Sabra Dunnam coulda/shoulda/woulda been my counselor twice; in Cabin C, if I’d gone second half of the summer, and for Cabin I, but I was not able to go to camp that year. Therefore I didn’t meet this blondie until my Work Crew summer at Singing Hills. The word on the gravel road that summer was that our Girl’s Director, this Sabra we speak of, who’d worked at camp for a million years, had never been on staff at The Hills before. I admired Sabra from afar as she did an outstanding job with the women’s staff and I don’t think anyone has done a more award-winning job at co-leading youngsters in singing during Round Up. And one thing I cannot forget about this little lady was the ring she wore every day. It was a plain silver band with an ichthus on it. It was elegant, yet simple, like Sabra. I have had the honor of getting to know this gal better over the last few years and it should not surprise anyone that her heart is as beautiful as she is. Here is her camp bio!
What’s your camp story?
I started coming to LLYC the summer of 1983 as an 8 year old camper at Singing Hills in Cabin 1. I absolutely loved every minute of it! I came with a group of my friends from Houston, one of whose parents had heard about LLYC, so we all signed up. That was the summer I became a Christian. It was the night of cross talk. Afterwards, I talked to my counselor, Linda Davis, on her bunk bed. Then, I cried every time I left camp – I mean sobbed, like can’t breathe or see where I’m going. I just loved my counselors and spending time out there.
How many summers have you spent in the canyon?
After finishing up as a camper, I did Work Crew and got to stay the whole summer. It was so much fun and I don’t think I ever slept. I remember eating Kit-Kats to stay awake because they had caffeine in them. Then I was a C.I.T at Echo Valley and that was unbelievably harder than I thought. Just seeing into the lives of these campers and how much they were hurting broke me. I didn’t realize it was going to be like that, but I loved being a part of such a neat staff. I stayed at Echo Valley to be a counselor again the next summer. The following summer I was a Work Crew boss at Echo, then I went back to being a counselor in Cabin I. For my final summer in 1998, I made the leap to Singing Hills to be Girl’s Director. The best part of that job was getting to know all the counselors. I loved that! And I love that I still keep up with some of those counselors, not to mention former campers and co-counselors!
Interesting Activity Fact: I taught skeet and I really hate guns. They scare me. So when the campers asked if I could give them an example of the proper way to do things, I would defer to Cary Hendricks.
What do you love most about Laity?
I love that LLYC hasn’t changed through the years. My daughter now goes to camp and I see the “same” counselors that were there when I was a camper; those counselors who really care about each of the kids and spending time with them and loving them well. The same spontaneity and creativity is also still there, making each day different. When we drop my daughter off, I know she is going to have the best two weeks of her life with the best counselors and make lifelong friends. I would say the relationships made at camp are my favorite thing about LLYC.
Tell us about your position as LLYC’s Director of Alumni Relations.
My job just makes me smile. I love being in a position where I can talk about camp to other camp people all day long. It’s been great to meet so many other generations who love camp too. There’s always an immediate bond with someone you meet who went to LLYC. And I love bringing alumni together whether it’s over dinner, a Bible study, a concert, Family Camp or at Laity Lodge.
How does LLYC still impact your life today?
Today I am a mom of three girls who are 4, 6 and 8. They already love camp as much as I do and look forward to our times at Family Camp. My husband never went to camp as a kid, but he become a “camper” later in life. Anytime you take anyone to Laity for the first time, they just love it. We love spending as much time as we can there, whether it’s at Family Camp or Laity Lodge. I can see now how God used LLYC to impact me as a child and to help shape who I became as an adult.
Favorite sno cone flavor: Pina Colada. But now that it’s getting colder, I’ve moved onto Mexican hot chocolate.