Some notes from our Vista Family….
One of our sweet first year campers got up at Closing Campfire, 1st Term 2015, to read this short note. We think it is SPOT on and how so many of us felt when we joined the Vista Family.
Hi, my name is Cezzy. Most of you know that it’s my first year here at Sierra Vista. However you may or may not know that it’s my first time at a sleep away camp and my first time to be away from my home and family for more than three or four days. When I first came to camp I thought I would be homesick, but then I realized I’ve been homesick my whole life and I’m finally with my family.
Thought I’d share something incredibly sweet…
“B” has been dealing with some overwhelming–but very typical–middle school stress: high school on the horizon, friend issues, cheer tryouts, tons of homework, emotional and physical changes, etc.
Just to cheer her up, I said, “Hey, camp is just around the corner!” She lit up, gave me a HUGE smile I haven’t seen in a long time, and said, “I know! That REALLY keeps me going!” Later, I noticed that she had installed a countdown app on her phone with an end date for the start of her session.
See–camp is awesome even when you’re not there 🙂
Wow, what an exciting start to 3rd term. Seemed like you all had a full camp and everyone was so excited to be there. I know (son) was and I know his brother (son) is extremely excited to get there next week. Everyone was so welcoming and easy to work with. I always count deciding to send my boys to Vista Camps as one of my best decisions! Thanks for making it such a wonderful experience. Love, Camp Mom “Missy”
RIO VISTA HISTORY LESSON!!! We have a sweet testimony from Rio Vista Alum Secretary James A. Baker, III, whose career is unique in American history. He served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents. James A. Baker III was the sixty-first Secretary of State of the United States, serving from January 20, 1989 through August 23, 1992. He also served as White House Chief of Staff under President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, and was the United States Secretary of the Treasury from February 4, 1985 to August 17, 1988. ( I found that information here and here.) Here is what he had to say about his time here at Rio Vista…
“Some of the best summers of my life were spent amid the cool waters and knobby-kneed cypress trees of the Guadalupe River when I was a member of the Golden Arrow tribe at Camp Rio Vista. I attended Rio Vista when I was 11, 12 and 13, and I remember well how much fun each of those camp sessions were. From wake-up to bed-time, each day I was there fulfilled my fantasy of a perfect day. I frequently wrote home to my parents to tell them about my many activities, and especially to update them on the competition between the Golden Arrows and the Sioux. (Of course, in those days we had to write letters home in order to gain access to the Mess Hall!) From horseback riding to swimming to tennis, Rio Vista was exactly what this city boy from Houston needed.
As I reflect on my experiences at Rio Vista, I now realize that they provided me with more than simply a “fun summer” away from home and the Houston heat. One of those things was a special camaraderie with camp mates that I have carried with me ever since. I met boys from across the Southwest at Rio Vista. And girls, too, at nearby camps like Mystic and Waldemar. Throughout my life, I have maintained special friendships with many of them. As a result, being a Rio Vista alumnus still means something to me today.
Rio Vista also provided me with terrific instruction from counselors who gave sound advice on countless sports and activities and, importantly, lessons on becoming a man. I learned much there. Dr. Daniel Allen Penick, the camp’s tennis counselor, gave expert lessons for my serves, ground strokes and net play in ways that helped my game for the next 40 years. I received coaching for horseback riding that I continue to rely on today. And Rooster Andrews, the diminutive Texas Longhorn drop kicker and one of my counselors, provided me with an important lesson in life: Greatness can come in any size. The names of other counselors — counselors like Hondo Crouch, Malcolm Kutner, Ray Borneman and Roy Dale McKay — are etched into my memory.
In many ways, Rio Vista helped me grow up. So, what did I do when my four sons came along? I did the same thing that my father did when I was a child — I sent them to that special camp along the Guadalupe River. My wife Susan Garrett Baker did the same thing with her two sons, sending them to the camp that her father, Jack Garrett, had attended in the 1920s. Since then, five of our grandsons have attended and two others are poised to go there when they are of age. And if and when the time comes, I suspect that our great grandsons will, as well. Camp Rio Vista is very special to me and my family.”
— James A. Baker, III, attended Camp Rio Vista in 1941, 1942 and 1943.
“My daughter had the time of her life while attending camp!!! – Camp Parent”
“Our daughter now has a better meaning of responsibility, compassion, and confidence in herself. – Camp Mom”
“My kids had a ball! I so appreciate everything you all did to make it such a memorable session. -Shannon, Camp Mom”
“My son loved the activities, the counselors, the food, the positive spirit of the camp and the incredible amount of love and joy I see in everything each of you do. – Athena, Camp Mom”
“Really missing my Vista Family!!! Missing the kids, the counselors, and just the camp atmosphere! Can’t wait until next summer!! – Tim O’Reilly, Rio Vista Counselor”
“I am who I am today because of my summers at Camp Sierra Vista. – SV Alumni”