CUERO – With a green bandana tied around her neck, Yoakum resident Brynlee Langhoff expertly tied a yellow paracord and showed fellow camper Jerzi Henson how to create a lasso Tuesday morning on the lawn of the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum.
“Make sure you are careful with it. You don’t want to tie it too tight,” Brynlee, 7, said as her bangs fell over her eyes. “It gets easier to do.”
Brynlee and Jerzi are two of 50 children who are participants in the museum’s eighth annual Cowboy Camp. The camp teaches children history and traditions of 19th century Texans after the Civil War as well as local history.
The camp was the largest this year; the usual number of campers is 30, said Candy Glidden, founder and coordinator of the camp.
But camp leaders couldn’t turn away excited children interested in Texas history.
“When the children apply to the camp, they fill out a section that asks what skills would they have used on a trail drive back in the day and what they would pack. Their answers were so well-thought-out,” Glidden said. “These kids are serious about this camp and learning, and oh, it warms my heart.”
Earlier this week, campers between the ages of 7 and 12 learned about cowboy skills such as how to tie several types of knots and in what types of situations the knots could be used. The campers have also learned about the history of cattle drives and Cuero’s ranching heritage.
Chance Dusek said Tuesday his favorite part of the camp so far was learning how to tie knots. The Pleasanton resident said he enjoyed tying the rope into useful knots after learning how Monday.
“The bowline knot is a good one to use because it won’t slip, but it’s easy to untie, so it is good to use with a horse,” Chance, 11, said.
Cuero resident Jerzi also learned how to create a slip knot and how to tie a lasso to bring in cattle and other livestock. Tuesday morning, all the campers had the opportunity to take photos on a longhorn.
“Tying the different ropes has been kinda hard for me, but it gets better the more I practice,” Jerzi, 8, said. “I was a little nervous to be on the longhorn, but then it was better.”
Throughout the week, the campers experience activities based on Texas history and cowboy culture, such as getting a visit from a chuck wagon after learning the role the wagons played in cowboys’ lives.
Glidden, a former public and private schoolteacher, said she is happy to see so many children sign up and enjoy the camp. The camp is organized by volunteers and businesses from throughout the Crossroads, which have donated items for years, Glidden said.
“These kids are hungry for history and to learn about who they are,” Glidden said. “This camp is my passion.”