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Our Staff

Laity Lodge Family Camp Staff

Our dedicated staff come from a variety of backgrounds but share a commitment to make your experience at Laity Lodge Family Camp as memorable as possible. If you’re ever in the area, please come by the office in Kerrville and say “Hello.” Otherwise, we’ll meet you in the Canyon during the retreat. Please meet our team.

Will Stripling
Chief Operating Officer
Interim Family Camp Director

Will joined the Foundation in 2013, after working for nine years for the H-E-B Grocery Company at the corporate office. Prior to that, he worked in various roles at Johnson & Johnson and Hallmark Cards, Inc. Will is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Human Sciences and Family Studies.

Will has had personal experience with the FLR programs through the years, serving on church teams that facilitate programs at Singing Hills and in supporting the Boerne Outdoor Academy program at Echo Valley. Outside of work, Will enjoys hunting, fishing, and being outdoors with his family. He and his son also serve together as volunteer firefighters. Will and his wife Denise live in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, and have two boys, William and Daniel.

Denise Stripling
Denise Stripling

Kid’s Club Director

Denise began working with the Family Camp team during the summer of 2013 to develop lesson plans, instructional materials, and age-appropriate devotionals for the use of Kids’ Club staff members. She has also been available to train and direct the college-age staff hired for each event.

Denise is a graduate from the University of Texas San Antonio with a degree in Elementary Education and is NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) certified. She was a Christian school teacher for many years and an Early Education Coordinator. She taught second grade at Universal Christian Academy in San Antonio and at Oklahoma Christian Schools in Edmond, Oklahoma. Denise was also a kindergarten teacher at the Chrysalis Academy in Houston, served as the Early Childhood Music Teacher at First United Methodist Church in Houston, and was the Early Childhood Coordinator at First Baptist Church in Boerne.

Denise is married to Will Stripling, and they live in Fair Oaks Ranch with their two sons, William and Daniel.


Theresa Powles
Family Camp Assistant

Theresa brings many wonderful experiences and qualifications to this position, including twenty years as a customer service professional. She comes to the Foundation from the University of Wyoming, where she was employed from 2003 until moving to Texas at the end of 2014. During her eleven years with the University, Theresa was an Accounting Associate Senior and Helpdesk Supervisor. Theresa was also heavily invested in her church, Harvest Christian Center. She was a children’s teacher for twelve years and a Vacation Bible School volunteer. If the last name Powles and the University of Wyoming are ringing a bell, there’s a good reason. Theresa is married to Larry Powles, Director of Canyon Operations. Larry and Theresa have two wonderful children, Hunter and Kendall. When asked to describe her feelings about joining the Foundation, Theresa had this to say, “I guess the one thing I am very excited about is the opportunity to touch others for Christ in such an awesome way, through and in his creation. I love the outdoors but I also love doing office type admin work, so getting to combine the two is really exciting.”

Kate Batchelor
Family Camp Registrar and Assistant

Kate Batchelor serves as the Registrar for Family Camp. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. After graduating from college, Kate substituted at elementary schools in San Antonio and then landed in Midland, Texas, teaching third grade. Kate is thrilled to be back home and close to family in Kerrville where she is currently living with her husband, Aaron, and their son, Rylan. Kate’s passions are her family, serving others and the Lord, cooking, and exercising. Kate is excited to utilize her organizational, relational, and administrative skills as the Family Camp Registrar.

Mary Echols
Mary Echols

Director of Hospitality

A long time ago, in a land far away, Mary Echols graduated (cum laude) from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Leisure studies. Mary has had a wide variety of camping experience having worked in camps every summer since age 14. She first came to the H. E. Butt Foundation in 1983 with her husband, Glenn. She has worked as an Arts and Crafts director, Sugar Shack director, Kitchen director, and Program Services director at Laity Lodge Youth Camp, as well as serving as a Hostess at Laity Lodge. Her husband, Glenn Echols, is the Director of Operations for the H. E. Butt Foundation Camp.

Emily Ballbach
Emily Ballbach
Associate Director

Emily earned her Master of Arts in Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and her undergraduate degree in Christian Education Ministry Leadership from Biola University in California.  Before moving to Texas, Emily worked as a College/Young Adult Minister for a church in Florida and served in the LaVida Adventure Camp and as a Discovery Class Instructor at Gordon College. Emily felt called to ministry at an early age and has learned that caring for others is her greatest motivator.  Emily brings a wealth of talent with her to Family Camp and FLR—from singing, playing guitar, and leading worship to writing and strong communication skills.  Her pastoral and nurturing gifts will be greatly used as FLR seeks to transform lives by providing opportunities for people to encounter God through the growing Family Camp ministry.

Forrest Parks

Forrest joins us as a recent Texas A&M graduate with a degree in Industrial Distribution. Originally hailing from Georgia, he takes great pride in his Georgia peaches and the Atlanta Braves. While Forrest’s gifts and strengths are varied, he is great at seeing what needs to be done and actively finding a solution and responding in a detailed manner. With integrity he has lead our staff in an Activities Director position over the summer and is hopeful to expand his leadership at family camp over the coming year. He has been involved in Young Life ministry during his college years and relationally connects well to those around him. Forrest is eager to learn more about what it takes to run a camp and looks forward to connecting to staff and families alike. He also has an exceptional talent for lip-syncing, something I’m sure he’d share with just a little prompting

Maryn Swierc

Maryn is a recent graduate of Trinity University, having been a very successful volleyball player during her years completing a degree in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. A San Antonio native, Maryn has been involved in the life of LLYC/LLFC for many years. Growing as an LLYC camper, she has held several positions in the canyon during our summer programs over the years. Maryn also brings a varied amount of gifts and strengths to the table, but she is especially gifted at keeping things organized, thinking deeply about how to do her job and care for those around her, giving her depth in her ministry. She, too, is eager to grow in her leadership at family camp after spending a summer supporting the LLFC kitchen. Maryn is excited about the year to come and the things God will teach her and the ways she will be used by him.