Before forming his campground consulting business in 2014, Joe Moore managed The Vineyards Campground & Cabins in Grapevine, Texas, for 12 years, during which time he guided park staff and outside vendors through multiple expansion projects.
Moore’s expansion efforts included over $5 million worth of improvements adding 66 RV sites, the installation of 14 park model cabins, sewer, and other improvements that helped The Vineyards Campground & Cabins win Park of the Year awards from the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) and the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) in 2012.
What’s not as well known is the fact that Moore is also an accomplished carpenter, painter, electrician and plumber who has spent the past seven years working alongside teams of volunteer construction crews who have erected several new buildings and made other improvements at an orphanage and school in Reynosa, Mexico.
The annual construction trips, which take place in January, are organized by Colleyville, Texas-based Compass Church (https://compass.church/colleyville), which Moore has attended for many years. The orphanage itself is run by Rio Bravo Ministries, an independent, nondenominational ministry based in Mission, Texas.
“I learned about this project through my church,” said Moore, an ARVC board member who just got back from a weeklong trip with about 20 Compass Church volunteers who built a three-story play structure for the 60-plus children who live at the children’s home, run by Rio Bravo Ministries in Reynosa.
“This is near and dear to my heart and (to the hearts of) a lot of people. I couldn’t wait to retire from my first career to be able to come up here and join them. ”
Joining Moore in his latest weeklong trip for the first time was Jeff Crider, a longtime campground industry publicist and writer for Woodall’s Campground Magazine who helped paint the play structure, which the volunteers designed and built on their own.
“I think this is a very worthwhile effort,” said Crider, who has volunteered his writing and media outreach services for many years to help other nonprofit organizations, including IMAHelps (www.imahelps.org), which organizes medical humanitarian missions in Central and South America, and Lifewater International (www.lifewater.org), which provides safe water, sanitation and hygiene education for remote communities in Africa and Southeast Asia.
Moore, for his part, said he hoped to be able to recruit more volunteers from the campground industry to join him on the annual construction trips. Donations can also be made to the orphanage and school through https://www.rio-bravo.org/.
Compass Church’s annual “Men’s Mexico Construction Trip” includes Bible study, as well as dinner with the children most nights. While the latest trip involved the construction of a play structure, trips in recent years have involved everything from the construction of new dorms for the children to new classrooms for an onsite school that provides instruction for children’s home residents as well as children from nearby neighborhoods in Reynosa.
The group has also built classrooms and made other improvements to another school a few miles away that serves the poor.