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.


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.


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.


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.



  • 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!


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.”






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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A Well Deserved Week Off

The summer staffers of Asbury Hills work very hard to ensure our campers are having the time of their lives when they attend summer camp.  A summer staffer’s job is a tough one but extremely rewarding.  While it is obvious our summer staffers love their job, they definitely need time to re-energize and get geared up for the second half of the summer. It is extremely hard to pour into others without being spiritually full yourself.  Our summer staffers love pouring into our precious campers each week but they also spend time ensuring they are spiritually equipped themselves.  In order to make a deep impact on our campers and fellow summer staffers, our foundations in Jesus Christ must be equally as deep.

Please join us in keeping these summer staffers in your prayers not only throughout the summer but this week in particular.  While some of our summer staffers are at camp this week preparing for the second half of the summer, many are enjoying their week off at the beach or with family and friends. Prayers for their hearts and souls to be filled with energy and love for these campers.  Prayers for their minds and bodies to be energized and full of life.  Prayers that the Lord will continue to work in their lives and the lives of our campers.


These wonderful summer staffers are looking forward to the second half of #TrekWithAH and we hope you are, too!!

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National Camera Day

National Camera Day is observed on June 29th each year.  If it wasn’t for this incredible invention, some of the best moments at camp wouldn’t be captured.  As a photographer, I can truly appreciate this fantastic invention.

For those not as photography savvy, let’s compare the camera to the human eye. Obviously, there are a few differences but the similarities are rather interesting.  Have you ever watched someone’s pupil get bigger or smaller? I am sure you noticed that when the lighting is very bright, the pupil is smaller and darker lighting, it gets bigger.  Essentially a camera works the same way.  A photographer will open the passage for light in dark settings and vice versa in lighter settings.  I find that to be one of the coolest comparisons that someone decided to model a camera off of the human eye.

At Asbury Hills, all moments are special and we do our best to capture them for others to see.  Without this camera invention, sharing those incredible moments wouldn’t be possible!  In honor of National Camera Day, here are some shots taken by the photographers at camp over the last few years.



Can you imagine camp without capturing these moments to relive? I can’t.



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Introducing Summer Camp Pastor Chris

We’re down to the last camp pastor and four days until the start of summer camp!  So far, you’ve met Andrew, Laura Allen, John Luke, Terry, Laurie, Ken, Sarah, and Scott.  Today we want you to meet Chris Lynch.  He’s a congregational specialist for the SC United Methodist Church and is passionate about helping students live into their calling.  Here’s ten questions to help you get to know him as well.


  1. What is your favorite superhero? 
    Old School: The Green Lantern.  New School:  Capt. America
  2. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
    I want to fly.  Driving time would be gone for good.
  3. Have you played any sports? 
    Basketball mainly, but played a little of everything as a kid.
  4. What are you hobbies? 
    Golf, BBQ competitions, hunting, anything outdoors
  5. Favorite movie?
    Comedy:  Christmas Vacation  Other: Lord of the Rings


  6. Favorite vacation spot?
    Anywhere with water.
  7. If you had to live off one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? 
  8. Favorite TV show?
    The Blacklist
  9. Favorite childhood memory? 
    Exploring my grandma and grandpas farm with my brother for two weeks every summer. It was an Adventureland in our minds.
  10. What are you most looking forward to about your time at Asbury Hills?
    Meeting young people and hearing their stories of the intersections of faith and life.


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Change is in the Air

Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand sure.
-Robert Browning
Please join us in celebrating with Sarah Kelley as she will be joining the Water of Life Ministries staff as their Communications Director.  Although she was not looking to make a career switch, we believe that our God is a creative God, and sometimes unexpected doors are opened to us.  Water of Life exists to meet people’s most basic physical need: the need for clean, disease-free water while taking the Gospel of Jesus and church planting in West Africa and India.  Sarah is excited to have the opportunity to use her skills and talents while still serving God.
As most of you know, I am both a camper and summer staff alumnus.  It has been my great honor and privilege to serve the camping ministry that did so much to shape the person I have become for the past eight years.  The amount of growth I’ve seen in my time on staff has been incredible, and I know God will continue to do big things.  I’m looking forward to watching it as I transition from staff member to camp’s biggest cheerleader. – Sarah
We are also excited to welcome Paige Railey as our new Director of Marketing and Communications.  Paige graduated with an Art degree from Lander University and has spent the last year as a teacher.  She also has a deep love of Asbury Hills and has served as a summer counselor, photo/video staff, and by sharing the ministry through church visits. We are very excited to see how God is going to work through her as a part of the Camp & Retreat Ministries staff.
Please join us in prayer for Sarah, Paige, and the ministries they serve as we make this transition.
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Introducing Summer Camp Pastor Ken

So far you’ve met Laura-Allen, John Luke, Andrew, Terry, Laurie, Scott, and Sarah.  We’re down to just a week and a day before summer camp 2016 begins, but there are still two pastors you need to meet.  So here’s ten questions to help you get to know camp pastor Ken.253884_10150612303855696_1804932_n

  1. What is your favorite superhero?
    Batman.  How can you not love a super hero that doesn’t really have any super powers but just works really hard (and has fun toys!)
  2. If you could have any superpower what would it be?
    My super power would be Time Travel.  It isn’t normally considered a super power but think of all the crime you could stop without hurting anyone if you could just travel back in time and change the past. But then again, would they have committed the crime in the first place? Whoa… Mindblown.
  3. Have you played any sports?
    I played sports… when I was 10.  But no I am just a huge sports fan.  Being from Detroit, I mostly love baseball, hockey, and football.  That’s right, I am a lonely Detroit Lions fan. Maybe next year…
  4. What are you hobbies?
    For hobbies, I love to work around the house, either doing landscaping stuff or fixing something inside. I always love having a project to work on like installing something new in the house or church, building something, or just fixing something broken.
  5. Favorite movie?
    My favorite move of all time is Back to the Future.  Really the whole trilogy—you can’t really separate them as they all continuously flow into the next one. I dare you to try to stem me with a Back to the Future trivia question!


  6. Favorite vacation spot?
    It may sound so cliche, but my favorite vacation destination is Disney World in Florida.  My family has had a few vacations there and I just love everything about it! It was especially enjoyable to see my little boys light up as we first entered the Magic Kingdom.
  7. If you had to live off one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    Pizza.  I am your typical youth pastor, and love pizza.  I could (and almost have tried, except my wife wouldn’t let me) eat pizza for every meal.
  8. Favorite TV show?
    My favorite TV show has been LOST.  I loved the weird stories and master surrounding the island—as well as the aspect that felt like time travel. If you ask me, I loved the way it ended!
  9. Favorite childhood memory?
    Most of my childhood memories revolve around my older sister—like when she kicked me in the eye, or threw a dart into my arm, or put her hand through a glass window. Actually It sounds like I had a pretty painful past!  But growing up in the church, I actually have great memories of great experiences I have had. One of my favorite things as a teenager was going to a Christian Music festival, Ichthus, in Wilmore, Kentucky every year with my youth group. The community that developed as you spend a week tent camping together was amazing! I cherish every memory from my time growing up in youth group.
  10. What are you most looking forward to about your time at Asbury Hills?
    There are many things that excite me about coming to Asbury Hills! Being a northern boy from Detroit, I am sure looking forward to some southern accents and cooking…and the sweet tea! Also, I cannot wait for the times of worship with my friend Paul Schloss. But most of all, I look forward to seeing God show up in huge ways and making an impacting life change in many of the students! My prayer is that this will be one of those memories you will hold on to for the rest of your trek through life!


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