Giving Tuesday 2020: December 1st

It is that time of year! Giving Tuesday is coming up and we are thrilled that SC Camps & Retreat Ministries and Asbury Hills will be participating in this global day of giving. We hope you are planning to take part, too.

You’ve heard this before but now, more than ever, we need your help. Our ministry is so important to so many people. We want to ensure it is around for many many years to come. It is because of people like you that we are able to continue what we do.

So what is Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving to your favorite non-profit organizations. This is something much bigger than just happening across the US. Giving Tuesday is worldwide! Giving Tuesday officially started in 2012 with the intention to encourage folks to simply do good. Just in the US, over $1.9 billion was raised on and offline on Giving Tuesday in 2019. How amazing?!

When is Giving Tuesday? The Tuesday following Thanksgiving is known as “Giving Tuesday’. We ask that during this season, you keep SC Camps & Retreat Ministries in mind as you plan out your end of year giving.

How can you participate in Giving Tuesday? This is simple! First and foremost, share with others. Share with your friends and family about this day. Sometimes, all it takes is telling someone the opportunity is there to give. If you are able, we hope you consider giving to SC Camps & Retreat Ministries. No give, small or large, will go unnoticed. We know times are hard right now and finances are different so we appreciate anything you are able to give. If you are unable to give, encourage people you know to give!

What impact does Giving Tuesday have on SC Camps & Retreat Ministries? Giving in general impacts SC Camps & Retreat Ministries significantly. Giving Tuesday is a well know day of giving so it helps that the idea of donating is already encouraged. We work to steward every dollar as effectively as possible so we truly appreciate your generosity.

So what is next? Here are a few steps you can take to prepare for Giving Tuesday 2020.

  1. Save the date. Write it in your planner, save it to your iCal, be sure Google Calendar has it recorded, or write it on your fridge. Be sure you know December 1, 2020 is #GivingTuesday.
  2. Plan to take action. Whether you plan to share with others or plan to give. Have a plan.
  3. Give if you can. We know that times are different and financially difficult. We understand that any gift is a generous gift so we truly appreciate it.
  4. Share. Sharing with your friends and family about Giving Tuesday is important! The more people know about it, the more of an impact it can make.

There you have it–a full rundown of #GivingTuesday2020. Thank you for your support, your prayers, and your generosity. We are so thankful for our camp family. Our ministry wouldn’t be possible without you.

If you’d like to give now, visit our giving website! Thank you!

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Retreats at Asbury Hills | 2020-2021

Here is the answer to the big question–are we still accepting bookings for retreats? Absolutely! Here is a complete rundown of what you can expect for your Fall 2020 and Spring/Fall 2021 retreat at Asbury Hills!

Time and time again we hear from our retreat guests that they truly enjoy their time at Asbury Hills. We strive to offer the best Christian hospitality to our guests along with providing all they need for their retreat to go the best it possibly can. During this weird time our world is in, we want to reassure all of our guests (past, present and future) that we are still open for bookings and doing our best to keep everyone safe.

Here are a few things you can expect when you book your retreat:

Bonnie, our Reservation Specialist, will be sure to go over all new precautions and procedures along with our standard ones. She will be able to answer any of your questions and ensure your retreat is planned just how you need it.

You will need to encourage your guests to check their temperature and do their own symptom checks in the weeks and days leading up to your arrival. We ask that if you (or any in your group) have had any symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC, have been exposed to anyone who tested positive or you yourself tested positive for COVID-19 that you elect to stay home.

We will need to know your best estimate on number of people in your group. We want to ensure that we have the space for your group and that we can follow all cleaning procedures in preparation for your group.

You will be made aware of our standard symptom check that will happen upon your arrival to Asbury Hills. This is not only for the safety of our staff but the safety of you and your retreat group!

Once your retreat is booked and you arrive on property:

When your group arrives, you’re host will greet you. Each group has a host and they will ensure that you have all you need for the duration of your event.

Your host will conduct a symptom check. They will be checking for any COVID-19 symptoms as defined by the CDC. If anyone in your group is exhibiting any symptoms, they will not be allowed to stay. If someone in a car or van has any symptoms, everyone in the car or van will be asked to leave. This is to ensure the safety of everyone on our property!

You’ll then be directed to your clean and prepared lodging space and meeting area. These spaces are designated to one and only one group!

During your stay:

We ask that you continue to monitor your retreat group and if anyone starts exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms to leave property.

We ask that you practice social distancing and wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible. Just like all dining establishments in Greenville county, face coverings are required to enter our dining hall. It is not mandatory for guests to wear face coverings outside of the dining hall however we do encourage it. Our staff will be wearing face coverings at all times to ensure that you are safe and protected.

Your lodging and meeting spaces will have been deep cleaned prior to your arrival. There will be consistent cleaning in all high traffic areas.

Hand washing stations and hand sanitizer will be available. We do suggest bring your own hand sanitizer for your convenience.

When you leave our property:

We ask that you take all of your belongings. Lost and found will be limited.

If you are the leader for your group, please be sure to fill out the Retreat Group survey! We truly appreciate and value the feedback.

Continue to monitor your group for symptoms of COVID-19. We ask that if anyone in your group tests positive for COVID-19 up to two weeks after your stay at Asbury Hills that you contact our office.

We are doing our absolute best to still create a space set apart for retreat groups to truly reset and retreat from the busy world. We hope that your stay at Asbury Hills is the best it can be and we are doing all we can to keep you safe!

If you have any questions or are ready to book your retreat, feel free to call our office at 864.836.3711.

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An Update on Fall Festival 2020

You are probably wondering if Asbury Hills will be hosting our annual Fall Festival this year. We have been wondering, too. Now that we know we will not be able to host this event, it is time that we share it with you.

Due to the impact the pandemic is continuing to have on our community, we are not able to host our annual Fall Festival event at Asbury Hills. Last week, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) released holiday guidelines and recommendations. These recommendations clearly state that festivals held in rural locations were considered high risk to the community. We want to ensure we are doing everything we can to help stop the spread of this virus so we have made the hard decision to cancel our Fall Festival.

While this may not come as a shock to some, we know many people were looking forward to this event. We have worked hard to come up with alternative options but since Asbury Hills is in a rural community, events on property would encourage folks from other communities to attend. This would, in turn, offer up a collection of folks from all over allowing possible positive COVID-19 and asymptomatic folks to spread this illness.

While we are not able to host events, we are able to give tours of our property! This means that you and your family are able to schedule a tour of our property throughout the fall. This is the perfect opportunity for you to show your family Asbury Hills in hopes of attending Summer Camp or planning a retreat.

Here are a few things to note when scheduling a tour of Asbury Hills:

We ask that your tour group consist of people you have been staying home with or close contacts. Please do not invite anyone to your tour that you have not been in close contact with or staying safe at home with since the start of the pandemic.

Tours can be scheduled between the hours of 9am and 5pm on weekdays. If weekends work better for your family, please call to find out weekend availability.

Please ensure that you have been symptom free of COVID-19 symptoms (as stated by the CDC) prior to your arrival.

Be prepared to follow through with an onsite symptom check upon your arrival.

Group sizes are limited to 6 if you are anticipating a riding tour. Please keep groups to a maximum of 8 for walking tours.

Our staff will be wearing face coverings so we ask that you and your family wear face coverings, too.

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on property.

We will not have any activities but you and your family are welcome to enjoy our hiking trails!

To book your tour, call our office at 864.836.3711 and chat with Bonnie! She will be able to schedule your tour and give you all the details.

We know the disappointment of Fall Festival not happening this year. We ask that you continue to keep our ministry in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate through this unknown. If you are able, we would truly appreciate your support in our Fill the Hills campaign. Help us ensure that our gates can remain open once we get through this season of uncertainty.

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Welcome to the Kahles

We are thrilled to introduce our new Director of Programs and Operations for SC Camps & Retreat Ministries! We are welcoming Bob Kahle and his family to the SCCARM family starting in October. Bob will be serving all three camp properties within SC Camps & Retreat Ministries: Asbury Hills Camp & Retreat Center, Camp Providence Day Camp, and Sea Islands Camp and Retreat Center.

Bob and his wife, Tina, join us from Houston Texas. He and Tina have two adult sons. Tina has worked alongside Bob at every camp he has served. She is now a Physical Therapist Assistant. Bob grew up in Chicago and attended Our Savior’s United Methodist Church. He graduated from George Williams College in Downers Grove, Illinois. That college was actually named after the creator of the YMCA!

Bob has experience serving camps across the country including camps in Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, California, and New Jersey. He has also served on the regional and national camping conferences for the YMCA.

When Bob isn’t at camp, you can find him with his family hiking, traveling, talking and telling stories or reading.

“I was built to serve and I am at my best when I am serving in God’s Kingdom. I am attracted to South Carolina Camps and Retreat Ministries because of the focus on camping and how we can use the camps to change lives for the better. I am a product of camp as I attended a camp each summer during my childhood and became a counselor as soon as I was able. Camping provided me with the role models that would help shape my life and I will forever be in it’s debt. I know camp works because it worked in my life and the lives of my boys. Camp is as close to God’s Garden as I have been able to find and we all have a role in caring for the garden and its inhabitants.”

We are so excited to welcome Bob and his family to our SCCARM family!

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FALL Family Adventures

We are so excited to offer FALL Family Adventures at Asbury Hills starting now through mid November! How is this different from Summer Family Adventures? How can families book?

You may remember our Family Adventures that we offered over the summer. Our hope was to offer an option for families to still enjoy camp while remaining safe. We did have to cancel our traditional summer camp for Summer 2020 but Family Adventures was the perfect opportunity to still give folks the opportunity to come to camp.

While Summer Family Adventures were exclusive to Summer 2020, we are really excited to bring a new, FALL version for Fall 2020.

The Bottom Line: The general idea is still the same–families can book a cabin (2 night minimum, pricing below) for their family, enjoy classic Asbury Hills activities, delicious meals, and the great outdoors. While the general idea is the same, our full time staff have taken it up a notch to add different activities that are exclusive to fall at Asbury Hills!

What is Fall Family Adventure at Asbury Hills? How is it different than Summer Family Adventures?

You and your family now have the opportunity to book an extended stay at Asbury Hills (minimum of 2 nights) as it fits your individual schedules. Your price per night (below) includes meals, a cabin just for your family, and your favorite, classic Asbury Hills activities and experiences.

Along with our classic Asbury Hills Activities, Fall Family Adventures will also include the option to use our slack lines, new bouldering experience on site, use our ice cream churns, a fall craft, and the option to camp out at one of our tree houses!

Fall Family Adventures will also be able to have a ‘Home-in-the-Woods’ evening dinner experience. This will include building a fire and cooking your dinner over that fire. This dinner would be either a classic Hobo meal or hotdogs. This is included in pricing.

We have dates available starting now thru mid November. Call for details on availability.

If summer camp was cancelled and retreats are being postponed, is it safe to have Fall Family Adventure?

The decision was made to not allow summer camp because of the desire to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. You can read more about that decision by clicking here. Retreat groups are able to cancel or postpone their retreat based on the safety concern of their group. With Fall Family Adventures, we are able to limit the number of people coming and going on property. Since families have been staying home together, they are able to share a sleeping space at camp without worrying about social distancing where as summer campers would be coming from all over the share a sleeping space. We also know that if families are experiencing camp together, they are more likely to follow our guidelines to keep everyone safe and healthy.

What the guidelines in place to help keep my family safe during our Fall Family Adventure?

We are asking that all people who step foot onto our property practice the 3 Ws. WEAR a mask when social distancing isn’t possible. WAIT to allow at least 6 feet between your family and other families. WASH your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer often. If anyone in your family is showing symptoms of COVID-19, as outlined by the CDC, or has been in contact with anyone who was showing symptoms OR tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home. We ask that you are monitoring you and your family’s symptoms at least 14 days prior to your arrival to camp. Once you register, you will receive more details on safety at Asbury Hills!

How do I book my Fall Family Adventure?

Call our office at 864.836.3711 and you can book your Fall Family Adventure over the phone with our Reservations Specialist. Easy as that! Once you book and confirm, you’ll receive your contract and waivers to get you ready to check-in.

How much does a Fall Family Adventure cost?

Our price is per night with a 2 night minimum. For $300 per night, your family of 4 will get 3 complementary meals (dinner after you check-in, breakfast the following morning and then lunch), a cabin to yourselves, and access to some of your favorite Asbury Hills activities.

What if my family is larger than 4 members?

No problem! Our price per night (with a 2 night minimum) is for a family of 4. If you have more than 4 members, the cost is $65 per person 5 years old and up. Additional family members under the age of 5 are free!

What if my family is smaller than 4 members?

Our price per night is created for a 4 member family. If your family is smaller than 4, you will still be asked to pay the set price per night. You are more than welcome to include other members of your family to join you!

How many family members are allowed per cabin?

We have a maximum of 8 per cabin.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

We have a lot more information including a recommended packing list and more questions and answers on our website! (Linked there.) Be sure to check it out and as always, feel free to email or call with any questions.

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Asbury Hills Pool Dedication

We held a Donor Luncheon and Pool Dedication on August 22 and we were so blown away by all the support! Here are a few photos just in cased you missed it!

Along with our SCCARM board members and full time staff, we welcomed Asbury Hills summer staff alumni, campers, 2020 summer staffers, camper parents and guardians, Asbury Hills friends, and Bishop Jonathan Holston.

Bishop Jonathan Holston

The Donor Luncheon provided such great community for old friends to reconnect and fellowship with all attendees while sharing their favorite camp memories.

We are so appreciative of all who attended our Donor Luncheon. We are also very thankful for every person who came to our pool dedication. We know this new pool and amenity building will serve campers and guests in the best way for many many years to come!

If you are interested in still being a part of this incredible vision and part of the Asbury Hills Master Plan, visit our website for details.

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Family Adventure 2020 | Thank You

That’s a wrap! This summer was very different than ever before at Asbury Hills. We are so thankful for the folks who were able to join us for our Family Adventures!

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After the decision was made to cancel our traditional summer camp due to the impact of COVID-19, our staff started working very hard to come up with an alternative for families. Our Family Adventure option was exclusive to Summer 2020 and the perfect opportunity for families who were staying home together to come to camp while still remaining safe.

Thank you to all of our families who took advantage of this once in a life time opportunity at Asbury Hills! You all helped make an out of the ordinary summer memorable!

Here are a few photos of families who spend a few days with us over the summer.

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Like many others, Asbury Hills and SC Camps & Retreat Ministries has taken a financial hit due to the impact of the pandemic. We are doing our best to ensure that our properties remain open for years to come but we need your help. Would you be willing to help us Fill the Hills and ensure that laughter of campers, retreat guests, volunteers, and staff will fill our hills again soon? Click here to donate. Thank you for your support!

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Construction Update: July 2020

Amidst all that is going on, we are still working with contractors to get the new pool and amenity building completed! Here is an update and photos to show progress.

update blog july 7

While events beyond our control have slowed this construction project, we are still really excited about the outcome.

This is a part of Phase 1 of the Asbury Hills Master Plan. This included the removal of the old pool (that used to be right across from Batson Lodge in Main Camp,) clearing and preparation for the new pool (just up the trail from the Creekview Center), construction of the new pool, amenity building, and sport courts.

Here are a few photos of progress as of July 7, 2020.

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It is not too late to be a part of this project.

While construction is still underway, we are still asking that folks consider making a donation towards this project. All tax deductible donations will go towards Phase 1 of the Asbury Hills Master Plan. To make a donation online, visit our website. To mail in your donation, contact Paige at info@sccarm.org for details. We hope you will consider helping us bring this vision to life!

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Pool Dedication at Asbury Hills

Pool Dedication at Asbury Hills

That’s right! The NEW Asbury Hills pool and amenity building is getting into the final stages of completion which means it is time to invite you to camp for a dedication.

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We are inviting any and all who are interested to attend our Pool Dedication on August 22, 2020 at Asbury Hills starting at 1pm. Space is limited. Information is below on how to RSVP to this event.

We are also excited to announce that South Carolina United Methodist Conference Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston will be our special guest. We have worked tirelessly through the last several months and years in preparation for this project. Our intentions are to do right by our donors, our conference, our staff, and our God to ensure this pool is ready to welcome campers and guests.

Bishop-Holston headshot

We are offering an option for folks to attend a VIP Donor Luncheon before the Pool Dedication starting at 11:30am. Bishop Holston will be our special guest. This luncheon will have limited seating and will be exclusive to those who RSVP that they would like to attend. Our Food Services Director, Travis, will be preparing an excellent meal for attendees. All proceeds will go towards the continuation of the ministry at Asbury Hills.

There will also be an option to purchase a box lunch to enjoy anywhere on property before the start of the Pool Dedication. Boxed lunches can be picked up at 11:30am.

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We are asking that everyone RSVP to this event regardless of if you just want to attend the dedication or are interested in one of the lunch options. We do have limited space available for attendees. In order to maintain social distancing and all safety guidelines, we will need every person to RSVP. To RSVP, please click here.

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The Details: (And more to come!)

Will there be symptom screening?

Upon arrival, you may be subject to a health screening for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had symptoms or have been around anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, as defined by the CDC, please stay home. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, please stay home. If you are still awaiting results from a COVID-19 test, please stay home.

Should you wear a mask?

We suggest bringing a mask for instances when 6 foot social distancing isn’t available. All of our staff will be wearing masks for your safety and our own.

What about social distancing?

Luckily, we have over 2000 acres of fresh, open air to utilize. We will be sure to space out all locations and encourage you to bring your mask to wear if you feel it necessary.

Will everything be properly cleaned?

Absolutely. Our standard is always high when it comes to cleaning and preparing for our guests. All high traffic surfaces will be wiped down and disinfected regularly. Your food will be prepared following the highest standards of sanitation and cleanliness. There will be locations available for hand washing. We suggest bringing hand sanitizer for when hand washing isn’t an option.

 

We are looking forward to having you at camp! Please be sure to RSVP to this event as space is limited.

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Fill the Hills with SCCARM

Moving forward after making the decision to cancel our traditional summer camp for Summer 2020 means ensuring camp will still be around after this season has passed.

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Dear Camp Family,

We can only imagine how difficult things have been for you to navigate over the last few months, and again we are saddened by the cancellation of our traditional summer camp this year. We know the life changing impact of a positive summer camp experience at Asbury Hills. We would have completed our 59th summer of camping. As we begin to sift through our current status as a ministry and look ahead to what is on the horizon, we know that we will not be able to do it with you. As with the financial hardships of so many of our camper families, we here at Asbury Hills and Camps & Retreat Ministries find ourselves seeking out a path to future sustainability. Although many adjustments have been made with staff and resources to try and insure that we are financially viable and able to show up strong next summer, we are asking those who are able, to join us on our “Fill The Hills” campaign. After a devastating loss of revenue this past spring and summer we will need your help to insure that Asbury Hills is here for years to come, and that the surrounding hills are once again filled with fun, fellowship, laughter, and the loving spirit of Gods people, long after we get through a time such as this.

Your donation of any size will be truly appreciated. Your graciousness to consider helping our ministry is a true blessing and we are so thankful to call you a member of our camp family.

Making a donation online is simple. Just click here to be redirected to our donation webpage where you can choose the tax deductible amount you wish to give. Be sure to select our ‘Fill the Hills’ fund. Thank you in advance for helping to insure that Asbury Hills will be here for generations to come.

With Deepest Respect & Gratitude,

Arthur W. Spriggs

Executive Director

 

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