Summer Camp in Canyon Lake | Texas Hill Country

Ahhh...summer. The season of backyard BBQ’s, poolside lounging and schedule free days full of promise for the adventures to come. For our family, one of those cherished summer adventures is an annual pilgrimmage to what we simply call, summer camp. The idea of summer camp came about when my mom and step-dad left the immensely populated city of Katy, where I grew up, and moved out to the Texas hill country for some peace and quiet. They built a gorgeous retirement home off of Canyon Lake and have graciously opened their doors to their three grown children and their families around the 4th of July every year. This will be our family tradition for years to come. And when the kids get older, we can leave them at summer camp while the parents take luxurious vacations around the world, kid free! 🙌🏼

My brothers and I fly from the east and west coast and meet in the middle at this heavenly place in the hill country. This was our third 4th of July at summer camp and these pictures only share a glimpse of the fun, adventures and deep bonding that happens during those few weeks. Unfortunately we were missing one family this year but we thought about them daily.

The tree swing is by far one of the favorites by all the kids, big or small. Its where the fun starts the second you get off the plane and step foot on the property, to one of the last things you do before you say goodbye. The best time of day to swing is in the evening when the sun is setting behind the beautiful oak trees and there is a nice breeze in the air. I know Grammee and PopPop leave the swing up for several months after we leave because its a reminder of their six grandkids that they only get to see a few times a year.

The POOL! The gorgeous pool where kids get thrown up in the air, where basketball is played, where volleyball is attempted (😂) and where LOTS of memories are made. I wish I took my camera out to the pool more often but with baby Grayson around, it was a little too much.

My parents have six beautiful grandkids. The oldest is Adrian (7), then my son Max (3.5), Anais (3.5) who couldn't make it this year, Ellie (2.5), Aldous (1.5) who couldn't make it this year, and my youngest son Grayson (1.5) with the blue eyes. Fourth of July is always fun for my mom and I because we like to buy matching outfits for all the kids. Ellie loved her dress Grammee got her. My mom also bought some beautiful fourth of July decorations this year.

I discovered how much fun it is to photograph hide and seek and Max and Ellie discovered how much fun it is to PLAY hide and seek!! The look on their faces when PopPop would come around the corner was priceless. The two little ones were horrible hide and seekers because they couldn't keep quiet. At one point Adrian told them not to follow him because they were giving away the hiding spot each time. They still gave his hiding spot away by staring at the closet door where he was hiding. Its my favorite picture!

Our cousin Emily came out to visit with her son James. James became a big brother a week later 😍

Grammee in her beautiful kitchen doing some baking along with Sae and Ellie.

Last year Adrian was really into Moana and sang the entire album over and over again all day long. This year it was dancing!! He knew every single Fortnite dance there was. Of course we had to have a dance party on the country road.

If the kids weren't in the pool or on the tree swing, you could find them on the huge wraparound porch Grammee always dreamed of.

Grayson LOVED giving uncle B kisses 😘

You can't live in the hill country without owning a four wheeler or as Max would call it, a tractor. The kids enjoyed daily rides down to the lake, mailbox, or just a nice ride around the neighborhood. PopPop even let them drive if they were lucky.

View from the lake.

Max and PopPop time throwing rocks by the lake.

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Amy Ward

San Jose, CA

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