Have you ever seen a sign for “free puppies”? Once the cuteness factor wears off and vet bills kick in, we know there is no such thing as a “free puppy.” That’s a little bit what it is like with groups using our facilities free-of-charge through the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp and Outdoor School.
We cover all costs related to facility use. However, the groups cover costs associated with transportation, food, camp counselors, insurance, and medical staff.
Since we target groups serving youth and families who wouldn’t normally be able to afford the cost of programmed camping, we realized more than a decade ago that it was important to offer group stipends. The Group Stipend Fund ensures financial support for camp related expenses. Groups can apply for $500 to $2,000 to help cover their camping costs. While most groups can make it work, we award ten to fifteen group stipends each year.
As you know, we count on friends like you to help meet the scholarship need across all the programs. We now award more than 450 scholarships annually along with 10-15 group stipends.
One such group, Bonham Academy, is an outstanding middle school within San Antonio ISD. In March, I spent time in the Canyon with this group. They were amazing!
During my visit a student asked me, “Do you know what this place feels like, Mr. David?” We were riding in the back of a pickup truck along River Road, and he answered his own question: “It feels like home.”
There is something about the peace and natural beauty of the Canyon. In our noisy, busy, always-on world, students and adults need unhurried reflection—silence, solitude, and thoughtful conversations. What better place to find peace than the Canyon?
When you support our program scholarships, you are making it possible for people who would not otherwise be able to afford it to participate in one of our five programs in the Frio Canyon.
That’s why I’m grateful for donors who generously support our programs through the individual scholarships and our stipend fund for public schools, churches, scouting programs, and other qualifying nonprofit groups.
This year we anticipate providing more than $400,000 in scholarships to groups, youth, families, and adults. Many bring burdens related to broken relationships, health issues, poverty, loss of employment, and much more. We count on people like you to provide that important time away at Laity Lodge, Laity Lodge Youth Camp, Laity Lodge Family Camp, H. E. Butt Foundation Camp, and Outdoor School.
Because of gifts from generous donors in the past, these scholarships continue to provide access to the beautiful Frio Canyon and all that it offers. Will you consider donating in 2019 to meet the scholarship need?