A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook friend request from a face I hadn’t seen in 18 or 19 years. I remembered the person immediately, an LLYC counselor from the 1990s, now an adult with four kids of her own.
That social media connection led us to a brief back and forth, and she mentioned how important LLYC had been for her. “I am still thinking about it,” she told me.
As often as I hear comments like this, they are still surprising and humbling. So many of our guests first experience the Frio River Canyon when they are kids in their most formative years—family campers as young as three or four hanging on their mom’s leg, youth campers enjoying the wild energy of an LLYC dance party, Foundation campers building character along the banks of the Frio River, or public school students learning to ride a bike in the Singing Hills playfield.
The four-year-old on mom’s leg is important to us, and so is the mom herself who we hope will find her way to a rocking chair before Family Camp closes. The campers at LLYC are important to us and so are the hundreds of college students who discover their own leadership each summer as seasonal staff. We love serving public school students as much as our teachers and volunteers who help make each session of Outdoor School possible. We love serving our Foundation campers, from the youth groups like the teen ACTS retreat of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Del Rio to the senior groups like the Voyager Sunday School Class of First United Methodist Church in Boerne. And we love when adults of all ages gather at Laity Lodge for encouragement and renewal, creativity and conversation.
Deborah and I are currently exploring ways we can better serve people in their twenties. As we have watched our own children leave home and face life decisions about career and marriage, we want to walk alongside others in this generation as they face a similar transition. This is something our culture needs, and it also happens to be a season of life that we are not currently serving—people who have aged out of LLYC seasonal staff but not yet found their way to Laity Lodge, people between college and the next season of adulthood. What an opportunity for us to reach 20-somethings and help this generation build careers, families, and a lifelong relationship with God and with the church.
Through our five programs, we strive to serve you in every season of life. Whatever your age, cultural background, or circumstance, experiencing the wonders of creation in the Canyon can bring you closer to God and help you discover healthier rhythms for life back home.
David Rogers, President
H. E. Butt Foundation