Meet the Founder

Dr. Claud J. Bonam, Sr.

In 1966, my father, Dr. Claud J. Bonam Sr. was used of God to start the Pot O’ Gold Ranch Christian Youth Camp. It had been dad’s lifelong prayer to operate a youth camp for the glory of God and many nights my brother Fred and I would hear dad pray that prayer to God during our family devotions.

As kids, we would have preferred that God gave us a family car but, as adults, working under dad as he pastored at the Huisache Avenue Baptist Church in San Antonio, TX, we saw dad’s faithful prayer answered by the Lord. He was intrusted with 10 acres of land and $15,000 to start a non-profit church camp to be organized under his ministry. It was then that Youth Camps, Inc. was founded and from that miraculous beginning came the place we love so much!

The camp was started by the mighty hand of God and will continue wholly dependent on his blessing. God called Dr. Bonam to his eternal reward in 1993 and we honor his memory and remember the power of prayer as we continue to operate the camp for God’s glory and in His will.

Dr. Claud J. Bonam, Jr.
President – Youth Camps, Inc.

Meet the Caretakers

Mark and Rebekah

Mark Bonam is the pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Hondo, TX.

The Pot O' Gold Name

Even those who have attended Pot O’ Gold Ranch may not know why it is named so! Our Board of Directors can certainly attest to the fact that our name does not reflect our financial situation. The majority of the green around here is on our hayfield and all our liquid assets have been sunk in both swimming pools!

When the property at our current location was purchased in 1966, it was already named the Pot O’ Gold Ranch. Back then, the facilities were very primitive and were used for weekend dances, worldly parties and the like. After the grounds were purchased to be converted into a summer church camp, everyone thought it wise to rename the property as even it’s name had a bad reputation for worldliness in the nearby town of Comfort, TX. Members of the church, and friends of the camp, prayed about a new name and many suggestions were offered but were not to be.

One day, during her daily Bible reading, my grandmother Viola Bonam came to a verse in Hebrews describing how the Ark of the Covenant of Israel had contained a golden pot that held manna as a reminder of God’s provision for them while in the wilderness. It became obvious to her that, from the beginning, God had purposed even the very name of this property to be used for His glory! Manna, in the Bible, is a type of the scriptures themselves. It is for the purpose of hearing the Bible preached, and taught, that we continue to operate the Pot O’ Gold Ranch; a place were young people, and adults, can receive the manna of God’s provision through His Holy word.

In a joyous phone call to my grandfather in his office at the church, my grandmother explained what God had shown her in Hebrews 9:4 and so it remained Pot O’ Gold Ranch that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified even in our very name. May it ever be so!

Rev. Mark J. Bonam

Pastor Victory Baptist Church

General Manager – Youth Camps, Inc.

Why Bring Your Own Counselors (BYOC)

Christian Host Camp

The Pot O' Gold Ranch is a host camp. Meaning, we simply provide the meals, care for the grounds and provide trained supervision for potentially dangerous activities like swimming, marksmanship, etc. The camp staff is here to facilitate the weeks but counselors to oversee the campers are each churches responsibility.

Get To Know Your Youth Group Better

We realize that some smaller groups may have difficulty finding adults that are able to come to camp with their church but we believe this to be the best way to oversee our youth while here at Pot O' Gold Ranch. Our weeks are designed for each church to get to know their own youth better! Campers are already comfortable with their counselors as they are most likely familiar with them from interaction at church. Counselors are also able to get to know the youth of their church from interacting with them in a one-on-one setting throughout the week. Issues that teens and JRs deal with in thier lives/homes are unlikely to surface if you only see them once a week at church or even during an overnight youth outing. We realize that this is a sacrifice that more and more adults are unable, and sadly unwilling, to give but it is mutually beneficial to both your adults and your youth to attend church camp together.

Teach By Example

If you have been a camp counselor for your group in the past and came expecting to be a blessing to some young person from your church, you will probably agree that you got more out of camp than did the campers! That's the way it should be. We cannot expect our young people to do things that we are not willing to do and we cannot expect them to have attitudes that we are not willing to demonstrate first hand. Adults must be personal examples for their own youth in the home, the church and yes - even summer camp. If we do not take a special interest in each young person in our lives, Satan will!