Our History

Camp began in the summer of 1990 when two men of faith brought eight inner city kids from Houston’s 5th Ward to the shores of Lake Travis for a few days of camping, swimming and fishing. The kids had never experienced the outdoors and had been asked to leave another summer camp for behavior reasons. They camped and cooked under the stars on land owned by Nelson Lewis, a contractor and rancher who lived nearby in the small community of Smithwick. There were no facilities or infrastructure. Over time, camp acquired a 105-acre site and, with primarily volunteer labor, constructed a main building, seven boy’s and girl’s cabins, two bath houses, a laundry room, eight sponsor cabins, water and wastewater systems and a concrete swimming hole. Camp of the Hills operates on an extremely lean annual operating budget and with a handful of paid staff. Approximately 80% of operating funds are comprised of charitable gifts. Camp leverages this budget of annual donations with thousands of volunteer hours. Since 1990, over 35,000 children have been introduced to the love of Christ through this ministry.