January 14, 2016
Houston has a many choices when it comes to summer camp plans. There are several organizations that run day camps within the city, but for an overnight camp experience, many parents and children start thinking about getting a little farther out of town. As an incredible learning and growth opportunity and a ton of fun, summer camp is a valuable part of many families’ lives.
There are quite a few East Texas camps that are among the best sleepaway camps out there. Additionally, many families chose to travel a bit more into the Texas Hill Country for summer camps with lakes, (a bit) cooler weather, and a long tradition of camping excellence. With a short description of some of the top camps in East Texas and the hill country, we hope this post can serve as a starting point for beginning your search for the right Texas summer camp for you and your kids.
BEST OVERNIGHT SUMMER CAMP HOUSTON/EAST TEXAS LIST
Camp Pine Cove | East Texas | Tyler, TX & Columbus, TX
Pine Cove is a Christian organization in East Texas that offers a variety of camp experiences for many ages. They offer one week camp terms throughout the summer. The camps, located in Tyler and Columbus, are separated by age, and each camp has a separate staff and program. Here is a table describing the grade range and site name for their camps:
| | | |
2 - 5th
6 - 7th
8 - 9th
10 - 11th
Sky Ranch | East Texas | Van, TX
A camp with a strong religious focus, Sky Ranch aims to provide a vision of Godly character and transformative experiences. They have 3 locations: the Texas location is Van, while the other two sites are in Oklahoma and Colorado. Their belief is that God uses Sky Ranch as a vehicle to take a person from being a non-believer, to hungry seeker, to passionate follower, to ultimately a committed disciple. Sky Ranch offers one week camp terms throughout the summer season. There are four main camps (numbered Sky 1 – 4, starting at age 6 and going up to 15) and a leadership program that starts at age 12 and progresses through age 18.
Camp Olympia | East Texas | Trinity, TX
Situated on Lake Livingston, a little farther away from hill country camps, Camp Olympia is an overnight summer camp for girls and boys ages 7 - 16. There are over 40 activities for campers to choose from and personalize their schedule. Camp Olympia dedicates itself to safety, and its beautiful location and community promote lots of fun and friendships. Many former counselors and campers become a part of Camp Olympia’s full time staff. Also, the cabins are modern and air-conditioned.
BEST OVERNIGHT SUMMER CAMPS TEXAS HILL COUNTRY
The hill country is a beautiful part of Texas, with lakes, rivers, hills and gorges scattered across the landscape. Many summer camps call the hill country home. Here are just a few of the top hill country summer camps. (For the more complete list, check out the whole post on Hill Country Texas Summer Camps).
Camp Stewart | Texas Hill Country | Hunt, TX
A summer camp for boys ages 6 – 16, Camp Stewart is located on the Guadalupe River deep in the Texas Hill Country. There are two four week terms and several two week camp terms each summer. While non-denominational, Camp Stewart has a strong Christian emphasis on developing great boys. As their motto says, “Don’t wait to be a Man to be Great, Be a Great Boy.” There’s a beautiful, towering bluff that overlooks all of camp. This landscape offers plenty of adventuring for the campers.
Heart O’ The Hills | Texas Hill Country | Hunt, TX
For the ladies, Camp Heart O’ The Hills is a girls-only camp for ages 6 - 16. Situated on the South Fork of the Guadalupe River, Heart O’ The Hills has long standing traditions and values that have existed since the camp’s founding in 1928. Every day, campers choose 9 out of the 50 activities ranging from water, sports, crafts, and more.
Camp Champions | Texas Hill Country | Marble Falls, TX
Just 50 miles west of Austin, Camp Champions is situated on the beautiful shores of Lake LBJ. Campers aged 6 – 17 can attend two or three week camp sessions throughout the summer, or longer combination terms. One week camp terms are also available for K-2nd graders. During a day at camp, children pick from over 40 activities that help them learn new skills, develop lifelong interests, and have a blast. Each night culminates with a Torchlight ceremony, where the camp comes together as a community. Camp Champions has a strong focus on youth development via the 4 R’s.
To learn more about Texas Hill Country sleepaway summer camps, check out the camps in this post. To read more about choosing the right summer camp, here are more resources for those questions.