Becoming LLYC Camper Parent Alums: Reflections from a final camper drop-off

What is special about LLYC to your family?

LLYC was introduced to our family in a variety of ways. At one time, my husband was the roommate of Kevin Mayne in Corpus Christi. Kevin left CC to begin his ministry at LLYC. His enthusiasm made me want to send my kids there (and this was BEFORE I had kids). Then my friend’s daughter, Jill Hoffman, worked for LLYC, and her excitement about the camp made me want a piece of that for my kids.  Fast forward many years and it was time for my son Travis to go to camp. The summer before he went, my sister, Cyndy Marsh, was hired to work for Kevin.  It was almost too coincidental. In the end, I believe God had been putting LLYC on our hearts for years.

So now 14 summers later, we dropped Hayden off at camp for the last time. To say I was emotional as we were getting ready to leave home is an understatement. To know that as a teenager he would never get two weeks of “God time” again in such a beautiful setting was very sad to me. It has been such an important part of my son’s lives.

 How have you seen your sons grow in faith summer after summer in the Canyon?

Being at camp gives them a way to experience Jesus like none other; with such enthusiasm and sincerity and love. I am thankful they had the opportunity to see how meaningful Jesus Christ is in their lives in such a fun way and through such wonderful people. No matter what paths they take, I know that foundation will have an impact on their lives.

 What will you miss most about taking your sons out/picking them up for their best two weeks?

I will miss their anticipation and excitement as camp time nears. Travis attended last session, Hayden has always attended first session. They are testament to the fact that from the beginning to the end, LLYC staff makes it exciting for every session!!

Hayden with Kevin Mayne 2012

I will miss those smiles as we give them that last hug and watch them disappear into the crowd, finding friends, making new ones and meeting young men who have dedicated their summers to making sure young people know Jesus!

Hayden and Travis

I will miss their stories of activities and events and what they loved about camp for that particular year.

Travis went to camp for the first time, Jam Session, the summer of 2004.  Because I had a high school reunion the weekend of pick up and my sister worked for the camp, she picked him up. He called and said – Mom, I’m going back for 2 more weeks!   There was no doubt he had had the best two weeks!  Travis continued every summer and was a part of work crew after his junior year.  I will never forget when I drove him and his friend Michael into the camp when they went to crew training. When we drove in he said, “I just feel like I’m home.” Travis also went to Haiti to work at Jacob’s Well (known as Outbound Haiti, where LLYC went to Haiti to share the great news about God’s extravagant love). Travis was also at camp the year that the swine flu (Swine ’09) hit. They closed the camp early and he was not a happy guy!

Hayden began going to LLYC in 2011 and his last year as a camper is 2018. He encouraged a friend that did not have a religious background to experience LLYC – Alex went for 2 years with him. I was proud of him for sharing that with Alex.

Hayden’s final summer as a camper.