Robin Sindorf Kaspar’s path to her current position as children’s ministry coordinator for Packsaddle Fellowship in her hometown of Kingsland is through stints in showbiz, heartbreak and salvation. In his day, Kaspar cheered on both the Llano High School Yellow Jackets and the Dallas Cowboys. She’s won beauty contests all over the state and clowned around for the biggest rodeo in the West.
Eventually, Kaspar returned home and found her calling in the church, but the journey she took took her far from the shores of Lake LBJ. Wild accolades, world travel, love, loss and reflection have all contributed brushstrokes to the portrait of Kaspar’s life.
“I’ve always been fearless and not afraid to try new things,” Kaspar told Picayune Magazine.
Growing up in Kingsland, Kaspar’s father, Gene Sindorf, was the chairman of the Llano Independent School District Board of Trustees. They lived at the River Oaks Fishing Lodge, which was representative of 1960s Kingsland – a quiet little fishing community.
Growing up, Kaspar crossed a small pasture and climbed a barbed wire fence to reach the community church, where she attended a youth group and Sunday school. The church was present throughout her childhood, but after she left home life seemed to speed up and she drifted away from the devotion of her youth. In high school, her parents divorced, which shook her world and led her to live her life on her own terms.
Kaspar was a varsity cheerleader at Llano High School and grew up in a family of football fanatics. His maternal grandmother would throw something at your head if you walked across in front of the TV while the Texas Longhorns were playing.
After a feud with the other cheerleaders, she was kicked off the team in her freshman year due to weight gain, she said.
In an act of defiance, she became president of the cheer squad and organized the largest cheer events in southwest Texas at the time. After her great success in one of her first real ventures, she realized that almost anything was possible if she put her mind to it.
In her senior year, Kaspar won a statewide beauty pageant, Miss United Teenager, and was the National Miss United Teenager runner-up. The young woman who won the national title was a Denver Broncos cheerleader, which inspired Kaspar to attempt an even greater challenge.
Kaspar left Kingsland and attended Bauder Fashion College in Arlington on a scholarship she received following her beauty pageant victory. She and a friend decided to try out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
At 18, Kaspar earned a spot on the 36-member cheering squad “Team America.” She was chosen from 4,000 applicants.
“I was so young and from Kingsland!” she says. “Get on a plane and go to South Carolina to sign autographs and sit next to the Dallas Cowboys.”
His time with the Dallas Cowboys was during the team’s heyday with coach Tom Landry, who led it to 20 consecutive winning seasons, and quarterback Roger Staubach, an American sports icon. . When Kaspar cheered on the Cowboys, they were coming off a Super Bowl XII victory in 1977, a glorious year for cheering.
After the Cowboys, Kaspar worked with a beauty pageant coordinator in Reno, Nevada. Her then-boyfriend followed her west and took a job as a rodeo clown with the Flying U Rodeo Company. After a schedule confusion, her boyfriend found himself without a partner one night, so Kaspar stepped in. It was her first time performing as a rodeo clown, but it wouldn’t be the last.
The Flying U Rodeo Company was and still is a major rodeo company in the Wild West. The rodeo organizer saw a huge opportunity with Kaspar: a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader as a “barrel clown” for his rodeo. She killed him.
For the next 2 1/2 years, Kaspar toured with the Flying U Rodeo Company, becoming a carding member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association and performing at the largest rodeo venues on the West Coast. She jumped barrels in front of massive audiences at the Forum in Los Angeles, the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the Long Beach Indoor Arena and the San Diego Sports Arena. She compared barrel work to a nighttime car accident.
Kaspar has made numerous public television appearances alongside other rodeo stars on “The Today Show” and “Real People” and has been interviewed for People Magazine and dozens of regional newspapers.
After her time as a clown, she settled in Northern California for a while, working in radio and as a personal trainer at health clubs. She eventually returned to the Highland Lakes, where she took a job at a Marble Falls radio station.
Back home, she got married and had her daughter, Charlie. Her first marriage ended, but that end was the start of her church career. While Kaspar’s life had been filled with adventures, intrigues and accomplishments, a reserve of dark moments and mistakes also accumulated.
“I felt like my life had become a spiritual train wreck,” Kaspar said.
She began volunteering at First United Methodist Church in Marble Falls and, working with children’s and adult ministries, reflected on her life and the mistakes she had made. Eventually, she was hired as a full-time employee at the church. Kaspar said that was when she was able to grow up and move on.
“Raise a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will come again,” Kaspar said, vaguely reciting Proverbs 22:6 from the Bible.
Kaspar first met her husband Gerald Kaspar when they were children and both attended the same community church in Kingsland. As an elder at Packsaddle Fellowship, Gerald urged her to consider taking up a position there.
“It’s no coincidence,” said Robin Kaspar. “We think it was divine.”
Once her daughter Charlie graduated from Marble Falls High School and went to college, Kaspar moved to Kingsland, where she took up a full-time position as Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Packsaddle Fellowship.
“I don’t think a sane person goes into children’s ministry,” she laughs. “It was the last thing that came to mind, and yet the Lord kept leading me and saying, ‘If you will and be faithful, I will equip you.'”
Packsaddle Fellowship Children’s Ministry serves children in the community who need it most. For Kaspar, it’s about creating a healthy environment. Love, encouragement, treats, games, and the gospel are all part of the ministry experience she offers.
Kaspar’s tumultuous past has made her uniquely qualified to serve those who struggle. She also helped found Open Door Recovery House in Marble Falls, an organization dedicated to helping women in drug addiction. She continues to organize voluntary Bible studies for the organization.
Kaspar’s journey has given him the tools to understand the good times and the hard times that are inevitable on everyone’s journey.
“The Lord knows what he is doing and he uses all kinds of people,” she said. “If you ever think you’re not usable or worthy, you’re wrong.”