Rob Watson, the director of Camps and Conferences, began his report on the capital campaigns at Camp Capers and Mustang Island Conference Center, by saying that bookings at the island center are at an all-time high, and he thanked the dedicated staff of Kevin Spaeth, Kathy Jansen, and Johnson Jeffers, and others. Exciting news came for Camp Capers, as Watson announced the hiring of David Griffin as the new Camp Capers Site Director. Griffin has been a professional camp and recreation director since 1999, and has worked at Kanuga Episcopal Conference Center in North Carolina from 2004 to 2012. He first served as Kanuga’s summer camp director and then took the job as its director of guest services. Griffin obtained his master’s degree from the University of Georgia, and he and his wife, Nikki, and their two young children will move on site and begin at Camp Capers in March.
Moving to the capital campaign presentation on Camp Capers, Watson recalled the demolition of Steves Hall, which occurred in less than four hours on October 8. Watson said, “It was absolutely fascinating and a little sentimental to watch 40 years of Camp Capers’ history come down to the ground in a single morning.” He said it is important to treat the changes at camp with great respect, and they are doing just that by putting beautiful new buildings in place.
Watson said, “The three new buildings going up at Camp Capers are places of beauty and functionality.” The new Steves Hall will be tw0-story with a high ceiling of exposed wooden timbers. An eight-room lodge and a 12-room lodge will be built on each side of the meeting hall. Each will have wraparound porches and extensive views of the Guadalupe River and the Hill Country.
In addition to Steves Hall and the lodges, a new Health Center and the Elder Welcome Center are nearing completion. The new Camp Capers Amphitheater in Memory of Will Stocker is complete and was built into the riverside of limestone rock. The amphitheater seats almost 300 people and will provide space for worship services, bonfires, and skits/games during camp sessions. Phase II of the capital campaign will include a new dining hall, and plans will come forth soon.
Camps and Conferences is also getting ready to break ground on one of two new lodges at Mustang Island Conference Center. The center has grown out of their 24 guest rooms and has had to turn larger groups away. The new two-story lodge will have ten guest rooms, two meeting rooms with small kitchens, upper and lower outside decks and big porches. “The look of the new lodge complements the award-winning design of the existing buildings at the center and will sit gently on the dunes,” said Watson.
Watson thanked the diocese for having the vision and providing the support needed to keep our camping ministry growing and thriving.