Lantern Review of Vista Camps

For those who’ve spent any time in Texas, you’ll relate to the upbeat, pioneering spirit that is worn on the warm, friendly smiles and “y’alls” which greet you. Deep in the picturesque Texas Hill Country at one of Texas’ oldest camps, that spirit seems genuinely amplified. Vista Camps is a standout brother-sister camp, meaning that boys and girls have separate facilities and programs on a shared campus. Nonetheless, Rio Vista for Boys and Sierra Vista for Girls share a single philosophy; to teach skills and values, foster friendships, create memories, and change lives. Once a week coed events promote an even larger sense of community among the campers that are both fun and spirited.

The leadership of Vista is now in its third generation, run by the Hawkins family who have been instrumental in the growth of camping in this neck of the woods. The southern hospitality is on full display as campers arrive and are wrapped into the active daily program. It’s a structured day, though the activities that are offered may vary from day-to-day, helping encourage campers to try new things. Meanwhile, opportunities for a camper to dive deeper into his or her favorites are important in programming.

There’s a rugged beauty to the hills and valleys of the Texas Hill Country that is softened by the ancient cypress and meandering, clear Guadalupe River. Vista’s open air cabins and facilities are classic old Texas made from native stone and cypress timbers, many built in the 1930s. They add a unique charm to the camp that reveals its long history.

Friendships and community are the cornerstone at Rio Vista and Sierra Vista, primarily cultivated in the cabin groups and through their “Tribe” system. Within the larger camp family, individuals are recognized for demonstrating character in the cabin and achievement in activities. The spiritual overtones are readily apparent at Vista, but it isn't heavy-handed. Instead, it reflects many of the values that Vista hopes to promote, those of acceptance, openness and responsibility.

Fast Facts

  • Girls Only
  • Boys Only
  • Brother/Sister
  • 255 Campers per Session
  • 2-week, 4-week
  • Founded in 1921
  • $$

Director's Message

Since 1921 we have been providing a safe, wholesome, fun filled learning experience for every boy and girl who come through our gates. Our program, traditions, and facilities have stood the test of time and continue to do so with each passing summer. Now more than ever, camp plays a pivotal role in the lives of kids. It is a place to learn morals, values, independence and self confidence. Each of these is vital for kids to succeed in today's world.

Program Highlights

  • 40 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Waterfront
  • Academic
  • Rural

Top 5 Activities

  • Swimming
  • Water Ski
  • Archery
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Ropes Course

Travel Information

Buses running from Houston, TX San Antonio, TX airport pick up Kerrville, TX is the closest regional airport and San Antonio, TX is the closest international airport


Vista Camps

(830) 367-5353

Justin Hawkins