Camp brought us together. It was the summer after my junior year of high school and I had opted to spend it sweating, washing dishes and dancing on the Singing Hills work crew. For those of you who have given half of your summer to work crew, you know that you operate mostly in the shadows, serving and working largely behind the scenes. I had no idea that was the summer that I would meet the man with whom I was to spend my life.
Randy was a 21 year-old college student at UT. His friends had invited him to work at LLYC that previous summer. We spoke a few brief times over that summer but nothing significant. What I remember concerning Randy is that while playing “Who would you date” at girl’s campout that year, Randy was very high on the list of all the girl counselors. He had an easy-going nature and was clearly was there to play with and love on the campers. We spoke several times briefly. We both have forgotten many things about that summer so long ago except that we discussed Catcher in the Rye.
Five years later, I had just finished a NOLS semester in Baja, Mexico and was working at Singing Hills as a Crew Boss. I was still living the wilderness life complete without the everyday hassles of shaving, soap, and hair-brushing. Randy had come out to camp to visit Geoff Rich and we met again on the back porch. He had taken a job as a Pharmaceutical Representative in Austin and was no longer the shaggy, cool college student that I so fondly remembered. He had been replaced by a clean-cut, suit-wearing grown-up as I had turned into a outdoorsy, granola girl. We exchanged some witty rapport that evening and were both pleasantly surprised that we actually had some common ground despite our outward differences. Before leaving he asked for my email, which is hilarious because he was only answering his email on a once-a-month frequency.
Having just broken up with my boyfriend of 2 years the week before, I wasn’t super interested in diving into a new relationship so soon. But I casually gave him my email and threw in my number for good measure – I mean this was Randy Lochte, the cute camp guy after all!!
Over the course of my senior year of college, we got to know each other and burned up the pavement back and forth from Waco to Austin. We grew closer and upon graduating, I knew that the only thing to do was to move to Austin to see if our relationship would flourish.
That was one of the best decisions that I have ever made. We were engaged by the following April and married in late October. We now have a two-year-old daughter, Eliza, and a baby on the way. Laity Lodge still plays a part in our family’s life. We were able to attend Family Camp there last year with our church and plan to continue to spend quality time as a family in the canyon. Laity Lodge will hold a special place in our hearts for years to come.