Boys And Girls Summer Camp Activities in East Texas

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Campers choose the fun summer camp activities they want to take on the first day. Everyone takes swimming and nature (you even cook your own dessert over a campfire), but after that you can choose from English horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, sailing, water skiing (slalom or two ski, wake boarding, knee boarding, ski bob), archery, tennis, trampoline, riflery, ropes course, volleyball, basketball, soccer, fishing, arts and crafts, and some other fun stuff. There are more things to do than you have time for, so there's always something new to do next year.

  • Mini Sessions
  • Daily Activities
  • Special Activities and Events
  • Waterfront
  • Sports
  • Horseback Riding
  • Outdoor Experiences
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Challenge Course

Mini Sessions At Our Summer Camp For Kids

At Camp Fern, we are committed to offering summer camp activities in East Texas 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 mini session.

The campers in the 2-week mini sessions and the 1-week coed session will be choosing from activities included in our core schedule. We will do our best to meet additional requests outside of this core group. The core activities offered at Fern are highlighted in each category box below.

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Summer Camp Daily Activities

So many fun things to do!

Camp Fern in East Texas offers a range of traditional summer camp activities. We work with children and young adults from a variety of backgrounds, and are excited about every single camper family that comes through our gates! As our families are from different backgrounds, it follows that the experience and skill levels in our activities vary widely from camper to camper. We enjoy these differences, as they help us celebrate our accomplishments uniquely. Where else will your child be supported in such a wholesome way? We celebrate success on all levels, and train our staff to rejoice with our campers for any and all accomplishments!

We operate with a “Challenge by Choice” mindset, where we offer opportunities for our campers and let them choose the level they participate. It’s a great model, as it helps promote new skill development while also bolstering the self-confidence and autonomy in our campers! We focus on having fun and seek to take the pressure of being the best athlete out of the conversation. While we encourage campers that seek higher levels of proficiency to do so, our approach of focusing on the campers’ enjoyment helps us keep these different elements in balance. We love exposing our campers to things they haven’t tried before, as they never know what their new “favorite” activity will be!”

On the first day of summer camp in East Texas, kids are able to choose from over 30 different activities, each offering valuable skills and experiences. Campers will stick with their chosen activities throughout the entire session, allowing for personal growth and development in that particular area. Campers will never run out of activities, so there’s always something new to try the next year!

There’s never a dull evening at Camp Fern, as campers can participate in a variety of tribal and non-tribal activities. Themes range from capture the flag, to stunt nights—even to carnival nights! No matter the activity, campers are sure to have a blast at the best summer camp for kids in Texas!

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Special Activities And Events

We have a variety of programs to offer and love sharing our camp culture with everyone that walks through our gates. At Camp Fern, we offer a progressive program structure, which means activities change as campers mature in age and skill. This allows us to adapt what we do, providing our campers and staff the opportunities to continue in their exploration, growth, and enjoyment of Fern! While many campers love the programming at our longer 2 and 4-week sessions, the program at our 1-week session is special and fun in a completely different way!

Program Elements

4-Week Session

2-Week Mini Session

1-Week Coed

Enthusiastic Staff




Access to Camp Fern’s Core Activities




Attentive Cabin Counselors




Tribal (Team) Activities




Overnight Campout Option




Camper of the Week












Camper of the Week








Overnight Horseback Ride




Fern Frolic




Hump Day




Lake Margaret Day Trip




UVK Pancake Breakfast




Drama Production




Honor Camper




Tribe Offices





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East Texas Waterfront

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Join us on our spring-fed lake for some fun in the sun! Don’t worry, as we make sure to put on sunscreen! Our waterfront staff are Red Cross Certified to provide safe, effective teaching methods while allowing your children to have a blast! Safety is a primary concern at Camp Fern in East Texas, and we make sure to impart this to our campers.

Whether you’re testing your balance atop of a kneeboard or chasing the breeze on a sailboat, Camp Fern’s waterfront activities are sure to make a splash in your summer! Other favorite summer activities in East Texas include canoeing, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, Red Cross swimming, and of course, the famous “blob.” Whatever recreation you choose, the Camp Fern waterfront is a cool place to be.


As we live on a lake, all campers are required to take swimming. We do this to ensure safety for all, as we need to learn about proper safety and supervision around bodies of water. We offer swimming every day, which keeps us cool in the warmth of summer and allows us to practice our skill-building regularly.


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Join us down at the ski docks, where we teach campers how to kneeboard, wakeboard, two-ski, slalom (one-ski), and ride our inflatable, the ski-bob!


Join us at the waterfront for some fun in our canoes. We learn how to paddle individually and as two-person teams. By focusing on skill building and proper form, we allow our campers to develop the proper understanding that allows them to have fun while safely cruising around our lake.

Kayaking and Paddle boarding

Enjoy canoes but want to try something different? We have kayaks and paddle boards as well! Come on down for some fun at the waterfront!

Special Activities

From the BLOB and sailing to war canoe and the key log, the waterfront offers a wide range of activities for your camper to enjoy!

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Boys And Girls Summer Camp Sports 

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Do you thrive on facing new challenges and overcoming obstacles? Are you trying to learn a new skill, or perhaps perfect an old one? We love sports at Fern and offer your child the opportunity to try new things or keep up skills they learn at school.

Improve your aim with archery and riflery lessons, test your strength and agility on the rock wall, or face your fear of heights on the zip line! Other favorite Camp Fern sports activities include: volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, boxing, fencing, ping-pong, and more! Our youth camp summer activities will kick your athletic skills into full gear!

Team Sports & More

Our tennis program is always a highlight, as we have fun teaching skills and proper form. We also enjoy basketball, volleyball, weightlifting, football, and soccer. Let’s not forget tetherball or the fun we have in the gaga pit!

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Horseback Riding In East TX

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Saddle up for an exciting ride at Camp Fern! We love horses at Camp Fern in East Texas and enjoy sharing these unique animals with our campers. Many of the families we serve do not have the opportunity to ride at home, so we make it a priority to teach all skill levels in the riding ring!

Our horseback riding camp activities are not exclusive to experienced equestrians but open to anyone with the desire to try! The program ranges from beginner to advanced levels, and it not only teaches campers the strategy and skill of riding, but also how to properly care for their horses. Popular riding activities include: English horseback riding, flat work, jumping, trail riding, overnight horseback rides, and horsemanship. Bring your unbridled enthusiasm to the best summer camp for kids in East Texas!

Horse Education

A healthy understanding of horses is necessary to interacting with and appreciating them properly. We make it a priority to convey the love we feel for our “tried and true” horses that serve us season after season! We also have some great horsemanship seminars, which offer higher levels of learning for campers that are interested. From teaching theory to hands-on learning, we “jump into the fun” down at the Camp Fern stables!

Trail Rides

After you understand the basics of controlling you horse, feel free to join us on a trail ride! Exit the ring and take to the East Texas trails where the path meanders through tall pines and grassy fields. Yeehaw!


All campers that take riding start out with basic skill building in our flatwork ring, learning how to mount and dismount, steer, and control speed. We make safety a high priority as skills advance—but again, we focus on the campers’ enjoyment of the experience as a whole.


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For those that come from a riding background, or those that work up to the skill level required for safety, we offer a jumping program. Participants learn the foundations of safely jumping horses and get to experience a whole new level of proficiency in this area! Jumping is offered on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re interested in pursuing this, please make sure to indicate it on your camper permission form!

Overnight Rides

Each 4-week cabin has the privilege of joining in on a long-standing Camp Fern tradition! Saddle up and ride over to Lake Margaret for a night under the stars! Enjoy an extended trail ride, a fantastic meal (did someone say barbeque chicken!?), make your own homemade ice cream, and enjoy the light of the campfire as you experience another great element of the riding program at Camp Fern.

Horse Show

Saddle up and show us your skills at the horse show! We celebrate success on all levels, and acknowledge the importance of a camper’s enjoyment in our learning environment. We also offer a formal “tournament” where campers get to demonstrate their horsemanship among their peers. It’s always fun watching the horse show!

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Outdoor Experiences Offered At Our Overnight Summer Camp In East TX

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We are located in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas and seek to share our surroundings with our campers and staff alike. We all benefit from being in nature, so we make it a priority to share the wonders of God’s Creation with all those that join us at Fern!

There’s no feeling quite like fully immersing yourself in nature. Get ready to experience this realm in a whole new way at Camp Fern in East Texas, where you can learn exactly what it takes to survive and live in the great outdoors. Campers at our residential summer camp can learn to build a fire, identify plants and animals, cook a meal, or strike a tent. Want to think outside the box? We do too! Many nature activities are available for the eager camper willing to step into an adventure!

Plant & Animal Identification

Learn how to identify plants and animals! When hiking our trails or walking the grounds, you may encounter neat creepy crawlies or beautiful flowers you learned about in your time at the Nature Cabin!


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Grab a pole and put on a lure, 'cause there are hungry fish waiting for you in the lake! What’s that? Oh yes, we teach safety here as well, making sure all participants understand proper procedure when handling these animals and using this equipment.

Fire Building & Open Flame Cooking

Have you ever built your own fire? Have you ever cooked over a fire? Join us for some fantastic programs where we learn all the basics of the tips and tricks acquired on the trail!

Special Activities

There is a lot of fun to be had at the nature cabin, and we strive to keep the educational opportunities rolling while still having fun. Learn how to tie knots, identify constellations, set up tents, and take backpacking trips. Want to play some games? We do too!

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Kids Camp Arts & Crafts

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From clay to bead necklaces, painting, and tie-dye, the fun we have in the crafts house really makes time fly! Our creative staff helps participants embrace their natural talents as we navigate through different media.

Do you want to explore your artistic side at our sleepaway camp in East Texas? Stop by the Crafts House and explore a wide array of different arts and crafts activities! Our crafts range from leather making to bead looming—and even tribal art! Campers who enjoy art camp activities can also try their hand at building a sculpture out of clay, weaving dream catchers, and creating glass beads. All of this and more awaits the curious Camp Fern resident who is eager to set his or her inner artist free!

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Challenge Course

original-11Our challenge course is another fantastic spot for creating unique memories at Camp Fern! We operate with a “Challenge by Choice” mindset, where we offer opportunities for our campers and let them choose the level they participate. It’s a great model, as it helps promote new skill development while also bolstering the self-confidence and autonomy in our campers! Our highly trained staff are motivated to create unique experiences across the age groups we serve. From teambuilding exercises to low ropes and high ropes elements, our challenge course staff provide a multitude of activities offering fun, excitement, and opportunities for growth!


From fun and silly games to challenging, team-oriented scenarios, the challenge course staff at Camp Fern are trained to help our campers work well together.

Low Ropes Element Challenges

Ready for some adventure but not yet ready to climb up in to the air? No problem! We have a variety of activities that will help you develop your strengths, work as a team, and problem solve, all while having fun!

High Ropes Element Challenges

Ready to harness up, learn some commands, and head on up into the trees?! Great! We’ve put together a great program for you at the Camp Fern Challenge Course! Our staff are ready to help you have a blast!

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