Mark Charbonneau has been a speaker for Laity Lodge Family Camp several times. He’s thoughtful. He’s hilarious. And he’s become a valuable partner helping us create opportunities for families to connect with one another and engage with God in significant ways.
Mark is also the founding pastor at The Vine in Austin, husband to Jen, and dad to three incredibly fun kids. Meet the whole Charbonneau Family!
Laity Lodge Family Camp and Youth Camp have become markers for their family. For a recent feature on our Instagram channel, they wrote, “Jen grew up heading into the Canyon. This is where she learned how to be silly, become a prank master, dress crazy, get messy, and be laid back because you never knew if you’d end up with the banana plate and be thrown in the river. LLYC was also a spiritual marker for her, a place where she experienced Jesus and the beautiful gift of community. We later came as a couple and then as a family.”
As a speaker and pastor, Mark was surprised with Laity Lodge Family Camp’s unique culture. What set it apart was the intentional space for campers. The family remembers, “The days were not stuffed with programming, events, or busyness that mark the world from which we were retreating. Instead, there was intentional space.”
Intentional space opens new rhythms for families.
The Charbonneau Family explain:
“This unique rhythm nurtured the soul and allowed a deeper connection to each other and God. In a posture of trust, the camp did not seek to fabricate an encounter with God, but instead honored the room for God to work.
“In the same way, Jesus gave a gracious invitation once for those who are weary and burdened. Eugene Peterson transcribed the invitation from our Savior as to ‘learn the unforced rhythms of grace’ (Matthew 11:29).
“A picture of this intentional space for our family has been the river … yet, Laity did not create the river. Instead, the Canyon has been formed by a slow and steady work of the Creator. From the headwaters through the rest of the camp, water slowly and surely carved out a Canyon. The Foundation didn’t create it. They don’t pump new water into it. Instead, their role is to simply honor this work already present from God.
“For our family, Laity Lodge Family Camp’s culture of intentional space reflects a posture of trust. Seeking to honor the space by which God can meet us, we have met with God at Laity Lodge Family Camp…”