Last Week of Term 2, Part 2: Arts & Crafts, the Amazing Race, & Rodeo Roundup!

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Today, we are wrapping up our coverage of Term 2 with an overview of our Arts & Crafts program, a recap of Thursday’s impromptu Water Wars, and Friday most iconic Camp Balcones Springs activities – the Amazing Race and Rodeo Roundup!

This summer, the Camp Balcones Springs Arts & Crafts program – open to both boy campers and girl campers of all ages – is headed by Sully Howard. Sully is a native of New Orleans and graduate of the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts’ visual arts department. At NOCCA, Sully focused on painting and drawing, and her work primarily surrounded large scale figurative oil paintings. Now a rising junior at Barnard College Columbia University in New York, Sully has gone on to major in Archaeology. This coming fall, Sully will be spending a year abroad at the University College London’s affiliate archaeology department.

Sully comes from an artist-heavy family – both her mother and grandfather are artists, as well as her namesake late relative Thomas Sully. Sully’s grandfather was an oil painter and printmaker in New Orleans who focused mainly on still lifes and portraiture, and Sully’s mother is a mixed-media painter with an ongoing practice in New Orleans and elsewhere in the US. Sully credits both her mother and grandfather for instilling in her many of the techniques she carries into her own practice, as well as in her curriculum at CBS. Sully came to Camp Balcones Springs via childhood friend, Amelia Perret, who is one of camp’s LBJ Lake Heads this summer. Sully and Amelia have been friends since preschool, and although they stopped attending the same school in third grade, they reconnected upon learning they would both be attending Barnard.

In our camp Arts & Crafts program, campers have the option to choose from four different classes: Arts & Crafts (general), Ceramics, Painting, and Jewelry Making. Each of the courses affords campers the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the craft and grow as young creatives. Some of the projects for this summer include constructing lavender pillows, watercoloring, painting tote bags, making ceramic dishes, and rock painting! Projects and instruction vary based on camper age and experience levels so that every camper feels capable and engaged regardless of where they are starting from. Sully hopes to make the Arts & Crafts shed a safe and welcoming place for campers where each person feels celebrated as an individual regardless of whether or not they feel “good” at art. According to Sully, “Art is about expressing yourself; oftentimes the process yields a greater reward than the end result. I strive to demonstrate this to campers because I truly believe that each person is an artist in some way or another.” We are so grateful to have Sully’s wisdom and experience at camp!

On Thursday, boys camp ambushed girls camp during our Oasis snack time! As the girls entered the Thicket just after the rest period, all of our boy campers were hidden in the treehouse, snack shed, and the parked Balcones Springs fire truck. The boys opened the water party with water balloons, water guns, and of course, the famous fire truck hose! That evening, campers spent the evening doing activities with their cabins, reflecting on the term and building upon the bonds they have built with each other throughout the session.

Friday morning began with a bang as Term 2’s Team Competition was finally decided in the Amazing Race. The Amazing Race is a camp-wide event that incorporates the youngest boy and girl campers up to our high schoolers in a series of races and activities. And oh was this race truly one of the closest we have ever had at CBS! The Texas Rangers and Lonestars came in with a 22-second head start, accumulated over the course of the term and Thursday’s Spirit Comp cheer challenge. However, that didn’t stop the Rough Riders and Silver Spurs! They quickly overcame the deficit and gained the lead. The Amazing Race saw a total of 11 lead changes, but the most important came during the Gauntlet – the final obstacle course run by the eldest campers. The Gauntlet, this year run by our uniquely all-girl Senior Campers, was truly the main event. The Spurs and ‘Stars went back and forth, runner after unner, but ultimately the Rough Riders and Silver Spurs pulled out the victory by just two seconds! The Amazing Race lived up to its name, creating an all-time finish to an all-time term!

Friday evening – the last night of Term 2 at camp – began with our tenure awards, specific items given out to campers based on how many years they have been attending Camp Balcones Springs. After, all of camp made the way to our barn for possibly the most anticipated night of the session – Rodeo Roundup! Rodeo Roundup is an iconic camp event – a western-style dance featuring cowboy boots, funnel cakes, mechanical bull-riding, and two-stepping! Campers arrived at the barn to a horse show and spent the night enjoying cotton candy, the Boot Scootin Boogie, peach cobbler, S’mores, and even a hayride! The night ended with our traditional singalong to “Heroes and Friends” as campers walked the candle-lit path back to their cabins under a sky full of fireworks.

We are so grateful for Term 2 and the amazing personalities we met and reconnected with this summer! We can’t wait to see you all next year!