Camp Aranzazu
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Camp Aranzazu

5 Minutes with our Facilities Director, Mandy Hood

Mandy poses in the middle of four other staff members and smiles. The group stands in the middle of tables under the plaza at the Greater Houston Sports Club
From left: Bianca, Mandy, Carleigh, Amanda, Amelia

Why did you choose Camp Aranzazu?

Originally, I chose Camp Aranzazu to find a job that aligned well with my previous experiences in private estate management. The facilities director position seemed like a great fit for my skill set and interests. I love working outdoors. Being able to work in such a beautiful camp setting made the position a perfect match for me! But, my answer to this question has already changed. Now that I’ve come to understand our mission and the magic that happens at Camp Aranzazu, it became rewarding to care for a facility that is so special to so many people throughout the state.

Explain your job in 5 words or less

If I only had five words to explain my role as the facilities director, I’d choose: rewarding, challenging, problem-solving, being creative, and multi-tasking. As a barrier-free facility on the Texas Gulf Coast, there are always plenty of opportunities to find creative solutions to problems!

Aerial view of Camp Aranzazu with the bayfront on the horizon

What has surprised you about working at Camp Aranzazu?

The amazing team at Camp Aranzazu has surprised me the most. The things that are accomplished with such a small team is a testament to everyone’s dedication to camp’s mission. The camp staff and board members feel like family. The empathy and understanding we have for each other makes me excited to come to work each day. I feel like we’re in this together.

What’s the best part about working at Camp Aranzazu?

The best part of working at Camp Aranzazu, besides our small but mighty team, is watching our campers have the time of their lives. Being able to see their smiles at Camp makes all the sweat and hard work worth it. I love being outdoors and active, so being part of a team that maintains the grounds and facilities so that all people are able to participate in outdoor activities is the best part.

Camp Director, Amelia, prepares a small camper for rock climbing and the zipline
Two campers climb up the rock wall while they are strapped into the harness
Camper and guardian sit on sidewalk with backs to the camera while they fish in the fishing pond and wait for a fish to take their bait
Ticia’s Lil Wranglers

Tell me about your favorite memory at Camp Aranzazu.

My favorite memory is from this year’s Ticia’s Lil Wranglers. I was more involved with this particular camping session and tasked with taking photos for the day. It was amazing to watch all the campers try new things and capture their expressions. I watched a 5-year-old tackle the Screamer with NO fear. I watched two returning campers fly down the zipline together. I was able to hear the happiness from all the campers cheering on their friends and take photos of campers who caught their first fish and gave it a kiss. I was able to photograph parents spending the day with their children and witness the love and joy they shared for their family. It was so fun to see Camp Aranzazu in action and come alive!

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Camp Aranzazu

Camp Aranzazu

Regardless of any physical or developmental limitations, everyone can fully participate in and enjoy all the typical camping activities at Camp Aranzazu.