For the past 23 years, the course ‘Christian Business Leadership Principles’ has been hosted in Colorado but was canceled this year due to a water pipe burst at Crooked Creek, the camp where the students planned to stay.
“This was our first year at the Crooked Creek camp, which is a Young Life camp,” said Dr. Dennis Marquardt, associate professor. “Young Life had closed the frontier ranch where we were previously.”
The course is presented by the Lytle Center and the College of Business Administration. For the course, students travel and stay at a camp where they hear guest speakers and learn business leadership skills from a Christian point of view. This was the first year COBA has offered the course since COVID-19.
“This year was our strongest lineup with 15 guest speakers coming from all over the country,” Marquardt said. “We had a staff of nearly 20 people for support.”
However, upon the students arrival in Colorado, Marquardt learned about a burst pipe that destroyed the kitchen and the dining hall.
“At first, Crooked Creek looked great,” Marquardt said. “We woke up Monday morning, on the kick-off day, Crooked Creek directors wanted to meet with me about a massive water leak.”
Students arriving in Colorado had option of staying in a hotel or finding another way back to Texas. Most students found out about the incident as they got off the plane, and 47 students opted for a hotel and found a new way to get back to Abilene.
“We prayed for these students every day for five weeks,” Marquardt said. “As soon as I heard the news, I went into emergency mode. About an hour and a half into it, I started welling up with tears about all of those students that we prayed for.”
Majority of the payments were refunded back to students, guests, and other aspects that the Lytle Center could.
Ally Brant, a senior physics major from Abilene, arrived in Colorado as the news broke.
“Though I know most people were sad we were unable to do the leadership summit the way that was intended, everyone made the best of a bad situation,” Brant said.
Students now are taking the leadership summit course as an accelerated course that will end during spring break.
“I know most of us were upset we were unable to do our short course in a week and now are doing it over the semester,” Brant said. “I noticed people understood it was out of our hands so they did what they could and enjoyed each other’s company. “