Bringing the Dream to Life

Carried over from old site

The Headmasters are exclusively big dreamers with wide aspirations and motivation beyond measure. But dreams alone don’t drive an idea off the ground. The amount of planning and fundraising that has to take place to bring a camp to life is almost inconceivable. Within the first three days, a basic idea of what and where took shape.

trees vs light mapA forested area in east Texas with little to no light pollution. With megalopolis of Austin-Houston-San Antonio, that’s near impossible.
West of Austin or tucked into the Piney Woods ecoregion seemed to be the only places left in the Lone Star State where more than a lone star could be seen in the night sky.
The first challenge of animating Camp Oak Hallows: figuring out where to put it.

Graphic designer VL Gaffney set outlines of Texas’s ecoregions over a light pollution map of Texas, and squinted. The only places left in the state were hillcountry and grassland regions only a mother could love. The search for the perfect property continues.

But we can’t just get a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and expect kids to rough it just because they get to make wands and drink pumpkin juice.


The team sketched out wants and needs for the grounds and housing, agreeing that log cabins would be best suited.

The Headmasters will have permanent residence on the property, so there will be a main house.

But a main house to share, or a surrounding village of group cabins, housing a handful or a dozen campers and staff each?

A Master House of living quarts keeps campers of similar ages close and secure, and in a stable environment with access to toilets and showers at all hours. Also, air conditioning.

main house and village

However, a village of cottages encourages strong team bonding of campers with like-interests and responsibility opportunities to manage their own time, and keep their own space clean. A home that will be cared for, because they will love it as their own, because it is their own. To decorate, to paint, to protect from pranks…

Alternatively, small individual group houses may fall into disarray very quickly, making camper stays unpleasant. Polling and planning will continue to happen into 2017 and 2018 while funds are being gathered to ensure maximum efficiency and quality of development of Camp Oak Hallows.

Camp activity plans take shape when the minds are idle. While daydreaming about all that Oak Hallows can be and can offer. The possibility of offering public school supplement course credits intrigues the team. Platforms like Edgenuity E2020 and K12 make online and out-of-class learning possible, as well as sites like Shmoop that believe in accessible education for all. Virginia Gaffney has experience with alternative education, dealing with chronic illness that keeps her off-campus most days. Further spiraling, offering support for fellow Chronic Illness “spoonies” sufferers would be therapeutic for all parties.

Waiting for funding to turn up is a tedious game. The question has been asked on the World Stage, “How much of a nerd are you?” But answers are slow-coming, few and far between. Since November 2016, Oak Hallows has grown and evolved into something much bigger than just a place to nerd out. Programs and art and memes abound. There is so much to do!

We can’t wait for 2025!

This is the property currently of most interest. Take a look to get an idea of our needs and wants.

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