Summer Celebration 2018-01-12T18:02:50+00:00

Summer Celebration

A series of weeklong retreats featuring outstanding programs for the whole family.

The cornerstone of Spring Canyon programs, Summer Celebration is a series of weeklong retreats featuring outstanding programs for the whole family. Enabling families to leave behind the weight of deployments, separations and relocations, husbands and wives are able to reconnect in a romantic setting through time together, vibrant teaching and small group sessions led by respected speakers. Teens and children have the opportunity to grow in their faith and build lasting friendships through exciting age-appropriate adventures under the guidance of our exceptional teaching staff. Each celebration features a different speaker and theme focusing on relevant spiritual topics, family and faith.

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A Typical Celebration Week

Every Summer Celebration is designed to provide our guests with a refreshing balance of scheduled activities and plenty of free time. During your stay, you can expect:

  • Delicious home-cooked meals served family-style in our historic Hartley Holmes Lodge three times daily.
  • Lodge & cabin accommodations with wood-burning fireplaces & gorgeous mountain views for seven nights.
  • Walking access to the Colorado Trail, scenic Cottonwood Lake, our very own beaver ponds & more.
  • Discount passes to local attractions & a variety of outdoor activities.
  • Exciting, age-appropriate programs for children & teens with Biblically-sound curriculum.
  • Outstanding seasonal & full-time staff members devoted to serving you.
  • Vibrant teaching & small group discussions for adults.


Children’s Program

Our children’s program, Critter Gulch, features wilderness-based educational activities rooted in Biblical truth. We hire incredible young teachers from across the country each summer and strive for a teacher-child ratio of 1:5 at all times. All teachers must be CPR and First Aid certified. Children are grouped by ages (0-2, 3-4, 5-7, 8-12) and activities include arts and crafts, exploring God’s creation, archery, horseback riding, fishing, and indoor rock climbing.


Teen Program

The teen program at Spring Canyon, Teen vs. Wild, is intended for ages 13-18 and features Biblical discussions, exciting group activities, team challenges, and outdoor adventures. The teen program leaders are selected from members of our outdoor programs guide staff and are CPR and Wilderness First Aid certified. Teen activities include team building, wilderness fort creation, high ropes course, overnight camping and more.


Additional Childcare

Additional childcare is available by request during your stay at Spring Canyon. Childcare is provided by our seasonal teaching staff and can be scheduled at our main office in Hartley Holmes Lodge. We kindly ask that all childcare requests be made a minimum of 24 hours in advance for scheduling purposes. Childcare is offered at an additional cost.

2018 Summer Celebration schedule

TOPIC | Classical Conversations Practicum in partnership with Classical Conversations Western Region

Do you long for refreshment and encouragement as you travel along your homeschooling journey?  Would you like to discuss your joys and challenges, and be equipped by others who have been on your same journey for years?  If so, then attend Spring Canyon’s Summer Celebration homeschooling week.  Classical Conversations (CC) is partnering with Spring Canyon Retreat and Conference Center, nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, to better serve and equip homeschooling military families. During this homeschool-focused week, seasoned Classical Conversations speakers and mentors, who have been where you are and lived through your challenges, will enable Parent Practicum material to come alive.  Whether or not you use CC curriculum at home, you will be equipped, enriched, and renewed in your homeschooling journey through the practicum topic of “Reasoning Together: The Art of Relationships.” Using this topic we will learn the classical model of education, and how to capitalize on God’s brilliant design of human development, enabling us to reach our children right where they are developmentally. You will see that all things are connected by One Brilliant Designer.

Bring your family and be refreshed, equipped, and inspired at Summer Celebration! Please register, now, at the link below.  Contact Spring Canyon (719-395-2328; or go to If you have questions pertaining to the practicum or Classical Conversations, please contact Heidi Truitt at

SPEAKER |Andy Truitt

Andy Truitt is the National Director West for Classical Conversations. He has a passion for helping parents “go the distance” in home educating their children. For the past 12 years he and his wife have been classically homeschooling their three boys and believe this is a model to help all parents prepare their children to stand firm in the Lord and enter the world as a light for Christ when they leave the home as adults. With Classical Conversations, Andy oversees the leaders and communities on the western side of the U.S and leads many parent practicums throughout this region. He and his family currently live in the Denver area.

GUEST AMBASSADORS | Andy and Heidi Truitt

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GUEST AMBASSADOR | LTC Ryan and Kim Strong, USA.

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TOPIC | The Making of a Man of God: Lessons Learned from the Life of David

David was a man after God’s own heart, yet he suffered from spiritual heart failure. He was a worshipper whose faith soared yet often went into tailspins. How can this be? During our study we will look at the ups and downs of this Warrior King. David demonstrates tremendous potential to do remarkable things for God and unlimited potential to mess things up. David is a lot like you and me! His life is both an example and a warning for those who long to walk faithfully with their God.

SPEAKER | Chaplain Marc Gauthier, Col, USA

Marc has served as an Army Chaplain for 26 years, eleven of those as a Chaplain to the Special Operations Community. He has deployed twice to Iraq, both times with the 5th Special Forces Group, once to Afghanistan as the Chaplain to the Command over all NATO forces in theater, and once to Kuwait as the Chaplain to the Command directing forces in the fight against ISIS. Marc also served as Course Manager and Instructor at the Army Chaplain School, training and preparing civilian clergy to become Army Chaplains. Marc holds a Master and Doctoral degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, Airborne School, and Jumpmaster School. Prior to serving as Chaplain he served as an Infantry Officer in Germany. He has served on the OCF Council for nine years.

Marc is currently serving as the Joint Base Chaplain for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA and Senior Pastor for the Main Post Protestant Chapel Congregation. Marc will retire from the Army this summer and plans to serve the church in pastoral leadership focusing on leadership development, spiritual formation, and discipleship. Marc is married to his wife Christa, a native of Zurich Switzerland for 30 years. Marc and Christa have four children between the ages of 25-18.

GUEST AMBASSADOR | Lt Col Steve and Rita Wade, USAF (Ret.)

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TOPIC | Engagement

SPEAKER | Del Tackett

GUEST AMBASSADORS | Colonel Bill and Judy Hudspeth, USAF (Ret.)

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TOPIC | Join the Adventure!

Just as Gandalf recruited Bilbo Baggins and the Angel of the Lord recruited Gideon, God has always chosen unlikely people to participate in his grand Adventure. Bob Ewell, Lt Col, USAF (retired) and currently serving with The Navigators, uses a ready smile and engaging style to encourage you on the Adventure God has for you. Bob specializes in simple, doable, “start small” processes. Spend a week with us and return home not only motivated but also empowered to make a difference in your world.

SPEAKER | Dr. Bob Ewell

Bob Ewell has a life-long passion to know God’s Word, obey it, teach it, and help others do the same. He and his wife, June, both became Christians at an early age and met over the piano at a Christian camp when they were 12. They celebrate their 50th anniversary in September and have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

Bob graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from Clemson University, and during a 20-year career in the US Air Force, served in space operations, instructor at Squadron Officer School, Air Force Space Command Headquarters, and commander of a training squadron. He earned a Master’s of Education from Troy State, and an Ed.D. from Auburn. After retiring from the Air Force in Colorado Springs in 1990, he operated his own statistical consulting business for 10 years before serving as Minister of Discipleship at a church in Alabama. Returning to Colorado in 2006, Bob and June settled in Monument and began to serve full time with The Navigators, “equipping ordinary people to make a difference where they are and helping willing pastors do the same.” He is the author two books: Join the Adventure! A Call to Christian Discipleship and Mission Suitable for Everyone and Live the Adventure! Disciple-making for ordinary people.

GUEST AMBASSADORS | CMSgt Vance and Pam Clarke, USAF (Ret.)

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TOPIC | Gospel Identity, The key to joy, hope, courage, and strength

Our lives and our careers are full of ups and downs. If our identity is tied to those things, then our joy, hope, courage and strength will fluctuate based on our circumstances and experiences.  However, if we are grounded in our identity in Christ, then our joy, hope, courage and strength will rest on the stable ground of the gospel.

SPEAKER | Chaplain Lt Col Doug Ball, USA

Chaplain (LTC) Doug Ball has served the Army as a Chaplain since 2000, including five deployments: Afghanistan in 2016, the Middle East in 2013, Afghanistan in 2010, Iraq in 2006 and Bosnia in 2003. He currently serves in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains at the Pentagon.  Doug is married to a wonderfully supportive wife, Sarah, and has four fun-loving children, Rachel, Rob, Laura and Levi. The Ball family currently resides in Springfield, VA. In his free time, he plays guitar and hikes Colorado 14ers – but not usually at the same time.

GUEST AMBASSADORS | Col Chet Arnold, USMC (Ret.)

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TOPIC |  How People Change: Experiencing Life Transforming Grace in the Gospel of Romans

How often do you pray something like this? Lord change my spouse…my child…my co-worker…my circumstances.  On the other hand, how often do you pray, “LORD CHANGE ME!”.  Lord, change me in the deep places of my heart where I’m stuck in pride, fear, anger, anxiety, envy, insecurity, pride, brokenness. As you wrestle with circumstances, marriage, parenting, challenges at work, are you pursuing God to change you? This is the priority of the gospel in the book of Romans.  The good for which all things work is that you may be “conformed to the image/likeness of His Son” (Rom. 8:28-29).  But how does the gospel change us?  Why is deep, personal change so challenging, and at times painful? These are the questions we will explore as we apply the gospel taught in Romans

SPEAKER | Keith Peck

Peck photoAfter 40 years of pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America, Keith recently retired as pastor emeritus of Broadneck EP Church in Annapolis, Maryland where he served for 27 years.  During that time, he ministered to and with the Navigator, Cru and OCF staff at the US Naval Academy.  Since retiring, he has “unretired” and serves as assistant pastor at Mercy Presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Keith has been married to Gale, his ministry partner, for 44 years. Keith & Gale have five children and sixteen grandchildren.

GUEST AMBASSADORS | MG Greg and Kathy Schumaker, USA (Ret.)


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SPEAKERS | Dr. Al Weir, M.D. and Chaplain (MG) Doug Carver, USA (Ret.)
GUEST AMBASSADORS | Dr (COL) Arnie Ahnfeldt, USA (Ret.) and Dr (COL) Jeff Ginther, USA (Ret.)

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  • For full weeks, please call our reservations desk to be placed on a waiting list!

2018 Summer Celebration Rate Information

Adults/Teens (13+) // $658 plus tax

Youth (6-12) // $395 plus tax

Child (3-5) // $198 plus tax

Infant (0-2) // Free

Deposit Policy

A non-refundable deposit is charged at the time of registration to secure your reservation. This advanced deposit allows us to meet early program expenses including speaker travel, seasonal staff salaries and teaching materials. This one-time payment of $165 is applied toward your final bill and is not an additional fee.

Scholarship Policy

As a non-profit, it is always our goal to provide modest rates for all of our guests. We know that traveling as a family can be expensive, and that cost can still be a deterrent for many of our families. Thanks to generous sponsors, scholarships are available for families that qualify. Please call (719)395.2328 to inquire.

Cancellation Policy

Reservations may be cancelled at any time. Cancellations made before 31 days prior to arrival will be eligible for a full refund minus the $165 non-refundable deposit. If a cancellation occurs within 30 days of your stay, additional penalties may apply. If you are cancelling due to military orders, the non-refundable deposit and any subsequent payments will be returned in full.

Discount Policy

A 10% discount is available for company grade officers (O1-O3). A 20% discount is available for enlisted members, midshipmen, cadets and other military undergraduate students. An additional 5% discount is available for families of currently deployed or recently-returned (within 6 months) service members. There is a maximum of 20% discount when combining available discounts.  A special program is available for widows of service members through OCF.

Celebrate Your Way

We know just how valuable it is to spend time together, especially for the military family, and we want to make sure that you are able to get the most out of your Colorado vacation during your stay. This is why extended free time is built into every day of Summer Celebration, enabling our guests to partake in all that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. Many activities can be enjoyed right here on our 107-acre property, or within minutes of Spring Canyon. We are happy to make the reservations for you when you enroll in one of our Summer Packages featured below. Featured here are just a few of the many additional opportunities available to you during your stay at Spring Canyon:


Available at Spring Canyon:
  • Explore the Colorado Trail
  • Hike to Cottonwood or Ptarmigan Lakes
  • Indoor Rock Climbing
  • Guided Outdoor Climbing & Rappelling
  • Mountain Biking
  • High Ropes Course
  • Challenge/Leadership Course
  • Kayaking and Canoeing in our High Alpine Ponds
  • Fly Fishing in Cottonwood Creek
Available in Buena Vista:

Activities are optional and may involve additional fees.

“Thank you for an exceptional experience! You provided us with wonderful time to spend together as a family. This was life-changing.”