Cabin Compound Night & Mission Impossible!

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Today on the Camp Balcones Springs blog, we’ll be talking about Monday evening’s Compound Night and its surprise interruption for one of Camp Balcones Springs’ most historic events – Mission Impossible!

After a day full of Monday activities, including boating on our Central Texas lake, rock-climbing, and arts and crafts, campers participated in Term 3’s Cabin Compound Night. Compound Nights are an opportunity for campers to hang out with the other young people in their age group. (“Compounds” are what we call each grouping of cabins on the Balcones Springs grounds, organized by age and gender.) Each term, our Leadership Compound Heads plan a litany of unique events for the campers in their compound to take part in on Compound Night, splitting off into B Compound (the youngest boy campers), C Compound (the youngest girl campers), D Compound (middle school girl campers), E Compound (middle school boy campers), and our High School Programs (Scampers, LTs, and the Work Crew).

This year’s line-up did not disappoint! B Compound (elementary school boy campers) hosted an epic water fight, complete with squirt guns, a slip n’ slide, dunking tubs, and water balloons.

Meanwhile, C Compound (elementary school girl campers) hosted an episode of Extreme Makeover: Disney Edition, working in teams to make-over famous characters from Disney movies, including Shrek, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and characters from Encanto. The night was full of glitter, hair spray, lipstick, and of course, everyone’s favorite Disney tunes. Shrek took home the grand prize.

D Compound (middle school girl campers) had an exciting photo scavenger hunt across camp! Campers worked in cabin teams to capture photos of iconic camp landmarks and people – including our beloved camp dogs and full-time staff members – as the sun set.

E Compound (middle school boy campers) had a Counselor Hunt across a large section of our property. Counselors camouflaged themselves, and campers worked in teams with their cabins to find and capture their counselors and earn points.

High School campers (F Compound) enjoyed a relaxing beach party at Lake Ted’s Balcones Beach. The night consisted of an evening swim, grilled snacks, a giant Jenga game, frozen slushies, sand volleyball, and cool music.

Even though campers were having a ton of fun at Compound Night, the evening wasn’t over yet! All of the sudden, the Mission Impossible theme music began blasting from all corners of camp – a signal that a night of spies and adventure was upon us! Mission Impossible – M.I. for short – is one of the most sought-after events at Camp Balcones Springs and one of the offerings that makes us one of the most popular overnight summer camps near Austin, Texas. Although guaranteed to happen once every term, campers and counselors alike have no idea just when Mission Impossible will strike, but when the Mission Impossible theme music is heard blaring from the camp speakers, everyone knows the time has come! This term, M.I. was especially surprising because it happened during Compound Night, which is atypical, as kids are located all over camp for those activities and thus more difficult to collectively surprise – but it was perfectly executed and all the more thrilling for it!

When Mission Impossible begins, boys, girls, and their counselors hear an announcement that instructs them to head back to their cabins, dress in camo and spy gear, and await further instructions. Missions and maps are then hand-delivered to each cabin, after which campers and counselors are “dismissed” into the night to accomplish their tasks – a race against the clock to locate a series of glow sticks and return them to homebase at the GridIron. It’s not that simple though – our eldest campers, the LTs and Work Crew, are out on the prowl, acting as “spies’’ and disrupting the campers in their quest (hence the need for camo and dark clothing – you don’t want the spies to catch you!). If spotted, spies will ask boys and girls to do simple tasks – like 10 jumping jacks or singing a song – before they are allowed to proceed. Other spies hide in trees waiting to douse unsuspecting groups of kids with water balloons. This year, we had a record-high number of spies – 35 in total!

After all teams have returned to the GridIron, kids and counselors enjoy ice pops and take pictures in their spy gear. This session, we ended the night with fireworks. It’s always an incredibly fun night – and one of the most epic traditions here at Balcones Springs!