Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Steven King, Director of Operations

By Stephen S. Mabry, CFRE, CAE
Chief Executive Officer

It is my privilege to announce that Steven King’s title has been changed to Director of Operations in order to more closely reflect the scope of his duties at TLC. Steven has been an indispensable member of the TLC professional staff since 2000, having been the Asst. Program Director from 2000-2004 and until recently, the Client Services Director. Prior to joining the professional staff, Steven was also a member of TLC’s seasonal staff from 1990 - 1996.

As Director of Operations, Steven's duties will expand and continue to include supervision of TLC's seasonal staff recruiting effort, management of the Summer Camp Program as well as the operation of TLC's successful leasing program. The leasing program currently adds close to $150,000 per annum to TLC's operating revenues.

Together with his wife Karen-Anne, the Kings have made the continued success of Texas Lions Camp a family affair; as many of you know, Karen-Anne is a Registered Nurse and serves with distinction as Medical Director of TLC’s camps for children with physical disabilities. Congratulations Steven and thank you for all that you do to advance the mission of Texas Lions Camp. 

Tipi Village: an Eagle Scout's Project

TiPi Village at Texas Lions Camp

By: Stephen S. Mabry, CFRE, CAE
Chief Executive Officer

Tipi Village at Texas Lions Camp

This past summer, Texas Lions Camp was the recipient of many acts of kindness and thousands of man-hours of service in preparation for the 1,383 children who attended Camp in 2012. To say it takes the expertise of many people to provide our services to so many deserving children is an understatement, as the Camp operation is actually a conglomeration of many smaller operations and systems that operate synergistically in order to create our program.

Over the years, Texas Lions Camp has been the beneficiary of a number of Eagle Scout projects and it was my great privilege to get to know Evan Schaff of Houston, Texas as a result of just such a project. When I met Evan, he was classed as a "Life Scout" and was looking for a project that he could undertake in order to achieve his Eagle Scout classification.

There were a number of needs the Camp had at the time; however, one particular need seemed like a match too good to pass up for an Eagle Scout candidate, namely: TLC's Tipi Village. As I discussed this need with Evan, taking a project of this size and scope was understandably...well...daunting. After all, how many of us have ever erected a Tipi (let alone three tipis) or would even know where to begin?

Moreover, I asked Evan to conduct some research and to consider how the Native Americans present in the Texas Hill Country may have lived when planning artifacts to create and add to the village. Evan had many great ideas to share and of course the Camp had many objectives that had to result in order to create the safe atmosphere desired for the kiddos of TLC. After a number of meetings and idea sessions, Evan submitted his project for approval, and was given the approval to proceed by both his certifying body and Texas Lions Camp.

On June 2, Evan mobilized with Troop 1001 of Katy, Texas and bivouacked on site at Texas Lions Camp. Throughout the weekend, the troop under the direction and leadership of its senior patrol leader, Evan, set about the task of constructing TLC's all-new Tipi Village. 

One of the items that Evan decided to include, was an exhibit to demonstrate the tanning of hides which would have been used for clothing or other leather-goods needs.
More than just "Clowning" around...the tri-pod configuration is the beginning and foundation of the framework and must demonstrate integrity and strength before the remaining poles and framework can be added. Like anywhere else, the Texas Hill Country can produce some high-winds and thunderstorms on occasion and Evan was careful to construct the structures to withstand the potential for windy weather.

Each tipi also has a center, anchor line that runs from the top of the frame, to a stake in the ground which helps to ensure the integrity of the structure.

In addition to the three full tipis, Evan and the team also erected two "shells" without canvas in order to give the impression of nomadic lifestyles. Lastly, Evan created a full-color report to document how to construct the Tipis as well as information and facts he had learned about how native Americans lived in the area.

When asked about the project, Evan said, 'The only way that I was able to do this project was with the unsparing and industrious help from the scouts of my troop.  These scouts and friends worked so hard on the project that they are the ones who should really be applauded.  They knew how to do most of the tasks I assigned to them and if not, they were very quick to learn.  The majority of all the helpers I had out there working on the project were scouts from my own troop, the rest were personal friends who were in a different troop.  I am with Troop 1001 in Katy, TX.  We have about 30 scouts in the troop and are always looking for new friends.  We go camping, every month and do a wide variety of things from fishing, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, or just having a good time at one of our favorite camp grounds.  Feel free to check out our new website: HTTP://
Evan Schaff and Troop 1001 from Katy, Texas

Evan with his Dad.

In mid-August, Evan returned with his family and dismantled the village in order to store it until it is needed once again next summer. To be sure, many long hours of planning, work and travel were freely given by Evan, his family and others, and it is with our deepest gratitude that I say thank you, Evan for a job well done!

Congratulations on the achievement of your Eagle Scout badge Evan, an honor that was earned and well deserved.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen S. Mabry, CFRE, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
Texas Lions Camp, Inc.