Why I Show Up at Springhouse

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

- Written by Ellie Duensing, Springhouse Board Member -


I have had the honor and gift of engaging in Springhouse Community School in a variety of roles and contexts: as teacher, student and board member.


I was invited to co-teach the Death and Dying class in the first year that Jenny Finn began to develop this program. We navigated the spectrum of literal and metaphorical death. We met

death in a experiential sense by volunteering with Carillion NRV Hospice and Skyline Nursing Home. We immersed ourselves in the concept of death through exploring ritual, literature, and personal experience. I was amazed by the rawness and readiness that students and staff alike came to the class with. The willingness each person had to expose and articulate fears, hopes and edges was indicative of the courage and openness of each individual. These acts spoke even more to the environment and atmosphere that has been so consciously and considerately created at Springhouse Community School.

I participated in two of the adult programs last fall, Shadow Work and Sacred Dance. I was enlivened and heartened each time I stepped into the classes. Everyone, in their own time and way, seemed to drop into a space of truth, struggle, joy and support. This is a rare and powerful space to share with a community. The work I did in both classes continues to unfold in my life and stretch my edges while inspiring embodiment, growth and honesty.

When the invitation and opportunity came to join the Springhouse Community School board, I stepped into this space with gratitude. I am thankful to be able to support this organization whose powerful mission encourages the engagement of the individual and the community. The strongest motivation I have for continuing to participate in Springhouse Community School is my two young children. They are so new to this world. I see how they are exploring every slope, nook and cranny with awe and wonder. I hope that this continues in their life. I hope that they are able to go to Springhouse when they are older, so that they can be met with such support, honesty and inspiration.

It is one of the greatest gifts of all to be in a community and be given the space to hear one’s inner calling. I have had the grace to experience this through Springhouse and I hope that many others do as well.


Published on May 7th, 2018

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Springhouse Community School is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It is also a community of people with respect for diversity. The school emphasizes the dignity and equality common to all persons and adheres to a strict nondiscrimination policy regarding the treatment of individual faculty, staff, students, family members, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. Springhouse is an equal opportunity employer. In accord with federal law and applicable Virginia statutes, the school does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, disability, or status as a veteran in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the school.

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144 Silver Maple Lane, Pilot, VA 24138

(540) 651-4673