SpringHill Experiences,  Summer Camp

The Big Letdown!

TetonsIt’s been 5 days since the SpringHill summer ended.  27,000 children and teens, 1100 young adult leaders,  135 SpringHill locations in eight states,  thousands of parents and families, volunteers, miles traveled,  and, most importantly, 10,000’s of transformed lives. Yes, at SpringHill, we pack 80% of our direct missional work into 4 months.

From the middle of May till the final SpringHill Experience is finished in the middle of August,  I feel as though I’m shouldering a great weight – the responsibility for the lives of all these people.  But at the same time, I’ve also just lived four months off the inspiration and energy that comes from working with such an amazing, embracing, talented, committed and diverse SpringHill community –

  • professional staff who worked hard the prior 8 months to have us ready for summer then served tirelessly almost every day, all day, for 4 straight months.
  • summer leaders, who give up their summer to serve kids unselfishly, with great love, energy and passion.
  • volunteers, ambassadors, and supporters who host, paint, drive trams, serve in our medical centers, provide meals, garden, and work in the offices, helping us create SpringHill Experiences.
  • kids, families and partners we had the privilege to serve this summer.
  • finally, I ran all summer on the energy provided by the Spirit, seeing, hearing and knowing that life changing, everlasting work was being done through that same Spirit in the lives of countless people.

So, yes there’s a let down.  Like finishing a long race, or accomplishing a significant goal, or coming off any adrenaline high, finishing a SpringHill summer means coming off the mountain.  It means adapting to a new season of planning, steady work, and looking ahead to what’s next.  So what do I do to overcome this let down?

  • I look back over the past 4 months and remember and reflect on the remarkable stories, people, relationships, learnings, and growth that happened.  I allow myself to bask in all of these for a while.  This remembering positively answers the question, the question that so often leaks into my mind this time of the year,  was it all worth it?
  • I also begin to plan, set goals – both personal and professional – for not only the next 8 months but how I want next summer to be.  I’m always looking for ways to make next summer the best yet.  This forward look provides me new energy to tackle this next season with enthusiasm.
  • I simply accept these moments will be part of my yearly rhythm, as long as I’m doing this work.  I embrace it, and take advantage of the opportunities it provides.
  • Finally, I make time to do those things (like read good books , go fishing, hangout with family and friends, or write again – ie. blog post) that I just couldn’t get to these past months.

So as we tell kids at SpringHill, you can’t stay on the mountain forever – you have to go back home. For us, SpringHill summers don’t last forever either, we have to go back home (or to the office) and get ready for another summer.  There’s new work to be done, places to go, people to meet.  Next summer will be here before we know it when we’ll have another opportunity to experience it all over again.


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