Sunday, August 2, 2009

This weekend was V-day at Camp Longhorn in Burnet, Texas. To provide some background. My wife and I both were raised in Texas. We moved to Florida way back (15 or so years) but once we had children we really wanted our children to appreciate our home state. So as my children have reached 9 or 10 they have started spending 3 weeks every summer in a camp in Burnet, Texas.

Camp Longhorn is a very traditional summer camp for Texas. It has been in existance for 70 years and the events are not much different now than they were when it started. I am amazed that in a world of lawsuits and insurance companies that Camp Longhorn seems completely immune. For 3 weeks my sons bounce on trampolines, shoot guns, jump off high dives, swim in lakes, jump off rocks and generally have a great time. They live in unairconditioned cabins with college students as counsellers.

My son C1 chose not to go this year. He has always struggled to make friends at the camp and now that he is 14 I just decided it was time to stop making him go. But C2 loves it there and is showing no signs of slowing down. He has already asked to go back next year.

C2 flew into Austin three weeks ago and his grandparents picked him up and put him on the bus to Camp. I flew in last Friday and then drove out at the crack of dawn to go pick him up. It is always a huge to do. All the parents line up and then drive into the camp at 8:30 in the morning. Then the campers show you their cabins, you meet the counsellers and have a cabin meeting. Finally, you go watch your children perform three of the activities. This year it was swimming, rifle shooting and trampoline. C2 proudly showed off his skills.Then you go to the Camp Store and load up on $100 or so of camp logoed junk to carry you until the next year.

We had a fantastic time. As we were leaving C2 told me he wished he could stay. That he has so much fun. It made spending the money to send him there worth it!

This year C2 finally overcame his fear and jumped off the blob. The camp has aquired these old, portable fuel cells from the Marines. They are basically huge bags (30 feet or so long and 10 feet high) that the Marines use as portable fuel bladders. When you blow them up with air and paint them they become the worlds largest bouncy ball. The camp puts them in the lake and kids jump off this high tower onto them. C2 was finally talked into jumping onto it. He said he turned around and 8 cabins were watching him jump! They announced to the whole camp at dinner that he had jumped and the camp applauded him!

He is geared up for next year and I hope he keeps his excitement until then. I really love the place and I hope he is still there for many years to come.