Today on the Camp Balcones Springs blog, we will be talk about the weekend’s exciting events, including Night Team Competition, our Sunday Baseline Service, and the famous Ted 10,1000 swim and relay event – just a few of the many things that make us one of the best sleepaway camps in Austin, Texas!
After a day of full of camper-favorite activities – including tubing on the lake, riding horses, and archery target practice, just to name just a few – campers assembled for Saturday night’s main event – Night Team Comp! For Night Team Comp, all campers participate in a range of competitive games across the property, competing to earn points for their respective teams (the Texas Rangers, Rough Riders, Lonestars, and Silver Spurs) leading up to the term championship. The night culminates in the Scamper (Senior Camper) basketball game played between the Texas Ranger Scamper boys and the Rough Rider Scamper boys in our Hippodrome basketball arena (the eldest girl campers play a flag football game during another evening of camp, to equal fanfare and enthusiasm). This Term 4 game was an instant classic, with the Rough Riders coming out victorious!
The next day (Sunday), campers gathered in our lakeside amphitheater for our camp Baseline service. Baseline is what we call our Sunday church service here at camp. Although we are a Christian camp and that informs many of our teachings of acceptance and love toward one another, we also aim to be a space that is affirming and inclusive of campers from all faiths and backgrounds. Thus, our church services are accessible for all campers and do not require them to share a knowledge of or belief in the Bible. Each term, we invite a different guest speaker to camp to give an inspiring speech during our Baseline service. Sometimes these people are former campers or staff, and sometimes they are friends of Camp Balcones Springs who happen to have an inspiring story or particular bit of wisdom we think is worthy of sharing with campers. This year, we invited former camper, counselor, and Girls Camp Director Adrienne Metzker to speak.
Reflecting on one of the activities many of us took up during quarantine, Adrienne talked about puzzle pieces, and specifically the problem one often has of thinking a certain piece should fit somewhere it actually does not. Adrienne compared this sensation to real life sentiments – of trying so hard to make certain things work to the point of almost forcing them just because you feel so sure things are supposed to go a certain way, when in reality, there was a completely different piece that was meant for the space. And just as one must sometimes walk away from a puzzle and come back in order to find the missing piece (which is often right under a nose), we often have to walk away from an idea or pursuit or decision – even if that just means to stop thinking about it for a moment – in order to find what is really meant for us. Adrienne also talked about how every piece of a puzzle is necessary to create the final image, just as every piece of our life puzzle – even the bad and difficult or seemingly inconsequential and unimportant – is necessary so that the good, important and memorable pieces fit into place. She ended her talk referencing Jeremiah 29:11 and our verse for the summer, Isaiah 40:31.
Later that evening, the annual Ted 10,000 events took place at Balcones Beach. These swim and relay events are annual camp traditions, held every term, and consist of three swim races of various lengths: the Ted 10,000, 5,000 and 2,000. The day also includes a Phun Run road race and a Splash ‘N Dash swim/run relay event. Girls and boys of all ages and cabins are permitted to enter, and the entire event is monitored by lifeguards and coaches to ensure camper safety throughout. After the races conclude, all campers enjoy ice cream sundaes together on Balcones Beach as the sun sets.
We can’t believe we’re about to begin our last week of summer camp! Stay tuned for more updates as we close out the summer with an amazing fourth session.