We wanted to see what it was like for folks who married into the LLYC family. In 2004, former counselor and Central Staffer Brooke Williams married Joel Howard, who had no previous relationship with LLYC prior to Brooke. Now that Joel’s been in the camp family for a few years as a husband and now a father, we are excited to hear about his personal experience with LLYC.
What was it like to come into a community with which your spouse already had a long history?
It was great. There were no downsides at all. I became a part of the Williams family, and she became part of the Howard family—this is just another niche of family.
When was your first LLYC experience and what do you remember most about it?
When we were newlyweds, Brooke and I went to Echo Valley for the day during the youth camp and visited with Kevin and Judi Mayve, but my first overnight camp experience was the 40th LLYC Staff Reunion. I didn’t have many previous circles that overlapped with Laity, but what immediately struck me was the big, tight-knit community with lots of connections. I’ve really gotten to appreciate the culture that surrounds camp.
What were some of your favorite experiences during your time with us?
We’ve done two family camps and an adult retreat at Laity Lodge. I can’t narrow it down to one favorite experience, so here are a few: One was being able to take Ruth (Brooke and Joel’s oldest daughter) and play with her out at camp. It’s not like summer camp with friends; you are with your family, which is even more special. I have images of her jumping in the bounce house and riding her bike on the sidewalk—she can’t even reach the pedals, but I’m just pushing her along. The other favorite experience I had was when Brooke and I attended the Crashing the Lodge retreat. It was fantastic. And the reason it was fantastic was that the gospel was proclaimed in very clear terms in different ways. Of course, it’s beautiful, of course, the facilities are great, and, of course, the fellowship was great. The swimming and lying in the hammock out on the lawn were all great, but it was really the brothers and sisters in Christ together that made it what it was.