How many summers did you spend in the Canyon?
I spent a total of six consecutive summers at LLYC! I never ventured outside of Echo Valley, and did all my jobs in two’s. I was a counselor for two summers, Round Up Coordinator for another two, then Girls Director for the final two.
What are you up to these days?
These days I live in Austin (the best city in the world), am married to Sam (the best person in the world) and eat a lot of Popsicles (the best food in the world). I work for a nonprofit organization called Mobile Loaves & Fishes and it is the coolest. At MLF, we serve the chronically homeless population of Austin, and I think ALL THE TIME about how often campers or staff at LLYC would say that camp was the only place they felt like they could totally be themselves. That freedom to be yourself—weirdness, awkwardness, coolness and all—and still be loved and viewed as valuable has resonated with me tremendously in my work today. I find myself thinking on a regular basis, “how can I help set this person who is very different than me free to be exactly who they are and let them know I will still love them?”
Do you have a favorite camp memory?
AGH!!! WHY MUST YOU ASK ME THIS QUESTION!!!! How do I choose?? Gosh….my co’s and I once had a sunrise sneak out where we woke our whole cabin up in the dark, stole a truck (“stole a truck”), and made breakfast tacos at Antenna while watching the sun rise. Man, that was good.
But here is a less specific list of my favorite camp memories: rodeo (*chants*: TEEEEJAS, TEEEEJAS, TEEEJAS), Fourth of July’s at camp, Unusual Activities (Finer Things, where you at??), rest time in the quad, walking down Girls’ side saying goodnight to every cabin, Girls night in, Women Power Wednesdays, staff meetings, coming back from a day off and having all clean laundry, s’mores at Crazy Horse, dancing at Sugar Shack, and endlessly and expectantly looking for Jesus in my life and finding Him there every single time.
What do you miss most about your summers at camp?
I miss the smell of the Ranch House and how your bare feet feel on the Pavilion steps. I miss the taste of heaven you get when you are living every single day tightly woven together on mission without the distractions of the worries of life. I miss Trey Tull telling me how to find the northern star in the middle of Round Up. I miss waking up embarrassingly sore from how hard I danced the night before. I miss hearing Work Crew listening to music as they clean up after meals. The list truly could go on forever!
What’s funny is that there were definitely hard days at camp. There were times where I was tired or frustrated or really not fun to be around. There were days where I was JUST TOO HOT after napping at rest time to go play Group Games (ladies….can I get an amen?), and yet when you ask me what I miss about camp my eyes well up with tears and my heart starts pounding! Because I think that the gift of time burns away the day-to-day challenges in my memory, and all I’m left with is the unbelievable reality that for those six summers, I was getting the most vivid glimpse of heaven I’ll probably ever get. Oh my what a gift.
How does LLYC still impact your life today?
You know, it’s hard to think of an area of my life that has NOT been influenced by LLYC. It’s where I met my best friends. It’s where I met my husband. It’s where I decided where I would go to college and the place where I learned that following Jesus means signing up for a lifetime of beauty and joy and anticipation for the hope we have in Christ to be revealed. Not to sound like a total has-been, but I think about camp all the time. Because I want to live my life every day as if I’m at camp. Why shouldn’t I find a reason to laugh and dance and love people the way Jesus loves them now that I’m grown up? In that way, LLYC still impacts my life everyday!