Our Leadership


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 25 of their 40 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."                                                


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