Our Leadership

Our Leadership

Founders

Our LeadershipRand & Colleen Southard

Rand Southard is the President of Charis Hills.  As a 10 and 12 year old, Rand attended a camp for children with physical disabilities. The die was cast.  Through the next 40 plus years Rand has worked at and operated camps for children with muscular dystrophy, physical disabilities, deafness, blindness, diabetes, emotional disturbance and learning differences.

Rand's education is in the field of Education holding a BS in Elementary Education from UT-Austin and a M.Ed in Education Administration from Texas State University. He has taught in special education in the public schools and at the Texas School for the Deaf and served at executive director levels in foster care and residential treatment.  He has been married to Colleen for 40 years, has two daughters, and five grandchildren.

Important information to know about Rand:

"Charis Hills was established to provide an opportunity for a group of children, who’s needs were not being met at other camps, to have a place of their own. We have intended from the beginning to bring the word of God to life in a way that they can understand, to provide these young people with successful experiences that will increase their self confidence, to give them opportunities to improve in social skills, and to understand that God has blessed each of us with certain gifts, but gave none of us all gifts. Our job in this life, is to use what He gave us for His glory. Life should not be about what we can do, but what He can do through us. We are required to use what we have and to multiply our skills, to be satisfied with what we have and not discontent with what we don’t have.

I have spent the better part of my life trying to learn these lessons myself. It is my great pleasure to help in an endeavor which is so meaningful to those who can participate."


Colleen Southard is married to Rand and has spent the last 27 of their 42 years of marriage working with him in camping. Colleen enjoys getting to know the campers and their families. She loves talking about camp and answering their questions.  Colleen grew up in Cow Town (Fort Worth) where she received a BS in Education from TCU.  She is also a Speech & Language Pathologist and has a Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from TWU.

Important information to know about Colleen:

"I love the Lord and am amazed at the things the He teaches me; especially through children.   It is great to be outdoors and see how He reveals Himself in His creation.

 I love getting to know the campers and their families.  I especially enjoy making things together with them in Arts & Crafts, eating with them in the Dining Hall and singing around the campfire ANYTIME.   Water sports are just plain FUN!  I enjoy anything having to do with language and books.  I like teaching Sign Language at camp.  Campers enjoy learning the visual language and it enhances Language Arts skills.  I look forward to meeting you at Charis Hills."                                           

Liz Austin

Camp Registrar

Our Leadership

Liz is often the first point of contact with parents at camp!   She is gifted in so many areas that she wears many hats at camp!   Liz helps in enrolling campers as well as in marketing Charis Hills and works to keep us organized.   If you have questions about the registration process or how you might help us spread the word about camp, she’s here to help you.

Liz,  and her husband Phil,  grew up in San Antonio but have lived in north Texas for many years raising her family.  She has 5 grown children whom she homeschooled and 10 grandchildren.  Liz loves The Lord, her family and Charis Hills campers.  When she isn’t at camp or doing family things, she is very involved in her church as well as painting, sewing and crafting!

 

Molly Southard 

Assistant Program Director

Our Leadership

Molly’s focus is the therapeutic riding program and all things animal and camper program related!  She spends time throughout the year keeping our horses ready for the campers to ride.  Molly is responsible for fund raising for the therapeutic riding and other aspects of Charis Hills.  

Molly grew up in camping and attended camp every summer before becoming a camp counselor at several camps while in college.  She graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation Administration. She is the busy mother of 3 boys.

"I love seeing how our campers are impacted by God's creation at camp.   Campers develop a special relationship
with our horses.  It is great to see these
parternships develop." 

 


Cara Krueger

Assistant Program Director

Our LeadershipCara was born and raised in Cuero, TX and has been going to camp since she was 9 years old. The summer of 2012 was her first summer to work at Charis Hills. It was after that first summer, Cara knew she wanted to work in camp full time. She worked for three more summers at Charis Hills and then graduated from Texas A&M University in 2014 with a degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Sciences. In April of 2016, Cara joined the staff of Charis Hills. Her favorite thing about camp is training the counselors, and then seeing their lives impacted like hers was through the campers.

Important information to know about Cara:

“I am constantly amazed and continually thankful that the Lord has brought me to Charis Hills and am honored to get to work with these campers and counselors every single summer, one of my favorite things about camp is seeing the lifelong friendships that come from being at camp together.
My favorite activities at camp to participate in and lead are Archery and Camping.  It’s just really fun to see campers hit the bullseye or learn to build a fire! One of my favorite things about Charis Hills is seeing the lifelong friendships that come as a result of being at camp together.”

 



ACA Accredited
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