We love to tell people about how amazing camp is and how special it is for campers to come back year after year. When I’ve asked the older campers “What makes Vista Camps so special?”, one answer I have gotten is that “Camp stays the same.. no matter what is going on at home with families, school, friends, etc., Camp is a constant in my life.”
There are so many uncertainties in the outside world. Moving to new schools/cities/states, changes in family dynamics, school drama, job transfers, politics…. the list goes on and on. We don’t know what life will bring us tomorrow, much less 6 months from now. One amazing thing about Vista Camps is that no matter what is going on in our crazy lives, camp stays the same. There will always be new activities and dance themes, new water toys and tribe comps… but the magic of camp is the same today as it was 50 years ago. You still get goose-bumps when you drive over the LWC, the Hawkins family still greets you on opening day, the Guadalupe River still awaits, and the special traditions of tribe, brotherhood, and an overwhelming sense of belonging still wraps you up in it’s arms. Camp is a constant in our lives. A safe place for us to rest and our home away from home.
I love looking through Grandpa Hawkins’ boxes of old Rio Vista pictures. Rio Vista started back in 1921, so the history is incredible. One thing that amazes me about the pictures from around camp is that it still looks pretty much – exactly the same! To think that a Rio Vista camper this summer will be sleeping in the same Fort cabin that a Rio Vista camper slept in over 50 years ago brings so much warmth to my heart. How cool is that?!? To think that so many of our traditions here at Vista were started back in the 20’s and 30’s is so special to us. Its one of the things that brings magic to this place. That and the AWESOME kids. 🙂
I ran across this old picture of the Vista Camps’ Office and just love that it still looks the same. A little more grass and a few more trees now, thanks to Mr. Johnnie Hawkins and his love for taking care of the camp grounds, but the same breezy porch on the river. Ahhhh… I just love this place!