Listen to me, fellow alums: Resolve to make it out to the Canyon this year.  Do it.

Need some quality time in solitude? Perfect, head to The Quiet House. Want a relaxing, enriching weekend where you get to be an adult camper? Ann Jack will get you all taken care of for a retreat at the Lodge. Want some time to bond with your family (and just be around Mary Echols for a weekend/week)? Head out to Pottery Barn – I mean – Family Camp. Need a break from the kids? Drop them off at LLYC for a few weeks. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, there is a place for you at the H.E.Butt Foundation Camp. Maybe you are in college or maybe you have your own kids in college. Either way, I will tell you that there is nothing like a few days spent in the canyon.

I met camp legend Elaine Scott during her first summer in the Canyon while we were on Work Crew back in 1998. Just last fall (2014), the two of us headed out to that most favorite of places for a retreat together at the Lodge (you know the one you’re supposed to whisper around so they don’t hear you rowdy youth campers). Only now, we were the people to be quiet for. Bizarre.

We laughed and cried and ran, paddle boated, hiked to circle bluff and even tackled on an impromptu Polar Bear swim. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t summer and it didn’t matter that we are real, actual adults now. Our hearts were at home as we wandered through our summer camp memories and basked in the beauty of that place that is special for so many, for so many different reasons.

Elaine says, “I’m not sure if it was the season or my absence, but the Canyon has never been so breathtaking. The staff at the Lodge truly spoiled us and no request was denied. I feel privileged to say that I go to the Lodge now!”

So, do you believe me now? Pencil it in. Book it. Make it happen. You will send me a hand-written thank you note, I promise.