It's so good to look back and process where we've been that we may move forward all the stronger. Sometimes though, looking back is just as useful for growth as it is for comic relief. Please enjoy learning the things you didn't know about Camp Allen in 2016:
1. On multiple occasions, the Camp Allen horses made grand efforts of escape. The mischievous herd of 13 decided the grass was greener on the other side and took advantage of their opportunity to graze in the skeet shooting field by following the trail through the woods to the conference center. Each time our barn manager rounds them up cowboy style on a Ranger and has since revoked their skeet field grazing privileges until they can be trusted. Isn't it the truth that you just have to have a good sense of humor when you maintain and own animals?! They certainly have a mind of their own.
2. In May, we experienced perhaps the greatest flooding we've ever seen. Our back lake swelled at least 35 feet past it's normal bank and our front lake had a waterfall rolling down the side of it's bank underneath the giant slide. It was a crazy 2 days of storms and floods but camp experienced only minor damages to the property. God is good!
3. We hired several great new employees this year, one of whom is Olivia Sweeney! A former Senior Staffer, Olivia works in reservations. We love having this hard-working, gracious, fun, Texas State grad on our team!
4. In November we broke ground on summer camp staff housing! Thank you Hamill Foundation! What an incredible development for our summer camp ministry.
6. Officially in it's 3rd year, 'No Utensils Tuesday' is going strong as a summer camp tradition. Ever consumed spaghetti and marinara without a fork? It's definitely not pretty, but it certainly is fun!
7. We added a new twist at Labor Day Family camp - a sock hop! We retrofitted an old school bus into a fully functional ice cream truck that served guests as they twisted and shouted the night away.
8. Our river cooter turtle, Willy May, got a new friend this year: a plecostomus fish (see if you can say that 5 times fast) named Toothless! Toothless loves algae and cleans the pond that both animals call home. He's pretty shy though, so he refused a photo. But here's a photo from Google of what he looks like - aren't they beautiful? This guy is small, but our Toothless is over a foot long!
9. Bald Eagles! We've had several sightings of Bald Eagles at camp and in the Navasota/White Hall area. Our last spotting was at Lake Coffield. Can you imagine waking up at a Lakeside Cabin and going out on the porch to witness a bald eagle flying over the lake? Talk about scenic!
10. In clearing for Campsite 4, we've discovered that Lake Coffield has a sandy beach! We love that there is so much undiscovered territory in our 1,100 acres of piney woods.
11. In January we started the Camp Allen Blog! :) Our heart in starting this blog and our desire as we continue to post is to use this space to connect with YOU! To anyone who has attended summer camp here, worked as summer camp staff, attended a sponsored event or retreat, come with a corporate or church group, or come on a family weekend or reunion, we want to continue to connect with and inspire you. If you have any feedback or ideas on what you'd like to see here, please let us know by commenting below! Also, if you'd like to receive a heads up when a new post pops up, you can subscribe below.