Last year, H. E. Butt Foundation Camp served more guests than ever before as a record 24,716 people experienced the Canyon through the program.
That number represents 227 groups that were able to use the property free of charge.
Not bad for a 63-year-old.
Since the start of the program in 1954, the goal has always been to provide free use of the Canyon to qualifying groups who may not otherwise be able to afford it. “To see that we are still striving towards that purpose—[to be] able to reach so many people—is very fulfilling,” said Program Director John Kerr.
This growth in numbers is due, in large part, to the hard work of HEBFC Registrar Ann Jack and Guest Services Manager Sam Rylander. This duo joined the Foundation Camp team just over two years ago and have had an immense impact on the program. Under the leadership of Kerr, they work to find qualifying schools and nonprofit groups seeking transformative opportunities from all over Texas. They do their best to ensure that the groups’ time in the Frio River Canyon is nothing short of life-changing. From the very first phone call placed to the last car pulling back onto Highway 83 at the end of a retreat, the team is there to provide support in any way they can.
HEBFC has also continued its work with the Foundation’s Property Planning & Stewardship Team that helps protect our 1,900-acre Canyon home. Caring for the beautiful landscape in which Kerr’s team works, a place in which people from all over can encounter creation, experience nature for the first time, and develop lifelong memories, is a natural outworking of the program’s mission—and the overall Foundation’s mission as well.