Every Labor Day weekend we have 20 to 25 people living in our home, people sleeping where ever there is a bed, couch, or floor space. We have more great food than all of us can eat in a week. There are card games, ziplines, horseback rides, tubing down the Muskegon River and great discussions about life and faith. So what’s the occasion?
This is the annual SpringHill Labor Day Family Camp. One of the first programs SpringHill began and after 41 years it’s bigger and more impactful than ever. We continue to see families who want this kind of experience together leading us to continue to grow the program with nearly 4000 people attending 4 family camps in Michigan and Indiana in 2010.
But our little corner of this fabulous weekend are the 3 families who come and make our house their camp site and together we experience SpringHill’s Family Camp. Over the years and over the course of the weekend we have had other families join us for meals, for a warm and dry place to sleep or just to catch a college football game on Saturday afternoon.
It is one of my favorite SpringHill experiences and one of my favorite weekends of the year. The three families, the Wagner’s from Plymouth, Michigan, the VanderKolk’s and the Blanchards from East Grand Rapids, Michigan, and of course our family have all become dear friends because of this annual shared experience.
The friendships have extended to our kids and our kid’s friends. Late on Saturday night some of our summer staff (friends of our kids) joined us after the session for a discussion prompted by the weekend’s speaker Duffy Robbins. The focus was on God’s intentions of bringing His Kingdom to bear on His earth. Included were great questions, a bit of debate and a moving story of how the power of Christ’s Kingdom came this past week to someone from our group.
The evening was Family Camp at it’s best. It’s what happens at SpringHill every evening during the summer as well as during family camps. Small communities of people sit around a campfire (or a fire-place) and share, discuss and pray together. It’s also why I love these weekends. You see I not only have a hand in this incredible ministry but also have the opportunity to be a SpringHill camper for a weekend.