Cabin Challenge Met,
New Challenge Offered!


Thanks to the Mabee Foundation and many generous supporters, the Echo Valley cabins are well on their way to being built.


A donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has pledged up to $500,000 to match dollar-for-dollar, every campaign gift received between now and year end. Remaining in the campaign is $1.4 million in additional Echo Valley improvements, including:

  • —A group gathering plaza off the Ranch House
  • —Improvements to the play fields and roads
  • —Replacement of septic systems

A Word from David Rogers, Foundation President

You’re probably reading this because you love camp. Maybe you’ve even been to our camps on the beautiful Frio River where we’ve been hosting campers since 1954. If that is the case, you’ve seen what overnight camping does for children and families.

Camp has stood the test of time. In fact, kids need camp more than ever to help them rest, go deeper in relationships, and have a break from an ever-increasing culture of stress.

One group leader told us, “This is about these kids experiencing something different.” She said, I want “to give our kids another opportunity to see something outside of the cement walls they normally see.” For too many campers, it is the first time they have traveled outside of their city neighborhoods, gone swimming in a natural environment, or found a night sky dark enough to see the Milky Way.

That’s why we continue to invest millions of dollars annually in youth-focused overnight camp programs serving more than 23,000 campers each year. Echo Valley is our largest camp facility, serving nearly half of our guests through three programs—H. E. Butt Foundation Camp, Laity Lodge Youth Camp (LLYC), and H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School.

$5.6 Million Echo Valley Improvements


~$700,000: Greenspace and Grounds

We will restore the greenspace at Echo Valley to make it more natural and visually appealing, consistent with other campsites in the Canyon. Campers spend most of their time outside their cabins; increased camper traffic and other factors have degraded the groups significantly over the last ten years.

~$700,000: Infrastructure

We will replace five large septic systems, two of which are functioning well but nearing the end of their service life; three are very old, very problematic, and at risk of failing completely. We will improve roads that are poorly located and parking that is inadequate, which require a great deal of logistical effort on the front-end and back-end of every retreat.

~$4,200,000: 12 Camper/Staff Cabins

We will replace 12 cabins ($350K each) that are currently dated, ineffective, and in danger of not meeting current codes. On the girls’ side, for example, eight of the cabins that normally house 16 girls have only one toilet and one shower each. See photos of existing cabins in need of improvement.

Echo Valley 2020 Impact

  • Program: Foundation Camp, Outdoor School, and LLYC will have 1) better facilities to serve guests 2) centralized floor plans to build community, and 3) cabin clusters to help groups supervise campers.
  • Facilities: The new cabins will provide equitable lodging to all campers, bring buildings up to the latest standards and codes, and upgrade septic systems and other infrastructures.
  • Aesthetics: Echo Valley 2020 means this most-used campsite will meet the same high standards as our other facilities in the Frio River Canyon with architectural consistency and development of new river access below the dam.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Echo Valley 2020 will replace older buildings with greener, environmentally sustainable buildings without compromising comfort or style.

For More Information

Please contact our Development team at 830-315-9206.