My Birthday Wish: Encouragement for a Detroit Teen (It’s Her Birthday, Too)!

Today I share my birthday with Sydney, a 15 year old here in Detroit that we spend a lot of time with and really love (you should hear Luke following her around the house saying “Neenee, Neenee!”).  I’m not always … Continue reading

Fall Tour: SpringHill Camps in Evart, MI

This city-is-life girl has been missing the wilderness lately.  Maybe it’s because I spent so much time living on (3 summers) or within a 2 mile commute to (3 years) the gorgeous Michigan property of SpringHill.

I spent a cloudy Saturday at SpringHill this fall and would love to take you on a tour.  Let’s start with Huron Village (or the wigwams)-the very first place I counseled in 1999!

Next to the Wigwams is Western Town.  This area recently replaced the Covered Wagons that had been housing campers (and mice!) since our first year in 1969. I love the creative people I work with- SpringHill staff that can dream big and build it, too!

Here are the tepees- the dearest to my heart because it was the home of 1st-3rd grade campers when I was on summer staff.  I was pretty much the permanent Area Director there for 2 summers.  I must have talked about the tepees a lot, because when I came on full-time staff,  it took years to explain to people that I didn’t actually live in a tepee.  In retrospect, tepee living sounds like an awesome life!

SpringHill has been blessed with some of the coolest activities of any camp.   However, in this fall tour, I focused on the classics.  We’ve got all the cutting-edge extreme parks, water-slides and paintball courses, but some things just ARE camp. If you haven’t been up there lately, I’d love to take you for a tour of all that’s changed.  And all that hasn’t. 


And now, a few more glimpses of fall.  Can you see the leaves falling over my favorite spot on camp?  I’ve spent hours of my life talking to God on that bench.

I LOVE that I now get to work for SpringHill in a large community.  And while I don’t think I’ll ever move back to Evart, I absolutely treasure the moments I get to spend on the property.  What part/season of camp do you miss the most?

Camper Quote of the Week

Still, always, my favorite moments of the day are with kids. I LOVE my partner churches. Like can’t wait to get there and sometimes cry at the end because I become so close with the church staff. I LOVE my SpringHill staff. Like DEEPLY, can’t explain it. We are family. And I can’t believe WE GET TO DO THIS TOGETHER. But let’s be honest, I got in this and stay in this FTK (that’s college kid slang for “for the kids”- I have to be cool & hip and use their language if I want to be their leader). Kids are SO amazing–if you haven’t spent time with an elementary student lately, you need to do that this week.

I went around asking kids what their high was (best part) and what their low was (worst part) for the day. One little girl said she definitely had a low:

“The only problem is that my cheeks are hurting worser and worser because I just can’t stop smiling and laughing.”

Today it poured. A full out ruin all your outdoor-camp-plans-type of storm. And we had more fun than ever. Did I mention I love my staff? And my photographer, Mark, who is capturing the beauty and wonder of it all so well…