CAMP FERN offers 2 and 4 week sessions for girls and boys and 1 and 2 week coed sessions. The girls' and boys' sessions are primarily a 4 week session with an option to stay only the first or the last 2 weeks. The coed session is a 2 week session with the option to stay only the first or last week. Click here to view the dates for each of these sessions.
At CAMP FERN we value every camper and are committed to offering a program that will enrich the physical, spiritual, emotional, and social lives of each of our campers, however there will be some activities offered for our 4 week campers that will not be available for our 2 week campers. Click for a list of activities offered for the different sessions. The 1 and 2 week coed sessions participate in the same activities.
CAMP FERN is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our campers and counselors. Each camper and counselor is required to have a medical exam prior to camp. Upon arrival on opening day we ask that all campers have a head check before entering into the main camp gates. The nurse is available on opening day to discuss any specific medical concerns you may have.
All prescription drugs and medications must be in original packaging with the child's name and dosage clearly marked on the container. These medications will be checked in with the nurse on opening day.
A Registered Nurse is on duty 24 hours a day 7 days a week for emergencies as well as distribution of daily medication. A Doctor is also available if additional care is needed. Camp Fern is approximately 10 miles from the Marshall Hospital. Medication is distributed by the RN four times a day: before all meals and after chocolate milk. We ask that you bring written instructions for your campers medication.
The CAMP FERN medical staff, along with the summer staff, continue to implement preventative measures to ensure the campers have the best possible camp experience. In order to accomplish this we stress hand washing, hydration, nutrition, rest, and sun protection.
At Camp Fern safety is our number one priority! We have been the recipient of the Markel Safety First award for the past seven years. Although we recognize that we cannot completely eliminate the possibility of a child becoming ill or being injured while at Camp, we pride ourselves on providing a safe and secure environment for our campers to learn and grow. All of our staff and employees are trained and held to stringent safety and health standards.
Opening Day goes much more smoothly for families who have turned in all paperwork ahead of time.
Head Checks: We want to provide the safest environment for your camper, so we ask that all campers have a head check before entering into the main camp gates. Checks begin at 1:00pm for all sessions except for Girls Camp (head checks begin at 12:00pm for Girls Camp only) at Fern Retreat and run throughout opening day. If you arrive after 4:00 PM please go to the infirmary for the head check. Your child will receive a green wristband after he/she has been checked. We thank you ahead of time for your cooperation and patience. Counselors, games, music, and refreshments are waiting your arrival at Fern Retreat.
The schedule listed below is for opening day for Girls' and Boys' camp. Schedules for the 2 week sessions and coed sessions may vary in times. Please see arrivals and departures for details.
1:00 – 1:30p.m. Families are greeted by the Camp Fern Counselors along the Ferny road. Your camper will receive his/her nametag and, if we have received all paperwork, you will get a packet that includes your camper’s cabin assignment, a map of how to get to that cabin and a brief history that tells you all about your camper’s cabin counselors. Parents who have not fully completed the health certificate will need to check in with the nurse at Fern Retreatl before moving into the cabin.
2:00pm. The gates open!!! Go to your cabin and get settled – if you have been given your camper’s packet. At the cabin, you will be greeted again by your camper’s counselors, draw for a numbered bunk, select a cubbyhole for toiletries and a shelf for sheets and towels and you’ll probably unpack a few items. All counselors are wearing staff shirts. They look forward to helping you in any way. OR Go to the Recreation Hall and Check In First – if you have not turned in all paperwork already. It is very important that we have all the necessary paperwork before you leave. Please remember to bring your health form, permission form, application and payment if you haven’t already mailed them in.
2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m. Open House on Campgrounds - Feel free to walk around camp on your own or with a guide, take a boat ride around the lake and enjoy refreshments in the Dining Hall. Old scrapbooks are there for you to browse as well. Margaret Lee, Owner, would love to greet you personally and learn more about your expectations for your camper this summer. Don’t forget to check out the new Camp Fern T-shirt and other Camp Fern goodies.
4:00p.m. CAMP SESSION OFFICIALLY BEGINS! Parents will have departed by this time, and all campers and counselors will meet at the Council Ring (near the waterfront) for our opening Pow Wow. During this Pow Wow, the counselors introduce themselves to the campers and get them pumped up about the activities we have to offer. After the skit the kids are dismissed to their cabin for scheduling and the raft swim. We have Sunday night Cookout for dinner, and then an evening activity.
The schedule listed below is for closing day for Girls' and Boys' camp. Schedules for the 2 week sessions and coed sessions may vary in times. Please see arrivals and departures for details.
9:30a.m. GATES OPEN! CHECK OUT in the Recreation Hall
*To receive store balances or handle overages
*To purchase Color Cabin Pictures or Camp Fern T-shirts
*To order the CF DVD YEARBOOK
*TO SIGN UP EARLY BIRD
$250 deposit required, refundable until MARCH of the following year.
*OPEN HOUSE – This is a time for you to visit with counselors, campers, friends, and families you might have met on opening day or when you were a camper/counselor. Margaret is also available to visit, and looks forward to visiting with you.
*Pick up crafts projects in Crafts House. Watch your camper ride a horse or climb the Pamper Pole.
10:30a.m. 1st WAR CANOE RACE for next season (4 week sessions only)
12:00 noon Camp Fern session officially closes
Campers are placed in cabins 1st by the grade they just completed and then by age. (unless otherwise requested by a parent). Requests for specific cabin placement will be considered but cannot be guaranteed.
Nola is the first year of counselor training and is by invitation only. At Girls' Camp we have more people eligible for Nola than we have places. Therefore, ACCEPTANCE IS ON A FIRST COME/FIRST SERVE BASIS, based on the postmark date of the reply. The 18 openings for NOLA fill in SEVERAL DAYS.
We encourage parents to bring their child to camp on Opening Day and to pick them up on Closing Day. If parents or guardians choose to have their campers travel by air to camp we provide pick ups from Longview and Shreveport airports. If your child is to arrive by plane or bus, notify camp of the time of arrival by card or letter. Pickup or delivery of campers at the Shreveport or Longview (or Marshall) airport will carry a charge of $20 ($10) per trip. Tickets home may be deposited at camp, and we will see that campers get on plane or bus, and both parents are notified of their time of arrival home. If luggage will arrive separately from the camper, please send it by UPS. No charge for baggage pickup unless a special trip is involved.
Parents, relatives, and friends are requested not to visit campers during the session. Campers are not permitted to leave camp during the session with parents or friends. Please help us uphold this policy as it is for the safety and well-being of the campers.
Off season visits are available upon request. We would love to see you and show you around camp. Please contact us to schedule a date and time.
Please feel free to call the Camp Director if you need to discuss something relating to your child. Campers are not allowed to use the telephone during their stay at Camp Fern. One way emails may be sent to your child through Bunk1. (there is an additional charge for this.) Mail is distributed each day during rest hour. Campers are not allowed to bring food or candy to camp or to receive food or candy in the mail.
Camp Fern has a new policy reguarding campers receiving packages. Click for details.
When you leave on opening day, you or your camper may feel a bit homesick. That's OK; it's a natural feeling. We encourage you to talk with your camper prior to their arrival about these feelings they might have and come up with suggestions to deal with them.
As for your camper, encourage him/her positively, letting your camper know that it's a feeling that will pass and that his/her counselor is there to help. Once you decide it's time to leave, leave promptly. Leave your camper with a loving counselor whose job it is to involve your camper. Homesickness is something we take very seriously. Camp Fern was founded to help (Margaret's mother) Peggy overcome homesickness. Our staff is trained in handling homesickness, and Margaret is available at any time to help your little one feel more at home.
- As for you, you're welcome to call Camp Fern (903) 935-5420 to visit with the cabin counselor to find out details of your camper's day. Another alternative is our daily news. Camp Fern's website www.campfern.com has a link on the main page to Bunk One where our daily news, pictures, etc. are located. We update you about life at Fern and you can order printed pictures from the company, BunkOne.com. Parents can e-mail campers, but it will be set up through BunkOne.com. Campers do not have the same option!
- In our opinion, the worst thing you can do for your camper is to offer to pick them up before camp is over. This sets them up for failure, and justthink of the feeling of accomplishment they will have when they have made it through the session on their own.
- Dr. Christopher Thurber has a DVD/CD set called The Secret Ingredient of Summer Camp Success which can be purchased through ACAcamps.org, and deals with homesickness.