Scenic view of trees at camp

An Open Door

by Jenny Sowers Rutland


“It truly is my dream job and I was able to get this position way ahead of the game. It was the complete opening of a door that didn’t make sense,” Kayla shares as she reflects on her experience of getting hired as a practicum student at the HOPE Child and Family Center of Texas.

Kayla “Craft’N Crunch” Solley served at the Towers and Woods during the summers of 2013-2017 in various roles including a leadership position as the Woods Cove Kids senior counselor. Kayla looks back gratefully on her time at Pine Cove and says that it was through her summers there that she realized she wanted to make a career out of working with kids. Inspired, she switched her major to psychology and then went on to graduate from Texas A&M. She later enrolled in Dallas Theological Seminary to become a licensed professional counselor specializing in play therapy.

While at DTS, Kayla began to ask all the keep-you-up-at-night kind of questions: How am I going to get a job? What will I do? Where will I live? In a class at DTS, Kayla’s professor notified the class of an internship opening, for which Kayla applied. To Kayla’s surprise, Dr. Brooke West, owner and director of HOPE Child and Family Center of Texas, asked to set up a phone interview. Kayla says most students don’t get hired while they are still in school, so to get an interview already was not only rare, but a bit of a shock.


When Kayla picked up the phone for her first interview, she didn’t yet know that this would be her first and only interview. Dr. West hired her over the phone, on the spot, at the end of the interview.

Dr. West laughingly recalls hiring Kayla on the phone. “I honestly don’t even remember hiring her over the phone because that is just not something I would do.”

Not only would she “never” hire anyone over the phone, but Dr. West says she “never even does phone interviews.” But after sending her children to Pine Cove’s day camp, Pine Cove City, and attending the Bluffs family camp, Dr. West felt more confident.

“Because [Kayla] had experience at Pine Cove, I knew she was trustworthy and Christ-centered. She would be able to be vulnerable, but firm. It just made her an instant hire.”

Shortly after Dr. West hired Kayla, she also hired Kayla’s roommate, who also worked at Pine Cove on summer staff. Since Kayla has not yet taken her LPC board exam, she needed not only an LPC supervisor, but in order to work in the field of play therapy, she also needed someone who is a registered play therapist supervisor. Dr. West is both.

“Having her as a boss is truly a dream. She was like a diamond to find,” says Kayla.


Both Kayla and Dr. West look back on their time at Pine Cove and fondly remark on the life transformation that has taken place for both of them. When asked about her experience at Pine Cove, Dr. West immediately gets emotional because of how the Lord has used it in her and her family’s lives.

While both Kayla and Dr. West are thankful for how Pine Cove brought them together, ultimately they celebrate what God has done in opening a door for Kayla and providing a trustworthy team member for Dr. West.

Interested in connecting with Pine Cove staff alumni who are looking for career opportunities? Check out our LinkedIn page!

Posted Jun 15, 2021

Jenny Sowers Rutland

Former Staff

Read More Posts

Click here to sign up for our Inside the Cove newsletter!