Camps and Conferences LogoTHE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF WEST TEXAS       
 November 2011    
Rob Watson, Director of Camps and Conferences

Rob article

"We seek not rest but transformation. We are dancing through each other as doorways." - Marge Piercy

Blessings to you and your family this holiday season. 


The summer was a smashing success! All three programs, Mustang Island Family Camp, Camp Capers, and Duck Lake, had healthy enrollments; the staff was wonderful all summer long; the clergy led us, challenged us, and fed us; and the campers made it all worthwhile as they played, sang, swam, hiked, and prayed.


I love Marge Piercy's quote about transformation and the image of dancing through and with each other. What a beautiful metaphor for the camp experience and our life together as a diocese. Camps and Conferences, as a department, is in the midst of transformation and change.  


To read more of Rob's article, click here.


Stacy Dowdy Says Good-bye
stacy dowdy

In some ways, it is hard to believe I have already completed five years in this job. In other ways, it feels like a lifetime! It is an understatement to say that quite a bit has happened over those five years. One of the greatest joys of this job has been the opportunity to re-connect and work at Camp Capers, the place that impacted my own spiritual growth and formation more than any other. Coming back to it as an adult was a great joy and privilege.


It has been an amazing gift to meet and work with all the young people who have served as counselors and staff each summer. They give so much of themselves to the campers each session, and they form bonds and friendships with each other that will last a lifetime. That is something that sets Camp Capers apart from all the other camping programs across the country - the relationships and spiritual connections that are formed there each summer. That is the thing that has remained constant over Camp Capers' 64 years.

To read more of Stacy's article,
click here. 

News from by Brian Kates, Program Director for Camp Capers

Brian Kates

I have always enjoyed the book of Psalms. I seem to find direction, even when I'm not looking. Never before has Psalm 139:16 meant more to me than this past year. Psalm 139:16 reads, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."


After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin this past year, my life took a course that I never imagined. I got married, moved back "home" to San Antonio, and worked at summer camp. Psalm 139:16 still applies to my life today, and I'm truly starting to grasp the meaning of this verse. There are an infinite number of years left on this earth for me, with many more chapters to live out. Scary as it may be to not know what is written on those pages, one thing remains constant; Jesus is my true north.

To read more of Brian's article, click here. 
Emily Vandewalle, Staff Director, Camp Capers

My name is Emily Vandewalle and I have the incredible privilege to be the Staff Director for Camp Capers in 2012. Currently, I am in my last semester as a senior at Texas A&M University studying Environmental Geosciences.


Though my summers were not spent at Camp Capers when I was growing up, they were spent in the backyards of my childhood neighborhood in San Antonio, culminating my love for the outdoors and for community. As you can probably guess, it didn't take long for me to fall in love with the environment and mission of Camp Capers when I served as a counselor in the summer of 2010. In the decision-making process to serve a second summer in 2011, I quickly discerned that there was no place I would rather be than at camp. I was graciously offered the position of music director and ropes coordinator. Summer 2011 was an unforgettable experience, but I am thrilled to see what God has in store for 2012 and cannot wait to spend the next six months preparing for, yet another, incredible summer at Camp Capers.  


To read more of Emily's article, click here . 


Kevin Spaeth, Operations Director, Mustang Island Conference Center

Wounded Warriors at Mustang Island....An Honor to Serve Those Who served 


 This August, Mustang Island Family Camp had the honor and privilege to host the Wounded Warrior Project - Track program and Wounded Warrior Project - Odyssey program. Both programs, made up of U.S. Service Men and Women, stayed at Mustang Island Family Camp, ate great meals prepared by Kathy and Sandra, and utilized Mustang Island's location and calm reflective atmosphere.  


To read more of Kevin's article, click here . 

Update from the Island by Johnson Jeffers, Program Director

This summer marked the ninth summer of Family Camp at Mustang Island Conference Center, and it was an amazing one. Over 800 kids and adults attended Family Camp to beat the heat and enjoy some family fun on the beach. Led by the summer camp's teachers, Meredith Gardial and Suzanna Frey, we adopted the diocesan theme of the "Parable of the Sower." With help from chaplains and staff, families explored the parable through worship, family discussions, skits, and hands-on activities. Through daily lessons, families applied the parable to their everyday lives and deepened their relationships with God.  


To read more of Johnson's article, click here. 

In This Issue
Update from Rob Watson
Stacy Dowdy Says Good-bye
Brian Kates, Program Director, Camp Capers
Emily Vandewalle, Staff Dir. Camp Capers
Kevin Spaeth, Director of Mustang Island Conference Center
Johnson Jeffers, Program Director, Mustang Island, Join me this summer
A few words from Thomas Lillibridge and Amanda Quisenberry, Summer Staff 2011
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Quick Links
Upcoming Events

Mid-Winter Dates and Flyer  

2012 Camping Sessions at Camp Capers  

2012 Mustang Island Summer Sessions
2012 Colorado Adventure Camp Summer Sessions 

Directions to...
Taking Applications For....
Videos from the 2010 Camping Program
Camp Capers
Mustang Island
Duck Lake

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A Few Words from Thomas Lillibridge and Amanda Quisenberry - Summer Staff 2011.

Thomas Lillibridge - Growing up, I had two homes. One was a large two-story house in San Antonio, TX, where I lived with my family. My other home was very different than this city house; it was far away from the city. At this house, the weather was cooler, and it was much bigger than the houses in the city. This "house" is in Waring, TX, and is called Camp Capers. To read more onfThomas' article, click here .



 Amanda Quisenberry - In the summer of 1984, Greg Quisenberry and Judy Clapp were both asked to serve on Camp Capers summer staff. Judy started going to camp when she was nine years old, but it was the first time Greg had ever been. Greg was in cabin 7, and Judy was in cabin 4. This was the summer my parents met. It was one of the best summers of their lives, and in 1989, Greg and Judy got married. To read more of Amanda's article, click here


St. Jude's Ranch For Children and their Camp Capers Summer Experience


St. Jude's Ranch for Children is a non-profit organization that serves abused, abandoned and neglected children and families, creating new chances, new choices and new hope in a safe, homelike environment. For more than 40 years, St. Jude's Ranch for Children has provided a safe nurturing home, and therapeutic residential treatment services, to more than 1,000 children in Nevada and Texas.  St. Jude's Ranch is making a difference by creating new lives with new skills for abused, abandoned and neglected children of all races and faiths.


St. Jude's Bulverde campus has been sending kids to Camp Capers for summer and Mid-Winter camps for the last few years. With the help and support of the many friends of the Ranch, we have been able to raise the funds every year to send every child to camp who wished to attend.

To read more of St. Jude's article, click here.    

Mark Your Calendar

Mid-Winter is now accepting registrations.  Click here for more information and the link to register. 


Camp Capers summer camping sessions begin June 3rd.  Registration will soon be open for all summer sessions at Camp Capers.  Have your camper join us in an atmosphere of caring and acceptance. Participants are challenged to grow spiritually, physically, emotionally, and socially.  Make new friends and reconnect with old friends.  Click here for registration information. 


Colorado Adventure Camp - July 2-7, 2012 and July 9-14, 2012 any DWTX diocesan, school, or church employee will have a chance to explore the forests and streams and local towns around Neaderland, CO.  Click here for more information.


Colorado Adventure Camp - July 16-21, 2012 and July 23-30, 2012, high school campers will have a chance to explore the Arapaho National Forest and the Indian Peak Wildnerss or choose a 26-mile-loop hike through the Arapaho Forest.  For upcoming 9th graders to graduating 12th graders.  Click here for more information.  


Mustang Island will begin its 10th 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.   

Taking Applications for...

 Camp Capers
  • Summer Paid Staff  
  • Session Staff
  • Nurses        
All applications are online.  For more information regarding these positions, click on the quick link in the "Taking Applications for..." block on the right side of this newsletter.  Contact Brian Kates at for more information or call the diocese office at (210/888) 824-5387.

Mustang Island
  • Summer Paid Staff

All applications are online.  For more information regarding these positions, click on the quick link in the "Taking Applications for..." block on the right side of this newsletter.  Contact Johnson Jeffers at for more information or call the Mustang Island Conference Center at 361-749-1800.