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Group shot of activity leaders in front of the donor wall at Camp Aranzazu Camper climbs up rockwall at camp Camper sits criss cross and smiles during a messy game at Camp Aranzazu Campers smile and laugh as they tell stories at a campfire on the bayfront Camping Partner: EFCST; Photo by: Jennise Burgos Photography Camping Partner: EFCST; Photo by: Jennise Burgos Photography

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    October 05, 2021

    What a Summer at Camp Aranzazu Taught Me

    Written by: Anna Crump, Camp Aranzazu Activity Leader

    This summer taught me more than I could ever imagine. But I’ll try to put it into words the best I can.

    Hard Work

    The first thing I learned is how to work hard. I thought I knew what it meant to work hard, but boy I was wrong. Working hard has a little bit of a different definition now. Our campers deserve the best experience that we can give them, and our staff will do whatever it takes make it possible. So if it means getting up at 6:30 or 7 in the morning to set up on activity or go set out jugs then we will do it. Watching our campers have fun in our activities is worth sweating more than we ever have. Our campers’ joy makes you forget how hot it is outside or how much you are sweating. Working hard means more than just working for ourselves and our selfish reasons. It means working hard for our campers so they can get the week or weekend at camp that they deserve. And I guarantee you that all of our activity leaders will tell you the same thing and do it all over again.

    Patience

    The next thing I learned is patience. Patience for when we go into rainy day plan for the 3rd day in a row. Or patience for when the campers fly through all of the planned activities or games, and have to come up with something on the fly. Patience for when campers aren’t really into the lesson plan made, and you need to adapt and figure out what you can do to get them involved and enjoying the activity. Patience for when you never really enjoyed being splashed or squirted with a water gun until this summer. Hearing the little giggles and the plans on how to attack you with the water guns makes you start to enjoy getting squirted with a water gun — even if it is in the face.

    Gratitude

    I think the most important thing I learned is how to be grateful for the things we are given. I learned to be grateful for my health, and my families health. I learned to be grateful for getting the opportunity to sweat until our clothes are soaked so our campers can have the best summer camp experience ever. I learned to be grateful for the early mornings and the late nights. And how to be grateful for the loud squealing and screams in the dining hall and art center, because you know that means our campers are having a blast. Our campers deserve the world, and we will try our best to give them that.

    The learning never stops at camp. You are always learning new skills and learning new things. Our campers will teach you something new everyday, whether that be something like a random fun fact, or how to be thankful for what you have. They might not even have to say anything. They might teach you new things just by being them. The learning never stops; the new skills learned will be taken back home and used in ways our campers might not even realize.

    And that is the beauty of camp. Helping our campers gain confidence they didn’t know they had and for that I am extremely grateful.

     

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    In Other News

    Headshot of Kurt Podeszwa smiling in black suit

    Monday, September 27, 2021

    Camp Aranzazu’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Kurt Podeszwa as the Camp’s third president effective September 27, 2021.

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    Cabin of girl campers and activity leaders smile and gather around their cardboard boat before a boat race.

Camping Partner: EFCST; Photo by: Jennise Burgos Photography

    Monday, August 02, 2021

    The last year has not only reaffirmed the need for the unique form of therapy we provide at Camp Aranzazu, but also highlighted our team's ability to adapt and continue to find ways to serve special populations in Texas.

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    2019 07 10 PPRJ Camp Aranzazu with Camp MDA Master JPG 80

    Wednesday, July 21, 2021

    As you might know, an Activity Leader’s job is to enrich the lives of campers with special needs through unique camping, environmental studies, retreat experiences and other programs. But how is it that these young people come to find Camp Aranzazu and choose to spend an entire HOT summer working with special populations?

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    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.

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    Summer Art Instructor

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