Something to Celebrate

The holiday season is here and celebrations are beginning.  While you are celebrating this time with your family, we are celebrating with you because this camping season has been a huge success!

  • We just wrapped up our 55th camping season at Asbury Hills! You read that right! Asbury Hills has been serving campers and retreat members for 55 years.
  • We are also celebrating our biggest summer to date!
  • Thanks to your generosity, we extended scholarships to all campers in need this past summer.

It gets EVEN BETTER!

A donor has eagerly agreed to match all new gifts and all increased gifts from current donors up to $10,000.

Go ahead and reread that sentence because it is that good.

What this means is that the gifts from any NEW donors will be matched.  This also means that any current donors can INCREASE their gift and that will be matched, as well.  Doubling your gift is that easy! What a great thing to celebrate!

Double your gift this #GivingTuesday on November 29th.

We all have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about the day after that? Giving Tuesday is a national day to kick off the season of giving.  Last year, over 700,000 donors from over 70 countries participated.  Let’s join the giving!

Your continued gifts will provide assistance to campers in need and preserve our beautiful outdoor spaces.  As you consider your gift this year, here are a few things to keep in mind.

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Kick off the season of giving with #GivingTuesday!

 

We cannot say thank you enough for your holiday gift and continued prayers for our ministry.  Consider this a huge THANK YOU from the Asbury Hills summer campers, retreat group members, the summer staff, full time staff, the volunteers and the parents and guardians.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Visit our website or click here and give today!

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More Change is in the Air

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

–Romans 12:11-12

New and exciting things are happening at Asbury Hills & we are so excited to announce it!

We would like to welcome Sarah Moseley as our new Summer Camp Director. 

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Does her name sound familiar? It should!

Sarah has grown up attending Asbury Hills.  She attended for 11 years as a camper, was in the CIT program, served as a worship leader, program coordinator, retreats coordinator, retreat host and camp pastor. Chances are, you have seen Sarah on site in some capacity or another.

“I am beyond excited to come back to Asbury Hills and serve as Summer Camp Director!  I truly feel like I am coming home.  Asbury Hills has been a vital part of of my life since I was 6 years old and has helped to shape me into who I am today.  I still remember realizing that Jesus wanted a personal relationship with me while sitting at Mountain Chapel watching the sunset as a camper.  For over half my life I have been blessed to be at camp as a camper, CIT, Worship Leader, Program Coordinator, Camp Pastor, and a volunteer, getting to experience camp from all different places and positions.  I am very excited to see how God continues to move in my life and works through me in this new position to serve others and the Kingdom through the Asbury Hills ministry.”

Sarah comes to us from Newberry, South Carolina where she was born and raised.  Sarah attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training.  Sarah has been serving at New Beginnings UMC in Boiling Springs as the Director of Youth Ministries.

Please join us in praying for and welcoming Sarah to Asbury Hills as the new Summer Camp Director.  We look forward to all that God has in store for next summer and years to come!

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#CampTShirtDay

If you follow Asbury Hills on social media at all, then you know that November 15th was International Camp T-Shirt Day.

Summer 365 and It’s A Camp Thing sponsored this event.  You can find all the details about it at Summer Camp Culture‘s website!

A camp t-shirt is an important part of summer camp.  Why, do you ask? Keep reading!

1. Summer camp t-shirts are important because anytime you see that t-shirt, all the wonderful camp memories come rushing back to you.

2. Summer camp t-shirts are important because if someone sees you wearing it, they will probably ask about it.  This gives you the PERFECT excuse to talk about camp for hours.

3. Summer camp t-shirts are important because someone will see you wearing it and wonder why you love that shirt so much.  More than likely, they will want to come so they can have great memories just like you!

These 3 reasons bring us right to number 4.

4. Summer camp t-shirts are important because you can wear it on International Camp T-Shirt Day, take a picture, post it on social media and tag Asbury Hills!

We had a lot of people participate in this event from Asbury Hills! They used the hashtags #CampTshirtDay and #AHcamptshirtday and were sure to tag Asbury Hills.  Below you will find a round up of some photos ranging from our full time staff members, summer staffers and alumni!

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Full Time Staff

Summer Staffers & A Camp Pastor!

Asbury Hills Alumni

 

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A Part of the Story

Stories are what make camp so great! How often do you find your self starting a story off with, “One time at camp…” or “That summer at camp…”? Probably fairly often.

Working as an Asbury Hills Summer Staffer allows you to be a part of that story!

 

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Courtney King is a long time Asbury Hills Summer Staffer and truly has the heart for camp.  She has served in so many different capacities from being a counselor to lead staff and hosting retreats.

According to Courtney, “Whether you impact a kid, a summer staffer, a full time staff member, a facilities manager, a kitchen worker, you get to be a part of someone’s story.”

Courtney says that Asbury Hills has an atmosphere like no other. What can you expect from working a summer at Asbury Hills? Let’s ask Courtney!

“You get to have fun for a summer while making an impact on a kid’s life.  YOU get to change the future!

You get to spend the summer in a community of believers!!!”

Keep reading for more from Courtney on what it is like to be a summer staffer at Asbury Hills.

“I have gotten to spend 5 summers at Asbury and they have all been blessings in their own way.  My first summer, I got to be on rec staff.  I got the opportunity to learn new skills that I never thought I would have learned and challenged myself physically.  My second and third summers were full of counseling.  Being there for kids and leading them week after week was the literal best.  You learn so much about kids after working with them directly.  Asking them deep questions about faith opened doors for so many opportunities to minister, but also to listen.  Whether I was rafting or tubing down a river, walking them up the hill to team building courses or jumping up and down with them at worship, I could see a little light in them that I just wanted to encourage more and more.  I learned how to lead my peers during my fourth and fifth summers.  The most difficult part was adjusting to not working directly with kids.  But to be able to plan something that the kids (and counselor) would enjoy and see it through is something very valuable.  This something I can easily see translating into the real world.  Being a leader was full of its ups and downs making this time so important to learning about me.

No matter what I did or how long I served in a particular role, camp has shaped me into who I am today!!! I am more of an adventurer and more willing to step out of my comfort zone after being on rec staff.  I am more confident in my leadership skills and know where I can better myself after lead staff.  I am more apt to listen to people’s stories and genuinely care for them after counseling.  Camp life really is the best life.  Countless situations and life lessons learned from camp can translate back into real life. (Just ask all my friends back at school… When is there a time that I DON’T talk about camp?!)

There is absolutely no other way I would have spent my summers.

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Fall Festival: The Wrap

Fall Festival 2016 has come and it has gone! We had a blast!  Everything ran smoothly and we had a great turnout.

If you came to Fall Festival, you got to enjoy some nice, fall weather.  You also got to enjoy the sounds of the Saggy Bottom Boys as they played bluegrass music for all in earshot to hear.

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If you joined us on October 22nd, you probably also ate lunch in our dining hall to get the true camp experience! You probably enjoyed a BBQ sandwich or a good old hot dog.  You also probably took a hayride to get at tour of camp!

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If you and your family came to our Fall Festival, I bet you, or a family member, tried to climb the rock wall.  Maybe you opted for a bigger challenge and attempted the Alpine Tower! You might have also tested your abilities at our archery range.  With either activity, hopefully you enjoyed trying something new or testing out your skills.

If this wasn’t your first Fall Festival with Asbury Hills, then you knew you would get a chance to get some Apple Butter that was made and jarred at Asbury Hills.  You also knew that you would get to watch apples being pressed making fresh apple cider on the spot.

What kind of day would it be if you didn’t spend a few moments in a rocking chair beside an open fire? It wouldn’t be a day at Asbury Hills, that is for sure.

Hopefully you got the chance to bring your family or just yourself to our Fall Festival this year.  If you did, then thank you so much for making the trip! If you missed it this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s Fall Festival because it is the perfect family activity with something for everyone!  Be sure to check out our Facebook page to see more photos.  As always, you can find more information about Asbury Hills Camp and Retreat Center right here and questions can be directed to 864.836.3711.

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Fall Festival: Don’t Miss Out!

Fall festival is a week away and we are thrilled!

–Saturday, October 22nd from 10AM-5PM at Asbury Hills Camp and Retreat Center

Fall Festival is an annual festival at Asbury Hills that is open to the community.  You can expect a great view of camp and the sound of bluegrass music.  You can expect to see your favorite summer staffers and try some activities.  You can expect to see camp in a light that is very different from summer!

If you end up not making it to this year’s Fall Festival, here is what you will miss out on:

Bluegrass music filling the air.

The Saggy Bottom Boys will be sharing their gift of bluegrass music for all to hear.  Nothing says the mountain air and fall like bluegrass music.

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Activities you or your camper did in the summer will be open.

Do you remember hearing your camper go on and on about how they got to the top of the Rock Wall? Now they can prove it.  Have you heard about the view from the top of our Alpine Tower? Now you can see it for yourself. (You get a full view of Table Rock and Caesar’s Head that is breathtaking.) Remember the great shots of the lake? Now you can see it for yourself in a canoe!

Summer Staffers will be there.

This is the greatest reunion between summer staffers and campers.  Is there a summer staffer that your camper raved about? There is a chance some will make it Fall Festival.

Apple Butter and Apple Cider

We make apple butter on site throughout the year so it is ready for you to take home! You can even press your own Apple Cider on site during Fall Festival. These will be available with a suggested donation towards camper scholarships.

Hayride and Face Painting

What is a fall festival without hayrides and face painting? If you take a hayride at camp, you also get a tour of camp, too! Top the day off with a small pumpkin on your cheek and you’ve had the true Fall Festival experience.

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We hope to see you at this year’s Fall Festival!

Click here for more information.

There is something about the fall in the mountains that is breath taking.  Asbury Hills is over 2,000 acres of gorgeousness regardless of the season, we can all agree, but being at Asbury Hills during the fall is something special.  The colors of the leaves reflect on the lake and Mountain Chapel has amplified beauty with fall colors in the trees.  The paths are spiced up with reds, oranges, and yellows and the cool, crisp air makes a camp fire even more inviting.

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Fall is Here!

Fall is here! Well, it is supposed to be here.  The mornings around camp are getting a little cooler and the leaves are slowly starting to change. If you are a summer camper, you know Asbury Hills in the summer.  Have you ever seen it in the fall?

 

Remember the way the trees reflect in the lake? You may even know the reflection trick that if you stand on the bank by the lake, hang your head upside down and look through your legs, the view is the same. 

Remember how the trees, full of green leaves, hang over Matthew’s creek just right?

Remember how you can see green trees for miles from Mountain Chapel?

Remember how you can see Table Rock and Caesar’s head surrounded by full, green trees when you are standing on top of the Alpine Tower?

All of these things are great sights to see in the summer, for sure. But if you haven’t seen them in the fall then you are missing out!

Imagine the lake with the leaves reflecting in the lake.  Now, imagine those leaves are gorgeous shades of yellow, red and orange. Beautiful, right? The view is also just as beautiful from the Lake Chapel.

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Imagine the trees that keep cover over Matthew’s creek. Now, picture them full of orange, red and yellow leaves that are starting to fall and float down the creek.

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Imagine the view from Mountain Chapel and how you can see mountains covered in green trees for miles.  Now, turn those green trees to yellow, red and orange trees and you have a gorgeous sight to see!

It is officially fall and we couldn’t be more excited because fall means Fall Festival!!  Click the link to see what all Fall Festival has to offer and stay tuned for more fun fall updates!

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Early Registration

Early registration for summer camp is something we push at Asbury Hills for many reasons.  What are those reasons? I am so glad you asked!

REASON 1: Saving

Your first thought will probably be saving money and you’re not wrong! If you register early for summer camp, you can lock in with the 2016 rates.  Every year, we evaluate how much it costs us to run camp and more times than not, the price has to go up.  If you register your camper early,  you can ensure you are paying the exact same price you paid for the Summer Camp 2016 spot.  Act quickly because this offer will not last long! You can register your camper now for summer 2017 but early registration will be short lived.  After the new year, we will say farewell to both 2016 and 2016 rates for summer camp.  Your window to register with the 2016 rates will come to a close December 30, 2016 so act fast!

What else can you save? Time. You can save your precious time by registering early. If you register early, you already know the date you are sending your precious camper to Asbury Hills.  Already knowing that date means you can plan ahead.  While this summer has only just ended, next summer will creep up on us faster than we can say “I love Asbury Hills”! If you register early, you have extra time to plan and make sure everything is squared away to send off your camper.

REASON 2: Space

While we have over a dozen different options for your camper, our space is limited.  If you are a seasoned camper/guardian of a camper, you know that spaces fill quickly.  Typically, the spaces for adventure camps like Drenched and Expedition fill up the quickest. There are options for every week of the summer (except for the week of 4th of July) and for each week, there are different types of camps you can register for depending on your camper.  Even though there are eight weeks of camp offered, the type of camp your camper wants may not be offered every week.  For example, if your elementary camper wants to do a week of Core Camp, there are four weeks that is offered of the eight we run camp. Needless to say, spots will fill up quickly and if you don’t register early, you may miss out.

 

REASON 3: Planning

Those short weeks of summer fill up quickly with family vacation trips, sports practices and many other things we enjoy doing in the summer.  If you register early for camp, you can go ahead and mark that week on your calendar to make sure you don’t have any planning mishaps.  It is the worst when something this double planned or forgotten.  Registering early for camp will make sure you get the week that works best for your family and you can make sure it is on the calendar early.

 

A FEW HELPFUL HINTS:

  • Plan ahead. Check out the 2017 calendar and plan the best week for you and your family.
  • Have your method of payment ready. You will be prompted to pay online with a card so if you have it ready, you can breeze right through the registration process.
  • Download your 2016 Medical Form. Download your medical form from 2016 (in your 2016 registration details) to use as a reference for filling out the 2017 medical form.
  • Make sure you have options.  In the event that the camp you pick for a specific week isn’t available, be sure you are ready to give other options.  The earlier you register, the better your chances are.
  • Don’t fear the wait list. The wait list isn’t a definite ‘no’ to your first choice.  Things come up and people cancel.  There is always a chance, even if it is small.

 

Don’t forget to look for us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and give us a like and a follow!

 

Early registration is open for Summer 2017.  All early registration forms must be received by December 30, 2016.

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Summer Staff Tell All

As you are aware, Asbury Hills is a summer camp that is changing the world! Of course, this is something we already knew but the Center for Faith and Service made it official a few months ago. (If you didn’t know this or missed the blog post about it, make it a point to check it out.) The June 2016 press release regarding the release of this list made an extremely important point.

“In my own experiences, it was the encounter with role models –  camp counselors who were often only a few years older than I – that provided a footprint for how I wanted to live my life into adulthood.”

-Wayne Meisel, Executive Director of The Center for Faith and Service

So there it says, camp counselors have a direct impact on camper’s lives.  At Asbury Hills, being on summer staff is a lot more than working a summer job.  Summer staffers have a huge list of growing duties.  Some include, but are not limited to, making sure lights out is 10:30 sharp, making sure campers are stepping outside their comfort zone, being sure campers are drinking enough water, encouraging them to pass their swim test, cheering them on as they jump off the rock at the Cascades, triple checking their safety as the zip through the forest, and coming up with the best cheer during energizers.

Yes, being a summer staffer means you will directly impact campers but it also means a direct impact on yourself. 

I can speak from experience that working for the summer at Asbury Hills is life changing.  Life changing not only for the campers but for myself.  The difference between the person I was before my first summer working for Asbury Hills and the person I am now, 4 years later, is huge! I owe it all to those hills that surely changed my life forever.

Does this sound like something you want to experience? Do you know someone who would be perfect for this job? Keep reading to see what this summer’s staff has to say about working for Asbury Hills and then send this post to everyone you know!

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BROOKE BRABHAM 2 years rec staff, 1 year rec coordinator
“Working at Asbury Hills has brought me a second family and a place to call home.  I have learned so much about myself through the kids that come each summer.  It really has helped shape me into who I am in my faith today.”

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DILLON DAVIS 1 year counselor
“Working as a counselor has made me realize the importance of love in the life of a Christian. Everything we do here is motivated by a love for the kids because we want them to see Jesus in us.  It is only then that we truly make a difference.”

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TREVOR BROCK 1 year photographer
“Working at Asbury was an unbelievable experience.  The fact that I was a camper, then CIT, and now a summer staff member made it all worth it.  I got to see every angle of how He moves.”

 

 

 

 

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JARVIS JOHNSON 1 year counselor
“Working at Asbury Hills is the best thing ever because I grew in my faith with Jesus and lost weight.”

Pray for these summer staffers as they transition back into the ‘real world’. Take time to pray on this and seek God in His plans for you next summer.  If you feel lead to serve His Kingdom at Asbury Hills, then there is a place for.

Summer 2016 wrapped up just days ago and I can assure you that those summer 2016 staffers made friends that they will have for the rest of their lives.  After spending 3 months with a group of people they met in May, their lives are changed and yours could be, too. Keep your eyes peeled for when the application to work at Asbury Hills for Summer 2017 opens and I will be sure to let you know as soon as it does.

 

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Changing the World

Welcome! It is my pleasure to welcome you as a camper, staffer, mother or father, grandparent or guardian, supporter, donor, prayer warrior, sponsor, alumni member, liker of Facebook, follower of Instagram or clicker of one of the Asbury Hills ads.  It is my pleasure to welcome you to being an important member to the ministry that happens in the small town of Cleveland, South Carolina.  It is my pleasure to welcome you to being a very important partner to one of the camps found on The Center for Faith and Service’s 2016 list of Summer Camps that Change the World!

Yes! You read that correctly!

Asbury Hills is considered to be one the summer camps of 2016 that is changing the world. How incredible does that seem to know you are a part of something so fantastic?  What constitutes a summer camp that is changing the world? Wayne Meisel, the Executive Director of the Center for Faith and Service says that “the 2016 list includes camps that embody the joy, hope and power of the summer camp experience.”

Where can you find joy at Asbury hills? Easy.  Look to the faces of campers trying the Canopy Tour for the first time.  Look to the faces of the campers when they see the gorgeous view of Table Rock and Caesar’s Head atop the Alpine Tower.  Listen to the sounds coming from the rec shelter during worship times.  Listen to the bellowing sounds of laughter of campers enjoying energizers before every meal.

How about finding hope at Asbury Hills? That is also easy.  Look to the counselor’s faces when they are waiting for their timid campers to try the obstacles at the Funky Site.  Look to the rec staffers who are encouraging campers to make it to the top of the Rock Wall.  Look at the faces of campers cheering on their fellow camper as they climb to the top of the Leap of Faith in hopes of ringing the bell.

Where is the power at Asbury Hills?  This will call for looking behind the scenes.  Look at the energy Lead Staff puts in to preparing counselors and rec staff for the summer.  Look to the full time staff at Asbury Hills who work year round preparing for summer campers.  Look to the band members who spend countless hours preparing their hearts and voices to lead campers in worship.  Look to the videographers and photographers who cover every foot of camp to make sure memories are captured.

It is hard to imagine a world without summer camp considering many of us grew up attending.  Thankfully, we don’t have to live in that dreaded reality.  If it wasn’t for summer camp, we wouldn’t have those life long friends.  (We all know that #CampFriendsAreTheBestFriends.)  If it wasn’t for summer camp, we wouldn’t be experts at trying new things and enjoying life sans technology.  If it wasn’t for summer camp, we might know know God as well as we do.  We might not have crossed paths with someone who stayed in our lives forever.  Without summer camp, life as we know it could be totally different.

Mr. Meisel from Center for Faith and Service also said that “summer camps have a defining place in our culture.”It sure feels great to know that Asbury Hills Summer Camp is considered a camp that has that defining place in our culture.

It it feels great to be a part of something that is changing the world.

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