Dear Friends of Phoenix Center,

We are nearing the end of an inspiring summer! This summer, 164 campers attended Camp Phoenix's 9 camp sessions and campers displayed tremendous growth. Read more in our positive camp outcomes story below! 


"I learned that 
we can conquer our fears."
~ Camp Phoenix camper
age 13

As we look forward to the fall, we continue to see a ever-increasing demand for high-quality mental health care for children in need. Because of your support, in August 2014, we will hire 2 additional part-time Children's Therapists to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed mental health care to the 41 children on our waiting list.


Thank you for making our growth possible.  Because of your support, we are reaching more children.  You are truly making a difference.   Thank you.  


In this Issue:

Art Exhibit at Marta Stafford Fine Art


On July 22-26, 2014, an exhibit featuring original art created by the children of the Phoenix Center was on display at Marta Stafford Fine Art gallery in Marble Falls, Texas.   Our reception on July 23 was well attended by children and community members.  Thank you to all who attended.  We greatly appreciate your support.  
Lindsey Humphrey, Phoenix Center Children's Therapist, Erin Givarz, 
Children's Therapist, Sarah Garrett, Founder & Director, Patia Strickland, Board Member & Camp Volunteer

This innovative project was funded by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Table created for the exhibit by Children's Therapist Lindsey Humphrey and K., one of her talented clients



















Thank you to Marta Stafford Fine Art and Marta Stafford for her generous support of the exhibit and the Phoenix Center.


View more exhibit photos in the album on our Facebook page here.

Children's Art at the Exhibit
Exhibit Book with the Children's Art





"When Life Gives You Bull Nettle..."

A Heartwarming Camp Phoenix Story


When 10 year-old Ethan arrived at camp, he was stoic and adult-like in his jeans and cowboy boots. His grown-up stature set him apart from the other young boys. 

Ethan is currently living in foster care and grew up protecting and caring for his younger siblings.  During the first part of camp, he took on the role of a parent.

He was focused on looking out for the safety and protection of the other boys - pointing out potential obstacles, standing over the bull nettle, and advising other campers about how to interact with the horses in a safe way... Ethan was so focused on helping and protecting others, he had a hard time just being a kid.

By the end of the second day, he flew a kite for the first time in his life. While trying to keep it in the air, he tripped and fell face first into the very bull nettle he had been protecting the other campers from... While most kids would cry out in discomfort, Ethan remained calm and collected as the counselors cared for his extensive rash.

With a boyish grin, Ethan looked at the counselors and said "Most people would think that falling in bull nettle would be a bad thing, but it was kinda good because there have never been so many people who cared about me."

Just like the saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," 
maybe when life gives you bull nettle you realize "I am worth caring about."

There are numerous other stories of growth and healing from camp this summer, but Ethan's story is a reminder that one adult can have a significant impact on a child's life. At Camp Phoenix, we believe every child deserves the opportunity to just be a kid & every child is "worth caring about." 

Camp Phoenix 2014: Positive Outcomes

164 children attended Camp Phoenix this summer, even more than last year! We greatly appreciate the 22 mental-health professionals who volunteered their time to help provide our innovative therapeutic camps. A special thanks to Patia Strickland, who provided invaluable support with camp preparation, cooking and cleaning. 

We are also thankful for all the donors who made our Camp Phoenix sessions possible. We are proud to report tremendous growth in the campers who attend our therapeutic camp sessions! 

Surveys from the overnight camps indicated...
  • Increased self-esteem based on an average of a 8% increase on a 40-point measurement scale after just one overnight camp!
  • 100% of campers reported there is an adult they can trust and talk to at Camp Phoenix.
  • 100% of campers reported they now know how to take deep breaths to feel better.
  • 100% of campers reported that they feel more confident about themselves after attending Camp Phoenix.
  • 100% of campers reported that they now know how to create art to feel better when they are sad, worried or angry.
  • 98% of campers reported Camp Phoenix helped them make friends.
  • 98% of campers reported they now know how to journal to express themselves

  Camper Quotes 


"I learned that we can conquer our fears."


"I can now say that I am confident, creative, and courageous!"


"At camp I learned that when you fall you pick yourself back up and learn to cry in front of everyone.  Patience and trust."


"At camp I learned that I am braver than I could have ever dreamed."


"My least favorite thing about camp was nothing - everything was my favorite!"


Parent Feedback


"My son and daughter had the best time at camp and when I picked up my son, he wanted me to call right away and sign him up for next year. My daughter talked about all that she did but the biggest thing was what she learned to help her cope. We forgot to send her ADHD medication this year by accident and she was at camp all weekend without it. The therapy she received there that showed her how to deal with calming down was wonderful. She was so happy to tell me she could go without her meds and keep herself calm because she was taught how to at camp. She was so excited to use these in her daily life and that made me happier than words can describe. Her self-esteem was through the roof and that doesn't happen too often... 

The work you do at Camp Phoenix is truly blessing families like mine. Thank you so much and many blessings to you all at the Phoenix Center."

"Since camp, she continues to utilize calming techniques and diverts herself from a complete meltdown." 


Thank you to all who volunteered and donated to fund our camps. We greatly appreciate the growth and change that you made possible.  Thank you.

Meet Our New Children's Therapists
Introducing Bilingual Staff
Erin Givarz & Board Member,
Patia Strickland
at the Phoenix Center Art Exhibit at
Marta Stafford Fine Art


Phoenix Center welcomes Erin Givarz and Chali Henderson to our staff as additional part-time Children's Therapists.  Erin and Chali will help the Phoenix Center meet the growing need for high-quality mental health care for children who have experienced trauma such as sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. 


Ms. Henderson will serve as an additional bilingual therapist which will help us reach more deserving children.   


Mandi Melendez, also a part-time Phoenix Center Children's Therapist, is bilingual as well.  Read more about all of our talented staff members here.



Erin Givarz received her Masters of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art.  She is licensed through the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Association for Play Therapy.  Erin has experience working with children, adolescents, and families who have experienced trauma, as well as other emotional and behavioral health needs. 


Erin first started working at the Phoenix Center as an intern and is excited to join the Phoenix Center team beginning in August 2014.  Before working at the Phoenix Center, Ms. Givarz worked with children, adolescents, and families at a bereavement center, in schools, at therapeutic camps, and internationally. 


Erin Givarz has specialized, advanced training in Play Therapy and Sandplay Therapy, as well as a professional interest in art therapy. Ms. Givarz is delighted to join the dedicated and talented team of professionals at the Phoenix Center.


Chali Henderson received her Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

from Texas State University.   She is a board certified LPC-Intern in the state of Texas. 


Chali is a bilingual therapist who specializes in play therapy, Child-Parent Relationship Therapy and grief and loss. In addition, Ms. Henderson has specialized, advanced training in evidence-based treatments for children on the Autism Spectrum.  


Chali believes that through a healthy, positive therapeutic relationship, children and families can begin a process of healing and growth that can endure throughout a child's lifetime.  Ms. Henderson has a passion for working with children, adolescents, and families to improve family relationships and create positive lasting change.

Photos from Camp Phoenix 2014
In June 2014, we planned a field-trip trip to Austin for
6 teen girls served by the Phoenix Center.  
The photo above was taken during 
our visit to the U.T. campus. 
The girls also visited the Blanton Museum, an art gallery & Amy's Ice Cream shop.  The ice cream and a pizza lunch were generously donated by Austin businesses.
Happy to be at Camp Phoenix 
Summer 2014
Listening for Frogs by the Spring
Camp Phoenix 2014
Canyon Traverse - High Ropes Course
 Camp Phoenix
Trust Fall - Low Ropes Course
Camp Phoenix teen camp, summer 2014
Horse Painting 
"I painted a heart."
Camp Phoenix 2014
Family Fun & Relaxation

Blowing bubbles is a fun way to teach and practice deep breathing. 

Fun activities foster the child-parent relationship.

Make your own bubbles and bubble wand to add to the creativity and fun!   Additional NO MESS OR CLEAN-UP art ideas are below!

Giant Bubble Recipe
6 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups Joy dishwashing soap (or use 1 1/3 cups of other concentrated dishwashing liquid)
recycled metal coat-hanger - to bend into a bubble wand
In a large bowl, slowly mix all ingredients together.  Make your own giant bubble wand with the recycled metal coat hanger.

Enjoy creating and popping giant bubbles with your child or grandchild - a low cost, fun activity sure to create smiles!

More Summer Activity Ideas
Do you wish there was an art activity without the set-up and clean-up? Something for your child to do in the hot summer sun with no mess or stress? Here are 2 fun outside art ideas with NO CLEAN-UP. :)

1.  Water Painting:  Fill up a bucket with water and give your child a large paint brush. Use the water and brush to paint & write outside on a sidewalk, patio or driveway.  How long does it take your words or picture to disappear in the summer sun?  This can also be a fun way to write "I love you" to your child.

2.  Painting with Ice Cubes:  Same as the above but draw or write words outside with ice cubes.   Can you guess what I'm drawing before my ice cube melts? Have you ever played tic-tac-toe with an ice cube?   Freeze a small inexpensive toy animal in the ice cube tray to add to the fun.  
Farewell Phoenix Center Interns

Since January, Erin Givarz and Maggie Messina, two exceptional graduate student Clinical Social Work interns from University of Texas have been invaluable members of the Phoenix Center team. 
Erin and Maggie provided hundreds of hours of free of cost therapy sessions in addition to assisting with Phoenix After-School, Phoenix Parenting, and Camp Phoenix.  We are grateful for their time, dedication, talent and service

The Phoenix Center will be matched with a new
intern from the University of Texas this fall.
We are pleased to announce that one of our interns, Erin Givarz, will join the Phoenix Center team as a part-time Children's Therapist beginning this month, and your financial support has made this possible.  Thank you.
"My time as an intern at the Phoenix Center was incredible.
The unrivaled support I received from Sarah and Lindsey, 
the most creative, hardworking staff,
provided me with all the right tools to be my best self 
while providing high-quality services to children in need."
~ Erin Givarz
Ways You Can Help 
Thank you hand
$10 Healthy snacks
$50 Parenting classes
$100 One therapy session
$200 Day camp for one child
$500 Weekend camp for one child
$1,000 10 therapy sessions for one child  


Our programs are made possible 

by volunteers and private donations. 

Your support is vital and deeply appreciated.

Options to give include a monthly, quarterly, or 
annually recurring gift, and a dedication or 
memorial gift. 



Phoenix Center
P.O Box 732
Marble Falls, TX 78654

(Click for more info)


  • Prizes for our prize box
  • Waiting room furniture*
  • Puppet theater for play therapy*
  • Puppets for our new therapy room*
  • Plants - indoor office plants 
  • Crayola markers and colored pencils 
  • Blank sketchbooks for children 
  • Pottery wheels for after-school programs
*Please email or call for more details.

Thank you for your generous support!
You are truly making a difference.



Consider donating your used 

car, truck, van, motorcycle, 

boat, RV, trailer, airplane or 

ATV to the Phoenix Center. 

It's a tax-deductible donation, and we'll take care of 

everything, including pick up.


Call 877-537-5277 
to get started and mention 
Camp Phoenix in Marble
Falls, TX when you call! 


 Who We Are   


art classyoga - peyton

Phoenix Center, a 501c(3) non-profit, is committed to meeting the need for high-quality, affordable mental health care for children and families in rural Central Texas.


When children have experienced trauma or abuse, research shows early intervention is critical for long-term well-being and health. Through our services, children in need are able to access exemplary mental health services, and ultimately thrive as individuals and families.


Our Services

Phoenix Counseling: Research-based therapy services for children, ages 3- 18, who have experienced abuse and/or other critical mental health needs.

Phoenix Parenting: Free of cost, research based parenting classes, supporting local children who have experienced abuse or trauma. 

Phoenix After School: Therapeutic children's groups incorporating yoga/wellness and expressive art activities, which promote relaxation, coping, and social skills.

Camp Phoenix: Therapeutic camp sessions at Candlelight Ranch, including equine therapy - our own innovative therapeutic camp curriculum.


card-sunflower Who is a Phoenix Center Child? 

Children and teens ages 3 - 18 with an identified mental health need, including survivors of abuse and trauma.  The children we serve are often uninsured, under-insured or are otherwise unable to access high-quality mental health services.  


Our Collaborating Agencies  
CASA for the Highland Lakes Area, Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center, Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Highland Lakes In addition, youth are referred to our programs by school counselors, churches and families.


Our Staff 

Phoenix Center staff include licensed mental health professionals and graduate student counseling and social work Interns from the UT Austin School of Social Work and Texas State University. 


Our Board 

Members include J. Allan Garrett, Terry Gulden, Harry Born, Lindsay Plante, Patti McCormick, Molly Biglari, Elizabeth Turner & Courtney Bowen.

Connect with Phoenix Center online!

Find us on Pinterest View our profile on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 


Post Office Box 732
Marble Falls, Texas 78654

The Phoenix Center is committed to meeting the need for high-quality, affordable mental health services for children and families in need.