Summer Camp is a free one-week residential program for ACE graduates and Central Arkansas youth, ages 9-14, who normally cannot afford to attend camp. Summer Camp activities include group campout and cookout, daily recreational and instructional swimming, canoeing, team building initiatives, flag ceremony, arts and crafts, hiking, sports and games, field trips, STEM programming and environmental awareness. These activities are designed to improve independence, self-esteem and social living awareness while developing problem-solving skills and learning how to have fun.
Summer Camp applications are mailed in early April each year. There are five weeks of summer camp with over 60 campers attending each week. The free summer camping program has operated since 1929. Contact us for an application.
Honor Camp is the last week of the summer season. Campers who have proven themselves to be honorable, responsible, and respectful during the regular summer sessions are selected to return for Honor Camp. Honor Camp has been in existence for over 30 years and serves as a segue system for the counselor-in-training (CIT) program. In all, 60 campers and up to 16 CITs are selected to participate in this coveted program which usually involves out-of-camp trips.
FAQs for Summer Camp
- Who is eligible for summer camp? Central Arkansas youth aged 9-14 who have attended ACE and/or are economically disadvantaged.
- How much does a session of summer camp cost? There is no cost to send your child to summer camp; we are funded by grants, private donations, and the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Little Rock.
- How many sessions are there per summer? There are five sessions that run Monday through Friday, plus one week of Honor Camp which is by invitation only.
- How are children assigned to cabins? Campers are assigned to cabins based on gender and age. There are three boys cabins and three girls cabins each week.
- How many campers can attend per session? Each cabin can accommodate up to 12 campers, for a maximum of 72 campers per week of camp.
- How do I sign my child up for summer camp? Call 501-821-3714 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will mail you an application. Summer camp applications are filled on a first-come first-served basis and are only accepted through postal mail.
- When do summer camp applications get mailed out? Summer camp applications are mailed in early April each year.
- Is there an online application? No, unfortunately, we do not offer online registration for summer camp at this time. Since it is first-come first-served, we want everyone to have equal standing, as some people may not have internet access or printers.
- Does my child need a physical to attend camp? Yes, all children must have a physical signed by a physician or nurse practitioner within the last calendar year.
- Is there a medical professional on site? What happens if my child gets hurt or sick while they’re at camp? We have a full-time nurse at camp who handles any medical issues that arise during camp. What if my child takes medicine? If your child takes medication, please bring it with you to registration in the original prescription bottle. All children with a history of asthma must have a rescue inhaler at camp with the prescription label. If your child gets sick or injured, the nurse or other designated staff will treat. If the illness or injury is severe, you will be contacted by the staff and, if necessary, we will transport your child to Baptist Hospital. For fever and some illnesses, we may contact you to come pick up your child.
- What does my child need to bring to camp? Your child will need items for one week at a time. They will need bedding for a twin-sized bunk bed (sleeping bag or sheets and blanket); hygiene items such as towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, comb and deodorant; and clothes (weather dependent) for a week. They do not wear uniforms. They should not bring electronics, cell phones, valuables, or money. We will provide a packing list. Please do not feel as if you need to spend a lot of money or buy new items.
- What activities will my child participate in? Campers have the opportunity to participate in swimming, canoeing, camping, hiking, STEM-related activities, arts & crafts, biking, field trips, team-building games, sports, and gardening.
- What if my child doesn’t know how to swim? We provide swim lessons, but our pool also has a shallow end so that all campers can enjoy the pool regardless of swimming ability. All water activities are guarded by a certified lifeguard.
- How many campers in each cabin and what is your camper to counselor ratio? Each cabin accommodates up to 12 campers with at least 2 counselors and a CIT (Counselor-in-Training).
- Will siblings or relatives stay in the same cabin? Cabin assignments are made according to age and gender.
- Is this a religious camp? There is not a religious focus. The staff, AmeriCorps counselors and campers come from many different faiths and backgrounds, and all are accepted.
- Can I call my child? How can I keep in contact with my child while they’re at camp? Phone calls tend to distract from the camp experience, but you can call the camp office to inquire about your child. You are also encouraged to write letters to your child.
- What time is registration on Monday? What do I need to bring to registration? Summer camp registration is from 9 to 11 am each week. Bring your child’s birth certificate, social security card, a current physical (must be completed within the last year), immunization records, any medication your child takes (in prescription bottles), and their supplies for camp.
- What if my child has dietary needs or allergies? While we are not a specialized medical facility, we do try to accommodate campers with special dietary needs. Please call us at 501-821-3714 with specific questions.
- What kind of training and/or background do staff have? Staff and AmeriCorps members at Pfeifer Camp complete training in Reality Therapy Discipline Model, Outdoor Living Skills (OLS), CPI (de-escalation techniques), CPR, First Aid, OBIS (Outdoor Biological Instructional Strategies). We prefer our AmeriCorps members to be at least 21 years of age with a college degree or comparable experience with children. We do make age exceptions, especially if the member is a former camper/counselor-in-training. Camp requires extensive background checks of all staff and AmeriCorps members including NSOPR (National Sex Offenders Public Registry), state criminal history and child maltreatment, and FBI fingerprint checks. The AmeriCorps members come from across the United States which enriches the cultural experiences of campers.
- What is Honor Camp? How does my child get selected for Honor Camp? Honor Camp is an extra week of camp at the end of the summer. Campers are selected from that summer’s previous sessions based on their ability to get along with others, helpful attitudes, and character.
- Can I follow my child's camp experience on social media? (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc,). Although we will be taking photos and/or videos of your child and others, we will not post anything during the session for the safety and security of your child. We encourage you to follow Pfeifer Camp on social media as we will post photos after the session completes.