Camp for a Week, Friends for Life!

COVID-19 Response

As the country continues to slow the spread of COVID-19, Slumber Falls Camp realizes the many facets that this crisis has created in our country, towns, churches, and households. We recognize that the church has experienced many challenges for over two millennia and will continue to share the gospel and God’s love.  Slumber Falls is committed to the mission of the church and the health, wellness, and safety of our guests and campers.

We have compiled this page to give our families, friends, and guests information and resources.  This site will be updated as we gain new insights, information, and direction on the activities at Slumber Falls Camp.

Quick Links

Worry Free Registration

Slumber Falls Camp understands that some parents are cautious about sending their kids to an overnight camp this summer and would prefer to wait to see how things progress before committing financial resources to camp.

This summer SFC is offering a worry-free registration system for parents who are on the fence. Because the SFC needs 180 registrations by June 10th to move forward, SFC is allowing parents to sign their kids up for camp now without the risk of loosing any money.

If circumstances change in your household, and/or parents do not feel comfortable sending their kids to their registered camp they have five options.

  1. They can move their registration to another camp later this season
  2. Apply monies toward another camper
  3. Transfer their registration to 2021 camping season and avoid any cost increases
  4. Donate the registration to the ministries of the camp
  5. Receive a full refund of your payments

By signing up now, you guarantee your spot at your preferred camp, help SFC gauge the interests of parents sending kids to camp this summer, and allow directors to recruit the appropriate amount of staff.

SFC Response to COVID-19

Safety and well-being is paramount to Slumber Falls Camp – in the past to the present and as we move into the future.

As we move into a new era of summer camp, we want to be transparent for the well-being of not just our campers, but for our families, churches, and camp supporters so that everyone is aware of our initiatives.

Many of these items have been a part of our summer camping program, but we have enhanced some of the areas and implemented some new things to reduce risks and are a part of our COVID-19 response.

Our ministry is a partnership with our camping families, supporting churches, and friends of the camp. We recognize that safety and well-being go beyond the physical safety and encompass the emotional, psychological, and spiritual realms. We thank you for your continued support and understanding as we continually review, modify, and enhance our programs, policies, and practices.

Health Services

Slumber Falls Camp has an onsite Infirmary stocked with medicines, first aid supplies, and the recommended PPE for summer camps. Our trained medical staff know how to use our AED. Our camp physician monitors our standing orders and maintains relationships with local doctors, nurses, and hospitals. Christus Santa Rosa Hospital is 3.5 miles from the camp and Resolute Hospital is under 7.5 miles away. Our Electronic Medical Record system allows parents to partner with us in communicating pertinent information about their camp in which they can access and update as needed.

Adhering to Guidelines

Slumber Falls Camp follows the guidelines set forth by the CDC in regards to communicable disease.  Our communicable disease plan incorporates additional COVID-19 protocols. Our health care guidelines and practices are continually being reviewed as new information becomes available.

Communication is Critical

Our team is working tirelessly to think critically about our ministry and how we can implement the CDC and local health department requirements, yet provide an outlet for our campers to grow, develop essential coping skills, and learn what it means to be a Christian.

We are committed to keeping our camper families informed about changes and updates to what is being communicated with us so that you stay informed. We want to keep our communication channels open to contact us to learn more or answer any questions that you might have as we take measures to minimize risks.

Health Screening for Safety

Slumber Falls Camp is expanding our registration process with a health and wellness screening that covers a variety of health concerns from lice to COVID-19. Families are ask to fill out a questionnaire for each camper, have their temperature checked, and a medical assessment before proceeding to the next phase of check in. This screening will add another level for the overall health and wellness at camp. Parents will get a copy of the health screening with their director’s letter two weeks before camp along with recommendations for safe travel to Slumber Falls Camp.

Knowledge is Power

Health and wellness of our campers and volunteers have always been a focus at Slumber Falls Camp. In addition to our training of paid and volunteer staff on health and safety, we have added additional modules for staff training that stresses the role of individuals to the health of the camp, proper hygiene and cleanliness, and routines for healthier living.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Hand washing will be emphasized in greater detail. Staff will teach campers proper techniques, frequency, and when hand sanitizer is acceptable and when scrubbing with soap and water is required. We will continue to teach our campers that swimming is not a substitute for good hygiene!

Isolate and Keep Safe

Slumber Falls Camp has established isolation areas on the premise for communicable disease. We are increasing our health and safety protocols for when a camper or staff needs to be sent home. This is informed on current government directives and recommendations. We will follow our Communicable Disease Plan.

As always, parents will be kept in the loop from the beginning on any health concerns that might arise.

Squeaky Clean

SFC standards for cleanliness were already high. We have increased our cleaning and disinfecting routine to high traffic/touch areas. Camper will continue to learn about cleaning and have opportunities to learn good techniques through cabin clean-up each day.

In addition to our chemicals that kill COVID-19 as well as other viruses and germs, we have 3 disinfectant foggers that uses ClO₂ which is safe for humans and animals. We use the same chemical as first responders in Houston that disinfect COVID-19 sites. We are blessed to have good relationships with the rescue teams that are on the front line and freely share information with us on best practices. Each cabin will be sanitized between camps and cleaned thoroughly.

We are also one of the few camps in Texas that has our own heat treat equipment that can heat soak cabins to kill bed bugs. Hair dryers and hot tubs do not get hot enough to kill COVID-19 at around 140 degrees. Our system can go up to 600 degrees. We treat at high levels of heat (180-190 degree range) for hours when we treat for bed bugs. This equipment can permeate heat through mattresses, furniture, and even walls with insulation. We have worked this system into our Communicable Disease Response.

Equipping our Children and Youth

One of the strongest reasons for moving forward with camp was to help equip our children and youth with skills to cope and become more resilient. While COVID-19 continue to be a major focus, the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of our campers is paramount.

Camps are fun, but they are also a powerful experience for personal growth and transformation. Our counselors and summer staff will teach, guide, and encourage good personal hygiene, overall cleanliness, and care for the environment, but we will also offer age appropriate lessons to equip them with the skills and behaviors to navigate through tricky situations.

Recent events have highlighted the fact that many of our youth (and adults) could have benefited from lessons to help them cope with anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Camps offer a safe space to talk about feelings and understandings without being judged. Our counselors and staff are here to help your child blossom into the person God is calling them to be.

Dining and Food Service

While many movies and shows make fun of camp food, Slumber Falls Camp is known for good food. Our chef and kitchen staff are taking extra measures to protect the integrity of our food service.

We are in contact with our local and state health departments, following CDC guidelines, and following industry standards for best practices of safety and cleanliness in our food handling areas.

We have restricted access to our kitchen so that only food service personnel, key staff, and government health officials will be in the kitchen.

We are Stronger Together

We are blessed to have families that want the best for their campers. We know that we cannot reduce all the risks on our own, and we are relying on families to partner with us as we create this “bubble” where we can create the safest environment possible for our campers.

If you have questions as to the best course of action for your camper has been sick or running a fever or is considered high risk, please contact the office so we can determine the best course of action for everyone’s health and safety.

We are asking all parents to provide more details on their camper this summer in terms of their health. This includes describing how allergies affect your camper or notations that your child does not want to drink water regularly. Together we can offer the best care for your camper. The camp will also send out suggestions to parents on how to prepare for camp in advance, safely travel to camp, and avoid high risk establishments and areas.

Prayer and Support

The team at Slumber Falls Camp is committed to tirelessly work to limit the spread of communicable diseases at camp. We also know that we are not alone on our journey. In addition to our camper families, friends of the camp, and our supporting churches, we know that Slumber Falls Camp is a place where God touches the lives of our campers, transforms them, and awakens them to see their potential. We are strong in our faith and know that Slumber Falls Camp will be a powerful ministry in the lives of camper this summer.

Please keep Slumber Falls Camp, our staff, the volunteers, and our campers in your prayers. We know from Jesus that ministry has risks and sometimes seems counter-intuitive. We know that God’s presence will be here to guide and support us as we continue our mission of connecting campers to the vastness of creation, to one another, and to God.

SFC Camper Family Requests

We recognize that we cannot enforce the following suggestions, but we are hopeful that our camper families will do their best to follow them to ensure the wellness of the camp and our ministry.

This is being updated as we gain new information and best practices.

Pre-Camp

  1. Read through your pre-camp email that has the Director’s Letter, 2020 Packing Lists, SFC Camper Family Requests, and the Health and Safety Screening Form.
  2. Log on to Ultra-Camp to verify all information is up to date and that descriptions are given for any allergies or health conditions.
  3. Make sure your last payment (if on a payment plan) is squared away two weeks before camp. This greatly reduces the workload on our office staff. We are no longer collecting camp registration payments during check-in.
  4. Pull together the packing list a week or two out to avoid shopping right before camp.
  5. Purchase travel snacks, food, and drinks ahead of time for the trip to camp in order to avoid gas stations, fast food establishments, and large retail shops.
  6. Practice good social distancing the weeks prior to your camp.
  7. Avoid travel outside of the country or to high risk areas two weeks prior to camp.
  8. Get plenty of sleep and use good hygiene to avoid getting sick.
  9. Before driving to camp, please check your child’s temperature.  Campers with a fever cannot check in or stay at camp.
  10. When driving to camp, be safe. Traffic is increasing and New Braunfels is a popular tourist destination.
  11. When nature calls, take restroom breaks off the main thoroughfares to avoid the exposure to travelers along major roadways.
  12. We are asking that only campers and one parent come to registration this year to avoid large gatherings.

Arriving at Camp

  1. Once at camp, drive to the registration area. Practice good social distancing.
  2. Registration will be staggered at most camps to avoid many people arriving at the same time and congregating.
  3. We are asking that each parent and camper(s) wear masks during the registration process. All the camp staff will also be wearing masks during this time.
  4. The camp store will have items available for purchase outside.
  5. The main lodge (Woelke) which is also the dining hall, will be locked down during registration.
  6. Parents will go through the registration process with their camper.
  7. Parents can help take their camper’s belonging to cabins. We are asking the parents of our older campers to say goodbyes outside of the cabins and let their counselors help them set up their beds if needed.
  8. Please be mindful driving on the property and follow the posted speed limit signs.

After Camp

  1. Camper pick-up begins at 10 am on the last day of camp.
  2. Parents will collect their child from their cabin and then proceed to that camps’ designated area for check out and luggage pick-up.
  3. Please maintain a safe social distance.
  4. Parents are welcome to walk around the camp ground and take photos with their child. 
  5. We are striving to have all campers picked-up by 10:45 am so we can begin the sanitation process before the next camp staff arrives.
  6. If your child does develop any symptoms following camp (whether you believe they got something from camp or afterwards), we are encouraging parents to notify the office. We want to notify parents if there was a possible exposure to any communicable disease.

SFC FAQs

Does Slumber Falls Camp’s plan to offer summer camps this summer? 

Yes! Slumber Falls Camp is continuing to offer 9 overnight camps that offer young people a powerful opportunity to experience God’s love, connect to creation, have fun, and foster life-long relationships.  We are licensed by the State of Texas as a youth camp and will continue to follow their health and safety guidelines as well as our practices and policies that go above the minimum standards.

What does Slumber Falls Camp do to mitigate the transmission of communicable diseases? 

Slumber Falls Camp regular housekeeping routine includes sanitizing bunks, mattresses, and bathrooms with a peroxide cleaner that is approved by the CDC for use in killing the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are adding in additional deep cleaning of all living spaces, with a focus on doorknobs, light switches, and other high-touch areas. 

All staff (kitchen and summer staff) who work in the kitchen or handle any food (snacks included) are required to have a ServSafe certification. We have added periodic deep cleanings along with our daily regimens that all use CDC-approved cleaning supplies.

Campers and retreat participants are reminded and encouraged to wash their hands before meals. Hand sanitizer, bathrooms, and handwashing stations are available in the lodges, shower house, all cabins, and in various places throughout the property. 

Will Slumber Falls have international staff this summer (Camp America workers)? 

Traditionally Slumber Falls Camp has used Camp America individuals to fill positions in our summer staff pool.  This year, we were blessed again to have more national applicants to our limited number of positions. All our SALT (summer adult leadership team) and Camp Power (kitchen and maintenance crew) are filled by US citizens.

Will there be restrictions on who can volunteer this summer? 

Volunteers are absolutely needed again!  Their love for camp, Christian service, and selfless sharing of themselves so that campers can discover how remarkable they were created and how much God loves them and wants to be a part of their lives.

Our volunteers are still expected to undergo background checks, trainings, and other camp and state mandated requirements.  Additionally, this year, all staff will have to undergo the same health and physical screening based off recommendations from the Texas State Health Department and CDC recommendations. We are asking all volunteer and summer staff to limit their travels and behaviors that could put them at risk a minimum of three weeks before they are serving as volunteers.  So far, everyone has understood the importance of this sacrifice and they all put camper welfare first.

Can I still register for camp?

Yes! So far, Slumber Falls Camp is moving forward with camp for the 2020 camping season. You can register here.

What if I decided to cancel my registration due to Coronavirus? Will I get a refund?

We know that unforeseen things happen at the worst times. If you should need to cancel your child(s) reservation, you have options and will not loose any money. Please see Worry Free Registration.

Should I send my child to camp?

Every parent should ask this question. Since every household is different, we want you to consider the following.

  1. Is you camper at high risk?
  2. Do you have family members living at home at high risk?
  3. If so, do you have a strategy in place to monitor or isolate your child upon returning from camp for extra precaution?
  4. Is camp needed for the wellness of your camper (or yourself)?
  5. What other avenues does your child have to learn, grow, and be a kid this summer for their own mental health?
  6. Are there other options that are doing more to minimize risks for your camper? If so, please let us know so that we can improve.
  7. Health screenings are good, but they are not foolproof. Are you comfortable sending your child to camp knowing that asymptomatic people can still spread the virus?
  8. Are family finances able to send your child to camp this year? If not, inquire about our scholarship program.
  9. Is a break from your child(ren) something that you need (especially if kids do not go back to school this fall)? Families must find ways to practice family care.
  10. How is your child handling social distancing? Could they go on longer without socializing with others?
  11. Does your child need an outlet to talk, process, vent, etc. in an environment that understands and affirms their feelings?
  12. Realistically, social distancing at camp is not 100% possible. While our cabins can only hold a max of 10 (and we do not fill to capacity), cabins are small and campers will be near one another. We will teach best practices, but a camper giving another camper a high-five or a hug can happen in the blink of an eye.

Slumber Falls Camp would love for your child to be part of our summer camping program. We care about your child, but we also care about your family. We want parents to think through the best course of action before signing their children up for camp.

We understand that posing these questions may result in you not signing your child up for camp. Slumber Falls Camp strives to be transparent and communicative with our families. We live in the camping world and can see possible concerns. The well being of our Slumber Falls Camp family is core to who we are and the sacredness of relationships that we teach our campers.

Will Slumber Falls Camp continue offering retreats and outside group rentals? 

Yes, Slumber Falls Camp will continue our ministry of retreats, trainings, and conferences.  We will also continue to offer spaces for outside groups, churches, and events to host their programs and ministries.

As a supporter of Slumber Falls Camp and an advocate for outdoor ministry, how can I help?

We are humbled and blessed by the many relationships fostered over the years. Former campers, parents, churches, and the myriad of friends of Slumber Falls Camp are vital to the work and ministry that we provide.  We are also grateful for those that have called or sent messages to us checking in on us during this time and recognized the hardships that we are facing as a result of closing the grounds for a long time as with this health crisis.

Ways that you can continue to support the camp.

  1. Keep us in your prayers and your church’s ongoing prayers (worship, emails, social media, etc.)
  2. Volunteer – during this time, we have had limited staff on the property and the rain continues to bless the wildflower and local animals, but the grass continues to grow, limbs decide they want to experience life on the ground, and the leaves get tired of dancing in the breeze and rest all over the property.  Those wishing to practice social distancing in a beautiful setting, help with grounds work, and combat the stir craziness of being at home, please call Jeremy to schedule a time to come out.
  3. Be a Friend of the Camp – at the end of the day, Slumber Falls Camp requires financial resources to offer our ministries.  As a non-profit, many of our programs are already reduced to make us more accessible to campers, families, and groups where finances are a concern.  We have already taken measures to reduce our energy consumption, reduce expensive, and conserve what little we have that will not create bigger expenses down the road. We are still maintaining key areas such as the commercial kitchen, swimming pool, and key buildings. Interested donors can contribute at https://slumberfalls.org/support-giving/.  THANK YOU for being a part of this vibrant and life-changing and life-enhancing ministry.
  4. Join our Social Media Groups! – Stay connected with the SFC family as we learn to be the church and camp family online.  In addition to the many fun activities planned, camp resources that will soon roll out, we are also looking at doing virtual camp gatherings to stay connected to our camp friends.  We are on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrerest.  They can all be accessed through our website.

Staying connected! – Social Media, ZOOM Camp Meetings, and more.

Social Media is blooming right now, and it has created a lot of excitement with the camp staff and volunteers. Recent events has forced us to think creatively as we practice social distancing, but we are still the church and our mission has not changed.

If you have ideas that you want to share, send them to jalbers@slumberfalls.org.

Currently, these are the following platforms that Slumber Falls Camp is using to stay connected.