Summer camps have kicked off including the Stephenville Historical House Museum’s Camp Pioneer, which teaches kids about the Cowboy Capital of the World’s roots.

“This year’s theme is ‘Exploring the Wild West’ and we’re doing a lot with professional cowboys and cowgirls,” said museum board member Rita Thompson. “I think it’s important for the kids to carry on the tradition of their heritage and to learn what it was like a long time ago.”

The 36 campers enjoyed trick rider stories from local author Elaine Smith, games and crafts on Monday.

“I love working with kids and love getting to see the kids who were campers, now coming back to help,” Thompson said. “I grew up going to the Dublin rodeo, so it’s near and dear to my heart.”

Camp Pioneer also featured a black smith shop presentation from Dan Young; a rodeo activity with local rodeo legend JJ Hampton that will kick off Wednesday; and campfire cooking with the Cowboy Church of Erath County that will take place Thursday.

“This gives them a little hint of what the past was like — even the sweating — and a little exposure to the museum” said Robin Ritchie, who has been a part of the camp since its beginning eight years ago.

“Stephenville is the Cowboy Capital of the World so we’re just going back to our roots.”