As a father of four children, believe me when I say that I know parents have many priorities and goals for their kids. My wife Denise and I certainly do. But I also know as our kids grew up, there was only one priority that always made it to the top. – Their safety and wellbeing.
As the leader of a growing organization I also understand that places like SpringHill have many priorities. Sometimes organizations do not always have clarity about which priority is actually the most important one, the one that comes before all others. But at SpringHill, like you as a parent, we (every one of our board members, staff and volunteers) are crystal clear about our top priority. We know and are committed to the one thing that supersedes them all.
Our number one priority is the safety of our campers, staff and guests. Every other priority we have is no better than second place to this one. We like to refer to it as F.T.K. – “For the Kids” and it represents our highest commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our campers, staff and guests.
And that doesn’t just mean physical safety and wellbeing. That means physical, emotional and spiritual safety and wellbeing of each and every child, teen and young adult who sets foot on a SpringHill property. Every young person was created in the image of God and deserves to be treated like the precious being that they are.
We take pride in our ability to carefully select the counselors and staff who work at SpringHill. The selection process includes interviews, reference checks, professional recommendations, and background checks which includes searching staff names against criminal history, sex offender, and child abuse perpetrator registries across the country. We have a very high return rate of staff each summer and that ensures one of the most important aspects of camp - A culture of safety. We believe that our compulsory training program, which is presented to staff during orientation and is continued throughout the entire season is “state of the art.”
We come alongside parents and help educate them on how to keep their children safe when they’re away from their care. The “No Touch Zone” Policy was created by the American Camp Association (ACA) and it has become part of our staff safety and training manuals. We believe that parents who introduce their children to the “No Touch Zone” are teaching a substantial, new system of self-protection. We hope you find it as vital as we do. Read more about our policy here.
So please know we love kids. We exist to serve them. And we believe Christ in kids represent the best hope for a broken and hurting world. This is why we’re compelled to do all we can to keep kids safe. Without creating this kind of safety we have no grounds, no right nor opportunity to do the work we’re called to do – creating life impacting experiences where young people can come to know Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with Him.
So this summer as it has been for 45 previous summers, SpringHill is 100% F.T.K., For the Kids, which means a safe, exciting and life transforming summer.
Here’s to summer 2015! Can’t wait to see you and your kids at SpringHill.
This is Michael’s 17th summer at SpringHill. He lives in Evart, Michigan with his wife Denise and has four kids - Michael, Christina, Mitch and Jonathan.
We'd love to hear how your experience at SpringHill has impacted your life. Whether it was an experience from this past summer or you're reflecting back on years ago we always encourage sharing of how God is working through SpringHill.