Love at Camp All Saints
It was a match made in camp heaven.
Two 16-year-olds met at Camp All Saints in the summer of 2013, growing in Christian formation and coming of age on the muddy banks of the Red River. Stuart Cook and Megan Alonzo knew each other by name that hot summer, but nothing more. There was no inkling yet of the marriage that would come five years down the road, at that same country outpost that brought them together.
“She was from Royse City and I was in Dallas, otherwise we never would have met,” Stuart recalled. “We also both went to a Happening retreat and we knew each other’s name. But then our senior year in 2014 we became friends,” he said.
The two worked at the camp as counselors and grew in friendship over the many months together and apart, but Stuart wanted to date Megan.
“I’ve had a crush on her forever but we didn’t start moving in that direction until the next November at the Happening retreat. We were college students and I asked her on a date and it didn’t work out.”
Megan found Stuart to be the extrovert to her introvert and wasn’t quite sure if that was a match. Plus, she was a two-hour-plus drive away at Tarleton State University. “He is a very outgoing person and I’m not that way,” she said. “I’m more to myself. He had expressed feelings for me and I was a little afraid of that because I was at Tarleton and he’s very different,” Megan said.
That information did not deter Stuart. “I definitely pursued her.”
The summer camp leading into their sophomore years in college, Megan finally agreed to go out on a date with Stuart. “After camp the second time I thought I would give it a shot,” she said. The two dated for a year and half, then were engaged for about seven months.
When Stuart decided to propose, he knew where it had to be, but he tried to make it a surprise.
“I’m so terrible at keeping secrets, she knew I had bought the ring,” Stuart said.
“I had already known he was in the process of getting a ring, but didn’t know the details, Megan recalled.
“I told her we were going to the camp to meet friends, play music, worship and talk about the upcoming summer,” Stuart said.
“He said, ‘me and some of my friends are going up to camp and are going to play music in the chapel. I want you to come,’” Megan said.
“It was not unreasonable for us to do that so that’s why it’s convincing,” Stuart added.
“He came early on a Saturday morning to pick me up, and we got coffee. I could tell something was up because his hands were really hot and he was acting jittery. It was cold outside and I didn’t bring a jacket but he wouldn’t give me his jacket because, I learned later, the ring box was in the pocket,” Megan said.
“I had gotten a trellis and painted it white and added flowers to it. Both of our families were hiding, but it didn’t go quite as planned,” Stuart said.
“He had to stall because my parents were running late. So, we walked to the outside chapel. Then he said ‘let’s got down to the boat dock’ and as we were walking I could see the trellis. I knew then that something was going on. He told me to look at the flowers and then when I turned around he was on one knee.”
“I proposed, she said yes, then I yelled ‘she said yes,’” Stuart said.
“And our family was on the back-deck cheering,” Megan recalled.
They got married August 11, at, you guessed it, Camp All Saints. Megan has plans to go to nursing school and Stuart is working as youth minister at Epiphany while finishing up school.
Megan summed up their love for where they met. “The camp will always have a special place in our hearts.”