It’s easy for me to feel like the summer season is but a distant memory, yet the interactions, relationships, connections, and encounters with Christ that I know happened in the Canyon this summer will stick with me for a long time to come. I believe that lives were impacted for eternity through the programs at LLYC and LLFC over the past months, and while we often do not even get to know many of the ways that countless stories were shaped there is such comfort and hope found in knowing the way the Lord worked and moved mightily. It is both humbling and rewarding.

Summer camp feels long gone, yet the memories from this summer are vivid and so significant. And one of the most lasting takeaways for me from those months along the Frio River was the realization of just how many different people—personalities, minds, hearts, and hands—it takes for camp to run the way it does. It is an amazing investment to have countless roles working in unity towards the same goal of hosting a camp experience centered on Christ, seeped in relationships and fun within a culture of freedom and authenticity, set in a beautiful environment with lots of hospitality offered. Standing at the end of summer it is easy to acknowledge that what we do would not be possible without a lot of teamwork and trust from many players. To that end, it is not just the work we do that points to Jesus, but the way we do it. How we work together in unity is part of what clearly represents the One we love and serve.

On Closing Day of Family Camp I always thank our speaker, musician, and doctor, our high school + college staff, and the families attending who made the retreat what it was through their participation and input. Each of these groups or individuals are using their gifts and talents to add to the overall experience for everyone involved. But even then, there are so many thanks that go unsaid for the essential work that it takes behind the scenes to make even a single weekend retreat happen at LLFC, much less an entire summer at LLFC and LLYC. It takes leadership from our Executive team, preparation and guidance from our HR, IT, Accounting, Canyon Operations, Risk Management and Communications teams. It takes coordination and support from the Adventure Recreation and Outdoor School and Foundation Camp teams. It takes creative collaboration between LLFC and LLYC and Laity Lodge. All the while our Food Service team is keeping us sustained and satisfied! Every contribution matters. Every part effects another part. Each addition is invaluable as it improves the whole.

I can articulate my gratitude up to a point, but I find it much more meaningful to hear appreciation shared through the lens of campers and staff from this summer. This thank you video below highlights a few voices who were in the action of camp this summer and how they express what camp meant to them.

1 Corinthians 12 speaks to our interconnectedness best: “We are one body, but many parts.”

Additionally, one of the H. E. Butt Foundation’s core values is unity, and to our organization, that means “working together with honesty and accountability”.

The reality of this type of dependence is likely true in the working dynamics of your community, home, workplace, and church too. We need each other, and we often need to be reminded of just how grateful we are for each other. May we continue to make each other better and spur each other on. May we be humbled by and relish in our own human neediness that grounds us. Our neediness connects us to an abundant Savior who alone can satisfy our every need and to our fellow neighbor in whom we so often see glimpses of a Christ that came near.

My hope at LLFC is that we would prayerfully and consistently work for the glory of God and the good of people in all we do and that individuals and families would be sent out from Headwaters to do the same in the places they live, sharing the love and light of Christ.

With peace,

Kelsie Wessels