By Robert Demyan PE, ASCE Austin YMF & TexASCE YM Camping Chair
The 2018 3rd annual Texas Section Younger Member Camping Trip took place at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas on September 21st-23rd, the weekend following CECON in San Marcos. This year there were twenty younger members of ASCE Texas, who came together from Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio to meet at McKinney Falls to camp, hike, network, share stories, and learn about what other young professionals are doing across the state of Texas.
The weekend event started out Friday evening with everyone driving in from across the state. The camp was set up, tents were pitched, and the conversations began. With the weekend forecast looking gloomy all weekend, the campers were glad that, for the first year, we did not have to change the location of the trip. The weekend menu was put together thanks to Austin local Smokin’ Momma’s Munchies. With the smoker roaring with pork steaks and corn and plenty of firewood, we all sat around and started sharing stories into the night.
Friday evening, we had assigned cooking details for the weekend. Everyone stepped up and signed up to help with a meal for the weekend. Some of the YM campers even started smoking some food and prepping for meals the next day. After the long day of driving in and setting up camp, everyone slept peacefully under a light rain shower.
Saturday morning started off with a hot breakfast at the group recreation hall. After breakfast, we all gathered our things and set off on a group hike through the wonderful trails of McKinney Falls State Park. As we walked along Onion Creek, we saw many types of wildlife and checked out old remnants of the past. After a long hike, the campers built up an appetite and headed back to the dining hall for delicious smoked curry chicken or tofu salad sandwiches. After lunch, some campers took, the Old School Shuttle, bus ride 20 minutes to downtown Austin to check out the Pecan Street festival. The Pecan Street Festival is one of the largest, and longest-running, arts/crafts and music festivals in the nation presented by The Pecan Street Association, a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. They did plenty of walking, checking out vendors, watching a magic show, listening to some live music and stopped by a few of the local Austin shops.
The YMs back at the camp decided to take a light afternoon nap after lunch then proceeded to hang out playing games and enjoying all of nature’s beauty. The campers all met back up at the dining hall for a final group dinner. After an eventful Saturday, campers joined together for s’mores around the campfire, finding themselves sharing stories and discussing all the great things that YMF of Texas ASCE are doing.
After a full weekend of events and mingling, Sunday morning the campers shared a final breakfast and then packed up camp and went their separate ways back home. All are looking forward to getting back together again in the future to continue this great tradition and build on it for the years to come.
Keep a look out for news about future Texas YM events to come in 2019!