LLYC Summer Love: Emily and Teddy Rowlett

From high school sweet hearts to LLYC staffers, Emily and Teddy share their story, and the Frio River runs through it right up to the point when they were married on May 31, 2019 (less than one month ago from the time of this posting!) They share below in their own words.

“I knew I would be back in the Canyon as soon as I could.”

Teddy Rowlett

Emily: Teddy and I met my senior year of high school when our family moved near Houston. We met through our church and became good friends. I always admired Teddy because he was smart, athletic, and loved others well. It also helped that he was more of an introvert, so he was an excellent listener when I talked his ear off! It wasn’t until the end of my senior year that I gave up the “I’m going to college to meet my husband” narrative and we started dating.

Fast forward to the Spring of 2016. We had been dating for a couple of years, and Teddy had just transferred to Texas State. I had been a Young Life College Leader for a year, and our Area Director brought together all of the YL Leaders in Hays County for a weekly Sunday meeting. He introduced a guy who worked for a camp where a few college friends had worked in college. The guy said it was on the Frio River, and they needed people to come work for them that summer. He ended his talk with, “Sorry ladies, but we really need boys so if you know anyone, tell them to call me.” That guy was Beck Marlar, and little did I know our story with LLYC had just begun. I knew that Teddy didn’t have any plans for the summer, and I told him to give Beck a call.

Teddy: Okay so that’s how we met, but let’s get back to the camp part. After a semester at Texas State, my only real option was to go home to Houston for the summer. When Emily told me about Laity Lodge [Youth Camp], I went online and made an account to fill out an application. The next day Beck called me to talk and said, “Go online and finish filling out the application so I can hire you.” I did just that, and after one conversation I found out I’d be spending a full summer in the canyon at Singing Hills. I was excited for the opportunity, and to be closer to Emily who was still at school taking summer classes at Texas State. Two weeks later, I was off to Staff Week, knowing nothing about LLYC, and on top of that my car battery died in a gas station parking lot! But that was not an indication of how my summer would go, because I ended up having the best 10 weeks of my life as a Federales counselor. After that, I knew I would be back in the Canyon as soon as I could.

“I had a hole in my heart with Laity Lodge’s name on it.”

Emily Rowlett

Emily: After writing letters back and forth for a whole summer (I still have every single one by the way), I had a hole in my heart with Laity Lodge’s name on it. When application time rolled around, I applied as an Echo Valley counselor, then interviewed with Karla. The entire time we sat in that coffee shop together, it was as if she knew my heart, and I knew I would do whatever it took to be at LLYC that summer. Karla later told me I would be an Echo counselor all summer! Teddy also made the no-brainer decision to go back to Singing Hills that summer, and we would be just down the river from each other.

Teddy: Having Emily at camp with me in the Summer of 2017 was a blast. We got to see each other serve our campers well, and she finally understood how special the Canyon was. Camp made our relationship a lot stronger, due to the fact that God was working in us and through us, and our only way to really communicate (except for off days) was to write letters to each other. I spent almost every rest time or time before bed writing and catching her up on my days. It was so funny actually, a few times we’d randomly pass each other in the river and hand off letters to one another while on our way to our different camp activities! Our time together was a lot more meaningful, because we didn’t have a lot of it.

“... we’d randomly pass each other in the river and hand off letters to one another while on our way to our different camp activities ...”

Teddy Rowlett

Emily: During the Summer of 2017, I couldn’t believe what I had been missing all of my years of college. As a senior counselor, I was able to encourage so many younger counselors that had grown up going to camp not to take a single moment for granted because LLYC is one in a million for everyone. I was a counselor for Cabin A first half, and Cabin I second half. It was the best. I had the most incredible campers that summer, and many of my Cabin I gals will be spending their summer on staff this year! It feels really full circle. The friendships I made that year on staff are irreplaceable, too. Being down the river from Teddy also meant I’d run into him sometimes. Water Sports at the Singing Hills waterfront was always the best because I’d get a glimpse of him walking back and forth from field sports with a bunch of campers trailing behind him. That was one of the first times I imagined Teddy being a dad, and I think we both grew closer towards the idea of marriage someday after seeing each other serve the Lord in different ways. It really was the sweetest summer.

Teddy: The next year brought a lot of change for us. Emily graduated and moved home to Houston for student teaching and I had a full year of college left. Camp took on a new role for us, and it became the only place we got to spend a lot of time together in the summer of 2018. Emily took on a new role and was a Canyon Club Assistant, which meant I got to see a lot more of her since Singing Hills is where the camp kids spend a lot of their time. In case you were wondering, I was a Federales counselor for the third summer in a row at this point, and it was one of my favorites. We had been dating for four years at this point, and I had known I was going to marry Emily if I had anything to do with it since I was 19. Seeing her get to love the Canyon Club kids as her own made me really realize the incredible mom she would be one day. We were both really sad knowing that it would probably be our last summer working in the Canyon, but we definitely made the most of every second.

Emily: Summer of 2018 brought all of the emotions. I was excited to be back with all of my favorite people, see Teddy more with my role in Canyon Club, and to watch the Camp Director’s little nuggets. I was also sad knowing it would be my last summer, and probably Teddy’s too, as the real world was coming at us faster than we knew. After first half, I rolled out of the Canyon with tears streaming down my face as I headed home for my first year of teaching. I handed the baton to Teddy, so he could finish out strong. Like he said, we had been dating for a long time at this point. I was so ready to stop figuring life out individually and to start figuring it out together. I was really hoping 2018 would bring an engagement, but I wasn’t so sure since Teddy still had one more semester until graduation.

Teddy: It was so hard seeing Emily leave camp on that switch day. It felt like half of my heart was driving off in the other direction, probably because it was. After summer ended, I went back to Texas State for one more semester and saved every penny that I made to buy a ring. That Thanksgiving at my grandparent’s ranch, I got down on one knee and Emily said yes!

Emily: We finally get to figure out life together! Engagement was such a sweet time and we got to bring together all of our favorite people to celebrate us. The real fun happened on May 31, 2019, our wedding day! Camp played a huge role in our wedding. Both of us had LLYC friends as bridesmaids and groomsmen (shoutout to Tres, Miguel, Cassie, and Katelyn), my cabin A co-counselor Madeline and her boyfriend Jack (who also worked at camp) were our videographers, and the one and only Beck Marlar officiated the whole thing!

Both: Our love is better because of the time we’ve spent as a part of the Laity Lodge Youth Camp family. Neither of us can imagine our relationship without Camp because LLYC entered into our lives at a pivotal point of growth in our relationship. We learned to love and serve others well during our years on staff, just as Jesus did for us. We’ve made lifelong friends, have incredible mentors, and a place to center us back on Christ when we need it most. Beck shared Romans 12:12-14 at our wedding ceremony, and it really sums up how we feel about our relationship, our story so far, and our forever to come. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” Oh, and one more thing, our story with camp isn’t over! We can’t wait for Alumni events like Work Weekend, and eventually Laity Lodge Family Camp and Youth Camp for our own kids one day! LLYC Forever.