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Charis Hills is a behavior modification program marketed as a Summer Camp. It is located near Castell, Texas.

It was founded in 1989 by Rand & Colleen Southard.


The owners operated a therapeutic boarding school named Star Ranch at a facility located near Ingram beside the summer camp [1].

The residential part of the faclity lost its license due to deaths of two boys ("Mikie" Garcia and Lenny Ortega) at the facility [2] [3].

Program structure

The present summer camp offers 1 and 2 weeks programs throughout the summer of 2008. Each 1 or 2 weeks program are called a session.

The rest of the year they offer Family camps lasting a weekend.

Each of these programs does not require a license for a residential facility from the state, which also will be impossible due to the past history of the owners. Their permit from the Texas Department of Health are that they can operate a non-residential summer camp only.


No phone calls between the parents and the child are allowed. Both parties are encourages to write letters and the parents to use emails.

The parents can speak with a staff member if they have something to be concerned about.


Separation or being assigned a project to complete before being allowed back to the other campers.

In what they call rare occurances, the child will be expelled.

In the news

Worried citizens are campaigning against the existence of the camp due to its prior history [4].


External Links