Monday, June 7, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Changes!

As we move into the new summer season I thought I would update this blog to let any parents/campers/or friends of John Knox Ranch who still may look at this blog from time to time know about a few new changes we have going on.

The first and very important change is to our photo site for summer camp. We have decided to move away from using DotPhoto and are now using a site called PhotoReflect. We feel that this site will serve us better in getting the photos out to you quicker and will allow you to purchase prints, digital downloads, and other merchandise quickly and easily!

The new photo website link is http://johnknoxranch.photoreflect.com
We hope the transition to this new site will be very smooth. Please e-mail rick@johnknoxranch.com if you have any questions about the new site or are having trouble seeing photos.

The next change is concerning this blog. While we feel that the blog can be a very useful and effective tool in communicating with parents, friends, and others about camp, we simply do not have the man power to keep this blog updated in a regular fashion. We feel that anything less wouldn't be an effective use of the blog, therefore at least for now, we will no longer be keeping the blog updated.

We still have the e-mail a camper feature located on our website http://www.johnknoxranch.com and as always feel free to send mail to your camper at:

(NAME and Cabin name)
1661 John Knox Road
Fischer, Texas 78623

We hope you will understand.

Please check the photo site often for updates, and as always let us know how we're doing!
Please e-mail if you have ANY questions. rick@johnknoxranch.com

Thank You!

John Knox Ranch Staff

Saturday, July 25, 2009

End of the week update!

And what an amazing week at camp it was!

Cooler Weather, Lots of activities, Good food, Good kids, and lots of singing.

Last night marked our closing campfire for sumac (younger) campers, and a few cypresses too. Each cabin made a skit, and we all gathered around to cherish our last day at camp.

The cypresses are only halfway through their session though, and had a paint war while the campfire was going on. Pictures will be posted by the end of today of all the cabins covered in paint :)

Sorry for the delays in updating the photo website, and this blog. It's a very busy and exciting time at camp and there's lots to do!

All photos from this week will be posted by tonight. expect pictures of today tomorrow.

Have a Good Weekend!

John Knox Ranch Staff

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

super COOL party

Since we finally received some MUCH needed rain last night, we had to quickly switch from a POOL party to a super COOL party indoors. We still served hot dogs and hamburgers buffet style and moved the tables aside to do energizers and sit on the ground. But instead of synchronized swimming in the pool we did a John Knox Ranch talent and Variety show. Each cabin came up with a song or dance, and then we opened the floor for individual talents. We had a lot of campers participate and show off their special talents and abilities. It was a blast!

Tonight is the overnights for the sumac (younger) campers and Classic Capture the Flag for the cypress (older) campers.

See pictures HERE!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Beach Camp Rules!

This week has been so completely awesome! Tuesday morning we went out on a big sail boat. We saw so many dolphins! After that we went to the Rockport Aquarium and came back to the church and served at Community Table. Community Table is an event hosted by a different church in the Rockport community every Tuesday. It is a free meal served to whoever wants to show up and eat. It was so unbelievably amazing to get to see all the different people we served. After that we went to the Rockport Aquatic Center for a night swim. Anna and Lorrell went on the high dive. Lorrell slipped and fell while trying to do a toe touch while Anna did a flip but also a belly flop. :(

Wednesday Megan and Rick took us out to Mustang Island State Park for the day. We had so much fun on the boogie boards that they had for us. While eating lunch we decided to feed the seagulls. It went...interestingly. Mary ended up getting attacked by the gulls while Megan and Anna went running through them. By the end of the day we were all a bit sunburned and tired!

All week Megan and Rick had been building up this "big surprise" that they had for us for Wednesday night. Turns out they took us out to eat at the Big Fisherman. The food was SO good! After that we came back to the church watched a sailing video that Lori made for us from Monday when we sailed the little sail boats with Megan's dad, played card games, watched Mamma Mia and just had a great time getting to hang out together.

Thursday morning was sad because we had
to say good bye to Rick (Nick Sheridan). Nobody really wanted to, but he had to get off of "vacation" and go back to the "real camp". After that we went fishing. Alot of us had bites (not to mention had our bait stolen) but Anna caught the first fish of the day. She caught a black drum as well as spotted trout and some big reds. Alexa caught a croaker, while Mary caught a dogfish. Commonly called "ugly." Of course while she wasn't paying any attention Lorrell caught a perch. However Bryce topped us all! We couldn't even get it out of the water, but she caught what we estimate to be a 3 foot alligator gar! It was unbelievable!

That afternoon we drove over to Corpus Christi to go to the Texas State Aquarium. We got to see the dolphin training show. It was really cool! Lorrell and Anna watched from up above while everyone else watched from the underwater view. It was really cool to see the otters and pet the stingrays. We even got to see a bald eagle! When we were about to leave we saw a guy dressed up as a turtle, so of course, we had to go take a picture with him, but our camp picture was way better because we got to take it outside on the whale's tail.

Later that evening we had dinner and then went over to the Rockport Beach. Everyone was disappointed at how shallow it was, but Anna and Lorrell went out far enough to where the water was almost to our shoulders. Once we swam a while, Megan made a fire in the BBQ pit and we had s'mores. They were delicious!

And finally, alas, it was our last day. Friday, we hung out at Port Aransas. The waves weren't as big as they were Tuesday but we still had an awesome time! We rode our boogie boards, body surfed, played beach volleyball (which wasn't too bad of a fail), and just had fun hanging out together on our last day.

Friday night we went to the Fulton Mansion, saw the windmill (a Rockport MUST), and had TONS of fun! :)

We really enjoyed our LID 1 year but we are also really sad to see it go. We can not wait for next summer to get to see each other again and remember all the fun memories we created this year!

-Beach Campers

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Red Oak Grinding!

video
The Red Oak cabin has created an interesting way to travel from activity to activity....it's called "Grinding". They have informed the camp that to "grind" on something is to jump and bounce off different obstacles along their paths. Whatever "grinding" may be, the boys love it and it definitely makes for an interesting blog post.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Full Camp = Happy Camp!

We welcomed 95 kids to camp yesterday, Wow! We have a lot of returning Campers, but lots of new faces that we were so excited to meet.

We started off the week with home made spaghetti and our famous bread, then gathered around the campfire for skits, songs, and fellowship. The energy of this group is amazing!

Pictures from last night will be posted tonight here.

Today started our first full day of camp activities. Despite the heat everyone had a blast!

Then we cooled off by the pool with a cookout and pool party.

Each cabin even planned a synchronized swimming routine to preform for the whole camp.

All in all it's be a great beginning to the session and we can't wait for what's yet to come!

John Knox Ranch Staff

(ps. don't forget to check out photos at http://johnknoxranch.dotphoto.com)

Beach Rocks.

What an awesome day! We went sailing on the ocean. The afternoon was really windy! Megan and Lorrell flipped their sail boat three times. Mary got stung by a "sting ray." Bryce touched a dolphin skull. We learned that sailing is NOT as easy as Megan's dad makes it look. We decorated visors this evening to protect us from the harsh coastal sun and spray painted towels to protect us from the cold. Lorrell and Anna discovered the pink spray paint doesn't work on the towels. We visited the BEST aquarium today in Rockport, TX. Rick likes the crabs, especially the blue ones. Last night we watched the sunset over the rocky pebble beach and discussed the art of cast netting with the locals. Megan made the tastiest cajun buffalo sauce that she prepackaged in plastic wrap. We looked forward to an eventful, adventuresome week!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

LID High Adventure

The Leaders in Development have had an exciting week so far. They've been water skiing, wakeboarding, raft-racing, parasailing, and more. It seems as though every day has brought new experiences and opportunities for the LIDs to grow as young leaders.



More pictures are available here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Overnights and more!

Our overnights went very well last night and tuesday night. The campers had fun bonding with their cabins, eating meals they prepared, and sleeping under the stars. The weather held up to make for a few cooler nights for them.

While half of the camp was on overnights last night, we served a camper favorite pizza for dinner. Then we finished off the night with sports and games outside, and a hayride and ice cream.

The night before with the older campers we had pizza as well, but our evening activity was extreme paint! There are pictures up on the website.

Today, expect a lot of photos of the different camp activities in action. Archery, the wet willie, the river, arts and crafts, etc.

John Knox Ranch Staff

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cooler Weather!

We avoided most of the rain, but the little we did get sure did drop the temperature out here. What a nice change from the triple digits! Tonight is the overnights for the Sumac (3-5th grade) campers and a Paint war for the Cypress (6-9th grade) campers. It's also over nights for the LIDs in high adventure, but they are heading out to Ink's lake for some wakeboarding.

Pictures from the opening campfire and pool party are posted on the website. Pictures of the day and evening activities from tonight will be posted later in the day.

Again the link to the pictures is http://johnknoxranch.dotphoto.com

You can also find links to this page, the photos, videos from camp, and a parent evaluation on the homepage of Johnknoxranch.com now for your convenience.

Well I'm off to take more photos of the kids!

John Knox Ranch Staff

Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Day Session Begins!


Yesterday 56 campers arrived for our 10 day session. Our staff was delighted to check-in and meet all of the wonderful campers we'll have this session! We started out the week like always, with a spaghetti dinner and a campfire with skits and songs.

Each cabin presented their own skit, and we all sang camp favorites such as I'm a little cookie, Blind Man, and Amazing Grace. 

Today campers start their first day of activities including chaplain time with a lesson on how Jesus Loves.

Tonight we'll cook hamburgers and hotdogs (and veggie burgers too!) out by the pool and spend some quality swimming time with the rest of camp.

More photos of the camp day will be posted around 11pm each night at our photo website.
http://johnknoxranch.dotphoto.com . You can also purchase prints directly from this site!

In Christ,

John Knox Ranch Staff

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DANCE!

Last weeks session culminated in a dance with the theme of "A Wrinkle in Time". The campers had time to plan costumes accordingly, with a great majority of them dressing as "old people". Here's a video of just part of a very fun night.


video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Scorcher out at John Knox!

With temperatures hanging between 100-105 at camp, we've been taking extra precautions to keep your campers safe and cool! Besides swimming in the shady blue hole, or along the banks of the blanco, we've also been doing some inside activities such as arts and crafts.

Counselors are taking extra time to make sure each camper has been drinking adequate water throughout the day.

Pictures are being uploaded right now of daily acitivities, and look forward to tonight when we post pictures of the campers at the second dance for the two week session, and the first dance for the sumac campers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LID Backpacking!

Yesterday the LIDs got back from their backpacking trip in Colorado. After a week in the cool mountains, they're having to adjust to the insane Texas heat. Below are journal entries written by a couple of the campers:

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It's like we never left. It's still hotter than hot at Knox, the pool party is still on and the campers are still going swimming and hiking, and even doing arts and crafts. But we did leave. We left for a full week of amazing activities and weather. We spent 40 hours in a white van listening to crazy cool music. We drank fresh stream water, went sledding, and even climbed a giant mountain. We sat around the hot flames of our camp fire each night and shared old Knox stories, riddles, and old folk tales from Mexico. Relaxing in our tent that had been warmed by the sun, I don't think I could have been any more happy.

-Natalie
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I signed up for LID backpacking for something EXTREME and out of the ordinary. I also went to be with my friends whom I've known forever. Our entire group consisted of Doug, Jay, Megan, Nick, Natalie, Nicholle, Katherine, Rueben, and me (Zach).
We began the trip with a long steady drive through Texas, New Mexico, and finally to Colorado at the base of the San Juan Mountains. On the way we made a few stops including one at Cadillac Ranch, where we did our own JKR tagging.

The first night we camped out in Palo Duro Canyon. On the second day we continued our trek, and we even stopped at WALMART! Nick and I knew that there would be snow in the mountains, therefore we knew we needed a sled. We proceeded to buy ourselves a nice sized toilet seat to strap to our backs on the hike. That night we camped in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It was only a few miles from the mountain trail we would be taking. Each night we would have LID time where we discussed various points about being a leader. The next day we packed up our backpacks and got in the van for our short drive to the trail. For a while we walked, working in the new backpacks...they seemed so heavy, and finally we found a nice spot for lunch. We left our packs and hiked a little further up the trail where a giant waterfall was pouring to the ground. All of us could already tell that this place was going to be gorgeous, even by the little we had really seen. So we took a few pictures, and played in some of the snow, I even got a nice snowball thrown at me. It hit me in the head. Thanks Natalie. We kept on hiking up the trail for the remainder of the day and we stopped in a small forested area for the night. We ate dinner, filtered water, and the we went on the explore our surroundings. Ahead of our campsite we found an amazing snow slide. We grabbed our toilet seat and made a slide from the steep top. It wasn't the best slide of the trip, but it was still INSANE. That night we slept pretty well. At dawn we quickly ate and packed up our tents to continue the hike. We were getting pretty high up in the mountains, and now I even needed to use my inhaler to help me breathe. At midday we stopped in another spectacular meadow for lunch. When the sun was visible the area was just perfect, but half the time we were covered by a cold raincloud! Nevertheless we were surrounded by lots of green grass, flowers, and streams that flowed through the area. When we left a while later, we had a pretty difficult uphill climb to our last destination campsite on the mountain. We set up our tents on the side of a very large meadow. We had our LID time with snack and then hiked without our packs to the other side of the mountain for some sledding. Lots of snow covered that area because the sun hit that side of the mountain the least. We made a few paths and each of us had a blast sledding them. They were steep and partially wet. On video, I even flew into the mud. EXTREME! Later, we headed back to the campsite for dinner and to sit around the campfire. We told stories and had a good time talking that night. The next day we woke up, and ate some oatmeal. It was 28 degrees when we awoke. We got ready for our steep hike up to the peak of the San Juan mountain next to us. After about two hours of climbing we all made it. Doug said that we were "relatively awesome" for accomplishing the climb, and we would be full on awesome if we made it back down. 12,500 feet in the air gives way for some beautiful sight seeing. It was amazing. You could see Pagosa Springs and probably hundreds of miles farther. You could see the whole of our nature trail and many mountain lakes around the area. these lakes were our next destination. After an hour of backtracking down the mountain and an hour of rest, we were good to go. We walked a 1/4 mile to the Four Mile Lake. It was huge. We ate our granola snack and Jay, Nick, and I decided that we could jump in. Keep in mind that snow surrounds the lake, and it was fifty degrees outside. So, yeah, it was really cold.

After three days of no showering though, it was great. Super refreshing. The three of us dried ourselves and then the whole of us walked back to camp. That night we slept great. We were exhausted. In the morning however, it began to rain. We quickly gathered our things and were ready to go. This was our last day and it was time to hike back down the mountain. It was a ton easier than climbing up, but it was also pouring rain. Everything was soaked. When we finally made it back to the van I think we were pretty much ready to pass out. (At least I was). Crawling into the van, we got on going back to Pagosa Springs. That day would turn out to be a fantastic one. We showered and washed clothes, and even got SUBWAY! Nick and I split footlong subs. I had a sweet onion chicken teriyaki, and Nick got himself a ham and cheese. How delicious. That night we looked around town and bought dinner at another great restaurant. We went to the movies too! HA. Terminator Salvation is such an action-packed joke. Still, the town was great. There was even a hot springs in the middle of it.

-Zach



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Closing days, opening days, campfires, and paint fights!

Sorry for the lapse in posting but as the end of a camp sesssion approaches things have a tendency to get a little hectic. Yesterday morning our first group of Sumac (3-5th grade campers) left after a week at camp. We were all sad to see them go! It was definitely a great bunch of kids.

Saturday afternoon the Cypresses (6-9th grade campers) participated in free choice all day. This morning we held a beautiful worship service in the outdoor chapel that was completely planned and lead by the campers.

and this afternoon we welcomed another group of Sumac campers with another campfire!
pictures will be posted tomorrow of the campfire at http://johnknoxranch.dotphoto.com

While the Sumac's had an opening campfire the Cypresses participated in our second annual paint challenge.

The object of the game  was to prevent other teams (cabins) from getting paint on your white sheet, while you tried to smear paint all over theirs. The kids had a great time and by the end of the night we all looked like a Jackson Pollock painting!

The paint covered sheets are going to double as table cloths for our classical dinner this week where we have a candlelit dinner with classical music playing in the backround. I know I'm looking forward to it!

As the day winds down, let me just say again how amazing it is to have your children at camp!

again, photos will be posted tomorrow at http://johnknoxranch.dotphoto.com

Goodnight, Godbless

John Knox Ranch Staff