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    July 17, 2019

    Camp Aranzazu a getaway haven for Brownson Home youths

    Original article available online at the Victoria Advocate.

    By Morgan O'Hanlon | mohanlon@vicad.com  Jul 13, 2019 Updated Jul 14, 2019

    ROCKPORT – On a hot and sticky late-June morning, a group of children fish in Copano Bay off a small pier.

    One girl, JoAnn, is having good luck. She pulls in several small fish in the course of an hour.

    Although JoAnn casts the fishing line beautifully – her father taught her when she was young – she said she doesn’t normally get the chance to explore the outdoors. She’s lived at The Brownson Home, a children’s home in Victoria, for three years.

    But, at Rockport’s Camp Aranzazu, it’s just another morning.

    Aranzazu is a Basque word meaning a spiritual place requiring a difficult path to reach. Legend has it that Spanish settlers used the word to name a nearby island when, after a long and delirious journey, they came upon an apparition of the Virgin Mary, whom they named our lady of Aranzazu.

    In Rockport, the legacy of perseverance continues at Camp Aranzazu.

    Since opening its doors in 2006, Camp Aranzazu has welcomed more than 23,000 campers and their support staff to its 135-acre, bay front property.

    The groups the camp welcomes have faced challenges in their life’s journey. Past groups have included epileptic children, young mothers and juvenile diabetics.

    In the case of The Brownson Home, campers are children whose families can no longer provide for them.

    Camp Director Amelia Haslam said the nonprofit’s mission is to provide a camp experience to people who wouldn’t otherwise get it.

    “Our hope is that people find healing, whatever that means to them,” Haslam said.

    Camp Aranzazu underwrites up to 70% of the cost of sending a child to camp, enabling small nonprofits such as The Brownson Home to attend.

    This year was The Brownson Home’s second attending the camp. They sent 20 people, eight staff and the home’s 12 children, to spend three days in June fishing, bird watching, sailing and completing a high ropes course.

    Risë Konarik, The Brownson Home’s administrator, said the camp experience is good for the children who live at the home because it provides them with more normal home experiences. Although the children are kept busy with extracurricular and academic activities, they don’t normally have the opportunity to get out of town and spend time outdoors.

    Konarik said most of the children who live at the home have never even packed their bags to go on a trip.

    Not only that, but Konarik said the camp allows for a bonding experience the home’s kids wouldn’t normally get.

    In each of The Brownson Home’s two houses live a husband and wife “parent” team who are normally busy driving between activities and tending to the children’s needs. At camp, they’re able to kick back and enjoy quality time with the kids.

    “I could send the kids all over the place, but what’s great about this is the house parents can go with them,” Konarik said. “Camp Aranzazu allows them to actually enjoy the camp with the kids.”

    Konarik said some of the most special experiences she’s had with her own kids have been while they were on vacation. She’s happy the camp provides the kids similar memories.

    “I’ve never had so many hugs and thanks yous for sending me to camp,” Konarik said.

     

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    Hill Country San Antonio Management

    Leadership Aransas County

    Livestock Booster Club of Aransas County

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    Financials

    Camp Aranzazu is extremely grateful for all the support given to our organization and is committed to cultivating trust with our campers, partners, sponsors, donors, board, and volunteers. 

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    We are committed to fulfilling our mission and maintaining the trust of our friends, donors, partners, campers, and families. 

    Camp Aranzazu is proud to have a four star rating from Charity Navigator, which evaluates the financial health, accountability & transparency of non-profit organizations. Four stars is their highest rating.  

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    Host Committee

    Dee Dee & Steve Robinson, Chairs 

    Jennifer & Fields Alexander

    Elizabeth & Daryl Allen

    Kim & John Bonner

    Dee & Jeff Boswell

    James Brolan

    Stephanie & Ernie D. Cockrell

    Ned Crady

    Don Fernbach

    Tom Fish

    Katherine & Bobby Hatcher

    Bill Hightower

    Leigh & Jack Kins

    Tracie & Terrell Palmer

    Katherine & Brian Parsley

    Al Pratka

    Tim Reilly

    Steve Rothbauer

    Ward Sheffield

    Culver Stedman

    Patia Strickland

    Reagan Swinbank

    Prissy & John Watson

    Julie Williams

    Host Committee

    Shannon and Jon Turner, Co-Chair

    Blake and Perry Finger, Co-Chair

    Heather & Harry Affleck

    Betsy & Wally Baker 

    Sage & Rowe Blount

    Mills & Tres Buchek

    Sarah & Will Caruth

    Mary & Hunter Conger

    Liz & Chris Dewar

    Caroleene & Bobby Dobson

    Jolie & Meade Flavin

    Tifini Furst & Paul Golibart

    Katherine & Matt Gainey

    Shannon Gunn & Chris Hosner

    Allegra & Hunter Hawkins

    Trish & Clint Hennessey

    Gretchen & David Herrmann

    Brendan Herrmann

    Sally & Roger Hill III

    Camille & Clark Mandigo

    Nicole & Rob McClane

    Muffin Moorman 

    Kristan & Tom Northington

    Courtney & Chip Percy

    Katherine & John Smelko

    Chaney & Tripp Stuart 

    Jeanne & Kelvin Tatum

    Ashley & Rad Weaver

    Jodi & Michael Wood

    Christen & George Wommack

    Zazu Host Committee

    Traci McLester Arellano

    Darrell Atkins

    Frank Bay

    Robin and Jeff Floyd

    Cindy and Larry Forney

    Holly and Tom Forney

    Melissa and Charles Hall

    Gloria Hicks

    Chip Jenkins

    Robert Kelley

    Scott Meares

    Chris and David Nesloney

    Bob Shockney

    Britni and William Key

    Bob Shockney

    Ashley Rhodes Smith

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    American Diabetes Association - Coastal Bend

    American Diabetes Association Family Retreat - Dallas

    The Arc of Greater Houston - Houston

    Aspire - Houston

    Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse - Houston

    Brownson Home - Victoria

    Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital - Houston

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    Volunteer

    We welcome your help, whether it's once a week or once a year. Below is a list of volunteer opportunities that are typically available. If you are interested in volunteering, please download the volunteer application and return to Bianca Hernandez at bhernandez@camparanzazu.org. Thank you for your interest!


    Special Events Support

    Camp Aranzazu holds several fundraising events throughout the year in Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Rockport. Volunteers are always needed!

    Maintenance of Facilities and Grounds

    With 104 acres, we can always use help more maintaining our beautiful camp.

    Front Office Support

    In the summer, we need help answering the phones, greeting guests, and keeping the office organized and running smoothly.

    Camp Care Days

    Join us for a day of volunteering, good food, and even better company at one of our volunteer work days this fall! 

    • August 24, 2019
    • September 21, 2019

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    Partner Camp Volunteer Opportunities

    Are you looking for ways to work directly with the children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses that we serve? Check out our camping partners who are looking for volunteers for the coming camping season! 

    Camp Aspire

    Aspire Accessories

    Contact

    Denise Hazen
    (713) 461-7200
    hazendenise@yahoo.com
    https://aspireaccessories.com/

    Camp ROCK'N

    Driscoll Children's Hospital

    Contact

    Yesenia Neil
    Yesenia.Neil@dchstx.org
    http://www.driscollchildrens.org/

    Camp TLC & Camp Little Golden Warriors

    Driscoll Children's Hospital

    Contact

    Shannon B. Broughton
    Shannon.Broughton@dchstx.org
    http://www.driscollchildrens.org/

    MDA Camp

    Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Contact

    Angela Moss
    2106503181
    amoss@mdausa.org
    www.tinyurl.com/VOLMDA

    Activity Leader Summer 2019 Job Opportunity​​

    Every year, Camp Aranzazu hires roughly 20 college aged individuals with varying skill sets to work as Activity Leaders from mid-May to mid-August. Activity Leaders have the fun and impactful job of enriching the lives of our campers with special needs through unique camping, environmental studies and retreat experiences.

    Activity Leaders facilitate a variety of activities including, but not limited to arts and crafts, archery, high and low challenge courses, sports and games, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, sailing, swimming, nature sessions and more!

    Benefits of this paid position include room and board and the potential to satisfy fieldwork and internship requirements in various fields of study. The buttons below include the additional documentation you will need to apply for the Activity Leader position. Email your completed application, resume and two unique and completed reference forms to our Camp Director, Amelia Haslam, and prepare for the summer camp experience of a lifetime!

    If you have any questions, contact our Camp Director, Amelia Haslam, at ahaslam@camparanzazu.org.

    Job Description Application Reference Form


    Part-Time Receptionist

    Are you looking for a part-time job opportunity that allows you to be surrounded by nature in a supportive work environment? Camp Aranzazu currently has an opening for a part-time receptionist position on our staff. This opportunity will allow you to support our mission of enriching the lives of children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses. To learn more about the position, click the job description below. 

    The Receptionist is responsible for overseeing functions related to the front office. The Receptionist also assists with special projects and provides some administrative support for all staff. If you are interested in the position and have any questions, please contact Lillian Anfosso, our Finance and Administative Director at lanfosso@camparanzazu.org. 

    Job Description


    Sailing Supervisor

    Imagine a position that allows you to work with campers each day and have a beautiful view of Copano Bay along the Texas Gulf Coast.

    Camp Aranzazu seeks someone with strong sailing experience to supervise our summer sailing program from mid-May through August 2019. The Sailing Supervisor will ensure that Camp Aranzazu provides a safe environment for children with special medical, physical, emotional, social or financial needs to experience sailing. Camp sessions include day camp sessions, as well as residential sessions that last from one to six nights. If you have any questions, contact our Camp Director, Amelia Haslam, at ahaslam@camparanzazu.org.

    Make sure to check out the job description below. To apply, email your resume to Amelia Haslam. 


    Job Description


    Summer Art Instructor

    Do you have a passion for providing fine arts education and working with a committed staff of people dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with special needs and chronic illnesses?

    Camp Aranzazu seeks someone with art teaching experience to supervise our summer fine arts program from mid-May through mid-August 2019. The Art Instructor will ensure that Camp Aranzazu provides an intentional, expressive, and safe environment for children with special medical, physical, emotional, and/or social needs to create and experience fine arts. Camp session include day camp sessions, as well as residential sessions that last from one to six nights. If you have any questions, contact our Camp Director, Amelia Haslam, at ahaslam@camparanzazu.org.

    Make sure to check out the job description below. To apply, email your resume to Amelia Haslam. 

    Job Description