Camps and Conferences LogoTHE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WEST TEXAS       
 May 2011  
Mustang Island Conference CenterMid-Winter
Adult Trip Camp 2Team Building
Rob Watson, Director of Camps and Conferences

Mustang Island Spring BreakDear Friends,


It is almost time to put away our distractions, pack up our things and head to camp! Be it on the beach or the Colorado Rocky Mountains or the banks of the Guadalupe River, camp is a place where we can come together in community and intentionally focus on living out our faith in real and tangible ways.  


One of the marks of a good camping program is the retention of its staff. All three of our summer Staff Directors at our three sites - Mustang Island Family Camp, Camp Capers and Duck Lake - are returning staff with excellent leadership experience. In fact, 95% of the staff at Capers is homegrown who have either been on staff before or have attended one of our diocesan leadership programs, and 3 out of the 5 summer staff at Family Camp are returning from last year. Please read more from them in this newsletter. For more of Rob's letter, click here.

Justin Stokes, Camp Capers Chef
Justin Stokes, Chef at Camp Capers

It all began while living on a farm. When I was 10 years old, my parents moved from McAllen to Comfort, Texas. From spoiled suburban brat to country boy, I did not welcome this move and fought it every step of the way. It wasn't until 10 years after the move that I began to appreciate what had happened and realize it was the best thing that ever happened to me.


Living on this farm in the Texas Hill Country taught me a lot of things, the first being never to step in pig poop, because the smell never goes away, no matter what you do. The second was to learn to love and appreciate food. On this farm we raised cows, chickens, turkeys, geese, rabbits, goats, and of course pigs. We maintained two full vegetable gardens and one herb garden that led us to being 75% self-sustainable.  For more on Justin's article, click here.

Excitement abounds for Camp Capers this summer by Brian Kates, Staff Director

Jesus tennis shoesWe are excited to announce that over 80 percent of our summer staff started as primary campers and are now a part of the largest summer staff ever.


Thirty of our staff members are serving on summer staff for the first time, with eight experienced veterans, and we couldn't be happier about this.  


These staff members will serve as "Jesus in tennis shoes" for our campers, and will plant the seeds in them with the expectation that they will one day return as summer staffers.


This summer we will introduce our new Adventure Course for our Junior High and Senior High campers.  This course has three components to it, including a thirty-foot climbing wall, zip line, and giant swing which we like to call "the screamer". 

For more on Brian's article, click here.

Kevin Spaeth, Operations Director, Mustang Island

Kevin Spaeth, Dir. Mustang IslandWarmest greetings from your Mustang Island Conference Center!


Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Spaeth, and I am the new Director of Operations at M.I.C.C. I am excited to serve the diocese and all of its members.

After graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science, I began my career in 1995 with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas as an Outdoor Educator at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce. I served at Camp Grady Spruce for 12 years in a variety of roles, ultimately serving as the Director of Operations. From February 2006 until my start here in March, I served as the Executive Director at YMCA - Collin County Adventure Camp. Serving others and always striving for excellence in everything we did at the YMCA provided valuable experiences and opportunities to help me serve here at Mustang Island Conference Center.  For more on Kevn's article, click here.

Join me on the Island by Johnson Jeffers, Staff Director

Johnson Jeffers A year ago I had never heard of Mustang Island Conference Center or Family Camp or even thought about living in the great state of Texas. Sometimes the most unexpected opportunities become some of the most meaningful blessings in your life. God works wonders, and that is what I have experienced over the past year. After serving on staff at Family Camp last year, I am very blessed to be able to come back to the Island this summer as the Camp Director for Mustang Island Family Camp and once again be a part of this wonderful ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas.


Even though Texas is my new stomping grounds, I still call Clemson, South Carolina home, which is where my parents and three brothers all still reside. I attended Sewanee: the University of the South in Sewanee, TN where I played football for four years. For more on Johnson's article, click here.

In This Issue
Justin Stokes, Camp Capers Chef
Brian Kates, Staff Director, Camp Capers 2011
Kevin Spaeth, Director of Mustang Island
Johnson Jeffers, Staff Director, Mustang Island, Join me this summer
Jody Stickle Returns to Duck Lake
St. David's Youth helps raise money for Good Sam
Luke Munoz, Returning Staff

As I sit here at 4:00 in the morning, finishing a 2,500-word essay, it hits me that I honestly cannot wait to see y'all this summer. I can't wait to share the honor with y'all, to show all the amazing kids that are coming to camp in 2011 God's love. I love all of y'all and can't wait to see you and meet all that I have yet to have the pleasure to. God bless and happy trails.


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
- Philippians 4:8

Quick Links
Upcoming Events

2011 Camping Sessions at Camp Capers

Nails and Prayers Men's Retreat, Camp Capers

Mother's Day Retreat, Camp Capers

Father's Day Retreat, Camp Capers 

Fall Women's Gathering Camp Capers

2011 Mustang Island Summer Sessions
Food for the Soul, Mustang Island

2011 Duck Lake Summer Sessions 

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Camp Capers
Mustang Island
Duck Lake

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What are your teens doing this summer?  Jody has an awesome invitation for them.

Kids in ColoradoSchool is out, so what are you going to do with all your free time? Would you like to go on an adventure? Would you like to experience a place very different from Texas? Would you like to raft down a river or spend time backpacking through the Rocky Mountains? Would you like to get closer to God? If any of those things sound appealing to you then sign up for a week to camp at Duck Lake this summer!


You have two options to choose from. Week one will consist of day hiking to snow-covered mountains, paddling around the lily pads on Duck Lake, campfires, white-water rafting, and playing games in the beautiful Colorado sunshine! Week two will be spent backpacking through the Rocky Mountains! We will load our packs with food and shelter and head off into the woods to find adventure. We will see snow-capped mountain peaks, enjoy chilly nights by the campfire, cook our own food, and maybe spot a moose or a bear!  For more on Jody's article, click here.  For rising 9th graders to graduating 12th graders.

Thank You Saint David's Episcopal Church Youth, San Antonio

St. David's Youth

The Youth Group from St. David's, San Antonio, holds monthly taco sales at church to benefit their ministry. They arrive at 7:30 a.m. the first Sunday of the month to prepare, cook, wrap, and sell a variety of tacos like bean and cheese and bacon and egg. This month was a little different because they decided to donate all of the money made on Sunday, May 1, to the Good Samaritan Camp Capers Scholarship Fund. They raised $320 total with the help of St. David's School who matched the amount received from the taco sales. It really made an impact on the youth knowing they were helping send a child to Camp Capers, a place they love so much. By Sarah Kates, Youth Director at St. David's Episcopal Church, San Antonio.

Mark Your Calendar

Summer camping sessions begin June 5th for Camp Capers.  Registration is now open for all summer sessions at Camp Capers.  Have your camper join us in an atmosphere of caring and acceptance that you will find at Camp Capers.  Participants are challenged to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially.  Make new friends and reconnect with old friends.  Click here for registration information. 


June 12-17 and June 19-24 any DWTX Diocesan, school, or church employee will have a chance to explore the forests and streams and local towns around Duck Lake.  Click here for more information.


June 26-July 1 and July 3-9 high school campers will have a chance to explore Duck Lake or take a 26-mile-loop hike through the Arapaho National Forest.  For upcoming 9th graders to graduating 12th graders.  Click here for more information.  


Mustang Island will begin its 9th year offering Family CampCome and spend a wonderful, meaningful time with your family at the beach on gorgeous Mustang Island.  Rates have changed to accommodate families better.  Click here for more information on the rates and dates being offered. Come meet our new Director, Kevin Spaeth. 

Taking Applications for...

 Camp Capers
       * Session Staff     
       * Nurses
All applications online.  For more information regarding these positions, click on the quick link in the "Taking Applications for..." block.  If you still need help, email Stacy Dowdy at