Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson met at summer camp

Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, of A&E reality show Duck Dynasty fame have a long history with the Louisiana summer camp were they first met as third graders. Korie’s grandparents helped start the camp, Ch-Yo-Ca (short for Christian Youth Camp) in 1967, and her parents, John and Chrys Howard, also met at the camp. Korie’s mom is the camp’s director.

Willie took a job at the camp in 1995 after Korie graduated from college and they moved back to the area. Korie said the camp “proved to be a good training ground” for her husband in their book The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty.

“Willie took the camp’s deficit from about $150,000 to $5,000 in a couple years,” she wrote. “The kids would come to camp for about six weeks during the summer, but Willie started renting the camp’s facilities to churches and youth groups during the off-season. He started a program for schools to bring their classes to the camp for nature hikes, and he even added tennis courts, hiking trails, and other amenities. He was very creative in finding ways to create new revenue for the camp.”

Korie also recalls their meeting in the book, the time Willie asked her to go on a moonlight hike and the “Korie Loves Jess” (Willie was called Jess then) she left on the bunk of the cabin where she was staying.

Willie spoke fondly of his experience working at the camp in the book.

“I enjoyed working at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca and really liked being around kids,” he wrote. “I loved the freedom working at camp gave me to create and grow.”

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Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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