4th & New Member – Fall
High Adventure Treks is a unique program, different from other programs in which dads & daughters and dads & sons may have participated, so all new HATS members, as young as 4th grade, are invited to spend a special fall weekend together learning first-hand just what HATS is all about. During this special weekend, girls & boys and their dads will learn about the HATS mission, our non-negotiables, and get a taste of the adventures to come.
Since we’ll spend so much time in the outdoors over the next several years, we spend some time on this first campout sharing tips and tricks for staying comfortable, eating well, and being prepared for spending 2 days in the woods. On Saturday, girls & boys and their dads will work together to follow the clues to the Great Pumpkin Search. Once they find that elusive gourd, the daughters will have a chance to carve their prize pumpkin, with some help from dad.
Throughout the weekend, our campers will play the first few games of the dozens they’ll experience in the coming years in the HATS program and discover their most valuable possession. Sunday morning will give our campers their first dad & daughter or dad & son breakout session, our favorite part of every campout! We hope you’ll join us for this wonderful way to begin your HATS experience.
4th Hike With the Dinosaurs – Spring
In the spring of 4th grade, daughters & sons and their dads have their next opportunity to spend 2 days together in the woods with HATS. Using the camping skills they acquired at the new member campout, we will add hiking to the adventure, and visit Dinosaur Valley State Park for a beautiful day hike. There will be more HATS games and opportunities for our 4th-grade, daughters & son, to get more comfortable introducing themselves to the group, leading exercises, and talking to their dads.
The theme for our weekend is “What footprints are we leaving?”, so as we hike, we’ll talk about the marks we leave on each other, our family, our school, our community, our country, and the environment. Seeing the fossilized footprints as we wrap up our day hike really helps bring home that we really do leave our mark on the world around us and sets the stage for another great dad & daughter and dad & son breakout session on Sunday morning.
5th Challenge Course – Fall
Teamwork and “Challenge by Choice” are key concepts for this campout, as our 5th-grade dads & daughters and dads & sons embark on an adventure called “Indiana and Hannah Jones Save the World”. In a series of challenging, but age-appropriate adventures, our dad & daughter and dads & son teams will face obstacles like the split-rope bridge, the helicopter zip line, and the laser minefield.
Opinions are often split about whether it’s the dads or the daughters & sons who learn more on this campout. The daughters and sons have the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone, solve problems on their own, and lead their teams to success. Dads will find out that that their 5th graders need to carry some of the load, can come up with creative solutions to problems, and have some awesome hopes and dreams. We’ll play more HATS games, of course, and enjoy a beautiful weekend together in the woods. Our traditional dad & daughter and dad & son breakout is the perfect way to end another great HATS campout.
5th Canoeing – Spring
In HATS, “the thing is never the thing,” and that’s never more true than on our 5th grade spring campout, where the theme is all about communication. On the shores of beautiful Lake Whitney, our 5th grade daughters & sons and their dads will learn the basics of working together to paddle a canoe. But more than a canoe, it’s a “communication device” – requiring our teams to practice their communications skills in order to successfully get their boat from point A to point B or navigate an aquatic obstacle course.
After some instruction and practice time on the water, we’ll paddle along the shore to spot where we’ll break for rest and some swimming. Once we paddle back to our starting place, we’ll have an opportunity for a special “challenge by choice activity” that will definitely get some folks out of their comfort zones and remains one of the highlights of the entire HATS program.
After such a full and action-packed Saturday, dads & daughters and dads & sons look forward to a quieter Sunday morning and the now routine dads & daughters and dads & sons breakout session. This time, we continue the communication theme, with discussion about how we communicate not just with words, but also facial expressions, tone of voice, body language and more.
6th Brazos Canoeing – Fall
In the fall of 6th grade, HATS daughters & son and their dads will have the opportunity to put their canoeing (and communications) skills to work as they take on a 10-mile journey down the Brazos River. With help from mentors, our teams will load their camping gear into canoes and begin paddling down river. With daughters or sons in the back seat, steering the canoe, our teams will learn first hand about our weekend’s theme: its not about the destination, its about the journey.
We’ll take breaks along the way to play some HATS games and have lunch, and then we’ll pitch our tents on the river bank, where we’ll enjoy a well-earned dinner and spend the night. On Sunday morning, our daughters and sons have the opportunity to teach their dads a new skill, and we take time to focus on the dad & daughter or dad & son relationship with our traditional breakout.
6th Rock Climbing – Spring
The purpose of this weekend is to teach trust and teamwork between dads & daughters and dads & sons with a concentration on listening to each other and a willingness to try something new. The theme, “Trust,” resonates through the weekend as we teach you how to properly belay your daughter or son as she or he rock climbs in the unique area in southeastern Oklahoma. We provide all of the gear and instruction. You provide a good attitude. Sunday is special as you present your daughter or son and she or he presents you with something in nature that represents your relationship.
7th Rock Climbing & Rappelling – Fall
In rock climbing and rappelling, as in life, trust in your team, yourself, and your equipment is key. Throughout the weekend, our 7th grade daughters & sons and dads will explore this concept through our theme of “who do you trust?” Our teams will travel north to the beautiful Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, where we will learn the basics of rappelling.
Our experienced rock climbing and rappelling team will set up a pair of static line rappels and give our dads & daughters and dads & sons the chance to share an amazing challenge-by-choice experience. If they are up to the challenge, backing over the edge of a 70-foot cliff and descending side-by-side with your dad or daughter or son is an experience of a lifetime for our teams. Along with rappelling, our teams will have the opportunity to do some rock climbing, and to explore the trails and canyons of the area.
7th Kayaking – Spring
Our busy 7th graders have a lot to juggle: school, sports, friends, family activities, and more. And just like learning to balance in a kayak, our daughters & sons (and dads) have to learn to find balance in their lives. This campout takes our teams to a private ranch southwest of Fort Worth with access to a picturesque lake, where our professional guides from KayakPower.com teach us the fundamentals of kayaking.
Over the course of the weekend, we learn about the different types of kayaks, how to get in, how to paddle, and how to safely exit a kayak. We’ll play some HATS games, of course, and all our activities will set up another fantastic dad & daughter and dad & son breakout on Sunday morning: “Is your life in balance?” This one is sure to start conversations that last for years.
8th Whitewater Kayaking – Fall
The 8th grade kayak adventure takes our dad & daughter and dad & son teams on a road trip, down to San Marcos in Central Texas for 2 days of kayaking the San Marcos River. Led by our expert guides from KayakPower.com, teams will get a refresher in kayaking techniques and then head down the river to tackle Broken Bone, Cottonseed and other class 1 and class 2 rapids. With dads & daughters and dads & sons each in their own kayak, this is the first HATS challenge your daughters and sons have to face truly on their own. This sets the tone for the weekend and our theme of “Independence”
In addition to the on-water activities, we’ll play HATS games and receive some whitewater safety training from our guides, including how to safely cross a flowing stream and how to rescue a paddler who has fallen out of their boat. We’ll enjoy the river on both Saturday and Sunday, and of course, no HATS weekend is complete without our signature dad & daughter and dad & son breakout time. This is one adventure you wont want to miss!
8th Wilderness Photography – Spring
Springtime in Central Texas is beautiful, and our 8th grade spring campout helps our dads and daughters and dads and sons slow down and enjoy it for a weekend. With our own slice of Texas’ hill country at our disposal, our teams will learn how to operate their cameras’ more advanced functions to best capture action shots, landscapes, portraits and more.
One of slower-paced and less action-packed campouts, Wilderness Photography remains a HATS favorite weekend. Dads and daughters/sons get to spend the day together exploring trails, hills, and creeks, experimenting with their cameras and taking photos of nature and of each other. After dinner on Saturday, oohs and aahs abound as teams share their favorite photos from the day in a slideshow on our outdoor, fireside movie screen.
After we’ve spent some time viewing the world through a viewfinder, our Sunday morning breakout session invites dads and daughters/sons to take a different perspective on things and “Open Your Eyes to the Things Around You”. In addition to a relaxing weekend and special bonding time, our dads and daughters/sons report feeling more confident in their photography skills, ready to capture memories of a lifetime on the coming Colorado Trek.
9th Backpacking – Fall
Another step in our preparation for the capstone Colorado Trek, the 9th Grade Backpacking weekend is, for many HATS participants, their first experience carrying everything they need for a night in the wilderness on their backs. Our teams assemble early Saturday morning at the Crosstimbers Trail on the shores of Lake Texoma. We distribute the crew gear, weigh each pack to ensure our campers are not overloaded, and set off for a lovely 3-mile hike to our campsite. The weekend is about training not endurance. The theme of the 9th grade backpacking campout is “ Unpacking Your Emotional Backpack.” This campout is designed to teach dads & daughters and dads & sons low-impact backpacking and allows the daughters & sons to realize how little they need to be comfortable on a weekend backpacking trip. Sunday’s breakout is very special because the dads & daughters and dads & sons talk about unloading emotions that you have been carrying through life in your emotional backpack.
This campout is just one night, but still full of HATS goodness. We teach our campers some essential wilderness survival techniques, including fire-starting and water filtration.
9th Bushwhacking – Spring
The final HATS weekend before the Colorado, the 9th Grade Bushwhacking campout invites our daughters and sons to “Find Their Own Path” as they lead their dads on a trek through the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Using a map and compass, the daughters and sons lead their dads to the top of a peak with no specific instructions or marked path to guide them.
This campout is all about opening the channel of communication between the dad & daughter and dad & son on relationships. We start by spending Saturday in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge Mountains with the daughters or sons, compass in hand, leading their dads to a peak, making their own path. The only instruction for the day is, get us to the peak and back before dark. Many girls and boys come away saying, “All my life I’ve been told what path to take, and this is the first time I’ve been allowed to find my own way and make my own path… what an experience!” The theme of this weekend is, “Finding Your Own Path” in relationships using resources that are available to you just like having a compass and map when you are hiking. Sunday morning, the dads & daughters and dads & sons have an opportunity to start talking about what relationships mean and how to navigate through them.
All of our campouts are grade and gender specific. There are 2 – 3 dates avaliable for the daughters campouts – these campouts are the same but are on different dates to better fit your family calendar.
All Grades - Son's and Daughter's Winter Campout
A great HATS tradition is to kick off the New Year with the annual Daughter’s Winter Campout and the annual Son’s Winter Campout, both of which are open to all grades and alumni. The Winter Adventure is different every year, but the one constant is chilly weather and good times!
This campout is about learning how to camp in colder weather and enjoying the only time every grade level, and our HATS alumni gather to camp together to enjoy fun games and build shared memories. We’ll explain everything you need to know to stay warm, and we promise you’ll enjoy a fabulous Winter weekend with the whole HATS community!