east texas summer camps

We’re here to serve you, and have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to make sure you have all the information you need. If you don’t see something covered and still have questions, please reach out to us in the office and we’ll be happy to assist you!

What are the dates for the summer, and how much does it cost?

Click here to learn the dates and prices for summer sessions!

What are the cabins like?

All buildings are made of original pine logs from the area, and the 13 sleeping cabins can accommodate about 12 campers each. Since sleeping cabins are right by the lake, bathrooms and showers are located near but not in each cabin.

How is my camper placed in a cabin, and can my child be with friends?

Cabin placement is done by Margaret (owner) the week before camp starts. She places campers based on grade and age. We do our best to honor cabin requests, but we cannot guarantee any cabin request. You will not find out which cabin your camper is in until we have received all of your completed forms.

What Are Camp Fern's Credentials?
  • Member of the ACA - American Camp Association

  • Member of C.A.M.P. - Camping Association for Mutual Progress

  • Markel safety 1st Award 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

  • Licensed by the State of Texas

  • Over 80 years of experience

What is the food like?

All meals in the Dining Hall are served family style, and Fern is routinely given high marks for its tasty, well balanced menu, especially the homemade breads. Salads and fruits are also served at lunch & supper. Every day after rest hour, the kids are given a daily treat (candy, fruit, ice cream, slushie, etc). Cokes are served only on Friday night and Sunday night.

Food allergies and dietary restrictions are taken into consideration. Add this information to your application, and we will do our best to accommodate.

Is there a nurse on camp?

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.

What is your camper to counselor ratio?

The camper-to-counselor ratio at Fern is at least 4 campers to 1 counselor.

How does Camp Fern choose counselors?

Camp Fern full-time staff seek out motivated, enthusiastic individuals from college campuses, church organizations, alumni families. We’re really committed to providing a quality experience for our campers and our staff, and do our best to select the best individuals we can for these summer staff positions.

Counselors are selected based on attitude with children, skill level in activities, and submission to a reference and background check and personal or telephone interviews.

What is the average age of a counselor?

The average age of a counselor is 20, but we work with individuals as young as 18!

Do you train your camp counselors?

Every year we bring our staff in for a six day training camp. During staff development, we provide ample training to enable our counselors to be confident, caring, and enthusiastic role models for the campers and staff they work with. For special certifications, we provide or outsource training for our counselors through the NRA for riflery, American Red Cross for water activities, and Adventure Experiences for ropes activities.

What is an Early Bird?

This is a special group of campers that signs up before the end of the summer for the next camping season. They receive a unique gift at the time of the sign up, and they are acknowledged during the session with a special party.

Do you offer off-season activities?

Primarily a summer camp for boys and girls, Camp Fern offers off-season activities on a limited basis. Please contact us if you would like additional information.

How do I sign up?

To sign up, you must complete and send in an application and deposit of $300 ($310 PayPal or credit card) to hold your place.

Please attach the requested photo of your camper, because it will help us to recognize your camper on Opening Day. We will contact you promptly when we receive your camper's application. We do accept credit cards and payments through PayPal.

Can I talk to a Camp Fern parent?

Camp parents offer to represent us in different towns throughout the United States and Mexico. If you are interested in speaking with a Camp Fern parent, please call the office for more information at (903) 935-5420.

What should I pack for my camper?
What activities does Camp Fern offer?
What do we do when we first arrive at Camp Fern for the summer?
What do I do when I come to pick up my camper?
How do you handle homesickness?

We love opportunities to help children and their parents overcome homesickness. We want to partner with you and your family so we can set each other up for success when you join us at Fern this summer!

It’s completely normal for a camper to feel a bit homesick. When dealing with potential homesickness, assure your camper that it’s a feeling that will pass, and that many other campers feel the same way! When it’s time to leave, leave promptly. Your child’s counselor is there to help, and letting your camper know that they are in a safe, positive environment will help them deal with any lingering homesickness. Our staff is specially trained to handle homesickness, and Margaret is available at any time to help your little one feel more at home.