HeARTh_Rendering.jpgI would like to share some exciting news about next summer.


We will build the most elaborate summer camp Arts Center within 1000 miles.  


We are so pleased with our water activities (both lake and pools), sports facilities, and our climbing/challenge elements. But the buildings that we use for Fine Arts have not been as impressive as the other structures.  


Each year, we tour a number of camps. We have seen camps in Colorado, Texas, California, North Carolina, Alabama, New York, New Hampshire,, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maine.   In total, I have personally toured over 130 camps. Think about that for a moment. Imagine visiting 130 different houses or apartments. Now make each of the homes 200 acres and locate them in remote rural areas. Visiting that many places takes time and a slightly obsessive nature.


Anyway, over the years, we have picked up ideas that are now part of Camp Champions. We were the first people to bring ga-ga to Texas 21 years ago. The Pirate Ship comes from a visit to North Carolina and the Screamer from a trip to Pennsylvania.


For the past 5-6 years, Susie Ma’am and I have been looking at different arts facilities and dreaming about creating an Arts Center worthy of Camp Champions. We started a file full of ideas from all our camp visits. We saw creative designs and elaborate buildings. We took note of the designs that encouraged creativity among the campers.


Last summer, a long-time camp mom and grandmother reached out to us for a meeting. When we got together, she said that she and her husband wanted to help camp create a place “where campers can create and bond . . . a place that promotes beauty and peace” and they made a very generous contribution to help us build something special.


A final piece in the puzzle was my younger brother’s passing last year. We decided we wanted to honor him by creating a library at camp (he was a passionate advocate for libraries).


Our desire to build an Arts Center, create a JJ Baskin library and create a place of “beauty and peace” all came together this last year. We commissioned a talented sister/brother architect team (Julia and David Webber in Austin) to create an amazing facility: the Hearth (ART is inside the name)!


I have included a photo of one of the renderings. At closing, we hope you will come by the new sports tent to see all the renderings. Without going into too much detail, let me share a few of the highpoints. It will include

  • 15,000 square feet of space
  • 6 separate art studios
  • A 40 foot tower called the “Perch” that creates a serene cathedral-like space
  • A shady library with capacity for several hundred books
  • Shaded play and hangout areas
  • Fencing that can be used to create works of art themselves. The entire structure is designed so that it can become a medium for creativity itself.
  • A tree-house
  • A ramp
  • A slide


We cannot tell you how excited we are about this project. When complete, we believe we will have an unequaled facility that will help inspire and develop all our campers’ talents.


We look forward to showing it to you in person next year!




PS We have a quick question about a project we are attempting this summer using facial recognition software. In the photo section of our site, we have added a folder called “must see” photos. It should contain photos of your camper (if you sent us 5 pictures of your child right before camp) and his or her cabinmates as well as some representative photos from camp we thought you would like.  


Here is my question – has the feature worked at all? If so, has it been valuable to you? Please email share any feedback to us at .