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The Multiple Meanings of F.T.K.

Bryce McClelland, SpringHill Summer Leader, United States Naval Academy Mid-shipman 3rd Class and his campers

Bryce McClelland, SpringHill Summer Leader, United States Naval Academy Mid-shipman 3rd Class with his campers

No, the letters F.T.K. are not secret code, and yes, they have meaning, serious meaning. As a matter of fact these letters stand for two significant but related purposes.

These two purposes highlight the reason why over 1000 summer and year around SpringHill leaders just ran the sprint we call summer camp.  It’s why they worked uncountable hours, at times in uncomfortable weather and conditions, and often enduring heartache and disappointment.  It’s also why they experienced the joy of loving, serving, teaching, coaching, and leading nearly 28,000 children and students. F.T.K. moved these leaders to do all they could to assure campers had the best week of their year and the most transformative experience of their life.

F.T.K. is also why 1000’s of supporters, ambassadors, prayer partners, volunteers, churches and families invest in the work SpringHill does every summer.

It’s what drives the SpringHill family, every day, to be more creative in their work, and more effective in serving more kids, families and churches in more places.

F.T.K. is how we ultimately evaluate the work we did this summer.  It is SpringHill’s plumb line, it’s what moves us, inspires us, sustains us and brought all of us together this summer.

And it’s why, for the past 18 summers, I’ve devoted my vocational life serving SpringHill’s mission.  And yes I know, if you’re not connected to SpringHill, you may not know the multiple meanings of F.T.K..

The words behind F.T.K. are significant yet quite straightforward. And as soon as you read them, you’ll understand why they are the guiding force of our work this summer.

F.T.K. represents both – For the Kids, and – For the Kingdom.  Hands down, with no serious rivals, there’s no better cause, no more important work, no better way to spend a summer than serving kids and His Kingdom.  Just ask the 1000’s of people who did so this summer and the 10,000’s of kids, families and churches who experienced the fruit of their work.

What Inspires “New and Improved”!

People often say that they can’t wait to return to SpringHill to see what’s new and improved. We’ve developed a reputation for not sitting comfortably on the current state of our properties, facilities, activities and programs. So people come to our camps with anticipation.

I believe this is true because SpringHill staff live with two types of dissatisfactions. The first is we continue to have that artist’s “dissatisfaction with the present” that we inherited from our Founding Director, Enoch Olson. It’s that God-given desire to create, with the belief that there’s always room for something new that will add more beauty to the present.

The other dissatisfaction, which I’ll admit may be more closely related to the first one than I’m acknowledging, is the dissatisfaction that comes from always wanting things better, more exciting, bigger and faster. It’s driven by our desire to “wow” our campers and guests the second and third time they’re at camp, not just the first.

It’s also why I looked forward, with anticipation, to visiting our camp in Indiana last week. It’s been a few months since I last visited, and I knew there’s been a lot of good work being done by our team, all inspired by these two dissatisfactions. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I saw the improved dining hall and large group meeting area with its better acoustics and stage. Also one of our campers’ favorite activities, the “Party Barge”, went through a major renovation. Then our team’s added a giant’s swing that will propel campers high into the sky, and finally, though maybe not as exciting but just as important, we’ve added electricity to all our cabins.

So I left camp confident that our campers will not be disappointed, just as I wasn’t, when they return this summer, and see what’s new and improved.

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