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5th Annual Texas state-wide ASCE Younger Members Camping Trip

5th Annual Texas state-wide ASCE Younger Members Camping Trip

Derek Baker PE

August 2022


The 2022 5th annual Texas Section Younger Member Camping Trip took place at McKinney Falls State Park, Texas on April 29th-May 1st. This year, there were 17 younger members of ASCE Texas who came together from Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin to meet at McKinney Falls State Park to camp, hike, network, share stories and learn about what other young professionals are doing across the state of Texas.

The weekend event began on Friday evening with everyone driving in from across Texas. Everyone set up camp, pitched tents and prepared for a delicious street taco dinner. The campers enjoyed al pastor and mushroom street tacos, along with beans, rice, guacamole, and chips and salsa. The campers sat around the fire on a cool Friday evening for introductions and to share our ASCE origin stories. We had a great group of campers who quickly became friends the first night! Before we departed to slumber, we discussed expectations for Saturday, which was shaping up to be an exciting day.

On Saturday morning, campers banded together to cook up a breakfast feast! There was grilled pork, bacon, fried eggs, roasted potato wedges, grilled mushroom, yogurt and fresh fruit. Fresh coffee and tea were also brewed for enjoyment. Once we had our filling, everyone headed out on the trail for a 1-mile hike to the scenic Upper Falls of Onion Creek. When we arrived, the community was hosting free fishing lessons, so some of our campers had the opportunity to fish catfish in the pond! The rest of the campers made their way to the swimming hole and began water activities with tubes and good music. The water was cool, and the weather was perfect for swimming that day. We spent a good portion of our day enjoying the Upper Falls. Right before we hiked back to our campsite, one of our campers was given two fresh catfish from a local fisherman. We proceeded to head back, and we cleaned and prepared the catfish for cooking! We seasoned them and wrapped them in foil, and we buried it under the coals of our fire from the night before. The cooked fish was a delicious appetizer for the tasty dinner to come. Everyone came together to prepare dinner: hamburgers, turkey burgers, Portobello burgers, hot dogs, buried hot-coal potatoes and corn, and Caesar salad. Once the sun had set, we pulled out the marshmallows and roasted them over the fire and began assembling smores with dark chocolate and graham cracker. We told stories about life, played games and bonded as friends.

On Sunday morning, it was time to say goodbye after our wonderful adventure. Everyone packed up their tents/belongings and prepared to depart. Right before we left, the rain started pouring! We all hurried to gather up the rest of our items and we jumped in our cars and headed out. After the trip, several campers were kind of enough to provide positive feedback about the trip and they expressed how happy they were. I want to give special thanks to Tyler for taking many awesome photos for this trip. I would also like to thank Ellen Dinh for helping organize this camping trip along with all the campers who helped prepare food during the trip. Thank you all, please have a great day.