By: Jarod Dyess, Youth-Reach Houston Administrator

Few experiences are as American as camping. People can take out an RV or stay in a log cabin, but nothing beats encountering the outdoors like setting up camp with tents and poles. Because of COVID-19, off-campus trips have been very limited. Luckily, Youth-Reach knows of a small campground that was only allowing one group to camp at a time. In early June, Youth-Reach staff had the pleasure of giving our boys a well-earned authentic Summer trip by camping in San Marcos, TX. Temperatures were above 100°F and what was the perfect remedy? Crisp, refreshing water that stays 72°F year-round to cool off in! The boys enjoyed many water-activities such as swimming in the river, floating down the river drops at Rio Vista Park, and riding the Tube Chute in New Braunfels.

I, along with staff members Xavier, Troy, Brandon and Judah all led the week-long excursion that included things like traversing 7 miles on the San Marcos River with solo kayaks, which proved to be no easy feat. Upper-level residents were thrilled to take turns being towed behind a speedboat on a tube out on Lake Travis just west of Austin, while the lower-level boys had fun at a small water park. One of the evenings, the boys got to experience a good old-fashioned drive-in movie theater, that for many of them, was their first time to ever visit one. Other days would end with campfire s’mores and endless stars in the late-night sky.

“It was nice to finally get off campus and it was a blessing to have straight fun for a week,” remarked Trevor. “It was definitely relaxing and a relief from the routine of daily chores and work projects.”