Summer Celebration 2018-06-23T01:16:47+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 | Unlocking Language: The Art of Grammar

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 | Eric and Jenny Lintz

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TOPIC | Living Well with Jesus, with CH CDR Jim Ellis, USN (Ret.), PhD

UPDATE:  | Work Party

We turned this week into a Work Party to beautify Spring Canyon and work maintenance projects.  Any guest 13 and older that works at least 30 hours during the week will be free.  Any family members that wish to come, but not work will have a 50% discount applied. There will still be sessions with Jim Ellis most nights.  No Children’s and Teen’s program.  Limited babysitting available during the week.  Come and volunteer at Spring Canyon!

SPEAKER | CH CDR Jim Ellis, USN (Ret.), PhD


Jim is a retired Navy Chaplain. He serves as Pastor of Counseling and Congregational Care at Redemption Church in Peoria, AZ. Jim also serves with ACCTS and has traveled a great deal teaching in many parts of the world. He has been married to Shirley for 39 years and they have 3 grown daughters and one son in law. Jim earned his M.Div. from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, and holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University.

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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 | The Engagement

Don’t miss this exciting week!  Del Tackett, author of the Truth Project, will be speaking on his exciting new series, “The Engagement.”

We will take a biblical worldview walk through the major epochs of God’s Meta-narrative, seeking the crown jewel in the nature of God.

This will drive us to understand why God has acted the way He has from Creation until now and will seek to answer the question:

What is God’s endgame for me?

Come join us for Del Tackett’s presentation!  More information is available at

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 (LTC) 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 Scott and Kristi Frickenstein, USAF (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 Schumacher, USA (Ret.)


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Week 8 is closed!  Please contact the front office at 719.395.2328 and check for availability.

SPEAKERS | Dr. Al Weir, M.D. and Chaplain (MG) Doug Carver, USA (Ret.)

TOPIC 1 |  “Stand Firm!” 

“All through life, be sure and put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.”President Abraham Lincoln, February 1862

In these uncertain times of political correctness, moral compromise, and spiritual indifference, many Christians often think twice before taking a firm stand for Jesus Christ because it comes with such a great cost. We’re tempted to stay in our foxhole, avoid talking about the Lord, and play it safe. Using 1 Corinthians 15:58 as our primary text, we will look at numerous Bible passages to hear one clear message for God’s people in this present age, “Stand Firm!”

TOPIC 2 | “12 Steps in Christian Decision Making–Finding God’s Will in God’s Way

The world has a way of making decsions, dependent on reason and the desire for “most gain and least pain.” As Christians we often flow into the same stream of thought. In five sessions Dr. Weir will explore a Biblical approach to decision-making that allows us to rush into the river of God’s best plan for our lives using both reason and revelation. The sessions will begin with an exploration of that which matters most, move to the development of a Christian life statement and then into twleve steps that will guarantee we step into God’s best will in our daily life decisions.

GUEST AMBASSADORS | Dr (COL) Arnie Ahnfeldt, USA (Ret.) and Dr (COL) Jeff Ginther, USA (Ret.)

More about Chaplain Carver

Chaplain (Major General) Douglas Lanier Carver, USA (born September 10, 1951) is a retired American Army officer who served as the 22nd Chief of Chaplains of the United States Army. He was appointed to this assignment on July 12, 2007 and was the first Southern Baptist chaplain to be promoted to the position of Chief of Chaplains in more than 50 years. Carver holds theology degrees from the University of Tennessee and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was originally commissioned in the field artillery and served with the 4th Infantry Division as a company grade officer in various artillery positions. He left active duty, but served with the Army Reserve for five additional years. Upon returning to active duty in 1984, he attended the Chaplain Corps officer basic course and began his career in the chaplaincy. Before serving as Deputy Chief of Chaplains in September 2005, he was director of training at the Chaplain Center and School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He was also a senior chaplain for V Corps and Combined Joint Task Force 7 in Germany and Iraq from 2002 through 2004. In his current position as Director of Chaplaincy with the North American Mission Board (the endorsing agent for the Southern Baptist Convention), he is responsible for overseeing 2,700 chaplains around the world.

More about Dr. Al Weir, MD.

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at University of Tennessee Heath Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. In his early years, he and his family serve in medical missions in Nigeria. He is Past-President of Albanian Health Fund, a Christian educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 25 years. He is the author of three books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News, Whispers and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and 6 grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving as national President of CMDA and Chair of CMDA Board of Trustees.

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  • The maximum any family will pay for Summer Celebration is $2600 for food, lodging, and program fees. This does not include taxes or items/activities purchased at the retreat center. Note that a family per this policy is defined as any parent(s) with their dependent children (a nuclear family). Please call the reservations desk if your fees are more than this amount while completing the online registration process.
  • 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.”