The Philosophy & Methodology
Camp Aranzazu serves children, teens and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses. Our campers come from Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend area, the Rio Grande Valley, and all points in between.
Every group has a different challenge. We currently server campers with epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, Down Syndrome, autism, cancer, spina bifida, asthma, cerebral palsy, juvenile diabetes, kidney disease, head and spinal cord injuries, neurological differences, hearing and sight impairments, just to name a few.
Our barrier-free facility, highly trained staff, state-of-the-art health center, paved walkways, and specialized equipment make it possible for everyone to enjoy time at camp and to participate in all the typical camping activities.
Intentional Camping is our own unique program philosophy at Camp Aranzazu. We define the concept as: the purposeful design of a camping experience to nurture the physical, social, emotional, mental, and spiritual development of each child. We emphasize the following components:
•Spiritual Awareness: reflection time, worship and creative writing.
•Environmental Appreciation: butterfly observation, campfire, nature education, hiking, nature preservation, seining and birding (sight and/or sound).
•Team Building and Sports: fishing, karaoke, kayaking, archery, ropes/challenge course, scavenger hunts, swimming and water games.
•Arts: music, photography, arts and crafts, tile design, quilt squares, painting and drama.
•Social: cabin life, singing, storytelling and cooking classes and dances.
Children with special needs face many medical challenges daily, but often the hardest struggles are not the ones they face in the hospital. Their worlds consist of peers who see them as “different” and often exclude them. They are surrounded by adults who limit them out of fear and inadvertently protect them from beneficial and natural childhood challenges. In response, they learn to limit themselves to the expectations placed on them by others. Every activity during camp, large or small, is purposefully designed to accomplish this purpose:
• Environmental Appreciation: butterfly observation, campfire, nature education, hiking, nature preservation, wood burning, and birding (sight and/or sound).
• Team Building and Sports: fishing, karaoke, paddle boarding, kayaking, archery, ropes/challenge course, scavenger hunts, swimming and water games.
• Arts: music, digital photography, tile design and ceramics, painting, pottery, jewelry making, leather crafting and drama.
• Social: cabin life, singing, storytelling, cooking classes and dances.
• Spiritual Awareness: reflection time, worship and creative writing.