What Exactly Is Overnight Camp?


What Is It?

Camp Rio is excited to offer overnight summer camp for children ages 5 -14.  

Overnight summer camp is a dynamic, six-day outdoor adventure experience with activities such as canoeing, archery, slingshot shooting, geocaching, yoga, fishing, and various sports.

Each day campers participate in activities throughout the 85-acre camp property. Camp counselors, trained and mentored by our full-time camp leadership, are assigned to a group of 8-10 campers.   

Our summer staff strives to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment where campers experience an emerging sense of self in a wholesome community.

Campers learn to be the best version of themselves through leadership, teamwork, and responsibility, which are all traits that we strive to teach at Camp RIO. We believe in the power of overnight summer camp, and by the end of your child's first summer, you will too!


Where is it?

 We are located on Fish Hatchery road, which is just off Hwy 77 in Brownsville, Texas. 


What does it look like?

Camp RIO  spreads over 85  acres of Texas wildlife preserve.  

  Camp RIO’s facilities are unusually outstanding for camps, we think. Located on the grounds is an 11-acre resaca. Natural ebony, giant palm trees, and various oaks are abundant, as is native wildlife.  

We now have two soccer fields, a state of the art outdoor pavilion and basketball court, football field, and a competition-size archery and riflery range.     

We have constructed four air-conditioned and insulated cabins for a comfortable sleeping environment and a place to cool off from the hot  Texas sun.   

The riflery and archery ranges are well situated for safety. Camp RIO is designed for providing the best in camping, and the ownership, along with the year-round staff, continually strives to provide the best program and facilities for the campers.   

Gourmet country cuisine served family-style in a comfortable dining hall, and covered picnic areas give campers the family experience while away from home. The magic of cooking over an open fire has not been lost as we still cookout once a week.

How Do I Plan For Overnight Camp?

How To Plan And Prepare For Overnight Camp

Sending your child to camp for the first time can be very difficult and stressful for everyone. So to help ease the transition, we compiled these tips and techniques to help with the adjustment. We hope they will help you and your child prepare to embark on the adventure of a lifetime (even if you are both a little nervous about it!)   

1. Involve your child in the decision-making processes related to camp, i.e., choosing the bedding to take, what clothes to take, cabin mate requests, what pictures to bring along, etc. Having ownership over even the smallest decisions will help your child by increasing his/her perceptions of control over the separation. We are always available before camp to talk with you or your son/daughter.   

2. Practice letting your child be on his/her own. Make sure he/she makes the bed each morning, serves his/her plate at the table, gets dressed for the day without help, etc. This really helps to “set the scene for your child.”   

3. Let your daughters wash and fix their own hair. Many are perplexed at how to use a ponytail holder on their own and get it to hold back all of their hair successfully.   

4. Show your child how to fold and pack their clothes neatly so he/she can keep them neatly stowed away. We will undoubtedly show them when they get to camp!   

5. Let your child be responsible for keeping up with his/her belongings and resist the temptation to always pick up after him/her. It can be said with great certainty that being responsible is a skill that we can certainly help with over the week they are with us.   

6. Help your child learn to shower, dress, and prepare for either the day’s activities or bedtime in a timely fashion. With many kids sharing a bathroom, time is often limited.   

7. Teach your child to write and address a letter. Consider sending pre-addressed, stamped envelopes with him/her to make it easier. (Selfishly speaking, this will also greatly improve your chances of getting a letter from your youngster! We will actively persuade your camper to write to you at least once during the week).   

8. Speak openly about the possibility of homesickness and help your child know how to defend against it. Don’t promise to immediately pick him/her up if homesickness strikes or he/she doesn’t immediately like camp. This will only send a message to your child that you are not confident he/she has the skills to cope with homesickness and can ultimately put you in a challenging situation. At camp RIO, we don’t believe in the term “homesickness.”  Sickness to us conjures images of lying in bed waiting to get better. Our camp staff is trained extensively on how to prevent missing home and will actively work with you to come up with a plan that best suits your son/daughter.   

9. Learn as much about camp in advance together with your child as possible. Arm him/her with names of staff members and what to expect by reviewing camp videos, brochures, mailings, web pages, etc. Walkthrough the first day so your child will be mentally prepared to leave you. We will make sure that you have all the information you need to feel like you work at camp!   

10. Resist the urge to tell your child over and over how much you will miss him/her and that you don’t know what you will do without him/her at home. This will only make your child feel guilty for leaving you and increase the risk of homesickness. Instead, tell him/her you will miss having him/her at home but know what a fantastic experience it will be, and you can’t wait to hear all about it.   

11. Be sure to ask your child about any concerns or questions he or she has. If you can’t answer them, talk to a camp staff member in advance so you can make sure your child feels confident.   

12. Talk about dealing with the heat. It gets very hot at camp RIO in the summer. We will strive to give many breaks and have water available at every activity. Talk with your child before the summer about drinking lots of water and staying cool when possible.   

13. If you have any specific concerns about your child’s adjustment and comfort, please call the camp office in advance. We want to work with you to ensure a successful experience for your child.