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Camp Policies

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  • Campers may receive letters or gift packs. These can be left with camp staff upon registration or mailed to the address below. Please note that mailed items must be received before Wednesday afternoon to guarantee receipt by campers. Please note Prohibited Items.

    Send to:

    Camper's Name

    c/o EARDC Aquatic Science Adventure Camp

    601 University Dr.

    (248 FAB)

    San Marcos, Tx.  78666-4684



  • We do not encourage phone calls and we do not allow visits during camp except in case of emergencies. We have found that this disrupts the camp experience and can exacerbate homesickness issues.

  • There is a mandatory $150.00 cancellation fee for overnight sessions and a $100 for the day camp sessions if cancellation is made at least 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the session. Otherwise, the entire deposit is forfeited. Once the camp session has started, refunds will not be given in the event a camper is withdrawn due to homesickness, discipline or other reasons.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 3 weeks before the session start date.

  • Each camper must bring all completed consent, release, and medical history forms included in the registration packet. The university does not accept scanned / printed/ facsimiles. Original signed documents only, please.

  • 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.

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  • 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 mandatory for all campers.  Campers who are poor swimmers will be required to wear a life jacket 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 20 yards in a flowing river without stopping or touching the bottom.  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.

  • All of our activities are ‘challenge by choice’. We do not force participation. However, we are not able to provide alternate activities for campers who do not desire to participate. Your camper should WANT to come to camp. Please do not sign up campers that are unenthusiastic about our camp.

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  • Inappropriate footwear is our most common clothing problem! All campers must have water-appropriate shoes or sandals with a backstrap and a pair of close-toed shoes (these can be the same shoe). Some activities (e.g. climbing and caving) require close toed shoes, while others (e.g. rafting) require shoes or sandals with a backstrap. Campers WILL NOT be able to participate in those activities with flip-flops or slides. Additionally, campers should have more than 1 pair of footwear so that they don’t have to wear wet footwear all the time. Finally, a good pair of rubber-soled walking shoes or light hiking boots is essential for activities that require extensive walking. Beyond footwear, 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, and cut-offs are recommended. A hat is recommended for outdoor activities. A sports strap to secure eyeglasses is strongly recommended to prevent their loss while tubing or rafting. A sweatshirt, jacket, or sweater is recommended for air-conditioned buildings. Rainwear (jacket or poncho) can come in handy too.

  • Tentative meal times are: 

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

    We take food safety very seriously, so please let us know if your child has any food allergies or dietary restrictions. Meals will include a combination of on-campus dining halls and picnic- or continental- style breakfasts and lunches. Vegetarian options are always available and we can accommodate most dietary restrictions with advance notice. Healthy balanced food options are always available and encouraged, but your camper will ultimately decide what s/he eats. We cannot force them to make healthy, balanced choices although sweets and treats are generally limited!

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  • 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 can bring enough spending money for vending machines or a convenient store stop (no more than $30 please). 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.

  • Policy has changed! Please read carefully. While we understand the cell phones and mobile technology is an increasingly prevalent fact of life, mobile devices can be a distraction for campers, detract from other campers’ experience, and be misused (consuming inappropriate content, engaging in inappropriate chats after hours, etc.). For these reasons, campers may bring mobile devices, but they will be securely held by camp staff. For overnight camps, campers will be given approximately 30 minutes each evening to use their phones for calls to family or friends, checking for texts and emails, etc. Additionally, campers may use their phones in instances of distress or emergency, and families will receive a phone number in their registration packet so that campers may be contacted in the event of emergency. Please do not use the camp cell number for check-ins. The EARDC office can be contacted at (512) 245-2329 during business hours for non-emergency inquiries. Additionally, camp staff will have cameras on hand so that campers can request pictures taken. All pictures will be shared with the group after the conclusion of camp (please be patient as picture processing may take a few weeks). Optionally, campers may bring a camera-only camera. We also have a strict mobile device policy for our staff although they will always have cell phones on hand for emergency and may frequently be checking our group communication apps to ensure that camps continue to run safely and efficiently. While we sympathize that our cell-phone use policy may be a source of anxiety for some parents, we ask that parents please provide our campers with a good example of following camp rules by respecting the cell phone policy. Mobile device usage can ‘sabotage’ a campers’ overall experience at camp. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at for questions or concerns about our mobile use policy.

  • 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). Equipment for all scheduled activities will be provided for each participant however campers are welcome to bring their own snorkel mask, headlamp, etc. 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, gaming consoles, 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. Teachers and counselors will be assigned a separate room in dorms. Same-sex teachers and counselors will be lodging in cabins with campers at University Camp but must change and shower in the privacy of bathrooms when campers are not present. All staff are required to pass a background check, complete a child safety training, and abide by the camp sexual abuse prevention policy (available upon request).


  • A schedule of activities will be given to each camper, campers are responsible for readying themselves for each day’s activities and ensuring they have the appropriate clothing and equipment for the day. 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 as outlined in the behavior policy to be signed by campers and guardian during registration. Failure to do so may result in the camper being expelled from the camp. Campers who violate the rules outlined in the behavior contract or fail to follow staff instructions will be given a verbal warning. On the second infraction, parents will be notified. If a third incident occurs, parents will be asked to come get their camper WITHOUT A REFUND! This is for the safety of all campers and staff. Due to the nature of many of the activities at the camp, failure to comply with staff instructions could result in serious danger to campers or others.

  • Overnight Camp check-in is Sunday afternoon at a residence hall on the main Texas State campus. Check in for day and mini camps sessions is from 7:45-8:15 at Meadows Center for Water and the Environment. Check-in instructions and driving directions will be emailed out 2 weeks before the start of each session. Please contact EARDC if you have not received this information before your camp session starts.

  • Overnight Camp pick up is Friday from 4-4:30 p.m. at the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building. Day Camp pick up is from 4:45-5:15 at either Meadows Center for Water and the Environment or at the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building depending on the day. Detailed instructions for pick up and drop off will be emailed out 2 weeks before the start of camp. 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).