From July 10th to 14th, 2023, the Bellville Engineering, Science & Technology (B.E.S.T.) Booster Club organized a captivating and educational science camp for incoming 4th to 8th graders. The camp, held at the Spicer School building in Bellville, Texas, aimed to ignite young minds’ interest in science and technology with a special focus on the animal kingdom. Let’s delve into the exciting events and experiences that unfolded during this enriching week.

The theme for the 2023 B.E.S.T. Science Camp was the “animal kingdom,” covering ecology, zoology, habitat, and conservation. The camp organizers wanted to inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world, nurturing the campers’ potential to become future scientists.

Throughout the week, the campers engaged in hands-on activities designed to promote learning through exploration. They were immersed in biology, chemistry, and other scientific disciplines, allowing them to become scientists in their own right. These interactive experiments, scientific demonstrations, and team projects encouraged critical thinking and creativity, enabling the young participants to gain practical knowledge of scientific concepts.

The B.E.S.T. Science Camp was privileged to have renowned guest speakers who shared their expertise with the campers. Vinnie Mercado and Tessa Badger, Park Interpreters from Stephen F. Austin State Park, enlightened the campers about native snakes, shedding light on their behavior, habitats, and ecological significance. Tom Shaughnessy, an active member of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association, captivated the campers with his knowledge of native Texas bees and their vital role in our ecosystem. His insights into the world of bees fascinated the young minds.

William Kearney, a wildlife conservationist from the Wildlife Habitat Federation, inspired the campers by emphasizing the importance of wildlife conservation and the preservation of animal habitats. His talk encouraged the young participants to become advocates for environmental stewardship. In addition, certified archery instructor Wayne Naumann introduced the campers to the ancient art of archery, connecting it to wildlife conservation and instilling a sense of appreciation for traditional outdoor activities.

A special mention goes to Marcus Poffenberger and Tommy Monk for generously loaning their taxidermy animals to the camp. These unique specimens provided the students with an up-close and personal encounter with various animal species, enabling them to study animal anatomy and understand the diversity of the animal kingdom.

The B.E.S.T. Science Camp welcomed students from homeschool, private, and public schools, fostering an inclusive environment for learning. This diverse mix of students allowed for collaboration, the exchange of ideas, and the forging of new friendships among the participants. The camp created a sense of unity among young scientists, transcending educational boundaries.

The Bellville B.E.S.T. Science Camp in 2023 provided an exceptional opportunity for young minds to explore the animal kingdom. With its engaging activities and esteemed guest speakers, the camp succeeded in igniting curiosity, promoting scientific learning, and fostering a love for the natural world. By delving into topics such as ecology, zoology, habitat, and conservation, the camp empowered campers to become future scientists and environmental stewards. The B.E.S.T. Science Camp stands as a testament to the power of interactive learning and its potential to shape the minds and hearts of the next generation.


They have been operating their Science Camps since 2015, incorporating a distinct theme each year. The camp is managed by members of the B.E.S.T. Booster organization and financed through donations from local businesses and individuals.  The majority of their staff comprises current and former students from BHS and SHS who actively participate in science programs at their respective schools. A significant portion of the staff has a history with the science camp, having attended as young campers years ago and now assuming leadership roles in organizing activities and conducting investigations.

They have asked us to include a special thank you to their sponsors who helped make this years camp possible:

Bellville Lion’s Club
Phenix Knives
Nelson Plant Food
The Bluebonnet Society of Austin County
Bellville ISD
Honeycutt Air Conditioning
Main Street Animal Hospital
Spirit T’s & Promotions
First National Bank of Bellville
Austin County State Bank
Bellville Meat Market
Austin County Wildlife Management Association
Jeff & Linda Spencer
P&S Building Supply
G.E. Huebner Concrete, Inc.
Kathleen Newell
Renee & TC Sadler
Billy & Diane Campbell


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