Camp Chaparral: A hidden gem

Management sophomore Greta Lazzarotto leaps for the bar during the ropes course. Photo by Zack Santagate

Management sophomore Greta Lazzarotto leaps for the bar during the ropes course. Photo by Zack Santagate

Substantial entertainment is a rarity in Wichita Falls, particularly for international students that come from festive, fun-filled milieus’. For those looking to amp up the adrenaline in their life, there is a silver lining. Nestled between Iowa Park and Wichita Falls on 130 acres of semi-wooded, breathtaking landscape lies Camp Chaparral.

“Our purpose is to serve God by serving people. We host camps for youth and children during the summer months and have exhilarating activities open year round to the public,” Nathan McDonald, director of activities, said while sipping his Red Bull. 

Sniffling in the cold, rustic atmosphere and surrounded by the towering challenge rope courses, McDonald elaborated on the potential the camp has due to its ideal location — only 15 minutes away — and its variety of services.

“We have huge potential for growth if we spread knowledge of our activities and continue to use our location to our advantage, it’s ideal because we are located in between two decent places,” McDonald said.

McDonald also stressed that although the camp is multi-purposed and can be arranged for almost any kind of event, he and his staff are trying to promote more successful turn outs in their dry season.

“We have very intricate and fascinating challenge rope courses, however our dry season is outside of the summer when we do not have official camp, so we are trying to promote those activities that are still available such as paintball and laser tag,” McDonald said. 

The camp has a strong religious background and is heavily influenced by God in all facets.

Charles Hill, executive director, elaborated on the camp’s reliance on religion.

“We believe nothing can be truly fulfilled without help from God, and God helps us serve our guests and provide a place for spiritual growth, healthy relationships and wholesome recreation,” Hill said. 

Rubbing his round, heavily clothed stomach, Hill said he believes Camp Chaparral can fulfill customers needs in all facets, including their appetite.

“Our dining facilities are constantly improving, we are soon able to provide a variety of different meals covering a number of different cultures. We are evolving camp Chaparral to consistently welcome all kinds of people,” Hill said.

Zach Tayntor, facilities and food assistant, agreed with Hill.

“Our food services are definitely on the rise and we will soon be able to serve people of all ages and needs with top quality food,” Tayntor said.

Tayntor, a lifelong Wichita Falls resident and Vernon College graduate, also expressed the staff’s efforts to increase their outreach to college students in particular.

“We are working hard during our dry season to reach out to a wider group of people, such as college students, who would truly enjoy what we have to offer,” Tayntor said.