Everyone asks me, “Why is there a store? Didn’t I pack everything they need?” And I tell them, “You did! Really! Don’t worry!” The Camp Ozark Store is there, like everything else at camp, to make your camper’s experience better! The store is for little extras, like snacks or drinks in between meals, or for a fun toy to play with at the cabin, or for your camper to snag that cool new Camp Ozark t-shirt they “must have.”
Camp Ozark has two stores, and each store is a great place to purchase drinks, snacks, personal necessities, toys, and Camp Ozark merchandise. And let’s not forget–that famous SOFT SERVE ice cream! **Just a note here – the Summit Store sells some craft project materials for projects created during Mish Mash. I know quite a few campers that like to make birthday gifts for every member of their family in crafts at camp! So adorable!
At each store, campers can hang out with their cabin, meet up with siblings during Mish Mash, or simply take a break on the shady porch. It also provides restrooms and a water fountain in the middle of two main areas of camp. Everyone loves going to the Camp Store!
Now, having a store account is your family’s decision. It is not required, although most families do put money in their camper’s account. Camp Ozark offers water fountains all over the camp property if campers want to refill their personal water bottles. In the store, campers can find a variety of drinks and snacks, including a section for healthy choices (like hummus, string cheese, and more). Campers can also shop for Camp Ozark clothing, toiletries, stationery and stamps, competitive gear, and toys.
Campers have several opportunities to visit the store. It is open mid-morning just after Morning Competition, before Morning Activities. This time of day is called Chill Out. And Chill Out is taken literally! Campers are encouraged to hop into the water, grab a cold drink, and cool down after an active start to the day. The store is also open during Mish Mash. This is in the afternoon just after Rest Period, before dinner. On certain nights of the session, the Camp Store is open during Special Events. This provides another opportunity for hydration and allows campers to grab a snack after dinner if they want one.
At each visit to the store, to check out, campers scan their RFID wristband or tell the store personnel their name and birthdate to look up their account to purchase items. Each receipt shows the camper their remaining balance in their account. Parents will be alerted (on My Ozark dashboard and via email) if the store account falls below $25 and can opt to put more money in or leave it be. Sometimes campers elect to go to the office to have them call and ask their parents for a little bit more in their account should they have their eye on something they would like to purchase.
Everyone wants to know–how much money should I put in my camper’s store account? That’s a personal question and depends on your camper. Camp recommends $150 per week. These days my older son rarely spends it all. But I did learn some tricks when he was younger and spent every last penny within the first 3 days of camp! Talk with your camper before camp about their budget and your expectations for their store account. One strategy that I have seen be successful is to add money to their account in increments while they are at camp. Pretty smart!
Adding money to your camper’s account–it’s easy. Just hop online or on the app and you can add money to the account through the online store on the Camp Ozark website. Also on your dashboard, you can select if you want to receive any leftover funds back in a check or donate it to OFA at the end of the session. If the app isn’t your thing, then you can also call the Camp Office and they will help you.
Another great part of the Camp Ozark Store is that you can order something for your camper when they are at camp, and it will can be delivered within 72 hours (although it usually comes faster)! You can just hop on the Camp Ozark website to shop. When you select your shipping preference, choose “deliver items at camp.” Camper
’s love getting a special store delivery during the session! The store even has some fun pre-made care packages you can select to send your camper so it takes the guess work out of choosing items for you!
And if you are the parent of a First Time Camper and want to send them items in team colors, that’s great too! When selecting the item and size, it offers you sizes with a tagline “First Time Camper.” The store will find out which team they are on and send them the right color!
One more fun aspect of the store I’ve found is that it is open year-round, and it is super fun to order a few items for Christmas and Birthdays during the school year. There’s something for everyone!