Opening Day is our favorite day of the year and we love welcoming campers and their families to DeSoto. Closing Day might be your favorite day of the year as you reunite with your camper after a month apart! Both are exciting days at Camp, and both require careful logistical planning to accommodate the influx of cars and people.
Please remember that Camp was not built for this many cars, most especially large SUVs, so we have to be creative. We have done our best to design an efficient traffic flow, and there will be plenty of Camp Staff in green t-shirts to direct traffic and help you know where to go next. We appreciate your patience as we try to get 200 family vehicles in and out smoothly.
On Opening Day you will be welcomed by Camp DeSoto Staff just inside the gates. They will be able to tell you just where to go and what to do next. Phil, Marsha, and Sarah will be on the lawn of the Gym to see parents, meet new campers, welcome you to Camp, and address any of your questions or concerns.
You may arrive at Camp anytime after 8:00 a.m. (Camp operates on Central Time), and Cabin Assignments will be given out at 8:30. You will need to drop off your daughter’s trunk and duffle bag at the appointed spot for her age group before parking your car. There will be Staff to direct you to the best place for you to park. Please leave your keys in your car in case there is a traffic jam and your car needs to be moved.
At 8:30, campers should go to the Head Counselors Cabin (either the Belfry or Green Mansions) to be given their cabin assignment. If you arrive after 8:30, Camp Staff will greet you just inside the Camp gates with your daughter’s cabin assignment and directions to her cabin. Your daughter’s counselor will be in the cabin waiting to meet you, to welcome your daughter, and to help her begin feeling safe and comfortable at Camp.
Every camper needs to complete a health check before her parents leave. As you wait for cabin assignments to be announced, or after she has gotten moved in, please visit the Health Check station in her cabin area to have her temperature taken and head checked for lice. Parents also need to stop by the Health Center to drop off camper medicines with the Camp doctor and nurses.
Campers who fly to Camp will be met at the Birmingham Airport by Camp Staff and brought back to Camp. They will go to the Health Center firs thing to have their health checks, and then they will be given their cabin assignments. Camp staff will help them move all of their luggage in, including any items that were shipped to Camp.
Closing Day operates much like Opening Day in reverse. We ask that no parents arrive at Camp before 8:00 a.m. Central Time so that we can share our last Morning Watch and Breakfast together as a Camp family.
You will again be greeted at the gates by Camp Staff, and they will direct you to the appropriate place to park. You may want to wait outside the Dining Hall for campers to be dismissed, or you may go directly to your daughter’s cabin and begin loading up her belongings.
Shortly after 8:00, girls will be dismissed from the Dining Hall to greet their parents. All campers need to be picked up between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. CDT.
Campers flying home will be taken to the Birmingham Airport by Camp Staff, who will assist them with baggage check and security, and will wait with them until every camper’s flight has left.