully read and reviewed by two full time staff. Each applicant has a personal interview with either an assistant director or director. Our interviewers are trained to look for "red flags" that include, but are not limited to any indication of dishonesty, odd behaviors, defense mechanisms, or potentially inappropriate lifestyle tendencies.
All applicants must submit three references and a pastoral recommendation. These are verified by a personal phone call from one of our full-time staff involved in the hiring process. Applicants must also submit a Voluntary Disclosure statement, and all staff sign a Commitment to adhere to our Code of Conduct. Thorough national background checks are performed on all full-time and seasonal staff every year. We even go so far as to check social networking sites, such as Facebook, to be certain that our candidates conduct themselves appropriately even in their personal lives. Finally, our full-time staff and board regularly pray for the recruiting and hiring of our summer staff throughout the entire year.
Once hired, all of our session staff are required to attend a week-long training at camp. This is a probationary period, and if we do not feel completely confident in a staffer’s ability to be an outstanding caregiver and role model for your child, we will not allow them to serve during the summer. Every staff member must complete sexual abuse training that focuses on prevention, recognition, and reporting before they arrive at Frontier Camp. During Staff Week, we train each staff member on our Child Protection Plan (CPP), including how to monitor interactions between staff members and those that are in their care. We conduct additional supervisory training for all of our leadership staff, and also provide a week-long certification training for specialized activity/recreation leaders. All of our session staff is CPR and first-aid certified. All of the staff assigned to the waterfront hold Red Cross Lifeguarding certifications and are supervised by directors holding Red Cross lifeguard training certifications. Daily staff meetings are used to keep safety at the forefront of what we do at camp, and to re-emphasize pertinent training topics. If you have any more questions regarding our staff interviewing, screening, or selection process, please contact Matt Henderson, Teen Camp Director at (936)544-3206 x5106 or Hans Meinardus, Summer Camp Director at (936)544-3206 x5103.
Our onsite camp Healthcare Administrator is a registered nurse and is responsible for supervising our college-aged Healthcare Assistants in administering medication, caring for illnesses, and treating injuries. The Healthcare Assistants receive a week-long medical training in addition to the standard staff training prior to the start of the summer.
Frontier Camp has two centrally located on-site infirmaries, the Estella Brown Infirmary at Junior Camp, and the Fossil Creek Infirmary at Teen Camp, to care for campers during their camp week. Each infirmary has a clinic room for treatment along with patient rooms in the back for longer stays. Our healthcare staff are on duty 24 hours a day and are accessible from anywhere on camp. In the case of an emergency, our camp doctor is on call 24 hours a day. When necessary, campers will be transported to an off campus medical center. The closest medical center is in Crockett, approximately 20 minutes from camp.
Our healthcare staff administer all medications to campers and minor staff members. We do not allow medications to be kept outside the infirmary except for rescue inhalers and epi-pens, with staff permission. All medications must be turned in during check-in on the Sunday of each camp session. Medications brought to camp must meet the following criteria:
- In the ORIGINAL CONTAINER (Loose pills, multiple medications in one container, or medications in pill sorters will NOT be accepted. This is a state regulation and we cannot make any exceptions to it.)
- If a prescription, must be prescribed to the camper
- Not expired
- In a zipper plastic bag with the camper’s name on it
For camp purposes, we classify medications as any pill, liquid, ointment, or substance used to maintain health or used to treat or prevent illness or injury. This includes vitamins, essential oils, dietary supplements, and non-prescription medications. Standard over-the-counter medications are kept on hand at all times and are given at the discretion of the camp healthcare staff.
The camp healthcare staff or other camp staff member will contact you in the case of:
- An accident or illness requiring the attention of non-camp medical personnel (such as an EMT, or clinic visit).
- Any accident or illness requiring an overnight stay in the infirmary.
- Any incident in which a camper has a fever of 100 degrees or more that lingers over three hours or multiple vomiting.
- Any accident or illness for which the Healthcare staff deems a call to the parent or guardian to be in the best interest of the camper or parent.
Drinking water is available at every activity location and camp staff encourage campers to drink water throughout the day. We also provide ear drops for campers after swimming in the lake to help prevent ear infections, and staff are always available to assist in applying sunscreen if needed. Finally, access to a hand washing sink or hand sanitizer is provided prior to every meal.
Waterfront Activities:All of our water activities are led by at least two certified lifeguards. Upon arrival at camp, all junior campers participate in a swim check to evaluate swimming ability in our pool. Any camper who shows difficulty or excessive exertion during the swim check will be required to wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) when swimming in the deep end of pool. Teen campers, along with their parents, rate their swimming ability during check in. Lake waterfront activities (other than the designated swimming area of Lake Maverick) including all boating, the blob, water zip line, and wet willie slide require all participants, no matter the swimming ability, to wear life jackets, and these activities are supervised by lifeguard staff trained in the safety procedures related to those specific activities. Campers are required to wear specific helmets when wakeboarding or being towed on inflatables. Boat Drivers and Cable Lake Operators are certified lifeguards and undergo specific boat and cable driver training. This is a week-long training which includes showing proficiency in boat safety, driving, and towing campers. Additionally our boat drivers must have a Boaters Safety certification from Texas Parks and Wildlife or its equivalent.
Equine Activities:All campers riding a horse are required to wear a helmet, both on trail rides as well as in the riding arenas. Our wranglers are trained in horse safety and managing kids on and around horses by our equine director. Additionally, they are trained in how to manage campers and horses if situations arise due to weather, misbehaving horses, etc.
Challenge Course Activities:All of our challenge course activities are inspected annually by a professional challenge course company. Our full-time ropes course supervisor is certified as an ACCT Level 1 Challenge Course Practitioner, who trains and supervisors our part time staff. Additionally, regular logs are kept according to challenge course industry requirements as well as ACA standard requirements, and equipment is retired and replaced as needed. Equipment and safety checks occur daily by the operating staff prior to use. Campers participating in challenge course activities must wear a specific ropes course approved harness, helmet, and closed-toe shoes.
In the summer of 2016, one of Frontier Camp’s lifeguards contracted a rare but fatal case of Primary Amoebic Meningitis (PAM). PAM is caused by Naelgeria fowleri 1, an amoeba commonly found in most all freshwater lakes in the southern US. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the only certain way to prevent a N. fowleri infection due to swimming is to refrain from water-related activities in warm freshwater. You cannot be infected with N. fowleri by drinking contaminated water, and the infection cannot spread from one person to another. For those of us who will continue to swim in freshwater lakes, personal actions to reduce the risk 1 of N. fowleri infection should focus on limiting the amount of water going up the nose.
The CDC states that prevention actions could include the following:
• Hold your nose shut, use nose clips, or keep your head above water when taking part in water-related activities in bodies of warm freshwater.
• Avoid water-related activities in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperature.
• Avoid digging in or stirring up the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.
1. Frontier Camp encourages parents to follow the recommendations of the CDC at their discretion.
2. Frontier Camp has replaced the shallow swimming area in Houston County Lake with a new chlorinated pool. Water activities will continue to be conducted in Lake Maverick at Fossil Creek and in the deeper waters of Houston County Lake. We monitor the recreational water quality of the lake waterfronts, and will close them if monitoring thresholds are exceeded. Note that our biological thresholds are more stringent than current regulatory standards for recreational water quality with which we are already in compliance.
3. In addition, parents will be given an “opt out” option in choosing lake waterfront activities for their camper(s). Campers allowed to participate in lake waterfront activities will be required to wear a visible armband designating parental permission to get into the lake. Lake access will be stringently monitored.
4. We have health monitoring protocols in place and have ready access via Air Ambulance Contract to the newly-approved life-saving drug Miltefosine, currently available at Cooks Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
Note: 1. The risk of contracting N. fowleri while swimming has been reported as 7 cases per billion swimming episodes based on data from Florida, and is calculated as falling between 8.5 x 10-8 and ~1.0 x 10-9 at a concentration of 10 N. fowerli per liter from a modeling study in France. See Applied and Environmental Microbiology, July 2001 vol. 67 no. 7 2927-2931.
Weather conditions are monitored by fulltime camp staff. In the event of inclement weather at Frontier Camp, all activity and counseling staff are trained in the emergency procedures including sheltering areas and safety precautions. Policies have been set to ensure safety for the campers during these times, but even when normal camp activities have to stop, our staff are trained to make sure the fun doesn’t have to end! Numerous indoor activities are stored up for use in these occasions to help keep the campers’ minds off the weather and ensure their camp experience is the most fun possible. With cabin, team and individual games to play we’re sure you’ll have a ball—and just might find a new favorite camp game in the process!
The most common weather issue at Frontier Camp is a thunderstorm. At the first sound of thunder, waterfront and ropes activities close immediately, as those are the highest risk. A thunder count is started and monitored by a program team member. Fifteen minutes must pass with no thunder or lightening in order to re-open the waterfronts and ropes course elements. Using lightning strike detectors to monitor the distance of the storm from the camp, the fulltime staff and program directors will determine if the other land activities are safe to continue or if all activities should shelter.
Other Severe Weather:
In the rare event of a tornado warning, the safest buildings have been identified and staff are trained to assemble and account for all campers in a timely manner.
When campers consistently list the food as one of their favorite things about camp you must be doing something right! And our kitchen staff sure is! We serve three nutritionally balanced meals a day, and many of our breads and desserts are homemade, which keep kids coming back for more! In addition to the meal served, our salad bar/breakfast bar contains a variety of items, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
Frontier Camp’s kitchens are regulated by the Texas Department of State Health Services in the same way public restaurants are regulated, and all kitchen staff go through a Food Safety and Sanitation training before the summer begins.
We are conscious of the ingredients in all our meals as it pertains to allergens. Substitutions for the main course are offered with prior notification. Menu alternatives can be provided in the case of severe allergies. Please contact the Food Service Director at [email protected] or (936)544-3206 x5110 for more information.