March 4, 2019
patton prioritizes our story cards

What makes a good task or agile story?

In our most recent planning and retrospective, we looked at our team’s velocity rate and found that we were committing to more work that we could deliver. I won’t share the ugly details here, but I think we had committed to 50% more than we delivered. On top of that, […]
February 7, 2019
Estimating Points in San Antonio

Let’s Talk about Estimating our Points

People are really bad at estimating how much time something will take. I always think I can estimate time, and I’m always inconsistent. I look at my 65 email messages, and I think, “That’s about an hour. A minute per email. I can do that.” But reality is more complicated […]
March 28, 2017

We are HEBFDN, not “H-E-B Camps”

Most people go through life with first names that are easy to say and hear. I don’t have such luck. “Patton” is not complicated, but 99 out of 100 times when I introduce myself to someone, they do not hear my name right the first time. Here’s a conversation I’ve […]
February 22, 2017

VIDEO: HEBFF Staff Remembers Howard Butt, Jr.

On September 13, the staff of the H. E. Butt Family Foundation gathered to remember Howard Butt, Jr. The Foundation’s Director of Video, Nate Clarke, put together a compilation of those memories. The first (and only) time I met Howard Butt was on my first visit to Laity Lodge. “Met” may […]
February 10, 2017
San Antonio, Texas, USA skyline.

How to Follow Folo on Instagram (Sort of)

Let’s get straight to it: The point of this post is to get you to follow Folo Media’s work on Instagram. But that is actually not as straightforward as it sounds, because Folo Media doesn’t have its own Instagram account or strategy. And we might keep it that way for a […]
January 19, 2017
FullSizeRender 2

So You Need an Editor

In communications we love words the way Groundskeeping loves landscaping, the way Technical Services loves a reliable septic tank, the way Housekeeping loves perfectly prepared rooms, the way Maintenance loves a pig proof fence. In fact, we love words so much it can be a little weird sometimes. When your […]
January 7, 2017

Looking Back: LLYC Booklets

Just a quick look back at some of the work we finished last summer. Laity Lodge Youth Camp manuals and journals, plus the Laity Lodge Family Camp Staff Manual, as photographed by Nancy Reed.  
January 3, 2017

Sneak Peek: HEBFC Wristbands

Recently, H. E. Butt Foundation Camps worked with Marcus and Paul to create these custom, debossed silicone rubber wristbands for campers who come through the Canyon. The bands aid in quick group identification and become a keepsake for the camper as well.
December 29, 2016

Sneak Peek: LLFC Encounters

Here’s a quick sneak peek at the new Encounters curriculum for Laity Lodge Family Camp. We picked it the finished booklets from the printer just before Christmas and delivered them today. We’re hoping to publish a deeper post about the book design process soon from our wonderful contract designer, Nancy […]
December 19, 2016

ECHOES turns one year old.

It was about this time last year that we started scoping out the possibility for a redesigned Connections Newsletter. It would be days before we had buy-in and necessary approvals, weeks before we had the name ECHOES arrive on the scene in a creative burst, and months before the first […]
December 6, 2016

Cool Hunting Success: Adobe Creative Jam

I want to be an expert cool hunter. Some may call it an addiction to the Internet, but I call it curiosity. I love getting lost in a rabbit hole and showing others what I find. To be a cool hunter, you must have patience, determination, and be willing to throw […]
November 29, 2016

Texas Rivers: Designing Curriculum for HEBFF Outdoor

  “A mind that is stretched by a new idea can never go back to its old dimensions.” —attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. One of the joys of volunteering with HEBFF Outdoor is seeing kids learning—actually learning some new fact—right there on the spot. One afternoon following a lunch […]
November 22, 2016

How to Achieve LLYC Fame

One of my most favorite parts of this internship so far has been the opportunity to work on video projects. My video career began at LLYC during summer 2013. I think video editing and filming is one way I experience flow. I love the way video allows me to go capture […]
November 8, 2016

Family Camp’s new (online) look

By hook or crook,* Laity Lodge Family Camp has a new website. Check it out. The goals for this rebuild—based on conversations with Cary Hendricks and Kate Batchelor—were pretty simple, yet not all that easy to execute. Primarily, we sought to take all the information on multiple pages on their […]
November 8, 2016

Box Canyon for What Ails You

A pal of mine texted me the other day. She’s a photographer who lives in San Francisco, and she visited my wife and I a few months back. “Can you send me the link to those beautiful videos you showed me while I was there?” She was talking about the […]
November 3, 2016

Geocaching with George (and B.K.)

I’m writing from a bench at Singing Hills, where B.K. Gamble and I are teaching fifth graders from Seguin, Texas how to go geocaching at this week’s HEBFF Outdoor retreat. Like all of these kids, neither B.K. nor I had ever geocached before yesterday. That’s okay—sometimes being a teacher means sharing […]
November 1, 2016

Best 50 Years of Your Life: LLYC 50 Year Reunion Recap

Without fail, my sister and I cry every time we watch The H. E. Butt Family Foundation Legacy Project. A few weeks ago, we were sitting on the couch in my living room and, just to be cruel, I played the excerpt that makes her cry: When Rudy Sosa speaks about […]
November 1, 2016

Our Top Four Top Fives

If you have a Facebook account, you have probably wasted your time with read your share of BuzzFeed “Top List” articles like Hedgehog with a Thing that Looks like a Hedgehog. Something about these posts makes you want to complete the list and scroll down to the last picture of the last hedgehog. Recently, Nate […]
October 24, 2016

(Close) Encounters

I pulled into a coffee shop to fire off this quick missive: HEBFF contract graphic designer Nancy Reed and I were on press this morning down at Quadrangle in San Antonio, okaying the cover for Encounters, the second curricular book we’ve published for Laity Lodge Family Camp. The cover features […]
October 14, 2016

Quick Tour of Universal Bookbindery in San Antonio (Photos)

Like Laity Lodge founder Howard E. Butt, Jr., one of our vendors, Universal Bookbindery, Inc., has roots in both San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas. What began in 1925 as a hand bindery tucked into the back of a print shop is now a fully automated post-production powerhouse—yet one that […]
October 13, 2016

Browse the First Brochure for the Canyon

Recently, Dan Roloff came by to visit us with a treasure from the archives: the first brochure ever printed for the Foundation, filled with old photos, lines of poetry, a few surprises, and a familiar vision. Before I-10 connected San Antonio and Kerrville …   … when Laity Lodge and […]
October 12, 2016

The humble ballpoint.

  Initial concept and revised concept for Laity Lodge’s new, ultra-chill Bic Clic ballpoint pens.
October 6, 2016

Yes! You Snapchat in the River!

Just a year ago while I was a senior at UT, I presented to 30 of my peers who were eagerly waiting for me to slip up. My job? Convince a hypothetical television network why they should invest millions of dollars gaining back live viewership with photos that disappear after […]
October 4, 2016

Elevator Pitch for the Best Org in the World

Networking at conferences is a perfect place to test our story. People ask, “What do you do?” and I have about ten seconds to summarize The H. E. Butt Family Foundation. It isn’t easy. But last month when I shared our story at Agile Camp, two people cried. Actual tears. […]
October 3, 2016

Anticipating the Reunion

October 3, 2016

Sneak Peek: Updating the HEBFF Hiking Map

Confession: I’ve always geeked out over maps. I love them. On family vacations in the ’80s—armed with a yellow highlighter—I’d volunteer to navigate just so I could commandeer the AAA TripTik highway maps. I thumb-tacked a local Exxon street map to my bedroom wall in high school and have encouraged […]
September 23, 2016

Looking Back: Tee & textile design for the Lodge

From time to time we add “Looking Back” flashbacks here at Comms Roundup, partly to remind ourselves of the good work that’s been done, partly to document our creative work for years to come. This is similar, in a way, to our monthly Communications Team meetings in which we do […]
September 21, 2016

Sneak Peek: Camp Office Map & Message Board

If you’ve been paying attention to, you’ve no doubt noticed that 2016 has been an ambitious year for signage in the Canyon. We’ve been working across the Foundation with subject matter experts: Chris Ray, as we’ve mentioned before, has been instrumental in working alongside James Salter Craftsman to turn […]
September 21, 2016

Where Staff Meetings Happen on Stand Up Paddle Boards

I was terrified when LLYC Echo Valley Director Karla Heath said in a very serious tone, “Peyton … I need to talk to you about something, but it’s going to take awhile so let me know when you’re available today.” What could it be, I wondered. Is she going to scold […]
September 9, 2016

Quick look: HEBFF Archives cards coming off the press

September 1, 2016

Looking Back: 2015 Advent Devotional

Here’s a quick look back at the cover illustration of the HEBFF 2015 Advent Devotional by artist Ruth Meharg. We originally discovered Ruth’s intricate and dynamic work—some of which utilizes cut, painted tissue paper overlaid with acrylic paint—through the Laity Lodge Artist Retreat community, where her mother, artist Gwen Meharg, […]
August 31, 2016

Spreading the Lodge brand, like … seeds.

One of the first lessons of design I teach is to not hold on tightly to your first idea. If you can loosen your grasp, another idea will come, usually stronger and better. It’s a hard-learned lesson. Earlier in the year, Gate Davis and I had been thinking of an […]
August 24, 2016

Passing the torch after more than a decade

“I have so enjoyed the walk in the word with you … as a senior senior (smile) it has helped me to examine myself in so many areas and I have shared those experiences to my family and friends.” Francine, Daily Reflections reader upon hearing that Mark Roberts is taking […]
August 18, 2016

Lots of Chips, no Queso

We’re preparing a mounted color sheet for each of our HEBFF programs with Pantone® Solid Uncoated Color Chips. As our programs utilize the official HEBFF color palette more and more, this color sheet will provide a quick reference against printed materials. The sheet can accompany our designers on press okays […]
August 18, 2016

It’s in the details… 

It’s completely plausible that someone could work for HEBFF for a while and not have heard of The Mosaic Circle: the name for a small cohort of our donors who love the Foundation and its programs and who are consistently able to donate to the Foundation at a certain level. Their […]
August 17, 2016

Why You Should Volunteer with HEBFF Outdoor

In May, the Communications team went to the Canyon to pitch in for a school retreat with HEBFF Outdoor. The experience was eye-opening on several levels, and now that the Foundation is offering everyone on staff a chance to become an official HEBFF Outdoor Volunteer, you can have your eyes opened, too—to […]
August 9, 2016

LLYC Rewind Cards

This summer LLYC sent Singing Hills campers home with a brand new card game. LLYC Rewind is a trivia card game designed to help parents talk with kids about camp. The idea hatched after Beck Marlar and the Communications team designed a post-camp devotional booklet for campers. Although we had been inspired by LLFC’s “Story” […]
August 3, 2016

It’s Time for New Colors!

When we first adopted our three color palettes in 2014, we planned to change the tertiary palette every two or so years. It’s been two years, so out with the old muted tertiary palette and in with something new. This means Morgan and I sat down at Geekdom with a […]
July 28, 2016

The team that snacks together… 

Today they had gourmet shaved ice at Geekdom, providing the perfect late-afternoon break. Everyone chose Dreamcicle, except Marcus, who chose Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel. As you can tell, he must have not liked it at all. I used the opportunity to create a post—and in the process, taught my teammates […]
July 20, 2016

We Love Our Preferred Vendors

To paraphrase an old Africa proverb, it takes a village to produce good stuff for HEBFF programs. Our village includes all of the programs, of course, but also many outside vendors. Our preferred vendors are an essential part of every communication effort. What is a preferred vendor? Right now, we […]
July 7, 2016

A few more photos of the new Canyon Entrance

June 28, 2016 — Paul Soupiset
June 21, 2016

First Impressions: Branding the Canyon Entrance

The opening line in this year’s Laity Lodge Youth Camp brochure asks campers and their parents How do you know when you have arrived at camp? The pages offer possible answers—Is it the sound of the gravel road crunching beneath your tires? Or when you step out of your vehicle […]
June 21, 2016

LLYC: Impact Study

— here’s a quick look at the design for the recent “Celebrating 50 Years of Laity Lodge Youth Camp: An Impact Study.” A collaboration between Constituent Relations’ Perri Rosheger, LLYC, and Communications.  
June 20, 2016

Creating an Integrated Brand, Part 1

When we started the comprehensive rebrand of HEBFF a few years ago, one of the shared concerns was how to bring a level of design continuity to such disparate brands. One obvious way we see in motion every day is the family of marks that comprise our logo system: But […]
June 16, 2016

VIDEO: Updating the Headwaters Map on the iPad

We recently created a more detailed version of the Headwaters Map by importing a reference photo—taken from atop Circle Bluff—and importing it into the iPad. Using an Apple Pencil and Procreate 3.0.6 app, HEBFF Communications was able to create a digital pen and ink drawing of the environs. Later, the […]
June 9, 2016

Gearing up for the Alumni Gathering

Sneak preview of this festive die-cut sticker for the LLYC 50-Year Alumni Gathering.
June 7, 2016

How We Created the HEBFF Outdoor Logo

The original Laity Lodge logo was designed in 1978 by Richard L. Casey with oversight from Howard E. Butt, Jr., as the symbol of the Congress of the Laity. Over the past 35 years, the mark pulled extra duty, also serving as the logo for Laity Lodge as well as […]
June 4, 2016

Keeping Up Pace with Laity Lodge

Even though Laity Lodge is closed for the remainder of 2016, don’t think for a moment that the program’s communications needs have sloughed off. HEBFF Communications has lately helped the Lodge with promoting Art House gatherings in Nashville and St. Paul, planning the future of the Box Canyon website, updating films, […]
May 27, 2016

50 Years of LLYC Publications

My daughter loves Laity Lodge Youth Camp. The door tag on her bedroom door says, “Dreaming of LLYC.” She has hung LLYC posters in her room for many years. She still has the LLYC 2015 Rooted Journal on top of her bookshelf under her pink camo camp Bible. When LLYC […]
May 27, 2016

How to Send a Constant Contact Email in 10 Easy Steps

Don’t let that headline scare you. Yes, there are at least 10 steps required for every email HEBFF sends, but only three of these steps are yours to complete. We handle the rest. Communications assists all HEBFF programs with their emails, from monthly newsletters to weekly summer-session updates to one-off […]
May 27, 2016

Websites Underway: Foundation Camps and Family Camp

Over the next year, we’re hoping to refresh all of the HEBFF program websites. We started with HEBFF Outdoor because they did not yet have a standalone site. This summer, we’re focused on Foundation Camps and Laity Lodge Family Camp. We enjoy web work for a host of reasons, but chiefly these two: Building […]
May 27, 2016

All the Little Things

Behind every one of our HEBFF Communications projects is a Project Owner, our department’s term for the HEBFF employee who is our client: the person who will eventually approve our work, and often the person who will champion our work in front of their program or team. One of the […]
May 27, 2016

Quality as Work

In the middle of the 20th Century, while Mary and Howard Butt, Sr. were collaborating on the vision that would become Laity Lodge, American designers Charles and Ray Eames were busy making significant contributions to modern industrial and graphic design, architecture, and furniture. The husband and wife team pioneered designs—and design […]
May 27, 2016

Looking back: Laity Lodge Birding Guide

Over the decades, Laity Lodge has offered early morning birding hikes. In the process, they’ve amassed a great deal of knowledge about the seasonal patterns of birds who make the Frio River Canyon their home, including two endangered species, the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. The Lodge needed a […]