Austin area provides summer fun

     Students often experience some amount of boredom or monotony during the summer as the long, sunny days stretch into weeks and eventually months. Finding new and interesting things to do in Cedar Park can be difficult to accomplish, but a little research is all it takes to discover the many opportunities and summer camps that the entire Austin area has to offer.

     Students’ interests vary widely, as do available summer camps. One main difference between camps is whether or not it is a day camp, attended for only a few hours each day, or an overnight camp.

     “I used to go to this camp called Camp Doublecreek. You would get there at about eight in the morning and leave around five,” Nick Stawowy, sophomore, said. “[Activities] included swimming, paintball, baseball, kickball, soccer, basketball, archery, horseback riding, rock wall climbing and almost anything else you could think of.”

     Camp Doublecreek is located in Round Rock, Texas and caters to ages four through fourteen. However, CPHS students interested in similar activities but too old for such camps may choose to be a counselor as a way to not only have fun over the summer but also earn some cash. The pre-employment position of counselor-in-training is below the level of a full staff member but allows for older students to attend camp.

     Overnight camps are another option for students wishing to get away over the summer. Often these camps will be hosted by church youth groups or by groups that cater to specific interests, such as sports or band camps.

     “Every year my church has a camp called Girl’s Camp at Nameless Valley Ranch,” Rebekah Dickson, sophomore, said. “We sleep in air conditioned cabins so it’s not exactly roughing it but in the middle of July air conditioning is a necessity! We do lots of activities like swimming, climbing rock walls, going on moon bounces, canoeing, hiking, pranking each other and eating lots of food!”

     Students interested in such activities may have to venture farther outside the Austin area in order to find just the right camp. Religion-oriented overnight camps such as Pine Cove, a Christian-based organization located in Tyler, Texas, provide a multitude of sports and games for students.

     “I love Pine Cove,” Emily Peterson, senior, said. “I’ve been going for the past eleven summers and it’s such an incredible week full of outdoor activities in a great environment. You grow so close to your cabin [mates] and make a lot of other great friends.”

    Some may be less enthused by the thought of waking up every morning and participating in so many different activities, but other camps around Austin are geared towards particular interests and specific tastes. Among a multitude of sports camps offered in the area are basketball camps at both Concordia University and the University of Texas at Austin.

     “I have been to the Lone Star Camp, the University of Texas Basketball camp and the Concordia University basketball camp recently,” Jason Carden, sophomore, said. “I really enjoyed them because I learned a lot of new stuff and got the chance to work with some of the top coaches and players in Central Texas and really improve my game.”

     Musically gifted students may choose to participate in Rock Camp USA, hosted by the Austin School of Music, which allows students to form their own rock bands to practice and perform with. The University of Texas at Austin also hosts Longhorn Music Camp for students  gifted in more classical instruments, and offers both day-camp and overnight options between two and five hundred dollars.

     “I went to the Longhorn Music Camp at UT. During the morning we had several rehearsals and then enjoyed free time in the afternoon,” Trevor Martin, sophomore, said. “The camp was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to any student involved with music.”

     Students with a passion for film may be interested in one of the Austin Film Society’s digital film-making camps, while dancers can find summer dance classes at such studios as the Cedar Park Dance Company. Experienced dancers may wish to audition for Ballet Austin’s Summer Intensive program.

     Whatever a student’s interests and passions may be, there are many options for summer fun. With a little ingenuity and maybe some Internet access, students are sure to find the camp that is just right for them.