Austin Founder Lions Club

Julien C. Hyer Lions Youth Camp (by Lion Allan Chase)

27 Jul 2009 4:05 PM | Mark Hastings (Administrator)

The Austin Downtown Founder Lions Club had a fantastic treat and honor. From July 13th to the 16th we hosted the Julien C. Hyer Campers from 18 foreign counties. The camp, which is based in the Dallas area, invites and hosts the campers for over one month in the great state of Texas. This Lions club initiative happens every summer and has for 35 years. First organized in 1973 and begun in 1974, this camp is a great opportunity for the Lions to bring over from Europe, Asia and Africa (and sometimes Australia) students 17 to 20 years old, and show them what a great country the United States is. Of course, Texas is the best place to stage that experience. They start out in Dallas and become familiar with their host families there and then go and spend close to a week at Lake Texoma at the home camp.  From there they came to stay with us until the 16th of July, and then returned to Dallas….from there they spent a week in Lubbock, so they were able to experience much of the TEXAS experience during their visit.

After being “dormant” for several years, the camp directors called a few years ago and asked if our club would like to host the camp in Austin for one day. We agreed and Lions Bill Campbell and Rudy Munguia helped guide the campers through a tour of the State Capital which they enjoyed immensely. The following year after the camp directors called and asked for a little more time in the Austin Area, Lions Sam Buford and Allan Chase agreed to co-chair the planning of their visit and one day became two which became three and this year it became four days. Next year it may become all week!  It is a great opportunity to mold the impressions of the future leaders of many other countries. It is an opportunity and a responsibility.


For the past two years, our generous  club has agreed to pay their expenses to come down to Austin for the four days, and that includes the bus, the bus driver, and incidental expenses during the trip. 


The campers arrived by bus at Barton Springs Pool on Monday the 13th where they spent the day. Lion Sam Buford had arranged and matched the host families to the campers. The hosts met the campers they were matched with for the first time that afternoon and took them to their homes.  The next morning the hosts dropped off the campers at the State Capital for a tour arranged by Lions Scott Hendrix and Rudy Munguia followed by lunch at the annex cafeteria. From there the campers went to the Bullock State History Museum for a tour and a movie.  The hosts picked them up in the afternoon. On Wednesday morning the hosts delivered their campers to Barton Springs Pool (used as a staging area).  The bus then took them to San Marcos where they spent the day tubing and relaxing on the San Marcos River. The bus delivered them back to Barton Springs Pool where their hosts picked them up. That evening several hosts families spent time with their campers eating Mexican food or swimming in Lake Austin or country & western dancing.  On the last day the campers were taken by their hosts to the UT campus for a tour arranged by Lion Alan Ford. From there they came to our weekly luncheon where they became the program. The highlight of the lunch was when each camper introduced themselves and told us the best part of the week. They then left us to return to Dallas but not before stopping in Waco and touring the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum. where they spent the day tubing and relaxing on the


Many Lions, too numerous to mention, helped out this year, and it is hoped that we have even MORE involvement next year. The generous hosts that opened their homes and wallets to these campers should be commended….looking forward to July 2010!

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