Twenty Questions Most
Frequently Asked by Parents
Why a sleep-away camp in the first place?
A sleep-away camp gives a child an away-from-home living experience under professional guidance. It is an opportunity to live with others in a supportive and caring environment. Children develop more self-reliance, confidence and social skills which lead to a positive self-image and lifelong friendships.
What about Echo Hill Ranch itself?
Echo Hill is a child-centered, non-competitive camp for boys and girls ages 6-16. Echo Hill Ranch is tucked away high in the Hill Country of Texas, outside of Kerrville. Our own 400 acres have an elevation of 2,100 feet, large oak, sycamore and cypress trees, fresh streams, clear stimulating days, and cool restful nights. The Texas Hill Country is recognized nationally as a top vacation and resort area.
What about the Directors?
Dr. S. Thomas and Minnie Friedman founded Echo Hill Ranch in 1953 as a child-centered, non-competitive camp and provided executive leadership until 2002. Their son and daughter-in-law, Roger S. Friedman, Ph.D. and his wife Roz Beroza, MSW, are the current Executive Directors.
What about the staff?
Highly qualified and mature individuals form the staff ratio of one counselor for every 4 children. Over 75% of our staff attended Echo Hill as campers. In addition to close ongoing supervision by our administration and Executive Directors, all of our staff participates in our pre-camp orientation training
Do you have a Counselor-in-Training program?
Yes. Our CIT program focuses on leadership development, team building and learning to work with children in individual and group situations. CITs also have the opportunity to participate in challenging ‘teen camp’ activities like backpacking overnight into the hills, long distance riflery, and advanced arts projects like pottery and totem pole building. Participants learn to work effectively with children, improve their own skills, and have fun with their peers. Teenagers must be at least 15 years old to be a CIT I. CIT IIs, gain supervised experienced in actually operating camp assisting with scheduling, menu selection, evening programs and daily activities. They also have the opportunity to move into bunkhouses and serve an internship with various age groups of campers. CIT IIs must be at least 16 years old and have completed CIT I program.
What about housing for campers?
Our cabins have a ranch-style design with bunk beds and a drawers under each bed for camper’s belongings. Each cabin contains its own bathrooms with toilets, sinks, showers, and hot and cold running water. Cabins are well lighted and ventilated and have electricity.
What about health and safety?
Children's health and safety are our highest priority. Infirmary counselor on staff with a fully stocked infirmary. We have on call our camp physician, dentist, orthodontist, optometrist and pharmacist. Roger S. Friedman, Ph.D., our Executive Director, is a clinical psychologist, and along with his wife Roz Beroza, MSW who is a clinical social worker, are available to discuss by phone any social, emotional or medical issues that may come up over the camp period.
Where do the campers swim?
Our campers swim in two primary swimming areas. Lovely rock dams on Wallace Creek, a tributary of the Guadalupe River, separate shallow and deep water swimming areas. The water is spring fed, pure, and crystal clear. Our waterfront is run under strict American Red Cross guidelines and expert certified staff is in charge. There is also recreational swimming, kayaking, boating and water hiking.
What about horseback riding?
Horseback riding is included in tuition. Children ride on carefully selected string of horses owned by Echo Hill. Expert instruction and supervision in riding is given in the ring and campers get to go on beautiful scenic trail rides through the valleys and flats of the Ranch.
What about other camp activities?
In addition to swimming and horseback riding, Echo Hill has three main program areas. First, our athletic and sports activities including archery, riflery, tennis, softball, basketball, soccer, miniature golf, wrestling,and volleyball. We also have an enriched program in creative arts with dance, music, drama, art, ceramics, video, and a camp radio station and newspaper. Third, our nature study and conservation activities are very popular. Children develop a sense of being a part of nature and comfortable in the out-of-doors environments. Highlights include searching for fossils and arrowheads, hiking, campouts, and observing and caring for animals and plants. Campers learn how to build campfires, put up tents, make a campsite and go out on cookouts, overnight campouts and backpacking trips. Campers lead outdoor Sabbath services on Friday night, home made Challah is served with mealtime prayers at dinner on Friday night, and Bar/Bat Mitzvah tutoring is available by Echo Hill staff.
What about foods and cooking?
We serve delicious, nutritionally balanced meals, family style. Our facilities are state inspected and approved. Our kitchen staff is experienced and reliable professionals. Our kitchen is equipped with large cooler, deep freeze, excellent baking and cooking appliances, and approved garbage disposal system. Individualized special dietary needs may be accommodated. All breads, cakes and rolls, including Challah on Friday nights, are made from scratch by our kitchens staff. We serve cold snacks in the afternoon like fruit or ice cream, and home made cookies as part of the evening program. Food is kosher style.
What about your water?
We have our own deep artesian well and pump in the same sands as the city of Kerrville. Water system meets the highest approved standards of the Texas Environmental Water Quality Commission.
How do the campers get there?
Most campers come to camp on our chartered buses which depart and return to convenient locations in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. These buses are air-conditioned with restroom facilities. Each group of traveling campers is accompanied by the appropriate staff. For our international campers and those from other parts of the United States, we coordinate plane travel through the San Antonio International Airport
Are there any special clothing requirements?
A packing list with detailed guidelines is included under Camper Forms on the Table of Contents of this website. Children's clothing is washed, dried and folded at professional laundry facilities in Kerrville. Each child's clothing is washed separately. Camp is not responsible for lost items. This laundry service is included in the camp tuition.
What about your canteen?
We maintain a small canteen (store) for personal needs such as stamps, toothpaste, and film. Children are given 50 cents after lunch each day for one cold soda or PowerAde. The canteen and sodas are included as part of the Tuition. If more expensive items like a new pair of tennis shoes, eye glass repair or a new bathing suit is needed during camp we will, with parent’s approval, purchase this item in Kerrville and send an invoice to the parents.
When are the camp sessions? We currently have 3 overlapping camp sessions:
Session I, 4 weeks: starts mid June.
Session II, 3 weeks: starts early July.
Session III, 1 week: starts mid June, introductory camp for boys and girls ages 6-10.
Can someone attend for part of a session?
No. Each period has a rhythm of its own which we do not wish to interrupt. Arrangements may be made, however, on an individualized basis to attend special family and personal events.
What does tuition include?
Tuition covers all camp activities including horseback riding as well as laundry service, small canteen items, a soda a day, a DVD, Yearbook and Bunk Photo. Transportation to and from camp is the only additional expense.
How may we register?
Registration is Online through our website www.echohill.org if this is not possible, then registration forms and checks maybe send to Echo Hill Ranch, 965 Echo Hill Road, Medina, Texas 78055. Fax number is 830-589-2520 and Telephone is 830-589-7739.