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History of Variety's Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children

Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children was established in 1984 in memory of Charles Schreiner V, son of Mary Helen and Charlie Schreiner IV and grandson of Daurice and Jim Bowmer. Charles Schreiner V (also known as Baby Charlie) was born with a congenital heart defect, and after a courageous battle for almost a year, he passed away at the age of eleven months. Baby Charlie spent nearly all of his eleven months of life in the hospital and his grandparents wanted to create a place where children could get away from the hospital with their families for a few days and just be a part of nature. The Bowmers started Baby Charlie’s Fishing Camp and they, along with Mary Helen and Charlie, brought children and their parents from nearby Scott & White Hospital to fish on the Lampasas River.

The fishing camp grew, and the Bowmer family expanded and started what is now Variety’s Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children on 120 acres adjacent to the Lampasas River. The retreat serves over 5,000 children with chronic illnesses and special needs each year. The children participate in three programs at the retreat: Summer Camp Program, Weekend Program or Environmental Education Program.