Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Senior Camper Hang Out!

We had a blast this past Friday in Austin, as the camp team hosted a Senior Camper Hang Out Night with several of our rising senior campers!

The evening started outside of the Austin Salvation Army, as the Camp Balcones Springs mobile food bank, staffed by our senior camper guests, served hot plates of food and drink to the homeless and hungry. We were blessed to be able to serve such a large amount of food--vegetable strew, rice, enchiladas, chicken and turkey sandwiches, fruit, pretzels, and even ice cream! Lines were long, and we were thankfully able to serve food to nearly every person who asked for it.

After cleaning up, we headed back to Christine's house for a cook-out and outdoor movie! While waiting for dinner to be served, campers filled out surveys and spoke with our high school program staff to generate ideas and feedback for the coming summer. CBS is in the process of revamping its Senior Camper program, and we wanted to make sure to include the campers themselves in this reinvention!

Once dinner was served, campers enjoyed burgers from the grill, fruit, chips and salsa, soda, and lemonade while discussing the most recent results of March Madness games (and the current success or failure of their brackets). After eating, campers and staff relaxed in bean bags and blankets in the front yard for an outdoor viewing of Super 8, complete with s'mores.

We were so happy to have the chance to hang out with some of our rising senior campers this Friday, engaging in community service, getting ideas for improving camp this summer, and enjoying a fun movie together. We hope to have another gathering like this again soon, and we hope even more to see all of our rising senior campers this summer!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Engine 2 at Camp Balcones Springs!

This past week and weekend at Camp Balcones Springs, our retreat staff hosted Engine 2, a plant-based dietary group based out of Austin. Approximately seventy Whole Foods employees from all over the country entered the gates of CBS last Wednesday for the Engine 2 immersion program, spending seven days eating a plant-based, Engine 2-designed diet, exercising, and having their cholesterol and blood pressure tested to measure the effectiveness of the Engine 2 program.

Aside from eating specially-crafted meals designed by Engine 2 and prepared by camp's renown chefs, our Engine 2 guests had time to go for runs around camp, play tennis, paddle board and kayak on Lake Ted, and even go down the zip line!

The Engine 2 diet is a vegan-based diet that also eliminates all plant-based oils (olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil, etc.), salt, processed sugars, and refined grains. We hope to have picked up some healthy cooking and eating habits from Engine 2 over this last week that we can apply to our camp food this summer! (But don't worry, we won't be getting rid of Nutella or chicken tenders just yet.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Family Camp!

To help tide us over until the summer, this past weekend at Camp Balcones Springs, we hosted several wonderful families at CBS Family Camp!

Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and dogs alike all arrived Friday evening to a fiesta dinner in the Rio Grande. Afterwards, parents could relax with appetizers and drinks, while the children (and maybe some of the dogs) watched a movie in our Live Oak room. The next day was packed with activities, featuring horseback trail rides, the zip line, rock climbing, gaga ball, fishing, archery, riflery, cookie decorating, a scenic hike, and even spray-tanning for the moms!

After the fun-filled day, all of the families gathered in the Rio for dinner, featuring a huge "Monster" chocolate cake made by our Boys Camp Director. After dinner, families played games in the Rio and put their pipes to the test with family karaoke! The next morning, after some more horseback riding and sports playing, we said goodbye to all of these wonderful families. It was so fun to have a small taste of what camp will offer this summer, and we hope to see you then for more of the fun!

Here are some kind words from the families who visited with us this past weekend:

"This is our second Spring Break at Balcones Springs, and we love it. We love how relaxing the area is and how all families participate in the activities. And dogs can come!" "We couldn't have have enjoyed ourselves more. The friendly and relaxed staff really lends itself to the overall relaxed atmosphere without feeling overly catered to or structured." "This is the best place ever! I wish I could live here. It is so fun. This is funner than everything in the world!"