Erik Silvius is Senior Director of H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School, working directly with schools coming to the canyon through outdoor education retreats and supporting adventure recreation for all Foundation programs. Erik completed his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science at Texas Lutheran University and earned his Master of Science degree from Texas State University.
Before coming to the H. E. Butt Foundation to begin the Outdoor Education Program, Erik spent 13 years teaching in Texas public schools. He spent 3 years with the Austin Independent School District and 10 years in the Seguin Independent School District. Erik taught Special Education, Physical Education, and Outdoor Education. He spent all 10 years in Seguin working closely with the Seguin Outdoor Learning Center to provide experiential learning opportunities for the young people of Guadalupe County. Erik has been an active member of Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD) since 2003, and currently serves on the board as Vice- President of the Recreation Division. He is a long-time member and presenter with The Texas Outdoor Education Association, and came to the Frio Canyon for the first time attending TOEA’s annual workshop. Erik earned TAHPERD’s Recreation Professional of the Year Award and TOEA’s Outstanding Program Award during his years in public schools.
Erik, his wife Liz, and their two boys (Lukas and Simon) enjoy the hill county life in Kerrville, TX.
The Foundation and its programs have been a huge part of Myles’ life and his family’s life for generations. His great aunt was a camper in the ’60s as well as his grandma. Myles’ mom used to go to camp for a month out of every summer when she was in high school. His aunt worked as a counselor and then as a Canyon Club Director. Myles and his brother were both campers at Singing Hills and Echo Valley and worked as staff. His sister was not a camper but she was on Work Crew two summers ago and loved it. Myles and his family have been greatly influenced by the H. E. Butt Foundation, whether it was as a camper at LLYC and LLFC, or as being part of the staff.
Myles feels his life has been driven forward in his relationship with Jesus because of the Foundation and all of its efforts. Myles shared the following: “I am beyond excited and anticipatory of all that I will do this year, and all that I will learn. I could not ask for a more divinely gifted and promising place to be a part of.”
Outdoor School is excited to have Myles on the team. Myles brings with him an infectious excitement, and has demonstrated over the last couple years a deep commitment to service. Myles confirmed his abilities by creating great experiences for kids as one of the Canyon Club Directors Summer 2017.
Tasha grew up in Moulton, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences with an emphasis in Youth Development. In college, Tasha was heavily involved in YoungLife Ministries, and worked with junior high students in Bryan, Texas. She worked as a counselor for Echo Valley in 2014. The following two summers, Tasha was a backpacking guide for Sky Ranch Ute Trail. This experience allowed Tasha to stay connected with her fellow Laity Lodgers because she got to lead the annual Outbound trip.
After graduation and her final summer as a Sky Ranch guide, Tasha worked as an outdoor educator for the Houston Outdoor Education Center in Trinity, Texas. Her hobbies include running, reading, and climbing. Tasha expressed the following, “I’m excited for the opportunity to do the work I love in the place that I love, to help students experience the Canyon in new and exciting ways.
Tasha’s direct experience working within the Outdoor Ed field will bring tremendous impacts for the thousands of students Outdoor serves. Tasha’s relationships and experience with LLYC will also support our continued work across program lines.
Matt grew up in Caldwell, Texas, near College Station, as the son of a pastor, and attended Texas A&M University.
His first experience with the H. E. Butt Foundation came in college, when he spontaneously hopped into a van with his six roommates and fellow YoungLife leaders to work a weekend at Laity Lodge Family Camp. Almost immediately upon arrival, Matt felt the presence of the Spirit in the beauty of the Canyon, and he fell in love with the work and the place alike.
Since then, Matt has worked almost every Family Camp retreat for the past five years, with a summer as a programmer and another as a program crew boss, and his most recent two summers as the activities director for Singing Hills at Laity Lodge Youth Camp. Matt says that, although he didn’t meet Christ in the Canyon like so many other people have, that’s where Christ raised him.
Roscoe Bertsch went to Texas State University and majored in physical education. His collegiate mentor, Rick Robbins, was an inspirational leader who taught Roscoe how outdoor education can facilitate different kinds of learning and self empowerment for students of all ages.
Rick Robbins was the first to give Roscoe the opportunity to volunteer for the H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School through Seguin ISD as a student teacher, and even after he graduated. Now an intern for Outdoor School, Roscoe finds that working with his hands and serving kids yields a great sense of satisfaction, purpose, and joy.
In his free time, he enjoys the same activities he does on the job: climbing, mountain biking, cycling, fly fishing, and when the opportunity is present, backpacking. The personal pursuit of outdoor activities is not something Roscoe takes lightly. He researches the best techniques and gear, takes classes, and learns through trial and error. “I look forward to articulating this knowledge to others to facilitate a gratifying experience in the outdoors,” Roscoe said. These recreational activities have led to valuable personal growth and inspire him to offer that same experience for students.