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MESH. It’s a thing

Mental, emotional and social health issues (MESH) have come to the forefront of life after COVID isolation. Summer camp directors nationwide were the first responders in 2021, and now school teachers are taking over. The issues are real. When childhood was put on pause more than 18 months ago, children’s mental, emotional and social growth also stalled out. The normal …

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Heart Ownership Comes Full Circle

Fun fact: Doc Stewart established Camp Stewart for Boys in 1924, and Heart O’ the Hills in 1928. The ownership was soon split up. Yet a half century later, the properties came again under a single umbrella. Here is how that unfolded. Doc Stewart’s life, in mid-career, came to a horrible end in 1929. Accompanying a group of inn guests …

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A Camp is Its People

So much that makes a camp a camp is the people. Here is the story of the people who turned Heart O’ the Hills Inn into Heart O’ the Hills Camp. Heart O’ the Hills Camp was born of dual tragedies. It’s actually sort of a phoenix story, because it began when the inn burned down in November of 1947, …

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Our History: Heart O’ the Hills Inn, est. 1928

It’s hard for us campers to imagine just how recently Heart O’ the Hills Camp as we know it now was even a possibility. The history is unusual, but one of love and tenacity. Here’s the tale. Nearly a century ago, the Texas Hills Country was certainly a different place, very rustic. Kerrville was barely on the map at all …

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Heart O’ the Hills: Founded on Eight Pillars of Character

Heart O’ the Hills Camp was established on eight pillars of character. We consider it significant that when Kenneth and Velma Jones chose to convert the successful Heart O’ the Hills Inn into a summer camp for girls, they made this decision.  The year was 1953. A few years earlier, their younger daughter, Jo, was killed in a car wreck. …

Common Ground gets down to earth

New officers of each Sisterhood are revealed in a ceremony we call “Common Ground”. How did that tradition begin? Campers on one hill would strain to hear the names of their friends as they were called out on the other hill nearby, desperate to know the news of their own group, as well as the news on the other! One …

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Home with the armadillo

We Texans love to wax sentimental about our armadillos. In Gary P. Nunn’s song, the chorus intones: “I want to go home with the armadillo, good country music from Amarillo and Abilene…” and throw in the Texas Hill Country, too! I love “dillers”. They are little dim bulbs that snuffle and grouse. You will hear them, but they don’t hear …

I can’t get ’em up! A History of Heart’s Bugles

Every morning, Heart girls rise and shine to the lilting tune of Zippity Doo Da! But it hasn’t always been so. How did these bugles, so unique to Heart O’ the Hills, come to be? “The Heart” became a camp in 1953, just a few years after the end of World War II. Everyone across the USA was quite familiar …