Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children is opening up its 120-acre facility to the public for the first time.

The Crusaders Camp for children with special needs will be Aug. 12 and 13 at the retreat, while the Trailblazers Camp for children without special needs will be Aug. 14 and 15.

The nonprofit typically organizes its camps with various hospitals and medical organizations. But, after increasing interest from the public, it is hosting the camps for children, ages 6 to 12, at the retreat, which is along the Lampasas River near Youngsport, south of Killeen.

“Our mission has been to really cater to children with special needs,” said Ericka Mitchell, the nonprofit’s development director. “The community has showed great interest (in our retreat). We are delighted to offer it up to ... kids of all abilities.”

The adventure camp features outdoor and indoor activities to give children relief from the heat, including archery, a low ropes course, a 40-foot climbing wall, a zip line, an outdoor pool, an inflatable Slip-n-Slide, a foam bubble machine, a movie theater, an arcade, miniature golf and games.

Mitchell said campers need to bring their own lunch, swimsuit, sunscreen, hat and towel, but drinks and snacks will be provided.

The Crusader Camp is limited to 50 children, while the Trailblazer Camp can accommodate 100 children.

“We hope they enjoy being a kid, that’s what we feel summer is all about. (The camp) offers some fantastic activities that most kids don’t have the opportunity to explore, like archery,” Mitchell said. “(It gives them) the chance to be outside, helps them meet kids and make new friends, try new experiences and discover a part of who they are and what they can do.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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