Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow…

            If you are familiar with Scioto Hills you know that we have a wonderful track record for permanent staff longevity.  In fact, our current team averages 13 years experience at SHC!  As in any ministry, experience makes a positive impact.  However, because the bond is strong, it is far more difficult to say “good-bye” when one of those long-term staff members heeds Christ’s calling to go elsewhere.  But on the other hand, it is extremely rewarding to see God work in his/her heart in such a powerful way that saying, “Yes Lord, here am I send me!” is the only logical respond to the new call.   For sure, it’s a sad-happy time in our ministry. 


            Such is the case with our Program Coordinator, Jade Burley.  After serving at Scioto Hills for 8 years, she has accepted a new position with Freedom International to begin a brand new camp endeavor in The Dominican Republic.  How awesome is that?  She’s taking her gifts and talents along with her expertise in Christian camping to begin a new ministry overseas!  While we are sad to see her go, we are excited to see her dive into this new opportunity. 

            You may ask, “So, what’s your plan?”  Well, I learned a long time ago, that if God chooses to call one of my team members to another ministry, He’s already made the necessary arrangements, provided the wisdom, worked out the details and directed the very steps of the person He’s prepared (way in advance) to fill the gap.  It is simply my responsibility to trust Him, relying on the peace of Christ and the Word of God, to see His plan come to fruition.  I’m resting completely in God’s ability to meet this need.  Our entire team is confident, knowing God “has our back” on this.

            Jade, will now serve part time and continue to live at camp through August. Just like others headed overseas, there are many details to finalize.  In the meantime, she will be involved in a support role and assist our staff in the training process.  Times like these provide a great opportunity to re-evaluate the giftedness of every team member and “re-shuffle the deck” accordingly to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency.  We are doing just that.  We even hired the services of an incredible business coach to help us navigate the process.  All I can tell you is, “Scioto Hills is moving forward and our staff is extremely excited about the months and years ahead.  By God’s grace, a plan is in place, but for now, you’ll have to wait a week before we unveil it.  Sorry to leave you hanging.  In the meantime, thanks for your prayers. 


By Grace,



Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: Part 2, The Plan

           If you read our post last week you learned that our Program Coordinator, Jade Burley, has accepted a new position with Freedom International to begin a camp endeavor in The Dominican Republic.  We are saddened by her departure (Jade will serve in a part time role with us until September), but we are happy as she embarks upon this new adventure.  We are also excited to see how God is going to direct the camp as we seek His will in filling the gap.  This is a great time to assess our ministry, evaluate roles, and redefine job descriptions.  It’s an opportunity to “reshuffle the deck” and that’s exactly what we’ve done.  After numerous meetings, spending time in prayer, seeking godly counsel and taking a hard look at our short and long term goals, we believe God has, once again, had His hand in this process.  He has given us peace about moving forward. 

            The biggest question we had to address was, “Do we need to hire additional staff or should we absorb Jade’s position with our current staff?”  The final answer was, “Yes, we should do both!”  In camp ministry, everyone wears many hats and one of Jade’s biggest hats was being the New Frontier (2nd-6th grade) Program director.  Filling this role requires additional staff.

            Therefore, we are pleased to introduce Mr. TJ Shamburger to our team.


He will serve, along with Scott Bruns, as the co-director of the New Frontier Camp this summer. After graduating from Cedarville with a ministry degree, TJ served as a New Frontier counselor the past two summers.  However, he has also lived at camp the past two years serving in a modified “internship” role.  It is our plan to make him the New Frontier Program Director in 2019.  For now, he will serve in a part-time capacity, and keep his job at the local school. It is no mistake that God led TJ to our hills.  He will be a wonderful addition to our team.

            So how will we cover the rest of her duties?  I’m glad you asked.  Sam Howdyshell, while serving on the program team primarily as our Challenge Course Director, will now be promoted to Program Director. He will supervise a new program team consisting of Jeff, TJ, Kimmy and Kayla.  Scott will also participate during the transition months. Sam will continue to serve as the program director for Alpha (middle school) Camp.   Sam will be very capable in this new role.

            All social media and marketing has been assigned to Kimmy Senerius, our Office Manager.  She will also serve as a member of the program team, assisting as needed during the summer and retreat/guest group seasons.  This is the best way for us to utilize her excellent programming skills (she’s also great at leading those crazy camp games). 

            Jeff Kliewer, while continuing to serve on the program team primarily as the one overseeing summer staff discipleship, will be given the new title of Media and Guest Relations Director.  Developing stronger relationships with pastors and lay workers who bring guest groups or participate in our retreats is necessary as we seek to accomplish our “niche” and continue to grow our ministry.  Jeff will do a great job in this area. Other staff members will continue their regular assignments and fill, as needed, the remaining “minor” elements related to Jade’s position. 

            That’s our plan. An evaluation has been scheduled at the end of summer to address weaknesses and to make modifications.  Scioto Hills has been blessed with a wonderful team of people called to create an environment conducive to life change.  Each staff member truly exemplifies Christ’s model of servant leadership and will be quick to “jump in” where needed.  Scioto Hills is in good hands and the future is bright.  With our Lord’s blessing, we anticipate our best years are still to come!  Thanks for your continued prayers during this time of transition. 


By Grace,