How many summers did you spend in the Canyon?
I started at LLYC as early as you can, at age 8 right after 2nd grade, and came back every summer as a camper through Echo Valley and then went on to do a summer on Work Crew and as a CIT. That’s 11 summers I think!
What are you up to these days?
I live in Houston with my husband, John, and my 3 children, Patrick, 7, Virginia, 5, and Maisy, 3.
Do you have a favorite camp memory?
This is such an unfair question! How to choose just one?? Most profound memory is easy though. During my last summer at Singing Hills my grandmother passed away. During morning cabin time we talked about Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Honestly, I can’t remember what my counselors said this particular morning about the Psalm because the next thing I knew, my dad was walking up to my cabin and I knew exactly what had happened as my grandmother was very sick when camp began. I left camp to attend her funeral, and during the service, all of the sudden I heard the reader say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want…”. I couldn’t believe that out of all of the readings in the Bible, that the exact same verse that was being read at my Grandmother’s funeral as what my cabin had been discussing just days before. I now know that Psalm 23 is a very common verse to read at funerals, but my grandmother’s service was my first funeral mass. And I am also sure, looking back, that my counselors were aware of what was going on, and we were probably the only cabin studying Psalm 23 that day. At the time however, this connection was earth shattering to me. He wanted me to hear this verse and understand. I listened so intently that morning at mass, taking in every word, and there was a clarity that washed over me. I heard that verse, and knew that God would always be with me, to guide and protect me, and that through Him, there was eternal life. He was with me through whatever I was going through, happy times or in this situation, very sad. To me, the connection of the two readings of Psalm 23 meant so much. God was all around me, all of the time. I was born into a Christian family, and baptized as a baby, but that was the first time I really decided for myself that I was a follower of Christ. LLYC fostered that experience and for that I am forever grateful.
What do you miss most about your summers at camp?
I miss the smell of the Texas Hill Country. I miss being so hot, and then jumping into the Frio and being so cold. I loved hanging out with friends in the spit pit and that fun was the main objective at camp, not how many activities can be jammed into one day. I still want to know how the Bounty Hunters did each year! I miss the old songs of Round up (One Tin Soldier anyone?) and belting them out at the top of my lungs. Luckily, I don’t have to miss camp every summer though, thanks to Laity Lodge Family Camp. I get to be a camper in the canyon all over again!!
How does LLYC still impact your life today?
I have a lot of friends who I went to school with that also went with me to camp. We are all still friends today, and I wonder if we had only shared school experiences together, would we still be as close as we are? I think in many cases no. Our friendships were deepened through cabin times, and other camp experiences that don’t happen from August to May. I am so grateful for these relationships that have stood the test of time, and I have camp to thank for that.
Next summer my son will be old enough to start at Singing Hills, and I cannot wait to see how God works through him in the Canyon! To see him filled with the Lord after the best two weeks of his life will be awesome. I think I am more excited than he is!
Check out these little beauties: