It is difficult saying goodbye and having to wait nine whole months before you can return to one of your most favorite places on earth.
That has been the case for me this past year. I said goodbye to Seymour and to overnight SpringHill Camps just about 11 months ago now. Last time I was in Seymour, I was ready to hit the road and ready to get my summer started. I haven’t been back since, and have been eagerly awaiting my return to camp. May 11th can’t come soon enough.
That being said, an opportunity arose for me to return to camp in April, before training began. SpringHill doesn’t just host summer camps for kids, but hosts retreats throughout the course of the year (mostly in the fall and spring) for different groups as well.
A few weekends ago, SpringHill was hosting a mother-son retreat for Emmanuel Church of Greenwood and their Banta campus, and were in need of volunteers.
I found out about this opportunity through a fellow SpringHiller, Jon. Now Jon and I have a friendship going all the way back to training last year (2014). We were both sitting in a combined session together (camps and overnight staff members). I saw that the guy next to me was wearing an IUPUI shirt and asked him about it; turns out he goes to IUPUI and had just finished his freshman year, like me.
Summer happened and all too soon school began back up in the fall. I saw Jon one of the first weeks back to school at Cru where he probably recognized me because of my SpringHill water bottle and Chaco tan-line.
Turns out, Jon is rooming with my roommate’s boyfriend next year, since they’ve become friends through Cru. Small world!
A few months ago, Jon asked me what I was doing on April 11th. Longer story made shorter (which is another God-is-amazing story in and of itself), I was free. He had been contacted by Ashley, a full-time SpringHill staff member who was looking for volunteers for the mother-son retreat. Jon wanted to go and needed a ride, so he asked me. I was able to borrow my Dad’s car and head down for a day of service at camp.
It is amazing how God works. He allowed for Jon and I to sit next to each other in Seymour during a session in order for us to meet so that we’d know each other upon returning to IUPUI, and finally to have the connections to camp and to each other so that we could return to camp once before training begins. I needed the extra boost to get me through the end of my semester, and going down to camp for a weekend to volunteer did just that for me. It all was perfectly orchestrated in God’s perfect timing. He knew where I’d be at and that I’d have the Saturday free to travel down to Seymour to serve.
When we first made it to camp, Jon and I were ecstatic. I was so happy to be where I feel oh so comfortable; I was at home.
We set-up and did some training with Eric as I got to meet new friends (Abby, Dean, Margaret) and see old ones (Matt, Eric). It was fun to learn some of the ropes (quite literally, now that I think about it:) and catch up with Eric. He mentioned how they were trying to snag me for overnight camp this summer, which made me feel needed. Wanted.
My first session of the day was with Margaret at tie-dye. It was fun to set up with her and get to know her. It was also fun because I was the crafts lead last summer and was able to teach her how to fold the shirts. It was also fun to keep each other company during the slow parts of the morning. We also went through a ton of old rubber bands that looked like spaghetti when they broke. Random fun fact.
After that we had lunch where I got to see Ashley and visit with her as well as Luke (day camps AD last summer, overnight Res Staff this summer). It was fun to see Luke – I hadn’t seem him since the end of training 2014.
After lunch Margaret and I watched Abby, Matt, and Blake run Skittle Skattle Battle in the woods. I then did two sessions of belaying at the rock wall back-to-back which was hard but fun. It was tiring without a break and there were a TON of flies for some reason (time of year, perhaps?), but it was so fun to get back into it after not doing it for so long. Katie, who now works for Emmanuel but used to work for SpringHill, was there and was able to help us belay for a couple hours since so many moms and sons wanted to do it. That was definitely a blessing. After she left, I moved to the more difficult side of the rock wall and belayed over there (in the shade!) until the end of the day.
After we got done belaying for 4.5 hours, I went back to tie-dye to help Margaret tear down. We then headed to dinner where we got some much needed energy for our drives back to our respective campuses.
Before heading back to Indy, Jon and I drove a lap around the circle to check out the camp and to relive memories. It was so refreshing and made me that much more excited for training and for camp to begin.
Overall it was an awesome day. I made new friends, saw old ones, was physically tired because I had done good, hard work, and made others smile. The Lord blessed me and gave me patience, confidence, and energy.
I can’t wait to entrust those things and more to Him again, all summer long. And summer will be here before I know it. Thank you, Lord, for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and to serve You and Your children for a day. Thank you for an extra boost and the encouragement to get through this last bit of the semester.