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Camp Information & Policies

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EARDC Aquatic Camp
601 University Dr
(248 FAB)
San Marcos, Tx.  78666


Each camper must bring all completed consent and release forms and medical history form (these can be sent ahead of time, but may be turned in at check-in).  Campers should also sign and return the camper behavior contract included in the registration packet.


We take safety very seriously and all activities will be facilitated by experienced and appropriately licensed staff with certifications in First-Aid and AED/CPR.  All swimming/aquatic activities are supervised by certified lifeguards.  Campers are under counselor supervision at all times.  Our staff have all been background and reference checked and are required by the State of Texas to take the Safe Camps child abuse prevention training.

san marcos river


Each participant will be required to take a simple swim test upon arrival.   Due to the nature of the camp, the ability to swim and tread water is essential.  Campers who are poor swimmers will be required to wear a life jacket at during any swimming activities, or be required to sit out the activity, depending on the nature of the activity.  The swim test consists of being able to swim 30 yards in a flowing river without stopping or touching the bottom and be able to tread water for 1 minute.  It is required that all campers wear life jackets during the raft trip.  Lifeguards will administer the swim test and be present for all swimming activities. rafting san marcos


Although the level of physical activity at the camp is not excessively challenging for a healthy child, several of the camp activities do require a considerable amount of walking.  We suggest that students who are enrolled in the camp be accustomed to at least a moderate level of physical activity.


Campers will be expected to participate in all camp activities.  Although it may be possible to opt out of swimming and/or scuba activities by sitting out at poolside, we are not able to provide alternate activities for campers who do not desire to participate in tubing, river rafting or cave tours.  The ropes challenge course/climbing wall is adjusted by the facilitator to cater to each individual’s comfort level.  No camper will be required to participate beyond their comfort level. 

aquatic camp rafting               


Central Texas summers are hot and humid, so warm weather clothing will be appropriate for most occasions.  Casual clothes and sportswear, such as shorts, “athletic fit” swim suits, cut–offs, tennis shoes, water shoes and sandals w/back strap are recommended.  For all field trips old or inexpensive tennis shoes or water shoes are essential. There will be many water activities and wearing shoes or quality strap-on sandals (Chacos, Tevas, Keens, etc.) for tubing, rafting, sampling, etc., is much easier and safer on the feet. Flip–flops are fine for wearing around camp or to the showers but are not sufficient for outdoor activities.  Several of the activities require extensive walking, so a good pair of rubber-soled walking shoes or light hiking boots is essential.  A hat is recommended for outdoor activities.  A sports strap to secure eyeglasses is strongly recommended to prevent their loss in the water while tubing or rafting.  A sweatshirt or sweater is recommended for air–conditioned buildings (which can sometimes be quite chilly in the mornings!). You can never tell when it will rain during the summer so rainwear (such as a disposable poncho) may come in handy.


Tentative meal times are: 

  • Breakfast:    8:00 - 9:00
  • Lunch:       12:00 - 1:00
  • Dinner:        6:00 - 7:00

Most meals will be served in the on-campus dining halls.  Dining hall meals are buffet-style and feature a variety of healthy and delicious food.  Picnic meals will consist of sandwiches, tacos, or other similar meals.  We take food safety very seriously so please let us know if your child has any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

aquatic camp san marcos tx meal


Linen services are not provided, however the dorms do have laundry rooms that are available for campers to use.  Campers need to bring linens (twin size), pillow, blanket, bath towels and a swimming towel.  Campers are asked to bring enough clothes for a full week.  A sleeping bag may be used instead of linens if desired.  Campers may also want to bring ear plugs if they are light sleepers.


Campers should bring enough spending money for snacks, souvenirs and occasional recreational activity (no more than $75 should be enough).   Campers are expected to be responsible for keeping their own spending money while at camp. It is encouraged that each student bring a small lockable box (which should not be left out in plain sight) to store money.


Send mail to: (Camper’s Name), c/o Aquatic Sciences Adventure Camp, Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center, Texas State University, 601 University Dr., San Marcos, Texas 78666-4684.  Campers who wish to send mail should give it to the camp director to be mailed.  Note: Mail sent to all university departments is first routed through Texas State University Mail Services.  All packages sent through United Parcel Service or Federal Express are delivered to Texas State University Central Receiving before being delivered to EARDC.  Please allow extra time (2-3 days) for delivery, even if requesting next day delivery.


Although we discourage cell phone use, campers will be allowed to make calls using their own cellular phone during the evenings, Campers will not be allowed to carry cell phones with them during the day.  All camp staff carry cell phones at all times in case of emergency. An emergency number will be provided to you at camp check-in.  For non-emergencies, call the Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center front office at (512) 245-2329 to leave messages.  Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Texas State University Police Department number is (512) 245-2805.


Campers should bring soap and shampoo, hangers, beach towel and an alarm clock.  BRING OLD SHOES FOR THE RIVERS, PLENTY OF SUN SCREEN AND A HAT!


Campers might want to bring such items as an inexpensive camera, frisbee, board games, playing cards, puzzles or word games (for leisure time). Campers may bring cell phones, but this is not encouraged as cell phones can be a distracting and disruptive influence.  Campers will not be allowed to carry cell phones with them during the day, they must be left at the dorm.  Campers are responsible for their own cell phones.  Equipment for all scheduled activities will be provided for each participant.  Bringing expensive electronic equipment, iPods, digital cameras or other valuables/ collectibles is strongly discouraged due to potential for loss, theft or damage.


Spark–producing, flame–producing, or loud noise–producing devices, water guns, water balloons, personal TV sets, videos/DVDs, DVD players, musical instruments, skateboards, roller-blades, etc. are not permitted at the camp.


Campers will be closely supervised at all times by the camp directors, teachers and counselors.  The teachers and counselors will live in the dorms with the campers, and will help supervise recreational activities and evening activities.  Teachers and counselors will be assigned a separate room.


The general daily schedule will include classroom and field activities in the morning.  Recreational activities will fill the afternoon and evening hours.  Minor schedule changes may be necessary due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.


Campers are expected to follow campus rules and regulations, to respect university property and facilities and to respect the persons, dignity and property of other campers.  Parents/guardians will be billed for any damages caused by their children.  Campers will be expected to participate in all scheduled class and recreational activities and to conform to acceptable rules of conduct.  Failure to do so may result in the camper being expelled from the camp.


There is a mandatory $100.00 cancellation fee ($50 for the 2-day sessions) if cancellation is made at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the session.  Otherwise, the entire deposit is forfeited.  Once the camp session has started, partial refunds may be given only in the event of illness or injury.  Refunds will not be given in the event a camper is withdrawn due to homesickness, discipline or other reasons.  EARDC reserves the right to cancel any session which does not have a minimum of fifteen (15) participants registered two weeks before the session start date.


Adventure Camp check-in is Sunday afternoon from 2-3pm at a residence hall on the main Texas State campus.  Those arriving by car should take I-35 and exit at the off ramps marked “Texas State University” (from San Antonio) or “Aquarena Springs Drive” (from Austin).  Maps and driving directions will be provided upon registration.  Please contact EARDC if you have not received this information at least two weeks before your camp session starts.


Adventure Camp pick up is Friday from 4-5:30 p.m. at the residence hall. Campers must be picked up by 5:30. We are aware of the traffic nightmare that often exists on I35 so please allow extra time for traffic and if you are running late for pick up please call us as soon as possible so arrangements can be made for a later pick up!


Campers will be responsible for ensuring their room and surrounding area are clean upon check-out of the dorm.  A cleaning fee will be charged to campers if their assigned areas are not properly cleaned at check–out.  Any damage caused by campers to University facilities including dorms, classrooms, equipment, or vehicles will be charged to campers.  Any lost keys will be charged to campers (fee $40).