camp lingo

New Camper Blog Series: Camp Lingo

The Heart has a very defined community. Part of what distinguishes our community is our unique camp lingo! Though quite campy, our lingo is sentimental. Words in our camp lingo evoke emotions unlike any other. We put this blog up so you can catch up to speed on our lingo before you even get here!

  • Minion (formerly known as Midgets): Little ladies aged six through eight.
  • Sophomore: Just a little older, our Sophomores are nine through ten.
  • S’minion: Frequently, the Midget and Sophomore division combine for camp events. So, S’minion is our very own contraction referring to both divisions.
  • Junior: Gals aged 11-12.
  • Senior: Our young ladies aged 13-14.
  • Teen: Campers in their final years, aged 15-16.
The Village
Minions playing musical chairs in The Village

Perhaps the busiest place on camp, an array of activities happen at The Village. Attached to the camp office. It is here that excited campers snag ice cream after Siesta. The Village plays host to our ballet, dance, and gymnastic classes.


Our wellness center is named Orenda, for the Iroquois word “healing spirit.” Located in The Lodge, it is quickly accessible to campers and staff who need to take medications with their meals.

Pickleball Court

Next to The Lodge, is the Pickleball Court disguised as a basketball court. While basketball does occur on said court, it is the designated Pickleball Court. Typically purple-pink kudzo flowers carpet the sidewalk adjacent to the Pickleball Court.

Sunshine Loft

The Sunshine Loft is one of the most relaxing rooms on camp. Located on the third floor of The Lodge, just above the Patio Room, this room is primarily made of windows that overlook the Front Lawn.

The Lodge

Easily the most iconic building on camp, The Lodge is the four-story beauty that presides over Highway 39. Formerly a resort hotel, she is home to our youngest age divisions, our Dining Hall, Orenda, Sunshine Loft, Patio Room, and Big Kitchen.

Indian Dwellings

Indian Dwellings is home to three large cabins that typically house our junior and senior divisions. Reminiscent of Old West towns, the campers reside upstairs, while downstairs is where the Art Studios are located.

The Garage

Located on the first floor of Indian Dwellings, closest to the Pickleball Court is The Garage. Like most garges, it is here we store sports equipment, fishing supplies, and the oh-so coveted milk for Milk Line!

The Kiva

Also tucked away in the first floor of Indian Dwellings is The Kiva. It is the Sponsor’s office, and home to tribe regalia.

Lady Gaga Pit

Though we get loud and rowdy, at heart we are all truly lady-like. So of course our painted-red wooden gaga pit is named, Lady Gaga Pit.

Mesa Manor

Across the road from the Office is Jane’s lovely home. Campers love Ice Cream at Jane’s, where they get to eat icecream on the porch of Mesa Manor. They indulge in a stroll through Mesa Manor’s halls to memory lane, pouring over yearbooks.

The Grand Patio

Adjacent to The Village is The Grand Patio. Campers take classes like journalism or paper crafts at The Grand Patio’s lovely red tables.

The Grand Stands

Our main riding arena is right by Opening Ceremonies and includes a grand set of stands.. for sitting. The Grand Stands is where campers meet for Ghymkhana and Quadrille.

Cypress Hollow

On Sundays, Cypress Hollow is where camp gathers for Worship. Cypress Hollow is also known as the ‘Waterfront.’ It is where all swimming activities occur.

Whale’s Pool

A shallow rapid area upriver from our waterfront. It’s a lovely spot for a hike, yoga, or wading.

Opening Ceremonies

Beside The Grand Stands is Opening Ceremonies. This is the place where new camper’s excitedly draw their bead on Opening Day.

The Big Tree

A revered ages-old pecan tree infront of Indian Dwellings. Aside from it’s grand stature, The Big Tree is distinguished by it’s surrounding retaining wall.

The Big Field

Beginning beside the tennis courts and ending at The Ark is The Big Field. The Big Field plays host to our Field Sports class and most of our Field Day activities!

The Ark

Located between the Big Tree and Tunnel o’ Love, The Ark is a beloved gathering location, as well as general leisure area. The Ark is a concrete platform with a large wooden pavilion. The roof of which contains a large heart.

Tunnel o’ Love

The Tunnel o’ Love is a tunnel that runs under the road to the waterfront. Campers safely cross under the road to get to their river activities!

Front Lawn

Right in front of The Lodge, this small lawn is where several activities take place. After Tribe Hill, the tribes come together to announce their Braves o’ the Week.

Big Kitchen

Tucked away in the rocky hillside, our Big Kitchen is attached to The Dining Hall. The Big Kitchen is where the true magic of camp happens- feeding everyone!

Lil’ Kitchen

Tucked away in The Village is the Lil’ Kitchen, where our cooking classes take place!

The Heart

This can be used in two ways – the first is a nickname for Heart o’ the Hills. But for practical camp use, there is The Heart within camp. A grand, red tile heart encloses our flagpole. In the mornings and evenings, the entire camp gathers on this large tile heart for announcements and the pledge.

  • Gymkhana: Said like “jim-caw-nuh”. This is a competitive event between tribes where girls compete in timed games on horseback.
  • Powwow: Powwow is a break from activities before lunch. Sometimes division powwow, and sometimes tribe powwow, it is always a time for announcements, discussions, and bonding.
  • Siesta: The hottest time of the day calls for a nap! So between 1:45 and 3:45 everyone rests in their tepee to gear up for the evening activities!
  • SWC: Shawnee War Canoe
  • PWC: Pawnee War Canoe
  • Vespers: The evening songs which are sung every Sunday evening by one of the three tribes at camp as a gift to the others. We have Counselor Vespers, Shawnee Vespers, and Pawnee Vespers.
  • Quadrille: A team of campers who are advanced riders. At the end of the term they perform a choreographed show to music on horseback.
  • TTS: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (the same class periods fall on these days)
  • MWF: Monday, Wednesday, Friday (the same class periods fall on these days)
  • Tattoo and Taps: Tattoo is the bugle that sounds at 10:10pm signifying all girls should be getting into their bunks with the lights out. Taps is the bugle that sounds at 10:15pm signifying all tepees should be quiet.
Special Language for a Special Community

Ok, phew! That was a big vocabulary lesson- but camp lingo is important! Perhaps the most special thing about camp lingo is that it is unique to camp, and defines our community.

About the Author

Kimber M

Texas born and raised, I love the outdoors, animals, and time with my family.

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