Hunt with Heart hosted their 2nd Annual Memorial Day Picnic at Beaver Creek Ranch for all of the Hunt with Heart Families and a few outside guests. The day was filled with fellowship, food, and lots of fun! We had activities for everyone- archery, hayrides, safari rides, roping clinic, gun range, fishing and activities at the lodge. There was something for everyone no matter your age! We recognized our 7 graduating seniors, from both college and high school. We are so proud of all the wonderful things they are accomplishing in life!
We started the day with morning activities and then once everyone worked up an appetite we headed back to the main lodge for hamburgers and hot dogs donated by 44 Farms. During lunch we had a special presentation from the
Texas Rangers. They talked about the history and what the day to day job is like as a Texas Ranger. Not only did they share a few things about themselves, but they also hung out with our young people throughout the day, that was a big deal for some of our young people and even their parents! It’s not everyday you get to hang out with a Texas Ranger, we were so thankful they were able to make time in their schedule for us! We also had a dog demonstration, from Curtis and his dog Jude. Jude would listen and watch for commands and respond/act accordingly to what Curtis was wanting him to do. After a delicious lunch and our two awesome presentations we were off to our afternoon activity to close out our Memorial Day Picnic.
The Memorial Day Picnic was a huge success and one of our biggest events of the years for our families to attend! The whole family gets the opportunity to witness the beauty and the magic that happens at Beaver Creek Ranch and we are so excited the Fatima Donaldson Photography was there to capture it for us as well as James Pharaon Photography.
During the first weekend in June, Hunt with Heart welcomed four new families into our Hunt with Heart family at Camp La Pesca, in Port O’Connor. Camp La Pesca is our fishing camp, which allows our organization to focus our efforts on a younger age group of kids and get them involved with Hunt with Heart sooner. The four families who attended grasped our mission from the beginning making camp a huge success. Throughout the weekend they were able to bond, create life-long friendships, and make memories that they won’t forget!
Our campers and their parents arrived at Camp
La Pesca on Friday afternoon. We did a quick meet and greet, went through the rules and schedule of the weekend, grabbed lunch, and then they were off on the water with their guides to kickoff their weekend! During the weekend their is non-stop fishing, the campers are even begging the guides to continue fishing after dinner each night. Our joke of the weekend was that we wished we could have just some of the energy that they have. Our Hunt with Heart guides are wonderful and want the campers to have the best experience and did whatever it took to make that happen, so they would take them night fishing for flounder. After fishing all day Friday and Saturday we got to come together and have a fish fry Saturday evening with the fish the campers caught. The campers really enjoy this part and ask as they are taking a bite of fish, “Is this the fish I caught?” They are excited that their hard work paid off and tasted so good too!
On Sunday morning, before everyone starts their journey back home we do a ceremony to recognize each one of our campers and talk about their accomplishments and what their guide saw in them that weekend. This a magical time during camp and a time that really brings everyone closer and tightens the bond that was made throughout the weekend! They are sent home with a picture frame and a bag full of fish that they had caught to share with the rest of their family!
2018 Camp La Pesca was a success and we are so thankful to have four new families added to our giant Hunt with Heart family! The fun has only begun!
“I was born on March 7th, 1996, in Albany, New York. A few day later I would undergo my first surgery for my heart as my parents sat worried in the waiting room. The first few years of my life were stressful for my parents until I had my last open heart surgery, the second fontan surgery, at 3 years old. Later on that year my family would end up in Kyle, Texas. I spent the next 15 years living in the same neighborhood until I moved out to attend Texas A&M. In those 15 years I learned to deal with my condition and the complications that come with CHD. I was never able to play tackle football, but I played 2 seasons of flag football. I was told that I had to stop participating in my jui jitsu classes, so I focused on the muy thai portions of my lessons. I played baseball, basketball, and tennis as I made my way through life. When I was a sophomore in high school I was invited out to Camp Beaver Creek for the first camp that Hunt With Heart would put on. That camp was the first real experience that I had with other kids who faced conditions similar to mine. Understanding that I wasn’t alone in my experiences helped me to have a brighter outlook on life.” -Tyler Gray
“I was born in June 2002, and although small in size appeared perfectly healthy. At 3 days old, Dr. Dreyer and staff greeted my parents in the NICU with different news and plans. I was born with congenital heart disease known as Tetrology of Fallot, which is 4 different heart defects: VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect), Pulmonary Stenosis, Right ventricular hypertrophy and an overriding aorta. These defects could only be repaired with surgery. I spent my first 6 months of life trying to gain enough to be at my healthiest weight possible for surgery, and on December 20th, 2002 open heart surgery was performed and the repair was complete. I struggled with many basic skills and required a feeding tube and physical therapy for the first few years. Growing up I didn’t show many differences from other kids around me, but I was always significantly smaller in size and stature. Although I have another surgery in my future, I won’t let it hold me back from what God has planned for me and what my future holds.
I wasn’t really into contact sports, or really any sports as a kid. I tried multiple activities, but it wasn’t until fifth grade that I found my true love. We took a trip to the school agriculture barn and I immediately knew I wanted to be a part of FFA. Although it wasn’t a normal thing kids in my town do, my passion for agriculture was far too big to not make known. As a freshman in high school I joined the FFA and started raising goats and now a steer. It was the best decision I ever made. I began joining teams and making so many memories. My love for the FFA and the great outdoors kept growing and growing and now I get to share my love with my brother Wyatt. It is a family effort, we love doing things together. The FFA program has brought me closer to my family and friends, but more importantly “out of my shell” and I could not be more thankful.
The experience Hunt With Heart gave me was truly unforgettable. I am so grateful I was able share my love for the great outdoors at Beaver Creek Ranch with amazing people. The memories I made helped me realize that everything the other kids and I went through just helped us gain amazing opportunities. I will never forget the amazing trip I went on and I hope I am able to someday become a camp counselor as well. I love Hunt with Heart and everyone that is a part of it.”