TEN YEARS AGO, David and Deborah Rogers escorted Howard Butt Jr. through a newly constructed campsite on the north end of the East Frio River. They pointed out all the new features: 18 standalone casitas, an inn with a dozen rooms, a Roundup pavilion sitting just below a barn dedicated to arts and crafts in one wing and childcare in the other.
David was nervous about how his father-in-law would react to what he saw.
The location of Headwaters had barely changed since the Butt family acquired the property in 1954. It was the last remaining primitive campsite for Canyon guests. No A/C other than in the cook’s quarters. The only plumbing was in a central bathhouse. Still, the location had been a favorite spot for Foundation Camp groups, thanks to its exclusive access to Blue Hole.
At one point on their tour, David and Deborah paused and let Howard survey the scene from a paved path that offered grand views of Circle Bluff arching above the sparkling blue Frio River.
“This,” said Howard after some moments of silence,
“was beauty waiting to be uncovered.”
Since 2013, that beauty has been experienced countless times by countless people.
Multiple Foundation programs utilize Headwaters, especially Laity Lodge Family Camp, Outdoor School, and H. E. Butt Foundation Camp, which provides no-fee camping to churches and nonprofits. The campsites’ schedule is jam-packed with weekend retreats throughout the fall, winter, and spring and weeklong family camp session in June and July. And almost as soon as the last family camp packs up, a new Foundation camp rolls in. Headwaters drives the H. E. Butt Foundation’s mission in all sorts of ways all throughout the year.