Glory be to God for changes. For bulbs
breaking the darkness with their green beaks.
For moles and moths and velvet green moss
waiting to fill the driveway cracks. For the way
the sun pierces the window minutes earlier each day.
For earthquakes and tectonic plates—earth’s bump
and grind—and new mountains pushing up
like teeth in a one-year-old.
Excerpt from “Psalm for the January Thaw” © Luci Shaw.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
We’re excited about several developments underway in our work. Laity Lodge is in the early months of a major renovation. Our new director of Laity Lodge Family Camp, Cary Hendricks, is entering his first full summer at the helm of the program. Outdoor School (previously Outdoor Education and Adventure Recreation) is deepening its partnerships with area schools.
You are holding another exciting development. The H. E. Butt Foundation newsletter, formerly known as Connections, is now Echoes. This publication will land in your mailbox twice each year, highlighting Foundation news and informing you about opportunities for further involvement.
The new name tips its hat to landmarks many of you know well—Echo Valley and Echo Bluff. It is also the right name for a publication that will be listening for the echoes of our work in people’s lives, including both old friends and people who have yet to set foot in the Frio River. We’ll also look at how the Foundation’s legacy and ongoing work are reverberating in far-flung places, well beyond the confines of our beloved south Texas.
As you can see, Echoes is photo-rich. We aim to highlight the natural beauty of the canyon, and also to capture the joy of guests who experience God there—jumping into Blue Hole, climbing through Box Canyon, or just enjoying each other’s company around a campfire.
Every issue will include a feature story on one program or new area of the Foundation’s work. This time, we’re featuring interviews with some of the key folks involved in the Laity Lodge renovation project. Each issue will also take care to express—and be explicit about—our deepest values and our mission. Finally, we’ll let you know about special opportunities, whether retreats to visit or programs to participate in.
By the time you’re reading this, our team will be just a few weeks away from another summer of camps. Summer staff will be arriving, parents will be planning, kids will be counting the days left until school ends and camp begins. Sometimes, summer can feel like the apex of our work—and of course the youth and family camps really are at the heart of what we do. But as the stories you’ll be reading in this newsletter remind us, every action we take in fulfilling the vision of the Foundation creates reactions—hearts mended, families strengthened, kids inspired, lives changed. We can’t always control what happens as we do our work, but we can listen for the echoes, and be grateful.
David Rogers, President
H. E. Butt Foundation