How many summers did you spend in the Canyon?
I spent 14 summers as a camper and staff member out in the Canyon. From birth until about 11 years old, I spent my summers in Play Group (now called Canyon Club), which consisted of the Echols kids, Pruitt kids, Mayne kids, and the Vandever kids—those were the glory days! I started attending Laity Lodge Youth Camp as a Cabin 1 Angel when I was eight. I continued on through Cabin I and stayed at Echo Valley for Work Crew. I was a Delta Babes counselor for three years at Singing Hills and spent my last summer as the Kids’ Club Assistant Director at Laity Lodge Family Camp. This past summer was the first time in my life where I was not able to spend my summer in the Canyon. It was definitely a bittersweet time for me, as I was enjoying my first summer in a new city, with a new job, but I have been extremely homesick for my “home away from home.”
What are you up to these days?
After I graduated from Baylor in May, my family and I took a trip to Scotland for a week. My parents thought it would be a great idea to leave my brother, sister, and me in Europe—and it was. We traveled to London, Paris, and Switzerland together and had one of the most amazing experiences with the three of us that I will cherish forever. We liked to call it our “last hoorah,” as my beautiful sister, Katherine, is getting married in October. Our family is changing, but gaining another brother makes it well worth it … (love you, Rob!). After our trip, I moved to Dallas, Texas, where I enjoy spending time with friends, running White Rock Lake, eating at local restaurants and cafes, and traveling on weekends.
What is it like being a fourth generation of the Butt family?
Growing up, not a morning went by without my dad saying, “Don’t forget your name!” as I ran out the door to catch the school bus. I always thought my dad was so silly to think that I would ever forget my own name.
As the years went by, I began learning more and more about my great-grandparents, their dreams, and their calling to serve the least of these through philanthropies and camping experiences. As the stewardship of their Foundation was left to my grandparents, their ministry and leadership made Laity Lodge what it is today. Over the last few years, my parents have had the great honor of continuing the Butt family legacy by using our family heritage as a guiding post to cast a vision for the future of the Foundation, through the existing programs and new forms of outreach. That “Don’t forget your name!” phrase my dad so often used began to make clear sense to me. A name is not just a name. It is who you are, where you come from, and how you are going to continue the vision and mission of your family.
I am fortunate to be raised in a family with wisdom that comes from a strong faith in God and a thoughtful stewardship of the family’s resources. Now I see that being a Rogers and a Butt carries new meaning. As my grandmother often reminded her children and grandchildren, “To whom much has been given, much is required,” and I feel blessed by the opportunities I have been given to continue this glorious legacy throughout my life.
Do you have a favorite camp memory?
I was about 10 years old when I was nearing the end of my Play Group years; not because I was too old, but because my sister was. Naturally, I found myself tagging along with her and Rylie Echols. My sister, Rylie, and I would roam the camp, raid the kitchen, and plan our own sneak-outs and late-night pranks.
Upon further reflection, this response may as well become an apology letter for my childhood shenanigans that got us into way too much trouble and have since become my favorite camp memories:
First off, I’m sorry, Play Group leaders, for running away every day we got dropped off (remember, I was just following Katherine and Rylie’s leadership).
I am so sorry, PC ’02, for putting dish soap on your floors and in your trunks and thinking it was funny.
I’m sorry, Dad, for stealing your Canyon master key and using it to get into the Barn, the Sugar Shack, Cantina, the Laity Lodge Cody Center, and the camp kitchens.
I’m sorry, Chandler, for stealing your radio out of your back pocket and … well for that reason, I apologize to the whole Canyon who had their conversations interrupted by three children singing love songs to our forever camp crush, Hart Tyson.
Hart Tyson, I’m sorry for singing love songs to you over any loud speaker we could find in the Canyon. We hear you got married. Sad day! 🙂
Lastly, to the Singing Hills staff of 2004, if you tried to get into your car for your day off and found it wrapped in toilet paper, Saran wrap, foil, or caramel sauce … I’m sorry.
Jokes aside, my favorite camp memories were all the times we had the freedom to roam and explore the Canyon as if it was my backyard and gain an appreciation for God’s beauty that is still alive within me today.
What do you miss most about your summers at camp?
I miss the community. Every camper and staff member comes from such different walks of life, yet being a part of the Laity Lodge family has a unique way of bringing everyone together with so much love and respect for one another. It only takes one day into Staff Week where two people who never knew each other before suddenly become lifelong friends. Co-counselors basically become brothers and sisters, and campers experience friendships they never knew were possible.
Tell us about your current position with the Foundation.
I am currently working for the Laity Lodge Leadership Initiative, which was started to support the work of the Foundation and its vision for the future. We are currently working on developing a program for young adults seeking personal, professional, and spiritual discernment. I am also involved in projects related to two of the five core themes that shape the Foundation’s work: “Enhancing the Canyon” as a venue for formation and “Strengthening Healthy Families and Children” through existing programs and partnerships. This work is incredibly rewarding, and I am so excited to see the fruit of these projects as they begin to come alive.
How does LLYC still impact your life today?
I would not be where I am today if it were not for LLYC. Growing up, I was surrounded by such incredible friends, counselors, and mentors. Summer after summer, I continuously learned more about myself and who I wanted to be, through every Roundup talk, cabin time, dance party, hike, and late-night “heart-to-heart.” Singing Hills was where I learned about who God is. Echo Valley was where I decided to devote my life to Christ. Camp was my safe place. No matter what trials I had been through that year, I knew I could return summer after summer and feel accepted, loved, and renewed. Camp challenged me, humbled me, and gave me the tools I needed to head back out into the “real world” and stay true to who I was and who the Lord called me to be. I am so thankful for my Laity Lodge family, and I pray that it touches every camper and staff member’s life the way it has mine.