Camp Texas Director ‘Pumped’ for Expanding to Five Sessions

Cole Cappel has a lot on his plate. The senior urban studies major is also working on minors in architecture and business foundations, as well as an interdisciplinary certificate through UT’s Bridging Disciplines Program—that’s a total of four academic programs. He’s also president of the UT water ski team and works at RecSports.

Cappel just got a lot busier. He’s the next director of Camp Texas, the Texas Exes’ largely student-run summer orientation camp for freshmen. Camp Texas introduces new students to UT through two and a half days of outdoor fun, time with professors, and leadership activities at Camp Balcones Springs.

He knows Camp Texas well: Cappel loved the experience as a freshman so much that he stayed on as a counselor and executive team member.

This year, he says, his priority will be to maintain the camp’s level of excellence and personal attention.

Cappel will work closely with seven other Camp Texas executive team members, plus Texas Exes staffers Taylor Nyberg and Katie Lauck.

“I’m really pumped that we are expanding to five sessions, so we want to manage that growth by planning ahead of time,” Cappel says.

More than 800 students will attend Camp Texas 2012.

Cappel says another difference this year is in counselor staffing. In past years, most counselors worked only one session, but this year most will work two, he says.

“So we want to train the counselors thoroughly and make sure they are prepared to handle any challenges that come up,” Cappel says.

One of Cappel’s favorite Camp Texas memories is of the time he forgot his lines in a comedy skit in front of the entire camp.

He was momentarily paralyzed by embarrassment before he was able to laugh it off.

“That’s the great thing about Camp Texas; you just feel so welcome no matter what happens,” Cappel says. “It’s such a welcoming place, with a close-knit community that comes together in less than three days.”

Photo courtesy Ross Zimmerman.


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