Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rain drops keep falling on my head…

Or in our case...they keep falling on Lake Ted

We are all excited here at camp because we have some big news!

Our very own Lake Ted is officially full. The recent rains have made a beautiful difference here. Camp is looking so fresh and green. The water has even reached the Wedginator, our water slide, which hasn’t been able to be used in quite some time due to the low lake levels. We are praying that Lake Travis will also continue the rise back to normal. It has made some progress, but still has a little ways to go. We would like to send a big “Thank you” to our families, campers and staff for your prayers for rain. We will keep you updated as the fall continues.

In the mean time, enjoy the some more pictures.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On the road again...

October has come again and a few of the camp team find ourselves loading up the suburbans and hitting the road. We will be traveling from the flat plains of West Texas to the windy parts of Oklahoma and around our own backyard, the beautiful Texas hill country. We will even be traveling to Arkansas for a little bit this fall. For Todd, Martin, Ann, and Katie and I we are excited to see all our camp friends. We are also looking forward to meeting new ones. What can be more PHUN than bringing your friends to work with you at camp?!? SO, please check the dates on www.campiscool.com or give us a call in the office to find out when we are visiting your area. And get ready, as we bring a little Camp Balcones Springs PHUN to spice up your semester!

- Willcox

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer 2009 in the books!

Another summer has flown by and summer 2009, our 17th season, is now officially in the books. The full time camp staff are hard at work wrapping up some loose ends with this summer so we can get started on preparing for 2010.

We are so thankful to our loving staff for how hard they worked this summer. We appreciate each of you and are thankful you chose to serve here at CBS. We wish you the best this fall as you return to work and to school.

We are also ever so thankful for our camp families. Without your trust in us, camp would not be possible. We thank you for sending your kids to camp this summer here at CBS. We have been truly impacted for the better through spending time with your children this summer!

God is so very good. Our hope is that regardless of whether you worked as staff or attended as a camper that you were challenged to grow deeper in your knowledge of Christ. We love all of our staff and camper families and look forward to hearing what is going on in your lives throughout the year.

- Willcox

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I can see clearly now, the tree branches are gone....

Today is a work day here at Camp Balcones Springs.... all of the full time staff and interns woke up and put on our working clothes and headed out to Lake Ted to do some tree clearing and leaf raking for a SUPER SPECIAL TOP SECRET PROJECT that we may or may not be working on. ***mysterious laugh***

It was a busy morning! Ann took a chainsaw to a couple of tree trunks and Todd used a chainsaw on a stick to take care of some nasty tangled vines. Conan was weed-eating and hauling off the limbs we cut down. Willcox was using a canoe to haul off the tree limbs that we dropped into the lake, and I was diligently raking an infinite amount of fallen leaves into a HUGE pile. (Science fact: decaying rotten leaves are called 'detritus'. i DID use my biology degree for SOMETHING this year, YAY!)

And although some of those jobs seem treacherous, we here at CBS know that DANGER NEVER TAKES A HOLIDAY and that SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT. We followed all of the proper safety precautions....um...minus that one time when Ann crawled out on that tree limb carrying a chainsaw....

The point of this is that things are getting really busy down here in anticipation of everyone's arrival at camp. The Leadership Staff are going to be here in 2 weeks. After that, we'll blink and summer will be upon us!

I'd love to write more, but lunch break is over and we're ready to head back out and work/play a little more.

See you SO SOON!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sorry for the Delay!

So the story is.....

One night, some of the older campers decided that I would be a great idea to put a whole bunch of trunks out on the floating dock. Through all the fuss of getting the trunks out, into the canoe, and on to the dock, somehow....nobody knows how.....the burb came out of park, rolled down the hill, and splashed into the water. Luckily, no one was hurt, all the trunks were already out, and we have a fun story to tell. Legend has it the burb is still down there.

The office is a tad bit boring today, But camp is just around the corner.....can't wait!

Anyone have any great ideas for movie night movies??


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I have a little confession.

Many of you may not know this about me, but I REALLY like to pull pranks on people. Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh every now and then. I'm not into those "completely ruin your stuff or humiliate you beyond repair" kind of pranks, but those that bring a smile to everyone involved.

Yes, Yes, it was me that ringmastered the syran wrapping of Willcox's bike, continually changed Todd's facebook status (which always garnishes an alarming number of responses), and sprinkled a tiny bit of salt on the delicious brownies that got served to the leadership table.

While all of these were done in good fun, and with permission of Marietta and Willcox, I am just biding my time for all of it to come crashing back on me. But until then, I will continue to bring some much needed fun to camp.

Which brings me to the real reason for this post. The granddaddy of all pranks gone wrong....the suburban in Lake Ted.

I got the story straight from the owner, and I have all the details, scroll down....all the way...and you will know too!







......just kidding.......tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Turtle

So yesterday was Easter. Well it was such a wonderful Easter for me and any of the camp family that stuck around. Of course I went to church and had a wonderful time at church service. Then for lunch the Willcoxes invited us over for lunch. All I can say for those who haven't had Katie Willcox's cooking is my future wife (if she exists....hmmmmm....maybe I'll blog about that in the future) has a lot to live up to in the cooking department between having momma's cooking and Katie's cooking to contend with. Anyway, Jenn Jones came all the way over from Livingston, TX to visit with us and Conan joined us as well. Well after the meal and some extended talking time with everyone, Jenn and I decided to do a "camp lap". If you don't know the terminology that is just a term we have for walking around camp. During our walking/talking we stumbled upon an interesting site.

Let me preface this tale. As you all should know we are a Christian camp so Easter holds great significance for us. It celebrates Christ death and resurrection which is a huge foundation for all that we believe. But here in America we have also secularized parts of this. One of the images we attribute to Easter, is the Easter bunny. Well I didn't see any bunnies that day, but I did see a turtle.

Jenn suggested that we return Mr Turtle to his home in the lake. I agreed and thought it would be great to let the Easter Turtle have an adventure by sending it down the wedginator. Anyway, we hit the switch for the water, but nothing came out. After thinking for a moment we decided that it would still be great to send him (or her...hey I don't know how to check!!!!).

This simple thing ended up being one of my most fond moments of camp. I launch the turtle down the wedginator and he comes to a stop about 2/3 of the way down. We then watched as he slowly but surely made his way down the wedginator. He stopped every so often, but finally made his way to the edge. Our Easter Turtle paused for about a minute and then like any great wedginator participant took the plunge. Well for those of you who have seen camp you know Mr Ted is really low and b/c of this the drop from the wedge is pretty high. It took the turtle several seconds to finally hit the water and he made a considerable splash.

Jenn and I laughed sooo hard. It was one of the funniest things I've seen in quite some time. But I will leave all of you with this. If ever you find yourself a little scared of doing the wedginator just tell yourself if the Easter Turtle can do, it so can I.


Oh and check back b/c Jenn said she would put up the real pictures and I'll try and add those.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools on Willcox

So, yesterday was April Fools Day. I thought all day about ideas on how to get the camp guys in the office. Sadly, my creative side failed me and I was stuck. Later in the day, some of the guys had this funny smile when they saw me...this turned into laughter near the end of the day. When I asked what was so funny... I was told I would find out. I did... they got my bike. It was wrapped with expert skill and took a few minutes with my trusty knife to set it free.

Good job guys. You got me! Enjoy the picture. Did anyone else have any PHUN April Fools jokes? Feel free to leave your story in the comments!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Conan's Big Adventure

So sometimes it gets a little boring at camp without any campers. Sure there are some great and wonderful people here to have fun with. There are llamas, mini-horses, and many other random animals to play with. There is a lot of hiking and exploring to be done on the property, but sometimes you just want that something different. Ya know? Well, yesterday I decided to do something about it…I went skydiving.

Now, some of you may be thinking…why on earth would anyone ever want to go jumping out of a plane, but let me tell you it may have been one of the best experiences of my life (outside of working here at CBS of course). Not only was I having an extremely invigorating feeling while free falling through the sky at 120mph for a full minute, but I also learned a couple of things on the way down.

1. Trust- I was doing what is called tandem jumping which means I had a trained skydiver attached to me that really did all of the work. But as I was flying up in the plane I started thinking ‘What if this guy doesn’t hook everything in correctly?’, ’What if the parachute wasn’t properly put in the bag?’, ‘What if something crazy happens?’ I mean honestly, 60 seconds is a long time to think when you’re falling from 13,000 feet. However, I realized that I was completely trusting in the trained skydiver and all of what he had been taught for years before this jump. Not only that, I was also trusting God to keep me safe from elements that were out of that man’s control.
2. Live life to the fullest- During that trip down I also realized what it was like to simply live life. Often times we get used to our surroundings and our lives and settle for what is ‘comfortable’. Yesterday was a new thing for me and something that was not in the least bit comfortable at first, but there are so many things out there can be uncomfortable at first but end up being a blessing when it is all said and done.

Now I’m already dragging this on so I won’t even talk about the beauty of God’s creation from a literal bird’s eye view, which was also amazing. However, I would like to say that this was an incredible experience and if you ever get bored, try something new. You never know what type of experience God has in store for ya.


Friday, March 27, 2009


I love that during the summer I never know what day of the week is. I get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of camp that I don't even worry about it. Things are a little different during March, and today I am completely sure that it is Friday. Not because I cant wait for the weekend, but because it means camp is one week closer. Officially camp starts June 7th, but for us in the office the summer starts around May 20th, when leadership starts their orientation. So while all you campers are finishing up with finals and graduating to the next grade, we are already at camp, preparing an unforgettable summer. So as each Friday passes, we come one step closer and I can hardly wait.

Good Luck to all of our Lacrosse players as the season starts to heat up!
and David "Speedy" Branch at the Texas Relays next week!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Llama Attack - Two Rushed to Emergency

So, I admit I don't really like the rain although 'them are fighten' words' around here right now since we need it so much. Something to do with water activities . . . blog, blog, blog. We could live in a drought 24/7 and I'd be happy as long as the sun is out and I've got a sprinkler, but the lakes don't much like that interference with their levels - so, despite my selfish nature and the idolizing of the sun I do understand the necessity of gloomy, rainy days.

Anyway, I have my moments that rain doesn't drive my dobber in the dirt with the restless 'blues' and last night was one of those rare moments in my life People, we not only had rain - we had frozen precipitation pelting us with marble sized balls, jumbo sized gum balls, all the way up to golf size balls. It came down in no small measure and would have undoubtedly sent a police radar over the top in the speed by which it assaulted us. All hail to mother nature, if you know what I mean (I'll pause right here and let that sink in a sec) . . . hehe . . whatever, so everything was blanketed, even if only for a short while, in white and it was sooo loud, and sooo exhilerating. Don't know if mother nature was making a point, or just letting off some steam, but she was definately in a fury for about ten minutes leaving us with - what was it? - almost 30 bags of leaves just in the immediate area and a little more damage to some of our trees and windows, but we faired much better than some of our neighbors to the north and even those to the south, so we are counting our blessings as we clean up the debris and replace glass. Come on, you can't keep a good [camp] down . . . .

So, anyhooo . . . . that's life at camp right about now. Oh, no llama attack, sorry - I was just afraid that without the right bait you wouldn't bite on my blog. (I won't cry wolf again just in case the llamas do attack and we wish to report on it for your serious reading entertainment.)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taste of Camp

This past weekend we had Taste of Camp. It was a retreat for families to come out and visit camp and experience a little "taste" of what Camp Balcones Springs is all about. The weather could not have been better and I am not sure if we could have had much more PHUN!

I think it is safe to say that all of us are excited to have campers at camp again, so for us, this was a fun weekend. Camp is right around the corner.... 74 days and counting for Term 1.

Click the link below to see the countdown!

Countdown to Camp Balcones Springs!

- Willcox

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What does Camp Balcones Springs look like currently?

Living on property, I often take the beauty of camp for granted. I see it each day as I ride my bike to the office and it is normal for me. I know that many staff and campers miss camp so I thought I would put up a few photos of how things are currently.

Lake Ted is lower than other years but God is bringing rain in batches and I know He is faithful to provide.

The grass on the soccer field is just crying out to be played on more... ultimate frisbee anyone?

- Willcox

Friday, March 13, 2009

cleaning doesn't have to be boring

Great news.... it is STILL RAINING here at camp.... hooray! I don't think there has ever been a group of people happier to see a few rainy days in a row than those of us in the office. When it first started to rain two days ago, we heard it in the office and ran outside to look. I would've played in it, too, but it was just too cold.

I've been wanting to blog for awhile about some of the random, funny things that happen at work.... like spontaneous photoshoots!

One day our project was cleaning out the PHUN department storage....
which is no small task. There are tubs and tubs full of streamers and cotton candy mix and snocone syrup and games for dances. There is a huge pile of backdrops for dances, canvassed paintings of things like a space shuttle for Intergalactic Space Party, a barn & saloon for Rodeo Roundup, blades of grass, giant flowers and ants painted so big you feel like you're 2 cm tall for Honey, I Shrunk the Camp. We even found a large painted retro Juke Box leftover from Time Bomb Prom.There are flags and noodles and sleeping bags and tires and towels and boxes.... and somewhere in the pile of things we pulled out of the Phun shed to organize, we found a tub full of costumes. And we did what anyone who has ever been to camp before would do when they see costumes, we put them on... and it was so funny that we had to stop cleaning for awhile and take a few pictures.

That's one of the best things about working at camp... at times the office work get tedious, and sometimes we end up doing things like organizing sheds full of stuff, which could be completely boring except that at those moments, something will come up, like a tub full of costumes that reminds us to have a little fun while we're working.

So next time you're feeling bogged down by life, just throw on a costume and dance around your room for a little bit. have a little PHUN. it's good for the heart. and the soul. and it is proven to be 99.9% effective in curing campsickness.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It's raining!
It's raining!
It's raining!
Thank you Lord!

We're working frantically to finish the Balcones Times and the Hiney Writes, we want to get them out to you as soon as we can..... so basically, i've got lots of work to do and not much time to talk, but i wanted to give you a quick update and say
IT'S RAINING!!!!!!!!!!!!


More to come soon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Busy Day....

I realized no one had blogged today. So, now, at 11:36, I'm blogging. Its actually only 10:36, because I'm not quite use to this time change. We now have lots of daylight to play after work. 

The office was very busy today. Lots of work being done, hence the no blogging. 

Be expecting the Balcones Times or Hiney Writes soon. They will be spectacular!

More from Anna tomorrow!


Monday, March 9, 2009

So I went Diamond Hunting...

It was a crazy at camp this weekend, we had one of our over the top weddings. Most of us are use to seeing the cabins with five bunk beds, and nothing on the walls but curtains, but when we have a wedding, everything changes. The Rio looks different, cabins change, and even the bathrooms smell nicer! Its one of those things you have to see to believe.

I was not able to go to that wedding because I made the long trip to Central Arkansas for another wedding. This one was a little closer to my heart though. My long time friend Garrett Peters (aka G-Unit) married a great girl on Saturday. Many of you will remember him as B-Compound head in 2007 and the creator of the B-UNIT cheer. They will both be traveling to Africa this summer and I wish both of them the best of luck.

On the trek back, I stopped off in Murpheesboro, AR to the World's 8th Largest Diamond Field. I sifted through a couple of buckets to no avail and decided it was time to keep on my journey back to camp.

The great new of the day is that the forecast shows rain the rest of the week. Ted could sure use it and Travis, well, its had its better days. But never fear, the summer will go on!

85 days.....

Till Then,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Camp is Beautiful

It has become a common occurrence in this office to all of the sudden find people "missing". One minute we're all chatting and working away, and the next minute we're looking around going "where is everyone?" Well this mystery, when you think about it, is no mystery at all.

Camp is a beautiful place, and the last couple days have been filled with extra beauty with the spring weather. It is just human nature to find yourself drawn towards the out of doors. Don't get me wrong, the office is lovely with it's concrete floors and soothing light green color, but nothing compares to the beauties of camp.

There is the crisp blue color of Lake Ted, the bright green blanket of grass on the sports fields, the faint whisper of quacking coming from the fishing pond, the strangely strong smell of horse poo near the barn, and the exquisite landscaping around camp including the peace-sign flower bed outside the Rio. I mean, need I say more?

That being said, we full time people of camp, make it our duty to escape the confines of the office and enjoy the blessings of this beautiful land. I hope that you are able to live vicariously through us this year until summer brings you back again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Willcox is really great at Basketball

I love when days are filled with many random things. But what I love even more is when I'm doing those things with great people. I've met a lot of people the last six summers, all with different attributes, strengths, and stories. Today, I spent time with 3 different campers, past and present.... all with different stories, different lives. But today, (yes today!), camp brought us together. It was great for a few of them to be back at camp after being gone for a few years. As soon as we pulled into camp this afternoon, they started telling stories about their time as campers. These types of things always remind me just want camp is all about; the genuine relationships, the fun and a good ol' game of basketball. I was joined by Todd, Conan, Willcox and a few others out at the Hippodrome for my version of Phunanza. I kinda wish we still had Phunanza everyday at 5. Although I lost big time in one on one, it was worth it seeing Willcox play in Chacos. Can't wait for the next time we can escape the office.

Today was a great day

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Disappear Button a.k.a. Where's Todd?

Hello all! This is Todd Darby your resident Boys Camp Director. As many of you know, I have worn many hats and gone by many titles at CBS. Some of you know me as your coach, others as your counselor, some as your sponsor, others as your compound head (gramps, pops, pee-paw, etc), and still others as a friend/older brother. Well during the off-season things change up for me quite a bit. I trade in being able to see your smiling faces for the screen of a mac-book and I trade the beautiful sights and smells of the outdoors for a desk and scented candles.

Well there are times where I get restless sitting in this chair from IKEA and I long to get a little taste of being out and seeing camp. I see it as a necessary part of my job (maintaining my sanity) but Jenn Jones, who used to work for us, calls it my disappear button. She spent many hours trying to figure out where I would be from time to time. Well I will share with you some of my reasons for needing to hit the disappear button and some of my "secret areas".

My first reason for needing to "disappear" is that I cannot stand being in the office for hours on end. For you campers and counselors I'm sure you can sympathize with me. Those long hours of sitting in the classroom, library or study hall can start to get to you. Well the same is true for me.

The second reason is that it allows me to remember all of the great times we all have when camp is in full swing. I sometimes head down to the Amphitheater and remember great BASEline skits. I head down to Balcones Beach and imagine sitting with some of you guys sipping on Breezes and eating sno-cones. I even head down to a certain secret hide out where from time to time you can hear the resounding noise of buffalos. My back yard is one of the most beautiful places around. I mean take today. It is a beautiful March day, the sky is blue and the temperature is warm. How could I not go outside and enjoy this?

One of the last reasons that I push my "disappear button" is that it gives me time to think of great things I would like to see happen this summer. When I walk around camp I get to see God's wonderful creation and it just allows my mind to focus better. I've thought of several great things that I believe would add to the great things that camp already does. So maybe sometime down the line I'll blog about some of these ideas if they come about.

Well I hope you enjoyed this insight into some of my off-season "adventures". Until we have the opportunity to do it for real keep imagining all of the phun we will have this summer.

See you guys later....It is time to "disappear"

Todd "Toddles, T Darb, Triple D, T-Dub" Darby

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Llamas are people, too.

I was a little nervous when Martin asked me to blog today. After all, what could I possibly say that is interesting? All I've been doing is interning at camp and living at camp and spending alllll of my time at camp.... Ah ha! I can tell you about being at camp.... well then, allow me to give you a little inside scoop on what it's really like to live at camp during the off season.

First of all, it's quiet. too quiet. No one running around screaming & laughing, no risk of getting hit with a water balloon everytime I walk past B compound, no one banging their forks on their plates everytime we eat in the Rio.... it's weird. I'm ready for you guys to get back!

And then there's the name thing. No one calls me "Hot Drinks" in the off season. Everyone calls me "Anna" and it's a little confusing at times because there is also Ann (the girls' camp director) who works in the office and people tend to get our names mixed up. And then half the time, I don't even think that people realize that "Anna" and "Hot Drinks" are the same person. Yep, it's still me, Anna S. Drinkwitz..... weird last name, I know. That's why it was shortened to "Drinks." And the "Hot" part? Well, who isn't a little bit hot when you're outside in the middle of a Texas Summer?

Another weird thing about living at camp in the off season is the llamas. Sometimes I feel like I live at a petting zoo or something. Q-Tip and Cookie (our two llamas) like to wander around camp and lay around all day long. By late afternoon, whenever I'm off work, they always seem to have migrated to my front yard. And almost everyday without fail, Q-Tip is there to greet me when I get out of my car and try to walk to my front door. He looks at me with his big, black eyes and then he walks right at me. He gets close to me and keeps walking. Apparently, no one ever taught llamas about a little thing called personal space. Q-Tip loves coming and getting right up in your face and just when you think he's waaaaay to close for comfort, he comes a little closer and wraps his neck around you in a kind of llama-hug. awwwwwww.

That's one of the coolest parts about living at camp. I get to have llamas & horses (even a mini-horse!) as my pets. And I have two lakes, a treehouse, tennis courts and a basketball court in my backyard. It's pretty sweet.

Too bad it's only me, Kim and Ann in the office today. Everyone else is at CAMPference, a conference about camping. Otherwise, I'd suggest we all go play a quick game of knockout on the basketball courts. Maybe tomorrow......

Until next time,
Anna aka "Hot Drinks"

Monday, March 2, 2009

Laffy Taffy's have the best jokes!

It was a great weekend for all of us here at CBS.

Friday gave us the perfect weather for a bonfire down at Psycho Far. S'mores down at Lake Travis surely remind me of camp-out, besides the fact that is was around 60 degrees and not 100. I have to admit, the pirate ships looks a little creepy at night.

Saturday, the wind blow into Austin like a hurricane. So, what do you do when that happens? Fly a one dollar kite from Wal-Mart of course. That actually didn't work out for our Spiderman kite, but the Barbie kite flew perfectly. The wind did nothing for my lacrosse game either. Trying to throw the ball around in that kinda wind only makes for many chased balls. Sorry Grayson.

So when all else failed we decided the only logical thing to do was to go down to Hey! Cupcake and chow down on some of the most delicious baked goods in Austin. The perfect ending to the day.

Thanks to all of those who attended our CBS Film Party in San Antonio on Sunday. It was a great success! If you are from San Antonio and didn't show up, shame on you! Just kidding, we hope to hang out in San Antonio again really soon! GO SPURS!

Thats all for today! Maybe, I could get bored in the office later!


Friday, February 27, 2009


A lot of campers ask me what I do when camp is not going on. I usually tell them its kinda complicated. So I decided to create a space where everyone could come and learn exactly what it is that me and the other guys in the office do when the hustle and bustle of the summer ends. Sometimes its fun, like the time we did some "research" at the local ATV tracks and I got my Honda 350 stuck in 4 feet of mud; other times its not so fun, like when we pulled giant trees out of Lake Travis for 6 hours. Or maybe it was like 30 minutes, but still, it was not phun.

Hopefully you will get a little bit out of this blog, and hopefully I can remember to post a few things though my busy schedule of hanging out, playing tennis, and watching American Idol or while I'm in the office, planning for the summer, hiring counselors, and recruiting campers. As you can tell, I live a pretty eventfilled life!

I've had many adventures with camper throughout the years. I will post about those too. Like the time I took some older campers to see a scary movie in Dallas, and a certain younger brother came with us, I won't mention names **Dean**, but he was so scared he had to sit next to me. Or the geocaching hunt that took us all over the city of Austin, only to find a series of Rubber Duckies? Weird. Phun times.

I will also give some camp history in this blog as well. Ever heard the rumor about the suburban in Lake Ted. Well, I got the full story. Stay tuned.

As for now, I must get back to playing basketball in the camp office, I mean, sending out important emails. Till next time.