H. E. Butt Foundation Outdoor School partners with Texas schools, providing transformative and educational 3-day, 2-night outdoor experiences, each set within the rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country. Beneath steep canyon bluffs carved by the beautiful Frio River, we make a variety of retreat campsites available to qualified groups at no cost. Each self-contained camping site affords discovery, adventure, hospitality, and renewal for Texas communities.


Introduce yourself.

We are excited by your interest in an Outdoor School retreat. But first, let's get to know each other a little better! Please complete the contact form below to introduce us to your school group. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meet our team.



Your gift creates scholarships so schools and students can get outdoors and learn together.

Frequently Asked Questions

1How can parents reach their campers in case of an emergency?
Each campsite can be dialed directly. Echo Valley 830-232-3680 | Singing Hills 830-232-3690 | Linnet’s Wings 830-232-3730 | Windsong 830-232-3634 | Headwaters 830-232-3740
2Where is Outdoor School located?
Outdoor School is situated along the banks of the Frio River on the 1,900-acre H. E. Butt Foundation property deep in the Texas Hill Country, 13 miles north of Leakey on U.S. Highway 83. The camp is approximately 120 miles northwest of San Antonio and 60 miles west of Kerrville.
3Can campers bring their cell phones?
Fortunately, we do not have the Internet or cell phone reception in the Canyon, so cell phones will not work. As with all possessions that are brought to camp, there is always potential for accidents and theft. It is best to leave electronics at home.
4Will campers be able to swim in the river?
Ask your school’s administration. Current Certified Lifeguards (18 years or older) are required for all waterfront activities.
5Do you really drive in the river?
Yes! You will have to drive in the river to reach your campsite (except Wind Song). The road through the river has a solid rock bottom and is well marked; the water is only about four inches deep.
6What if the river floods?
Through experience, we know how much rain it takes to create a rise in the river. We also have a river monitoring system that notifies us if the river begins to rise at the headwaters (Blue Hole). If we experience a rise in the river, we shut off all traffic in the river, and the roads are chained closed. All of the campers (and cabins) are well above flood plains. We make sure the campers are kept out of the river at a safe distance.
7What is H. E. Butt Foundation Camp?
H. E. Butt Foundation Camp provides camping facilities at no cost to qualified churches, schools, and nonprofit community-service organizations. The program especially targets children and youth groups in Texas communities who would not otherwise be able to afford such an experience. The goal is to provide a place conducive to healthy Christian character development.
8How many people use H. E. Butt Foundation Camp?
Over 24,000 people each year visit the H. E. Butt Foundation Camps at the headwaters of the Frio River in the Texas Hill Country.
9How long has H. E. Butt Foundation Camp been in operation?
In 1954, H. E. Butt Foundation acquired 1,900 acres north of Leakey, Texas, to fulfill a long-cherished dream of Howard Butt, Sr., to provide a place where boys and girls, men and women could further their knowledge of God and his creation while enjoying the freedom of camp life that had so appealed to him during his youth. Mary Holdsworth Butt joined her husband in this dream. Along with subsequent generations of the Butt family, they progressively developed retreat facilities along the beautiful Frio River.
10Is the H. E. Butt Foundation part of the H-E-B grocery company?
The H. E. Butt family is involved in operations of both H-E-B and H. E. Butt Foundation.

The history of the H. E. Butt Foundation runs parallel to the history of the Butt family. At the turn of the last century, while delivering groceries for his mother’s fledgling Kerrville grocery store, a young Howard Butt, Sr., first glimpsed the sublime and expansive landscape that characterized the surrounding ranches.

H. E. Butt Foundation Camps