You may not know this about me, but I’m a sculptor. My favorite medium is sand. Recently, when Deborah and I were in Port Aransas, I entered a sand sculpting competition and spent most of my day creating a large sea turtle, a dolphin, and an eel emerging from its cave. It was awesome!
I didn’t win any awards, but I didn’t need to win. The creative process was its own reward, focusing on one task with enough care to make it a work of art.
My dad was an engineer who didn’t think he had a creative bone in his body until he discovered stained glass at a Laity Lodge retreat. He had dropped by the Cody Center on a whim, and he really got into the stained glass process, so much that he bought all the tools to continue his newfound talent at home. He was about 70 years old when he rediscovered his own creativity.
Recently, I toured SAY Sí in San Antonio. This organization helps young people develop their creative potential to serve their community. In some ways this looks like you would expect it to look. Students were drawing, painting, and sculpting (but not in sand). Theater classes were working on building their characters. But I saw some surprises too. In a computer lab, students sat at a dozen new computers learning web development, graphic design, animation, and game design.
God created all of us to be creative. This is why arts and crafts are an essential part of our camps and our retreats. People need to dive into creativity—whether they are a high school student from San Antonio’s West Side, a retired executive at Laity Lodge, or me playing in the beach sand. The process of creating something, no matter what the end product, brings us closer to our Creator.
Our history with SAY Sí has just started, but our history of encouraging creativity goes back decades to Bill Cody and David Redding and summer Creativity Weeks at Laity Lodge. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this issue of Echoes as we cover many ways the Foundation is encouraging creativity to help transform our lives and our communities.