News You Can Use, from TLC

Time, Planning & Care

Friday, May 1, 2020 - by Stephen S. Mabry, CAE

Time, Planning & Care

Texas Lions Camp, Inc.
(830) 896-896-8500 |

From the Office of the President & CEO
Stephen S. Mabry, CAE

Time, Planning & Care

Kerrville, TX - May 1, 2020. I want to talk to you today about TLC’s plans for the Summer of 2020. Since January, we have been watching and evaluating the impact of Covid-19 on TLC’s plans for the summer, while all along the way, preparing to receive staff and children as normal. As time has elapsed, we have intently listened to Governor Abbott, Health, Regulatory and accrediting bodies, who have guided us to this point.

I chose the Sports Lake specifically to talk to you today, as it is one of the original activity areas developed at Texas Lions Camp, some 70 years ago. When it was developed, it did not hold water properly and rather than the sports lake it was intended to be, it became known as the “frog-pond” as it would hold varying degrees of water depending upon the season and severity of rain fall.

During CAMPaign 2000, we were able to form a new plan and raise the funds to make important alterations to the facility that has resulted in what you see today: a 20’ deep, accessible facility that not only holds water but provides habitat for fish and game and opportunities for fishing, canoeing and paddle-boating for children across our State. I am reminded that this facility did not start where it is today, rather, it matured and improved given time, planning and care. Like this facility, we as people are not who we are going to be given time, planning and care either.

As the Board, staff and I have evaluated the evolution of the Coronavirus, we have watched and realized that the systems that camp is dependent upon to keep children safe are not in place for the Summer of 2020 and if we take a realistic assessment, given the short time-frame, they are not likely to be able to progress to the point they need to be by the time they are needed for Texas Lions Camp.  This deals with our capacity to safely transport staff to the campus from overseas, to transporting children who have multiple health concerns from across the state of Texas to co-habit in one place, to not becoming a drain on local healthcare resources ourselves should Covid-19 infections result here on our Kerrville campus.

Of greatest concern, is the fact that virtually all of TLC’s campers have been listed by the CDC as having increased risk from contracting a Covid-19 infection. Clearly, the health and safety of our kiddos, their families, our Lions, volunteers and staff are not something we are prepared to place at risk and certainly not at greater risk.

What does it Mean for 2020?
Given time, planning and care, TLC will be positioned to be stronger than ever and operating at Next-Level proficiency as more becomes known and the systems needed to safeguard the lives in our charge are not in such a condition of flux.

What this means for the Summer of 2020 is that we will transition our operations to include summer activities but will not open our residential operations onsite this summer for check-in of campers. The staff and I are working to develop many new and exciting offerings for the summer that can be offered online, mailed home and other interactive programs during the interim. I recognize that everyone is ready for things to return to normal. Given Time, Planning and Care I expect exactly that but we care too much about you guys to signal all clear before we are in a position to do so.

My belief in TLC’s mission and in fact, the camping industry as a whole is unshaken. Please understand that there will be other camps that are positioned to open and operate and our decision is in no way a statement against their choices and ability to safely operate. Rather, it is an honest assessment of what we feel is right for TLC and the children who depend upon us.

As we set about the work at hand, thank you for your continued support and belief in the mission of Texas Lions Camp. Truly, we are in this together and will emerge stronger and ready for the Next-Level given Time, Planning and Care.


Stephen is President and CEO of Texas Lions Camp, Inc. and recently celebrated 30 years of service to this 70 year-old, 501(c)(3) charitable, organization in August of 2019. TLC, Inc. has a large Board of Directors consisting of 94 voting members and over 300 volunteer members that serve on one of 10 standing committees. As a corporation, TLC has more than 200 full-time and seasonal employees (who are organized into 7 departments) and over 2,000 volunteers per year that are responsible for creating an atmosphere of success for more than 1,500 children with physical disabilities per summer. Stephen is a Certified Association Executive with the American Society of Association Executives, a past Certified Fund-Raising Executive with the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Stephen is a father of three and resides on TLC’s Kerrville campus together with his wife Shawn, who as luck would have it, is a professional editor.
  Share Post   

View Comments Comments

Leave a Comment