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Summer Themes 2022

The 2022 head staff of Heart O’ the Hills is so excited to announce the themes for the summer.  This year our overall theme for the summer is “Heart O’ the Hills where the Magic Happens!” Come in the front gate wearing your Sisterhood clothes (or whites if you’re a new camper), along with headgear and wands to show you …

Growth Mindset: Encouraging Campers

Camp, especially Heart O’ the Hills, provides an environment that embraces physical, emotional, and intellectual struggle. What makes it a great experience, is not just the understanding that these struggles can be overcome. It is doing so. So, as counselors it’s our job to encourage a growth mindset in our campers! It is through our language that we encourage a …

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Choosing the right camp for your child

Even though it’s cold and blustery outside, now is the perfect time to begin planning for summer activities.  What’s at the top of the list to consider?  CAMP! There are many factors to consider when considering a summer camp “home” for your child.  Here’s some important questions to ask:        *What sort of professional affiliations is it a part of?  …

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Being New to “The Heart”

Trying new things can be scary for everyone.  Oh, but the sense of accomplishment when you learn a different skill! Coming to camp for the first time is no different.  But there are lots of things you can do before arrival to ease the transition.  Come visit!  We love to give tours to familiarize folks with our facilities.  In late …

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Pierogis

These Thanksgiving Leftover Pierogi’s are a hit! Recently, I became a huuuuge pierogi fan.  I love cheese and potatoes, I mean, who doesn’t! I love them even more when they are deep fried in butter with onions! I do not claim to be an expert in making them (this was my first time!). However, I was so surprised at how easily …

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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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What camp means to me: A Homebase

 “If you ever change your mind, come back to camp and you will find us waiting here at your command, we understand …. We understand” Staff sing the above song lyrics to campers on Final Mountain Top every term of every summer of every year.  It’s a promise that has been upheld in my lifetime more times than I can …

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Things I Learned at Heart O’ the Hills

Things I Learned at Heart O’ the Hills As a camper, I never realized how many things I was learning while having so much fun. And the things I was learning weren’t the obvious things like swimming, riding a horse, archery, or learning to shoot a rifle. The things I am referring to could be considered ‘soft skills’ or ‘intangible …

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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 …

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 …

The Top Ten Worries to Leave at Home!

One of the greatest things about camp is, well, it’s not home. There are so many things that you can’t do at home that you DO get to do at camp! These things would be unthinkable (or unallowable)  in public, or especially at school. But camp lifts these restrictions, allowing you to be carefree, independent, and confident. Check out our …

Memories Sweeter Than Chocolate Milk: My Time at Camp

Three great lessons I learned at camp Just the other day I was making a glass of chocolate milk for my three-year-old son. I remarked to my husband that chocolate milk always takes me back to my time as a camper at Heart O’ the Hills. After a fun-filled day, campers would line up in the milk line according to …

Father Don Cowie, July 14, 1929 – Nov. 8, 2018

Father Don Cowie, SM has gone to his heavenly reward.  Almost made It to 90! We will miss him dearly. Father Don celebrated Catholic mass with our Heart O’ the Hills campers and counselors—and those of many other camps up and down our river, including Camp Stewart—every summer from 1976 through 2018. For the first many summers, he lived in St. Louis …

We believe in catching water!

“Rainwater catchment” means collecting those precious drops of rain off our own roofs and using that water as we need it. We always joke about how our annual rainfall of 32” arrives in two different rain events, with nothing in between—but it’s not that far from the truth! Take these past few months for example. During the entire period of …

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Program Calendars, Costumes, and Updates, Oh My!

Here’s the updated Program Calendars for the summer. Due to our shortened terms, we had to cut some things out in order to make the most of the time we have together. For example, this summer there will be no gymkhanas or swim meets. But, horseback and swimming classes will still be going strong. Quadrille will still be available for …

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Can a parent help a child find their passion? Can a camp?

Having a child develop a passion early in life is a blessing, I often tell parents. Jeeper Ragsdale developed his passion for horses at a very young age! Note: There is no better place to develop a passion than camp, because of the exposure to a wider range of activities than most have at home or school. Jeeper, the Camp …

We believe in catching water!

“Rainwater catchment” means collecting those precious drops of rain off our own roofs and using that water as we need it. We always joke about how our annual rainfall of 32” arrives in two different rain events, with nothing in between—but it’s not that far from the truth! Take these past few months for example. During the entire period of …

Check out how we begin off season training!

Editor’s note: People always ask how we stay busy during the off season.  Let me count the ways!! One of the biggest uses of our time is professional development and training. We try not to all be out of the office at once, so this first opportunity goes to Monique (office manager) and Katie (program director), who have ventured to North …

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Celebrating Cultural Exchange at Camp

It’s no secret that the key to a successful summer rests in the hands of the staff. Choosing the right staff is important because they are the gateway to making the summer unforgettable. The counselors at Heart O’ the Hills is a mixture of both domestic and international staff. The international staff at Heart O’ the Hills is available through cultural …

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Exciting News for Next Summer!

The summer of ’16 may have just passed us by, but here at The Heart we are already going full steam ahead with preparations for next summer. Ideas for the program calendar are amounting, counselor applications are building up, and have I mentioned that the programming side of the office has had a reshuffle? Aaaaaaanyway, perhaps the most exciting thing to …

Themes of the Summer

I am so excited to write to y’all today to let you know about various themes for the summer! Field days are undoubtedly one of the most exciting events in the camp calendar.  Friendly competition between the Pawnees and Shawnees allow our campers to strive to do their best and in turn display good sportsmanship. Each field day has an …

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Big Things In the Trading Post!

Often we get asked, “What do you do in the off-season?”. While the list is pretty long, one of the bigger tasks is ordering new items for the Trading Post. As most of you saw this summer, the new Trading Post has more room than ever and we are looking to fill those spaces. We have started working with our …

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2019 Program Calendar

    IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! THE 2019 PROGRAM CALENDAR IS HERE! Check out all the amazing things we will be doing this summer.

Summer 2018 Themes

  It’s official – themes are out for summer of 2018 (Whoo). Here’s a list of the themes with some ideas to help you pick out costumes! Carnival – The Greatest Showman Join us at the Carnival where dreams come to life. If you haven’t seen it, ‘The Greatest Showman’ is an upbeat movie-musical that follows P.T. Barnum and his …

3 Months ‘Till Camp

Wow – Time really flies! Only 3 months until those red gates open and camp officially begins. We’re working extra hard in the office to ensure everything is ready for Opening Day. We’re overjoyed just thinking about it! To get you ready for fun in the sun, take a look at the 2018 program calendar! Here is a link to …

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It’s Not Arts and Crafts, It’s Fine Arts

When I started planning the art lessons for this summer, it was back in December of last year. My main focus was for the campers to have fun, to have a variety of projects, and to use different artistic techniques. Little did I know that these heart girls would get so much more out of their art classes and would …

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3 Things We Learned from Troll Field Day

As we approach a new week, let’s take a moment to reflect on Heart O’ the Hills Troll Field Day! The day was filled with field day water activities, dancing and other events which can be found in Jane’s weekly update. With all the fun and games there were some takeaways. Here are three of the most valuable things I …

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Into The Woods: A Camping We Will Go

On a special night in the heart of Texas, Heart O’ the Hills campers prepare for a unique experience – overnight!  Overnight is when campers gather and spend the night gazing at the Texas sky while making memories that will last a lifetime.  As many of you may be thinking overnight is equivalent to camping outside. How does Overnight Work at HOH? Overnight …

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Hangout with the Heart!

Hey everyone! The Heart is coming to a town near you! As y’all know, we usually host DVD premiere parties towards the end of October to show off the camp memories from the summer. However, since I head back home mid-October *cries* I want to make sure I get to see as many of your smiling faces as possible, and hopefully meet …

A Weekend to Remember!

Mother-Daughter weekend is approaching and we wanted you to hear about the benefits of the weekend from one of our past attendees! Lorrie attended Mother-Daughter with her daughter Sophia, in the fall of 2014 and this is what she has to say about her experience! Going to the Mother-Daughter weekend was extremely beneficial to us! As we started our journey …

Save the Date: Open House 2015

Calling all families! Save the date! Spring is just around the corner, but it’s already time to start thinking about summer plans. Please join us for a Summer Camp Open House on Saturday, March 21. If you’re interested in seeing what camp’s all about and how it can impact your child’s life, come to our Open House in the Texas …

Mother-Daughter Weekend

Do you ever have trouble thinking of something to do with your daughter? We have a great option! Our Mother-daughter weekend is how you can enjoy a taste of camp along with your daughter(s)! Let someone else plan the menus and cook! Just enjoy the relaxation of life away from the city, the fun of fellowship, and the excitement of …

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Choosing the right camp for your child

Even though it’s cold and blustery outside, now is the perfect time to begin planning for summer activities.  What’s at the top of the list to consider?  CAMP! There are many factors to consider when considering a summer camp “home” for your child.  Here’s some important questions to ask:        *What sort of professional affiliations is it a part of?  …

View Post

Being New to “The Heart”

Trying new things can be scary for everyone.  Oh, but the sense of accomplishment when you learn a different skill! Coming to camp for the first time is no different.  But there are lots of things you can do before arrival to ease the transition.  Come visit!  We love to give tours to familiarize folks with our facilities.  In late …

View Post

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 …

Campanion: Your new favorite app!

Before Covid hit last summer, we intended on rolling out one of CampMinders newest updates, an app called Campanion. We were so excited to be one of the first camps able to offer this to their parents. However, after much contemplation, we figured we had enough on our plates than to roll out a new program. Especially in the middle …

The Top Ten Worries to Leave at Home!

One of the greatest things about camp is, well, it’s not home. There are so many things that you can’t do at home that you DO get to do at camp! These things would be unthinkable (or unallowable)  in public, or especially at school. But camp lifts these restrictions, allowing you to be carefree, independent, and confident. Check out our …

2019 Staff Applications are Open!

There is no better feeling than finishing a summer knowing you made a difference in a child’s life. Here’s your opportunity to do just that. Working at camp is more than just a summer job, it’s an unforgettable experience full of growth and unbreakable bonds. We’re excited to announce that applications for 2019 summer staff are now open! Explore the …

4 Things Your Camper Learned This Summer

It’s hard to believe that camp is almost over and school will be starting soon. The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” was in full effect this summer. As we reflect back over the Tribe meeting, fun field days, tepee nights and Ice Cream at Jane’s house, we sometimes overlook the lessons learned. The changes in growth of campers …

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Managing Food Allergies at a Summer Camp

The thought of sending your child to a summer camp for the first time with anallergy can be unsettling. At Heart O’ the Hills, we have become professionals in managing food allergies, and teaching non- food allergy campers how to assist others who have allergies. Food allergies can be life-threatening. In our dining facility we have a chef who focuses …

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6 Reasons Why I love Heart O’ the Hills

This was my first time attending Heart O’ the Hills Camp for Girls in Texas. As a first year camper, I had a lot of opportunities and moments that contributed to why I love camp. I can tell you that it was hard to pick a few. Here are my six reasons on why I love The Heart. Pizza Night: …

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Pierogis

These Thanksgiving Leftover Pierogi’s are a hit! Recently, I became a huuuuge pierogi fan.  I love cheese and potatoes, I mean, who doesn’t! I love them even more when they are deep fried in butter with onions! I do not claim to be an expert in making them (this was my first time!). However, I was so surprised at how easily …

The Top Ten Worries to Leave at Home!

One of the greatest things about camp is, well, it’s not home. There are so many things that you can’t do at home that you DO get to do at camp! These things would be unthinkable (or unallowable)  in public, or especially at school. But camp lifts these restrictions, allowing you to be carefree, independent, and confident. Check out our …

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Sunday Funday at The Heart

Howdy Heart Families! We wanted to share our Sunday Funday with y’all! Last Sunday, we decided to celebrate The Heart with some chalk art! What could be more soothing on a Sunday afternoon than gathering with your quarantine crew and having a chalk party? We confidently laid blue painter’s tape upon the pickleball court, not realizing the size of the …

These kids are driving me nuts! (and what you can do about it)

What a strange new world we are living in now. Social what? Social distancing (an oxymoron!) is imperative, and yet it’s way outside of human nature for us to live remotely from one another. Humans have evolved to cleave to our clans, we long for interaction and community and connection. This is hard by nature, not to mention the challenges of …

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It’s Not Arts and Crafts, It’s Fine Arts

When I started planning the art lessons for this summer, it was back in December of last year. My main focus was for the campers to have fun, to have a variety of projects, and to use different artistic techniques. Little did I know that these heart girls would get so much more out of their art classes and would …

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Lowdown on Summer Throwdown

It’s finally May. YAYYYYYYYY!!!!! Whilst all you camper families still have a wee bit of time before arriving at camp (31 days for first term and 65 days for second term – not like I’m counting or anything…) this is the month when all of our fantastic staff arrive at camp from all over the world to begin preparations for …

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Let’s get Crafty!

Cutting, gluing, stapling, drawing, painting, sewing and more, get your hands in the arts and crafts studio to make memorable masterpieces. Our general arts and craft classes use fun and creative lessons that give campers the chance to explore the different manual arts through a wide range of multi-media exposure. The Heart offers many more specific arts and craft classes— drawing and …

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Costumes at Camp: A Quick Guide to Not Spending Money

Costumes at camp can make a day a little more special. It allows campers to get out of their normal clothes and into something a little silly. While costumes are not necessary, they sure are fun! However, here at camp we try to be as cost effective as possible. First off, try and reuse old Halloween costumes you may have …

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Themes of the Summer

Recently we’ve been asked about our themes for this summer. So here are some ideas for you! Gather your minions and prepare them for a Despicable Field Day! Theme: Despicable Me Field Day Date: June 15 (1A) & July 15 (2A) Costume Ideas:  Yellow minions Purple minions Gru Vector Dr. Nefario Gru’s Mom Margo Edith Agnes Lucy El Macho Floyd Silas …

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