10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Spring Folly
Spring Folly is northern Ontario’s longest-running Christian youth retreat. Thousands of teenagers have attended over the years. Maybe you were one of them. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Spring Folly:
Spring Folly was started by Steve Tulloch, full-time worker/pastor of Island Bible Chapel. Steve had a desire to see a youth retreat in northern Ontario that would introduce teens to Jesus. The good folks at Island Bible Chapel continued running Spring Folly when Steve moved to southern Ontario in 2002.
Kenny Marks performing at the first Spring Folly in 1989
It’s named Spring Folly because the first event was held at the beginning of April. April 1,1989 – April Fool’s Day – was the Saturday of the first Spring Folly. The name Spring Folly has stuck ever since, even though it’s now celebrated the last full weekend in April each year.
The first speaker at Spring Folly was Bernie Smith. Bernie lives in Calgary today and is over 80 years old now.
Bernie Smith in 2006
This year’s speaker, Gary Goodkey, was at Spring Folly in 1991 as a teen. We’ll let him tell you more about the impact it made on his life. He’s actually in this picture below. Maybe he’ll point himself out this weekend.
Teens at Spring Folly in 1991
The first Bible Quiz was held in 1991. I was on the Island Bible Chapel team that won the first year. Bev Smith was the first Quizmaster and served in that role for many years. After Bev retired, Joel Robert served as Quizmaster, and now Rod Martin fills the role.
Quiz Team from Manitoulin Island – 1999
The Newsboys once performed at Spring Folly. The year was 1996 and their cd, Take Me To Your Leader had just been released. An up-and-coming band named Third Day also offered to come and play for free, but Steve turned them down because he had already arranged for a local band to open.
Newsboys – Take Me To Your Leader cd cover
This year, Juno-award wining band Manic Drive will become the first band to perform three times at Spring Folly (2007, 2009, and 2016). Other bands have performed twice, including Kenny Marks (1989, 1994), Capstone (1999, 2000), and Red Umbrella (2001, 2003).
Manic Drive promo picture – 2007
A concert has been part of Spring Folly for all but one year. In 2012, we had illusionist, Curt Anderson, put on a magic show instead hosting of a concert.
Illusionist Curt Anderson in a straitjacket
Dave Currie was the speaker in 1990, the second year of Spring Folly. We invited Dave back to speak in 2013 when we celebrated our 25th anniversary.
Dave Currie – speaker in 1990 & 2013
This year will be the 28th annual Spring Folly youth retreat. I’ve been to 22 of them. I was there at the first Spring Folly in 1989 and was excited about seeing Kenny Marks, one of my favourite Christian singers, live in concert. I was excited when I was asked to lead worship in 1991. I was excited when I got to bring my own youth group from Manitoulin Island to Spring Folly in 1997. I was excited about speaking at Spring Folly in 2001. I was excited when I was asked to book the bands, starting in 2005 (Midday Blackout from Ottawa). And I’m excited about the upcoming Spring Folly youth retreat this weekend. God continues to do amazing things in the lives of teens in northern Ontario at Spring Folly.
Bryan leading worship in 1991 (guitarist on far right)
I hope you’ll join me April 22-24, 2016 at Central Algoma Secondary School. You can register right at the door. More information is available at www.springfolly.com