Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mystic Memories

As a child I spent many summers going to Camp Mystic in the Texas Hill Country. It was a very special place with lots of good memories. A private Christian girls camp on the banks of the Guadalupe River, it wasn't too far from the ranch we lived on.

Your first night at camp, you draw a slip of paper, which decides what tribe you will belong to for the rest of your camp-life. I drew a blue slip, proclaiming me a Kiowa. Bug, my little sister, ended up becoming a Tonkawa when she drew a red slip.

You stay in cabins according to your age, but you also visit your tribe hill once a week under the cloak of night, and the locations of the tribe hills was secret. There were lots of competitions and events centered around your tribe as well, which makes for a lot of good-hearted fun.

My favorite activities that I always signed up for each summer were archery, horseback riding, drama, dance, arts and crafts, soccer, nature study, campcraft, rifle shooting, and swimming, but there were even more than that available. I think horseback riding was my favorite.

Here is a picture of the Guadalupe River where we swam every day.



Some of the cabin names were Bubble Inn, Chatterbox, Tumble Inn I & II, Bug House, Look Out & Look Out Nest. Below is a picture of Hangover, the oldest girls' cabin, named for obvious reasons.



On Sundays we had chapel service on Chapel Hill, which no matter what your religious beliefs, it was a spiritual experience being up high on a hill early in the morning in the country. We also had to wear all white on Sunday.

All our meals were served family style in Harrison Hall, pictured below.



I have many wonderful memories from camp, although I experienced a lot of homesickness as well. Yes, I threatened to run away from camp in many letters home to my parents...I'm dramatic that way.

Here's your introduction to Camp Mystic. I'm sure I'll be blogging about my time there much more in the future. :o)

23 comments:

Valarie said...

Oh that looks like a great camp! I went to a church camp named Crystal Springs. I thought it was just so far away. I was always homesick. When I got older I realized it was about 5 miles from my house. :)

Kat said...

How neat. I have such fond memories about my summer camp - Camp Cosby. Katie has been going to Lutherridge in Arden, North Carolina for the past 2 years...and both girls are going this year. A week alone. I'm not sure I'll know what to do with myself!

Law Student Hot Mama said...

You know what I think is the weirdest thing about camp? The fact that a lot of camps have this sort of fake Native American-ness. Isn't it odd? A bunch of suburban kids together calling themselves one Indian tribe or another. Heh - I went to one such camp, as well - and had a great time!

Wouldn't it be fun to run one of those camps?

All Things BD said...

I always always always wanted to go to camp and never got to go. I want my girls go when they're a bit older, if only so I can live vicariously through them.

Have you seen the movie Indian Summer Diane Lane, Alan Arkin, Elizabeth Perkins? Loved it and wanted to be one of those people who went back to their camp as adults and saw the old crushes.

Rhea said...

Valarie - That's so funny you realized you were only 5 miles away. I was the same way...except maybe more like 45 minutes away. Most kids were from much farther though.

Kat - That's great you have the girls going to camp. I really should get my boys signed up for a camp because I think they'd love it. I can't imagine a week or longer without kids!

Law Student Hot Mama - It is funny when you think about it, Indian tribe names and all. Fun though. I think it would be awesome to run a summer camp. I wonder what they do the rest of the year though? Maybe rent it out for conferences?

All Things BD - Kids are great to live vicariously through. There are lots of great summer camps near Austin. I had a bunch of friends go to Camp Longhorn.

Kathy said...

Hi, I just wandered into your blog while browsing and you make camp look like so much fun! They should make one for mothers. ;)

Aleisha said...

Were thinking of trying to get stationed in Texas next. I've been a few times, but only stopping by, flying through to mexico. Good place to raise kids?

i beati said...

I have some great camp memories also - love your header. I could just lie down in them - big kitty

Cherrye said...

Ahhh, Texas is so pretty!! Esp that area...

CHATTI PATTI said...

Wow! What a beautiful camp!!

Irene said...

The church camp I went to is East of Los Angeles by about 3 hours called Forest Home. Then when I was a teen the churches I belonged to bought their own camp in the Angeles Forest called Verdugo Pines. It is about a 2 hour drive. I went there for a week every summer and then worked there a few summers. When I was older I went back and worked in the crafts and then was part of the craft staff that got it ready for the summer and took in down for the winter. It is also the camp my daughter went to and then a couple of summers ago she worked kitchen staff for the whole summer. I love camp.

Giggle! said...

Looks and sounds dreamy! :-) I WANNA GO!!! xx

Rhea said...

Kathy - Hi! Thanks for coming by! Camp was a blast. They should have a camp for moms...that could be lots of fun. Let's see...good activities would be cooking classes, scrapbooking, photography classes, exercise classes, jewelry making classes, fishing, yoga. Oh, I love this idea!

Aleisha - Texas is a great place! However, it's huge and has lots of different places. Some places have great schools and a good place to raise kids and other places not so good.

i beati - Cool that you went to camp too! It is a great place to make fun memories. Glad you like my header! I took that picture a few weeks ago in a huge park nearby.

Rhea said...

Cherrye & Chatti Patti - Thanks! It is a beautiful part of Texas, to be sure.

Irene - Sounds like you had a great camp, especially if you ended up working there some and sending your daughter. That's so cool! I wish I could send my boys to my camp, but since it was an all girls' camp, that's not an option, darnit. lol

Giggle - Do they have summer camps like this in Australia?

tearese said...

that looks like a really nice camp! Our church had a girls camp every summer, but it was only 3-4 days, and not at such a nice place.

Rhea said...

Tearese - I'm sorry your church camp wasn't so nice. Ours was very nice.

San said...

Camp Mystic must have lived up to its name! Lush surroundings, time for church, swimming in a river, and tribal membership. No wonder you have such special memories. I look forward to reading more...

Rhea said...

San - Thanks! It was a beautiful place, for sure.

I posted a picture of me and my sister in our Sunday whites and tribal letters on our shirts yesteday, if anyone's interested. :o)

GoMommy said...

Wow- this looks like the kind of camp I used to dream of getting sent to as a preteen. You know, the kind where the Sweet Valley Twins would be your best friends?

Rhea said...

GoMommy - I never saw the Sweet Valley High twins..what were their names again? Jessica and Elizabeth or something like that.

Catherine said...

It looks like Paridise for young children! I would have known such a camp since I was an only child.
One day, I've heard a friend telling that she was going to such a camp every summer with her brother and they've written to their parents that each day they were going under an oak tree to cry both. The kind of letters that make parents feel very bad!

Angie said...

This camp reminds me so much of a church camp that I attended and worked at as a child/teenager. I have a lot of fond memories of it. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

LIndsay said...

I go to camp Mystic! Great place I absolutely LOVE it there i wish i could live there!