Carson has been part of our camp family since 2015 and helped us through Hurricane Harvey cleanup in 2017. Carson joined Camp Aranzazu’s full-time staff in March 2020 as our Facilities Supervisor. As facilities supervisor, Carson is charged with coordinating the maintenance and repair of the camp’s grounds, pools and equipment in cooperation with our facility manager, Mandy. Carson has been a tremendous addition to our team, and I wanted to share a bit about his experience at Camp Aranzazu.
You’ve been through one whole year at camp and you’re currently preparing for our summer camping session. What has been the busiest time for the facilities team?
The busiest time of the year for me would be the spring. It’s a time of the year when we are getting prepared for our summer camps, and the grass begins to grow particularly fast. At this time of the year, our live oaks begin to lose their leaves as well and drop their pollen. This makes for a mess in our pools if we aren’t constantly blowing the leaves off our paths and pool decks.
Out of all your responsibilities at Camp Aranzazu, what is the most time-consuming?
The most time consuming task for me at camp would be the mowing. Camp Aranzazu has 104 acres with more than two-thirds of it being maintained grounds which makes for many hours of mowing. By the time I’m done mowing one end of the camp, it’s usually time to start mowing again at the other end. It takes me around four hours a day during the spring and summer months to mow, edge and leaf blow around camp to keep the grounds maintained.
What new project are you most excited for in 2021?
Our shade structures! We are working to install new shade structures around our challenge course areas before our summer campers arrive at Camp Aranzazu. Adding these structures will provide much needed shade for our campers while they are enjoying our challenge course activities. The addition of the colorful structures will also make these areas more appealing. Be on the lookout for pictures on camp’s Facebook and Instagram pages when this project is complete!
What’s the most out-of-the-box repair you’ve had to do at camp over the past year?
The most out-of-the-box task I have had to address here at camp was needing prepare for the winter storm this past February. When we learned of the coming freeze, I quickly needed to insulate all of the camp’s exterior plumbing to prevent any damage to our water lines, faucets and on-demand hot water heaters and work with Mandy and the rest of our team to ensure our facilities could manage the freezing weather. I’m excited to say that camp only had one small leak that required repair following the storm.
The facilities team has developed both a hurricane and winter storm plan of action that we would implement in the case of a natural disaster. We divide these tasks and procedures among all of the staff in order to have everything in place and prepared for a natural disaster.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen at Camp Aranzazu?
The biggest change I have seen at Camp Aranzazu is how much it has grown. When I first began working part-time at camp in 2015, Camp Aranzazu was much smaller and has now developed into a far more impressive camp and facility to provide an even greater experience for our campers.
If money were no object, what one project would the facilities team love to see happen at Camp Aranzazu?
If the facilities team could have any one project funded at Camp Aranzazu, we would love to see a large storage building installed on-site. There are many times where we need to move items around camp or temporarily store them for a short period of time and right now, it’s tough to find space that provides protection from the outdoor elements. We’d also be able to organize and store our seasonal equipment.
What’s your favorite part about being Camp Aranzazu’s facility supervisor?
My favorite part is the ability to see how much everyone enjoys their time here at camp, and knowing that I play a big role in ensuring Camp Aranzazu is always well-maintained and looking its best.
Make sure you are following us on social media to see updates on our facilities projects throughout the year!