Preparing for camp
Contact us with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Arrival And Departure
Plan to come during the time your camper’s program is listed below. If you are bringing campers in more than one program, you may arrive at the earliest time listed for your campers’ programs.
3:00 pm-3:30 pm: Wranglers, Vaqueros, Confirmation, Adventurers, Beach Camp
3:30 pm-4:00 pm: Trail Bosses, LYLEs, Yearlings, Beach Camp cont.
4:00 pm-5:00 pm: Extreme Adventurers, Young’ns, Explorers
Family Camp, Grandparent Camp and Women’s Big R may arrive between 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm on your arrival day.
Because our staff have other responsibilities, we cannot accept early arrivals. Older youth campers may not drive themselves to camp. They must be brought to camp by a responsible adult. Pets are not allowed on arrival or departure days.
Prior to Leaving Home
- Complete a self screening prior to leaving home. This includes checking for any new health issues including signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If your camper is sick, do not bring the camper to camp. Contact our office for next steps.
- Review the What to Bring and What Not to Bring List section.
- Pack luggage efficiently. Paperwork, money, and medication should be kept with the camper and not in luggage.
- For Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch campers: If possible, please put money in your camper’s store account online before arrival. You can do this by logging in to your camp registration account. This money can then be allocated upon arrival for the camp store, a printed group photo, or the summer offering. See the Money and Camp section for more details.
- If you are dropping off money for the camp store, photos or the summer offering, put any cash or checks in an envelope or Ziploc bag with the camper’s name on it.
- For Beach Camp campers: Campers will be responsible for their own money. They should plan to keep it in a secure location within their things when not shopping. Any money that they bring will be used for souvenirs or snacks while out and about during the Beach Camp week.
- If your child has medication, leave your camper’s medication in original containers and put it in a Ziploc bag labeled with your camper’s name.
- All luggage and camper belongings should be labeled with your camper’s name.
What to Expect At Arrival
- Upon arrival to camp, staff members will direct you to where to go to check in.
- Campers and parents will be greeted by a staff member who will tell campers about their cabin leader and their cabin assignment. Staff members will confirm any dietary information as well as any registration information including fees that have yet to be paid.
- Staff members will ask how money in the camper’s camp store account should be allocated. It can be used for the camp store, a printed group photo, or the summer offering. If there is no money in the camp store account, staff members can collect it upon arrival.
- Staff members will also ask parents and campers how they would like any leftover store money to be returned to them.
- We will continue offering an express check-in line if adult choose to stay in their vehicles during drop-off. If you prefer to accompany your camper through the check-in process, you will be directed to a parking spot. For this summer, adults who are not staying for the week will not be permitted to enter any buildings on site.
- At the Health Screening Station, campers will complete a check for signs and symptoms of any communicable disease as recommended by the American Camp Association, including COVID-19. Campers showing any signs or symptoms of communicable diseases will be treated, asked to see a health care provider, or receive a COVID-19 rapid test depending on the symptoms.
- Campers who pass their health screening will proceed to their living space. Staff will help them unload their belongings and help them move into their living space.
- Adults are asked to say goodbyes at the cabin door or their vehicles if they choose that option.
To ensure your child’s safety, our policy requires that all youth campers be signed out by a person designated during the registration process. If you need to change the person you designated, email email@example.com from the email we have listed for your family.
Parents and families are welcome to join us for closing worship on Friday afternoon. After worship, you can pick up your camper’s belongings outside of their living space and depart. If you choose not to attend worship, please arrive at the express check-out time listed below for your camper’s site. Adults will not be permitted inside buildings during pickup and departure. Please bring a photo ID.
2:00 pm: Closing Worship at all sites
2:30 pm: Express Check-out at Ebert Ranch and Beach Camp
3:00 pm: Express Check-out at Camp Chrysalis
For Young’ns A, Family Camp, Grandparent Camp, and Women’s Big R, camp ends at 11:30 am on the last day of your camp session. Please plan to pick up your camper no later than noon on the last day of their camp session.
If a camper must leave camp early, arrangements must be made with the Camp Director, and the camper must be signed out. Prior to your camper’s first day of camp, an email may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org from your family email detailing the camper’s full name, when the camper is departing, and who is picking them up. Please call to confirm early departures on the checkout date and check in to the office upon your arrival at camp.
Directions to Ebert Ranch Camp for Ebert, Ebert LYLE I, all LYLE II, and all LYLE III Campers.
Directions to Camp Chrysalis for Chrysalis and Chrysalis LYLE I Campers.
Directions to Beach Camp at First Presbyterian Church in Corpus Christi for Beach Campers.
- Camper Behavior Expectations And Guidelines
It is our priority to take care of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both the individual and the group. In order to do this we have established some basic guidelines and expectations for campers.
Some camper expectations are:
- Explore your faith.
- Try new things and learn new skills.
- Be an active part of the Christian camp community.
Some camper guidelines are:
- Respect others by using only appropriate language, clothing, actions and physical contact.
- Respect your cabin mates privacy, personal space and possessions.
- Respect and care for the camp facilities and natural environment.
- Respect your safety by staying within camp boundaries, using the buddy system, and telling a staff member if, at any time, you feel unsafe.
- Respect the rules shared with all campers on the first day of camp and those given at specific activity areas during the camp week.
Our staff practice positive behavior management and work with their campers to build communication and cooperation within the group. If a camper breaks a rule or fails to follow the camper guidelines, our staff work with the campers to define what the appropriate behavior would have been and to determine the appropriate consequences for their actions. Cabin Leaders will document camper behavior daily.
If a camper continues to break rules, or becomes disruptive to the camp program, the camper will meet with the Director to develop a written agreement on appropriate behavior called a behavior contract. Parents will be contacted if their child is placed on a behavior contract. If the behavior contract is broken, parents will be required to come pick up their camper.
We reserve the right to dismiss campers from any program if their behavior is disruptive or destructive to other individuals, the camp community or camp property. Campers may be sent home at any time, even for a first offense or without a behavior contract, if the Director and Executive Director determine that the camper poses an emotional or physical threat to themselves, other campers or staff. This includes bullying as defined by repeated offenses that interfere with other campers’ experiences.
If your camper is attending with a pastor or youth director, this adult will be involved in the behavior management strategy.
- Contacting Your Camper And Viewing Camp Photos
We encourage camper families to contact their campers during their stay. However, non-emergency visits or phone calls are disruptive to the camp program. So please plan to write letters or email your camper.
In Case of Emergency
If Your Camper is at
In case of emergency, please call (830) 257-6340. If you call during non-business hours, leave a message. If there is a life or death emergency after 11 pm, call our Health Center at (830) 792-4868.
If Your Camper is at
In case of emergency, please call (830) 864-4669. If you call during non-business hours, leave a message. If there is a life or death emergency after 11 pm, call Megan Myers at (281) 948-5493 or the Chrysalis Health Center at (830) 792-4868.
If Your Camper is at
In case of emergency, please call the Cross Trails Ministry Office at (830) 257-6340 or Jessica Pina, at (979) 241-8898.
Letters & Packages
Some parents choose to write letters and postcards prior to the camp week, and leave them with the camp staff to distribute. If you would like to write to your camper from home, please mail very early. Faxes to campers will not be accepted.
For Chrysalis Campers:
(Camper Name and Program)
391 Upper Turtle Creek Rd.
Kerrville, TX 78028
For Ebert Campers:
(Camper Name and Program)
Ebert Ranch Camp
30700 RR 385
Harper, TX 78631
For Beach Campers it is best to leave mail with the staff or send email via Bunk1 to your camper. There will not be access to print emails but they can be downloaded and read on the computer by your camper.
Campers can receive email! Email to campers will be printed out each morning for afternoon mail call. Please know that email is not private and may be viewed by camp staff who sort mail prior to email distribution.
We use a system to regulate our email to protect us from viruses and to help cover the cost of printing each email to pass it along to the camper. To email your camper, you’ll need to set up a Bunk1 account. You can download the Bunk1 app or connect through our link.
If you are a returning camp family, you can just sign in.
If you are a new camp family and have not used Bunk1, use the Invitation Code: 2022CROSSTRAILS and fill out all the required information.
To Send an Email
- Use a credit card to purchase Bunk Note credits.
- Send an email to your camper! Be sure to direct the email to the site or program of your camper.
To Receive Email Replies
Campers are not allowed to use a computer or cell phone to reply to emails, but campers can reply using stationery purchased through Bunk1. Beach Camp is not able to return reply emails.
- Purchase credits through Bunk1 using the same process as you would to send Camper Email
- Use the credits for Bunk Reply Stationery
- Print and send this stationery with your camper to camp or include it in an email you send to them
- Campers will hand write replies and give them to camp staff
- Camp staff will send the reply to Bunk1 and it will be uploaded to your Bunk1 Account
If you are purchasing stationery, please let campers know you would like them to fill it out. It is not camp’s responsibility to make sure your camper fills out the Bunk Reply.
Parents will be able to view online photos of camp during the week. Photos of each day will be updated by noon for viewing the next day. Beach Camp photos may take a bit longer to upload due to internet capabilities. To view pictures, you will need to set up a Bunk1 account. Please follow the instructions under camper email. You can view photos for free by selecting the option to view online photos only. This option is listed at the end of the bundles section. Each high quality photo download is $0.99. You may also purchase photo gifts at their website.
For your camper’s safety, pictures are password protected. The password will be emailed to your family email the week before your camp session. Please add email@example.com as a contact to ensure that it are not caught in your spam filter.
Photos, as well as Bunk Notes and Bunk Replies, can be viewed easily on the Bunk1 mobile app. You can also upload a photo of your camper and Bunk1’s facial recognition system can alert you every time a photo of your camper is uploaded.
Communication from Cross Trails Ministry
Cross Trails Ministry will primarily communicate with parents by email. Cross Trails Ministry will call parents if there are immediate health or behavioral concerns to share.
- Health And Wellness
Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch Camp are accredited by the American Camp Association, licensed by the state of Texas and subject to the health regulations of the counties in which they are located. As such, for years all of our programs have followed a strict list of guidelines to keep our campers as healthy as possible. Precautions are taken to reduce the likelihood of exposure to a communicable disease. However, resident camp does involve living in a small group situation, so we cannot eliminate all risk.
Guidelines for camps may be updated as we get closer to summer. We will update this page as changes are recommended. You will also receive an email the week before your first day of camp that includes any updated information and your photo viewing code.
Preparing for Camp
Let your camper know that camp might feel different this summer. Go over our new guidelines with your camper so they will know what to expect. Your camper should know how to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer properly, and know how to put on their own mask/face covering. Go over ways to stay healthy before and during camp with your camper, like drinking lots of water and eating healthy meals. Remember that much of camp will take place outside, so make sure that your camper knows to use sun protection.
Health History and Release Form
For the safety of your child, your camper cannot be at camp without a completed Health History and Release Form. You can access this form through the Camp Brain account you set up to register your camper. All campers are requested to complete this form by May 27th, or as soon as possible if registering after that date. This gives our healthcare staff time to review it and ask any questions they need to.
Please note, there are risks associated with attending camp. Please make good decisions for your family. We will have some campers and adult participants who come to camp that are not current in their vaccinations required for school. Parents of youth who are not current, and any adults who are not current, must sign the Vaccination Waiver. This waiver can be obtained by contacting our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 830-257-6340. COVID-19 vaccinations are not required to attend camp this summer.
If your child has a special diet, it is very important that you put it on the Health History & Release Form. When they check in, campers with dietary concerns are also asked to identify themselves so that kitchen staff can verify any needs and give them instructions on what to do at meal times. It is also very helpful if you speak with your child about the importance of following their diet while at camp.
If your child has any current physical, mental, emotional, social health, developmental, or psychological conditions requiring medication, treatment, or special restrictions or considerations while at camp, please contact our office to speak with the Director regarding any accommodations that may need to be made.
Campers should have appropriate social and personal skills for group living. Our typical overnight supervision ratio ranges from 1:6 to 1:8 depending on the program. Cross Trails Ministry welcomes participation in our programs by campers with special needs. However, we are not equipped to provide staff for campers that require one on one care or supervision. If that is a need of your camper, please contact our office for possible accommodations.
Upon their arrival at camp, all campers visit the Health Screening Station. At this time, all medications, both prescription and non-prescription are checked in, and all campers and adults staying for the week participate in a health screening. This will include taking each person’s temperature, screening for communicable diseases, questions regarding recent illness or injury, and determination of any pre-existing conditions that may affect participation in camp activities.
If your child takes prescription medication, it must be brought to camp and turned in in its original container with the dosage instructions. We cannot administer medications without dosage instructions or differently from the instructions on the bottle. In most cases, campers should not bring non-prescription “as needed” medications. We keep plenty in stock. Simply indicate which ones we can give your child on the Health History & Release Form. If a camper regularly takes an over the counter medication or vitamins that are not on our list, please send it in its original packaging with your camper. Your camper should expect to turn in all medication and vitamins they bring to camp. Campers can only keep emergency inhalers and epi-pens with them during the camp week.
Daily Wellness Checks
Campers will be coached in ways to maintain their own personal health such as drinking lots of water, eating right, washing hands, getting enough sleep and more. If they are not feeling well for any reason, campers will be told to tell their staff member immediately. All campers, staff and adult leaders will have daily wellness check opportunities with our Health Care Coordinator.
Masks will not be required at camp, unless a camper is not feeling well and the health Care Coordinator deems it appropriate. If you want your child to wear a mask at other times during the camp week, please indicate that on the Health History & Release Form. Please note: masks may not be worn while sleeping, bathing, or during water activities. Please supply your own masks for the week. If there are mandated changes to this policy, we will inform you via email.
Sickness and Injuries at Camp
Any camper, adult leader or staff member who exhibits signs of sickness or is injured will be taken to the Health Center, where we can isolate and treat them according to doctor approved protocols.
If we discover that a camper has a communicable illness, we will follow guidance of health authorities on next steps. If the camper will need to be isolated for more than 24 hours, parents/legal guardians will be notified and the camper must be picked up within 8 hours. Parents/legal guardians of the campers this camper’s cohort will be notified at this time as well.
In the event of minor camper injury or illness, it is Cross Trails Ministry’s policy to treat the camper according to physician-approved procedures. If the injury or illness prevents the camper from participating in normal camp activities for more than 1 hour, parents will be notified to inform them of the situation and of treatment given.
In the event of serious camper injury or illness, it is Cross Trails Ministry’s policy to notify parents by phone. If emergency treatment is deemed necessary, the camper will be taken to the emergency room and treated by a physician. Your insurance company will be responsible for the cost of any injury to or illness of your child while at camp. Cross Trails Ministry carries secondary accident insurance only.
If a camper is attending with a pastor or sponsor, and the illness or injury requires a call home, we will ask if you would like us to inform the adult from your church of the treatment and continuing care plan.
Suspected COVID-19 Exposure
If our Health Care Coordinator determines that a camper may have COVID-19, the camper will be comfortably isolated in our health care center and a COVID-19 rapid test will be administered by Cross Trails Ministry staff. This rapid test takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
If a camper tests positive for COVID-19, the camper will be sent home. Campers who test negative will be kept isolated until symptoms are relieved. In both cases, parents of campers will be notified immediately of the test and the test results.
Parents of other campers at camp will be notified in the following ways:
- If the camper has been in close, sustained contact, parents will receive a phone call and an email.
- If the camper has been in the same camp setting as a camper who has tested positive, parents will receive an email.
Parents of other campers may choose to either pick up their camper or to let the camper remain at camp. If we discover that your child has been exposed after your child returns home, we will inform you as soon as we are able following a determination.
Before your camper leaves, you can let them know that it is normal to miss home but emphasize that you know they can handle the experience. By staying at camp and participating, even if they are homesick, campers gain confidence in their abilities and a healthy sense of independence.
Our goal is to help your camper be successful in their time away from home. We don’t allow calls from campers or calls or visits from parents during the camp week. If you are worried, you are welcome to call and ask the Director to check on your child and call you back. Otherwise, you should know that parents of campers whose homesickness is severe or disruptive to the camp environment will be contacted.
- Money And The Camp Store
At Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch Camp, camper groups typically choose to go to the camp store for an afternoon snack. Each camper is limited to two snack items, or a maximum spending limit of $3.00 per visit on food items. The camp store also sells various camp attire and memorabilia. These items may be purchased throughout the week, as well as during camper departure. The following is a sample price list.
- T-Shirts, hats, caps and visors cost $15-20
- Stuffed animals cost $15
- Carabineers, bracelets and other small items cost $5-$10
In order to reduce the amount of physical money our staff handle this summer, we prefer that you pay your fees online. You can pay your registration fee and add money to your camper’s store account through your online Camp Brain account. Group photo and offering money can be added to the camper’s store account. Staff will ask about distribution of funds upon arrival.
To add money to your camper’s store account:
- Log in to your online Camp Brain account
- Click “See Details” under Summer 2022
- Click “Add Deposit” under Camp Store in the bottom right corner
You may not add money to your camper’s store account after they have been dropped off at camp.
Because we are not responsible for money kept by the camper during the camp week, we ask Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch campers to turn in all money on the first day of camp. They will then have a charge account established in their name at the camp store. Any unused funds will be returned before the close of camp in the manner indicated by the camper upon arrival. Campers may also choose to donate their unused funds to our summer offering.
Beach Campers may bring limited money to use for shopping in local stores. These funds will be kept in their possession while at camp. Cross Trails is not responsible for these funds, so do not send large amounts.
Camp Group Photo
Group photos are available for each camp week. Your camper will receive an 8×10 photo with all campers, staff, and information about the week printed on it. Photos will be matted together with a 5”x7” photo of the cabin group at Chrysalis or the camper’s horse at Ebert. LYLE II and III campers will receive one for each week they are at camp for the same one-time cost. Campers who order the camp photos will receive them prior to going home, with the exception of Beach Camp, who will receive them the following week in the mail. Group photos cost $15.00.
Each summer Cross Trails Ministry collects an optional offering for a non-profit whose mission fits with our summer theme. Offering money may be given upon arrival at camp or on the last day at the closing worhsip.
This summer our offering will go toward Cross Trails Ministry’s Campership fund. No one should miss out on a camp experience because of money! Cross Trails Ministry has a long-standing policy of providing financial aid in the form of camperships to summer camp and Cross Trails programmed retreats. This summer campers will learn about this opportunity to support other kids and families who will get the opportunity to attend camp because of camperships.
- What To Bring
Please label your camper’s items as much as possible, including bags, and bedding. Do not send valuables.
For All Campers:
- Sleeping Bag & Pillow
- Towel & Washcloth
- Soap & Shampoo
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste
- Other Toiletries
- Insect Repellent
- Toiletry Bag or container
- Shirts—at least one per day of camp
- Shorts—at least one per day of camp
- Underwear—at least one per day of camp
- Socks—at least one per day of camp
- 1 Pair of Long Pants
- Laundry Bag
- 2 Pairs of Tennis Shoes
- Shower Shoes
- Sun Hat or Cap
- Sunscreen (spf 30 or higher) & Chapstick
- 1-2 Swim Suits
- Swim Towel
- Light Jacket or Sweatshirt
- Lightweight Rain Coat or Poncho
- Flashlight with Batteries
- Medications and Vitamins in their Original Bottle with the Camper’s Name*
Optional For All Campers
- Water Shoes or Sandals with a Back
- Sleeping Pad
- Money for the Summer Offering*
- Money for the Camp Store*
- Money for the Group Photo*
- Bunk Reply Stationery
- Paper, Pen, Envelopes & Stamps
Additions For Specific Camps & Programs
For Ebert Ranch Campers:
- 1-2 Pairs of Jeans for Horseback Riding
- Western Boots for Horseback Riding**
For Extreme Adventurer Campers:
- Water Shoes or Sandals with a Back
For LYLE II and LYLE III Campers:
- 1-2 Pairs of Jeans for Horseback Riding
- Western Boots for Horseback Riding**
- Laundry Detergent
- Quarters for Laundry
- Sandals or Beach Shoes
- Money for Beach Shopping
- Beach Toys/Activities (Boogie Boards, Sand Toys, etc)
Optional For Adult Campers
- Extra Long Twin Sheets & Blankets—Quilts will not be available in cabins
*Items that need to be accessible upon arrival. It is preferred that all money deposits and payments are done ahead of time. For more information see Money and the Camp Store.
**We do have some Western boots on hand but contact us for unusual sizes.
All clothing should be appropriate for a church camp setting. Clothing should not have messages with double meanings or advertisements for adult themed products. Should a camper be dressed inappropriately, the camper will be asked to change into more appropriate clothing.
Shirts must cover the entire stomach and may not be strapless or have split sides. Tank tops are fine. Shorts should cover the entire buttocks even when bending or climbing.
Bathing suits must be modest. No string bikinis, thong swimwear, or speedos are permitted. Due to increased sun exposure, swim shirts should be considered. While at the pool or waterfront, a camp t-shirt will be issued for those campers who do not bring appropriate swimwear.
- What Not To Bring
In order to keep in the camping spirit, please leave the following items at home. If these items are brought to camp, they will be labeled and stored by staff for the duration of the camp session.
- Pets – Not even during pick up or drop off times
- Cell Phones & Cell Phone Connected Watches *
- All Electronics & Devices Able to Access the Internet *
- Food / Gum / Candy *
- Hair Dryers *
- Curling Irons / Flat Irons *
- Guns or Other Weapons
- Pocket Knives
- Personal Sports Equipment
- Tobacco Products / Vaporizing Pens *
- Alcohol *
- Illegal Drugs
- Anything Valuable—Our insurance does not cover camper’s personal belongings. Cross Trails Ministry reserves the right to search youth camper’s belongings.
* Week 8 Adult Family Campers, Grandparent Campers and Women’s Big “R” participants may bring these items. Alcohol may be consumed in moderation, and only at restricted times and places by adults over 21. Tobacco and vaping products may be used only outdoors in restricted locations.
Why We Don’t Allow Campers to Have Cell Phones
At Cross Trails the small groups that we form for the week are a very important part of the camp experience. We strive to build an intentional Christian community in which everyone has the opportunity to be included, develop friendships and learn independence in a safe environment.
We have found that cell phones make this process more difficult for two reasons. First, most cell phones are able to access the internet quickly and take photographs and videos. Although we cannot control what participants post after camp, we want to limit opportunities for images of your camper to be put onto the internet without your permission. We also want to make sure your child is not shown anything on the internet that you would not want them to see. Second, if campers are able to constantly connect to those outside the camp community, they tend to not fully participate in camp and miss the opportunities they have to grow.
We know that being disconnected from your camper is difficult, but we want this to be a safe learning and growing opportunity. For that reason, we ask that cell phones be left at home. If they are brought to camp, we will collect them and securely store them until the end of the camp session.