Open House


The new Allaso Ranch camp and retreat center on Lake Hawkins has just completed the first year of summer camp. And, the staff members of the expansive development wanted to share their enthusiasm for the facility with neighbors from Wood County and beyond. So, on Sunday, August 17 area community leaders were invited to an open house featuring lunch and a tour of the facility.

"Impressive, "unbelievable," "massive" were on the lips of virtually everyone who attended the open house. The sheer mass and scope of the camp is awesome. No expense was spared in developing a world class-camp with some of the finest camp amenities available today.

The camp, located on 1,100 acres at the west end of Lake Hawkins is an outreach ministry of Fellowship Church of Grapevine, Texas. Fellowship has five church campuses in the DFW Metroplex and one in Miami, Florida. The founding pastor of Fellowship Church is Ed Young who calls the camp a "dream realized."

Lisa Young, wife of the pastor hosted the open house along with many of the young adults who served as counselors and staff members for this inaugural season of camping at Allaso. Lisa explained that "Allaso" translated from its Greek roots to "Change" in English. She said the dream of Fellowship is that the camp will result in spiritual change and maturation in faith for the many that experience it. And, based on the first year the dream is coming to fruition.

The amenities include a state-of-the-art worship center and dining hall with a massive stage, sophisticated sound and lighting systems and two huge projection screens.

The camp features three cabin villages consisting of one and two story cabins in four different configurations. All cabins have large decks, counselor quarters and comfortable climate-controlled living quarters.

Perhaps the most popular venue for the campers of this first summer was the two-acre swim center complete with a lazy river, splash pools and water slides. A six-acre lake is still filling to the white sand beaches. It will be used for swimming, boating and canoeing activities when completed. And, of course, two beach volleyball courts will be popular venues with the campers.

The camp features a 1.9-mile SORBA certified mountain bike course and two popular zip lines of 60-feet each.

The currently developed 300-acres also feature a 50-acre equestrian center as well as baseball and softball fields, basketball courts and soccer fields.

In its first summer of youth camp, the facility hosted children over the course of seven weekly sessions with three sessions dedicated to 9th through 12 graders, two weeks for 7th and 8th graders and one week for sixth grade and one week for 2nd through fifth grade. The campers came from Fellowship Church families in the Metroplex.

The land for the camp, approximately 1,000 acres, was donated to Fellowship Church by a nonprofit agency that had owned if for several years. The agency sought developmental plan applications from churches. And, after an extensive interview process, Fellowship Church was selected to develop the land.

The dining facility will accommodate more than 450 people at a time. For worship and fellowship the state-of-the art facility will accommodate 800 people. An arts and crafts room, a medical station and a camp book and souvenir store are also housed in the auditorium complex.

The camp facility will operate year round with a particular focus on a series of summer camps; student retreats in Fall, Winter and Spring; Father/Son campout, Mother/Daughter getaway; student leadership training; graduating senior's retreat; Jr. High transition retreat for 7th graders; volunteer appreciation events, and volunteer training. The camp facilities will also be available to other Christ centered organizations.

The worship center will be open to the public for services each Sunday as well.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2009 15:01