Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS THIS FOR?
Squad STX is for boys age 11-16 motivated to expand their outdoor survival and leadership skills. This is not a boot camp for boys that do not want to be here!
HOW BIG ARE THE SESSIONS?
Boys camp sessions typically have three squads of three to four boys in each squad. Father & son sessions usually have about four to six pairs of father/sons.
WHERE IS THIS HELD?
Boys camp is at Dinosaur Valley State Park, Texas.
IS CAMPING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED?
No, but this camp is very tough. It is both physically and mentally demanding. It is 100% outdoors, and we do not even use tents. Parents that force their boy to attend against his desire usually end up making a long drive back to pick them up halfway through the session due to either heat exhaustion or extreme home sickness. However, boys that WANT to be here (and have trained for it) have a blast.
HOW HARD IS IT?
Very hard! Physical conditioning prior to attending is required, so campers can deal with the heat, and THEY MUST WANT TO BE HERE. This means actually hiking outside with the camper's boots and rucksack he will have at camp in the hottest part of the day for AT LEAST AN HOUR, and doing this AT LEAST FOUR TIMES before camp. The first or second time a camper puts on the boots and backpack he'll have for camp and hikes an hour SHOULD NOT be the first day of this camp. This cannot be overemphasized enough.
IS THERE A PACKING LIST?
Yes, see gear details here.
IS A TENT REQUIRED?
No, we provide tarps and train campers how to build shelters with them. You can view photos of this in our gallery.
WHAT IS THE MISSION?
Our mission is to equip young men with the skills to become confident leaders by allowing them to practice leadership basics in the outdoors.
IS THIS A BOOT CAMP?
No, Squad STX is a fun but challenging course for young men that want to practice outdoor leadership and learn or refresh some basic wilderness skills. It is for motivated boys that are not there because their parents are making them! We are not in the business of straightening out delinquent kids. Campers must want to be here!
WHAT IS THIS CAMP ABOUT?
Squad STX allows young men to practice hands-on leadership using time-tested concepts used in the military such as squad competitions, assigning roles and duties that rotate daily, and a focus on personnel and equipment accountability. Instructors draw on years of experience designing squad competitions in the US Army that have been adapted to this setting to provide a fun and adventurous experience. The result is a mix of “self-directed” and instructor-led training that allows students to engage in meaningful leadership experiences while learning the basics of getting around in the wilderness and accomplishing tasks themselves.
WHAT DOES “STX” MEAN?
Situational training exercises (STX) are scenario-driven, mission-oriented exercises designed to train one collective task or a group of related tasks.
CAN YOU BRING A FRIEND?
Refer a friend and you will both receive a 10% discount and you will both be put in the same squad if requested. See more discount information here.
MY SON HAS A SPECIAL MEDICAL CONDITION. CAN HE PARTICIPATE?
We may not be able to accommodate special medical conditions based on the nature of the physical activity required by each participant. Please contact us if you have questions.
MY SON HAS SPECIAL DIETARY RESTRICTIONS. CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE THEM?
Probably not but maybe so. Please contact us if you have questions about our menu.
IS IT OKAY TO BRING SOME SNACKS?
Outside snacks are not necessary or permitted. We have plenty of protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Several parts of the lunch (military MREs) can be snacked on throughout the rest of the day.
ARE SCREENS OR DEVICES ALLOWED?
WILL I RECEIVE NEWS FROM MY SON?
Although instructors will always maintain the ability to call a camper's emergency contact with our phones and/or the park facilities, parents should not expect any communications during the program.
HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING IS THIS CAMP?
Campers will hike four to eight miles a day and 25-30 miles total through a state park trails carrying 10-30 pounds in potentially very hot or very wet weather.
HOW HOT CAN IT GET?
Almost every month of the year it can get very hot in Texas, and especially so in the summer. Campers must condition their body for hot weather prior to camp, regardless of the season. We have absolutely no intention of "breaking" people in our program, but there is no way to avoid the fact that a 100% outdoor camping event in the middle of Texas is hot almost any time of year. Campers must be prepared for this. Start properly hydrating yourself now instead of waiting until camp begins!
We also strongly encourage campers to avoid soda and sweets prior to camp. We closely monitor everyone and do our best to prevent heat injuries, but if you show up without any preparation, you will not enjoy yourself and possibly injure yourself!
IS A SPORTS PHYSICAL REQUIRED?
Right now due to the closure of so many doctors offices, we are not requiring a physical. Please call us if you have any questions.
WHAT SAFETY MEASURES ARE IN PLACE TO PROTECT CAMPERS?
Squad STX cadre are former US Army officers that have worked with adolescents a minimum of four years, undergone thorough background checks, and are trained in wilderness first aid. All activities are conducted inside Texas state parks in coordination with park safety protocols. As former military officers and cadets, Squad STX cadre take campers' safety extremely seriously.
WHAT IS THE REFUND POLICY?
Refunds will be given for cancellations made within two (2) weeks of the start date, minus a $100 deposit. 24-hour grace periods are given for registrations made within two weeks of a session, also minus the deposit. If a session is cancelled for low attendance, a full refund will be given.
Refunds are not given for boys that leave due to heat stress or heat exhaustion — conditioning is required — or for home sickness. And although sending a camper home for disciplinary reasons is rare, if a boy's behavior is abusive towards other campers or staff or if his actions pose a threat to the safety of others or himself, his contacts will be called to come pick him up without refund.
If significant thunderstorm activity is forecasted, session may be cancelled for a full refund. Rain and lightening activity alone is not grounds for cancellation. In the event of non-threatening storms, activities may be modified.