It was a week ago that we descended into the Canyon for the LLYC 50th Alumni Reunion. The leaves are just starting to turn, yet the weather permitted a final Fall dip into Blue Hole. We came home. We laughed together, ate together and sang old familiar songs like Country Roads, I Saw the Light and Circle. Chandler’s grounding voice led us in prayer as came together one more time. David Rogers rolled out a mile long scroll of things you probably did at camp. We blushed ,we cried and we shook our heads.

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Cary Hendricks and Toby Baker knocked programming out of the park with their El Guapo and El Jefe characters – leading us into some epic chug-n-crush and Win or Don’t – really giving the weekend a camp feel.  The rodeo delivered as always and then the whole crew was treated to a private performance by the one and only Shake Russell. Could there be a better way to end a rodeo dance than with Shake singing Deep in the West LIVE? Didn’t think so.

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Still in the shadow of Howard’s passing, we reflected on his life.  And, in the words of Doug Cooper, how without Howard, Frog, and Bill Cody, we’d all be strangers.  If you haven’t seen the legacy video, drop everything now and watch it.  Dan Roloff shared that he watches it along with every new Foundation employee.  I can see why.  It’s a family-infused video, narrated by Deborah Rogers.  In the end, we honored those who have passed and how we are connected to them in that place.

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Personally, it never felt more like home than it did for this reunion. People come and go, life changes, we experience great stuff and terribly painful stuff, but that Canyon is a sweet reminder that God is the one thing that doesn’t change. He’s with us through it all –teenage heartaches, loss of loved ones, marital bliss and newborn exhaustion. Observing Betty Ann Cody sit back and bask in the fruit of an idea 50 years ago (What are we going to do with these kids?) brought tears to my eyes. She said it was “beyond the fulfillment of a dream.” Nothing has been more consistently impacting on my life than LLYC and this weekend broke me in gratitude for Bill Cody, Frog and Howard Butt, Jr. and their faithfulness to the gospel.

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