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Huddle Up for Camp Aranzazu: Funny Name, Great Cause

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Nick Hazen, Denise Hazen

Nick Hazen, his mom, Denise, and his friend, Cole, relaxing at Camp Aranzazu.

Denise Hazen has brought her 21-year-old son, Nick, who's on the autism spectrum, to Camp Aranzazu with his friends every summer since 2006. “They start talking about coming back to Camp Aranzazu (pronounced Ah ran' zah zoo) the minute we get on the bus to return home,” Denise said.

The year-round camp, which serves to enrich the lives of children and adults with chronic illnesses and special needs, is located near Rockport,  Texas. In 2002, Houstonians Holly and Tom Forney purchased 104 acres of land and decided they wanted to do something to serve. Camp Aranzazu was created to provide  unique camping, environmental education and retreat experiences.

Ayokunmi from Children's Hermann Memorial Hospital is hoping to catch a big fish.


Special camp accommodations that assist a variety of campers include paved walkways for wheelchair travel, specialized equipment to enable maximum participation in water sports and other physical activities, as well as a health center for campers requiring daily treatments and medications. 

Activities include fishing, archery, swimming, rock wall climbing, zip lining, ropes challenge course, arts & crafts, campfire, bird watching and learning about nature. Campers also enjoy sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding on the camp’s Copano Bay waterfront.


The camp serves over 50 different organizations, including greater Houston organizations: The Arc of Greater Houston, Aspire, Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory, Hope for Three, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Parish School, Texas Children’s Hospital, TIRR Memorial Hermann, The Tuttle School at Briarwood and YoungLives.  

The Aranzazu family looks forward to continuing to host Nick and his friends, plus many more campers, whom look forward to coming back to camp every year.

It's Paint War Color Time! Rene from The Parish School looks like she's having fun getting dirty.


Legendary coaches Mack Brown (University of Texas) and Gene Stallings (University of A& M/University of Oklahoma) will celebrate Camp Aranzazu, on Tuesday, April 24, 6 p.m. at The Post Oak Hotel. Both are advocates for kids with special needs. Stallings' son, John, was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect, and died in 2008. See more about the Huddle Up fundraiser here

Isabel, a camper from the Tuttle School at Briarwood, is aiming for the bullseye.


No matter which team you support, when it comes to enriching the lives of children and adults with chronic illnesses and special needs, we all end up winners.

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