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Small and wonderful world

It is wonderful when you realize just how small and wonderful the world is! And maybe more so when you see dreams come true!

Jan Jones Roberts, second from left

Jane Ragsdale, Jan Roberts, Monique Richard and Hannah Kearney at a Schreiner University function, Feb. 9, 2015

I received a delightful call today from Jan Jones Roberts, elder sister of Jo Jones. Jan is in her 90’s and lives in assisted living in Austin. Last night at dinner, she sat herself at a “community table” for five, and was soon joined by another resident, whom Jan recognized as a newcomer. Being the outgoing and friendly sort, Jan introduced herself, and in the course of conversation, asked the lady if she was familiar with the Hunt area.

Small and wonderful world

She certainly was! And quickly added that her nieces attended camp there. Imagine Jan’s delight to learn that those nieces attended Heart O’ the Hills! So then, Jan had to ask about their Sisterhood (tribe) affiliation. The nice lady couldn’t remember that detail, but proudly announced that her niece was a recipient of the prestigious Jo Jones award.

Upon hearing this, Jan was over the moon! After all, “The Heart” was converted from inn to camp in memory of her sister, Jo.

Karoline Horner, second-generation recipient of Jo Jones Sportsmanship Award 2020

The ladies exchanged information, and it wasn’t long before Jan received a forwarded email from said Jo Jones girl, Kathryn Brown Horner, saying that her own daughter, Karoline, was coming up on her final camper year, and was also a recipient of the award.

Kathryn added in her how thankful she was that The Heart was a part of her life, and how she attributes many of her personal character traits to the numerous summers she came as a camper and staff member. She added that every day she ponders and gives thanks for the wonderful family who worked so hard to make The Heart into a camp that focuses on development of character and happy, healthy experiences.

Even ambitious dreams can come true

Jan observed that she didn’t think such nice young people were still around these days. I assured her that they can certainly be found at Heart O’ the Hills! I firmly believe I’m the luckiest camp director on the planet due to the lovely camp families and girls that are our Heart Family.

Richard and Jan Jones Roberts

Jan and her husband upon giving us the Jones Bench in front of the Lodge, May 12, 2001

And it warms my heart to know that the ambitious and lofty visions of Jan and Jo Jones’ parents came to fruition, and that the world is small enough that Jan has gotten to serendipitously see it come full circle! Not everyone lives long enough to see their “bread come back on every wave” (Ecclesiastes 11:1).


About the Author

Jane Ragsdale

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Jane Ragsdale (Mrs. Dick Howell) is the director of Heart O’ the Hills. She was a Heart camper and counselor, and served as program director from 1978-87. She has been one of the owners since 1976, and director since 1988.

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