Camp Rio Vista was built on rich traditions handed down from generation to generation. Many of the evening programs, activities, and honors are just as they were in 1921.
When campers look back on their days at Rio Vista, they remember the friends that made camp home. Camp is hours spent laughing, running, swimming, and riding the banks of the Guadalupe with your closest friends.
When you enter the gates at Vista you are family. You are unconditionally loved for the person you are.
Camp gives you the confidence to be unapologetically yourself. It teaches you the skills needed to be independent in a safe environment.
Camp and animals go hand in hand. We always have plenty of four-legged friends from dogs, to horses to sheep. Camp is home to all types of creatures.
The best thing to do on a warm summer day at Rio Vista is to spend time on the Guadalupe.
Horseback riding has always been a rich tradition at Rio Vista. It began with a heard of Palaminos and old army issued saddles. The men of Rio Vista would trail ride into Mexico.
We think we have the best staff in the World! Most of our staff grew up coming to Rio Vista as campers and can’t imagine not giving the same experience to the next generation of campers.
When you are that camper in your division that is loved by all of your fellow cabin mates and you live and breathe camp spirit, it’s safe to say your cabin mates might vote for you to be one of the white arrows.
After the first jump off the platform, you’re hooked. There’s no better feeling than launching into the Guadalupe!
Taught by trained instructors, Rio Vista boys are taught various shooting sports including archery.
The thrill of shooting the clay pigeon for the first time is a special camp memory!
Whether on the climbing tower overlooking camp or down at the ROPES course along the river, climbing is one of the most popular activities at camp.
Becoming a Flaming Arrow is one of the highest achievements a young man can make here at Rio Vista. Flaming Arrows are young men who seek to be of service to others. A young man is chosen by possessing impeccable character.
Honors and Awards at camp are just as they were generations ago.
Christian values and principles are taught each Sunday through camp leadership. We encourage our campers to take an active role in guiding the lesson. Lessons are morals-and-values based and seek to include every camper.
Vespers are a time of reflection around an evening campfire. Vespers are lead by different leadership groups on camp. They typically include plenty of songs and an overall lesson.
Taking your favorite activities with your favorite friend!
Grab a friend and hang on tight..you’re in for a crazy fun ride.
Either five-on-five, one-on-one, or a good game of knockout or horse…Basketball is always a favorite here at camp.
Whether you’re turning six or sixteen, celebrating your birthday at camp is a terrific way to spend it. You won’t want to miss the songs, cake, and the good ole Vista Camps birthday traditions.
Some people call it dodgeball but here at camp it is so much more. This is our first night activity of the term and the first time the newest tribe members get to compete with their tribe in a tribal competition.
The bonds you will make with your fellow campers and counselors will last a lifetime. And who knows? One of them could be your Best Man at your wedding someday. It happens more often than you would think.
Write a letter to your family at home or your friend in the cabin a few doors down. Penpals are always fun.
Be like Tarzan and brave this rope swing. Every summer kids step up to the platform, swing over the river and, splash down into the cool Guadalupe River.
Your cabin is like your family, when you are here at camp. And some of the best memories and strongest bonds you can forge are during the many activities your cabin can do during cabin nights.
Camp is for a Lifetime
During your time at camp, you will always be a part of the tribe you drew during your first time at camp. And as campers grow older, they turn into CITs, then counselors, and then soon enough, they will start their own families and send their kids to camp. For those who truly embrace camp, their connection to it and those they met will last a lifetime and for many generations to come.
The timeless journey of paddling to the rapids.
There’s nothing quite like dunking your favorite counselor and eating cotton candy all night!
Our oldest group of campers sure do know how to have fun! They lead the camp with their experience and character.
Cabin vs Cabin, Friend vs Friend challenge night heats up the competition. Whether it’s wrestling, soccer, basketball, airsoft, or capture the flag every cabin is ready to win!
On Sundays, this is how we roll!
Gathering for the last time to sing with my brothers.
Getting ready, putting in the work to have this moment!
One of the best evening activities at Rio Vista is Counselor Hunt. Find as many counselors as you can to earn points for your tribe.
White arrow winners of their division. These young men are revered by their peers as role models throughout camp.
One of the biggest highlights of the term is the camp dance with Mystic and Sierra Vista.
Built during the late 1920s, the dining hall is one of the oldest structures remaining on campgrounds.
Fencing on the Rio Vista Pavillion and harnessing your inner Princess Bride!
A lazy afternoon of the Guadalupe with your cane pole and high hopes! Maybe you’ll catch a big catfish or maybe a bass. One thing is for certain the Guadalupe is filled with memories.
The flagpole today stands in the center of camp right next to the dining hall. Don’t forget your skit.
Five Year Blankets
It’s always an honor to receive your five-year blanket!
Football is a Rio Vista Classic! Throughout the decades Rio Vista has had many great coaches and players.
Built for the summer of 1941, the Fort was built with the young camper in mind. Today it’s the life of the party at camp!
Sundays are for fried chicken and rolls!
Our second oldest division of camper! These kids know the program and eagerly await their Cavalier years.
During the downtimes, friendly games and competitions are everywhere.
The Color Run
Sprint along the water’s edge through a colorful rainbow of fun!
Never say die!
Get out your wedges and let’s play chip and putt. The Vista 9 is the perfect place to practice.
Impress Mom and Dad with a little “Country Roads”!
The view is worth the climb. It’s like sitting on top of the world!
Each year an honor camper is chosen by the staff. This young man is chosen by his character and leadership abilities. His name a picture like so many before him are memorialized inside of our dining hall.
The ultimate game of capture the flag!
Celebrating the 4th Vista-style means a barbeque, talent show, and fireworks.
Just for Fun
Quite possibly the best class at Vista. Boys just wanna have fun!
Grab a paddle and a life jacket, it’s time to brave the Guadalupe River in your kayak, and let’s take a trip to the rapids upstream.
Becoming a man who is confident enough to lead his peers and ready to conquer whatever life throws at him.
No matter how old you get the memories and friends you make at camp will be forever.
Giant turkey legs, arm wrestling and, sweating it out. What could be more manly?
The view from the Rio Vista sign on the mountainside of Rio Vista.
Rio Vista has a history of music going back through the decades. Whether it be music from the dance, or superthon, chants and cheers from sing-yell or the songs we sing in the dining hall, a tune can always be heard somewhere here at camp.
In a day and age where technology seems to rule our lives, it’s nice to take a step back away from our phones and experience nature and true human connection during your time here at camp. If you can’t bear to not talk to your friend for a couple of weeks, bring them with you and let them join in on the fun.
Awesome Nursing Staff
If you have meds or a scraped knee, our two nurses on staff at all times are here to help with anything you might need.
Whether your swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, blobbing, or taking a trip to the rapids or the lake, being on the Guadalupe River always offers something exciting for everyone to enjoy.
The Low Water Crossing (LWC)
100 years of campers have come across this same crossing!
The magic of your first opening campfire. This is where a legacy begins.
Opening Day Hugs
The hardest part about camp is leaving and one of the best parts is coming back to a place with some news face but also a lot of familiar ones you haven’t seen for an entire year. Now you are back and it’s time to welcome each other back home with a brotherly embrace.
The evening starts with a delicious cookout followed by a dip in the river. Then string up your hammocks, or sleep in your sleeping bag and fix your eyes amongst the endless array of stars. If you look hard enough, you may see a constellation, a planet or even a shooting star!
Conquer your fears and rappel down our climbing tower, just like they do in boot camp. We promise you…it’s a lot of fun!
Grab a book, maybe a hammock, or a towel, and read under the sun, feel the wind as it breezes past the pages of your book, and let the sounds of the river relax you. It’s an experience like no other.
This is your time to rest and relax! Sleep, play Koala, magic, or other card games with your cabin mates, read or simply just talk and get to know the people around you a little better.
Shooter, ready! Aim! FIRE! Test your skill at shooting 22’s and see how many bullseyes you can get…or see if you can break the camp riflery score record!
Getting older has its perks! You’ve now upgraded to the cabins with a great view of the Guadalupe River on your back porch.
You’ve heard of the Navy Seals, right? Well, welcome to Rio Vista’s version, where we train like soldiers and go on covert missions across the campgrounds. The training may be tough but the rewards and memories, in the end, are 100% worth it!
Chanting and screaming for your favorite tribe. This is the night we find out who will lead.
Hours of entertainment… guaranteed to be funny!
Sioux! Sioux! War Canoe!
Sundays are meant for cinnamon rolls, chapel, and softball.
These boys really know how to belt it!
Ready for a snack when you wake up from rest period? Power through the afternoon with ice cream.
Well, it’s not always synchronized but it’s always fun!
Being in the Hill Country away from all the major cities has many perks…one being the amazing view of the night sky you can see here almost every night. This is why overnight camping/hammocking is so popular amongst our campers…because the view is one like no other.
Using every member of your tribe, Superthon is the accumulation of hard work and drive. Ringing the bell in victory is what every camper dreams of.
Wherever you look, there will always be somewhere there to support you…whether it be a counselor, a director, or even a fellow camper. Help will always be given at Vista Camps to those who ask for it.
Spirit of Camp
Oh, Great Spirit! Tell us the history of the tribes, the importance of giving your all to your tribe, and guiding us through the term so we can have the best summer yet!
Whether it’s GagaBall, Vista Ball, Flickerball, Musical Chairs, or one of the many tribe comp events, this is your opportunity to help your tribe win points to potentially win the term.
Your first token you get when you join your tribe. Wear it proudly wherever you go to let everyone know you are a Golden Arrow or a Sioux.
The hike up the hill may be tiring but the view is amazing. Plus, this is your time to meet in your tribe’s sacred meeting spot to learn the songs and traditions of your forever camp family.
It’s your very first night at camp, you’ll get to reach your hand and draw your tribe that you will be in for life. The log knows where you belong..so it’s time to draw and meet your new family.
Every member of your tribe is essential and becoming a leader in your tribe is a huge honor at camp.
You cleared and cleaned the director’s table after lunch. You helped a Fort kid find his activity. You went above and beyond what was expected of you and now your counselor has rewarded you Vista Bucks. The camp’s cash system that when you save up enough of them can earn you some real sweat and amazing prizes.
Whether it’s in the gym, in the sand or you’re playing an altered version of the game called Nuke Em’, volleyball is always a fun and competitive game here at camp.
This is it! The final moment your tribe has been training for. This could make or break it for your tribe winning term. Canoes, at your mark. Get set! ROW! Stroke up, stroke up, stroke up….You’re at the blob…go, Go, GO!! The boats are neck and neck…and the winner of War Canoe is–
A trip to the lake is always fun when you get to test your skills on several water sports including kneeboarding, wakeboarding, water skiing, and tubing.
On Sundays, we do a water rotation. You can choose your favorite water activity.
Jump into fun with your cabin mates!
Dining Hall shenanigans! There’s going to be a wiggalo and everyone hopes it’s them!
Writing you name on history
You’ll find their names on the back of the Rio Vista sign, on a bunk, or written on the walls of the arts and crafts building. There’s always room for one more camper.
Given each year since 1970, camp yearbooks are a great way to reflect on the memories you made during your years here at Rio Vista.
You return year after year!
You can’t imagine spending your summer any other way.