Breaking the Noise: Sarah

Breaking the Noise is something that has been on our hearts many months before Summer 2017 will even start. Sarah took some time to share her thoughts.  You don’t want to miss this read.

 

It is officially one month until summer camp begins and my desk is a mess.  You know the kind right?  Stacks of papers in not so neat piles, at least three half completed “to-do” lists covered with bright multi-colored highlighters, obnoxious sticky notes posted all around to grab my attention, and of course, pieces of yesterday’s granola bar sprinkled throughout the chaos.  On top of my messy granola filled desk, my brain has officially hit “oh my goodness summer is right around the corner” mode.  Which consist of a million different questions and things to remember to do flying through my head faster than my pen can write.  I’m not going to lie, it’s overwhelming.

So overwhelming in fact, I had to step away.  That’s how I ended up at the creek.  Yep, that’s right, while I’m writing this post you’re reading I’m sitting on a rock with my toes in the creek.  Why am I at the creek freezing my toes off instead of getting the day old granola off my most recent to do list?  I’ll tell you.

About a week ago I was in the middle of a busy day where it took everything out of me just to keep up.  After a long morning and early afternoon of summer preparations I was meeting with one of our camp pastor’s for this summer about our theme, Noise.  While we were meeting and discussing Noise we talked about how Jesus often left the crowds that followed Him and “withdrew to lonely places to pray”.  In the midst of His ministry, sharing the good news of His father, Jesus would press pause, break away, and go spend time with God in prayer away from everything.

This time that Jesus withdrew was crucial to His ministry.  Think about it, Jesus’s “to-do list” probably made my granola filled desk look like a joke.  He had thousands following him every day.  I wonder if he ever got tired of hearing his name or felt like he couldn’t keep up with the questions being thrown his way.  If he ever felt like he didn’t have enough time to accomplish everything he knew he needed to do.

That’s when it hit me.  If Jesus had to step away from it all, break the noise surrounding him, to retreat to pray, then I most certainly need to do the same.  That brings me to today and the creek.

I grew up attending this camp and playing in Matthew’s Creek.  I have so many amazing memories by this stream of water, as I’m sure anyone who has spent any time at Asbury Hills has. I love sticking my toes in the water, regardless the season and feeling the cool water embrace me.  Best part of coming to the creek?  It’s quiet.  The only noise is that of nature.  God’s creation in its purest, simplest form.  The creek is my quiet place to withdraw from the to-do list, email notifications, ringing phones, and to connect with Jesus, tell Him thank you and pray.

I needed to break the noise today and come to the creek to pray. Just as God came to Elijah on the mountain in the still quiet, I find him in the cold calm water of the creek.  Gently whispering that He is in this place and has His hand on summer and on my life.  And if I will just be still, listen, and be willing to let my toes get a little cold, He will provide.

Maybe your life is loud right now.  Between school, work, social events, sporting events, kids’ schedules, meetings, and just trying to have a social life, it all can get overwhelming.  In the world we live in it can be easy to become caught up in everyday life.  I hope you take some time today to find your creek and break the noise.

 

–SARAH MOSELEY, Summer Camp Director

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Introducing Camp Pastor Ben

With week one of Summer 2017 just a few short weeks away, it is time to introduce our first camp pastor! Ben Sloan will be serving as the Camp Pastor at Asbury Hills for the week of June 4-June 9. Continue reading to get to know him! We are excited to have you, Ben!

Ben comes to us from Albemarle, North Carolina where he has been the Pastor at Bethany UMC for almost two years. Ben worked as a counselor for two summers and then helped out when he could for a third.

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We asked Ben what he is looking forward to most for his week at camp and here is what he told us:

“I am really looking forward to seeing how things have changed.  I love getting to know the campers and counselors. I also am looking forward to the beauty of the mountains.  I can’t wait to share Asbury Hills with my daughter.  I can’t pick from all of those!”

Ben tells us that his time as a counselor at Asbury Hills made a huge difference in his life.  He is looking forward to to coming back to place that holds such great memories.  He’s also excited to give back and help the Asbury Hills ministry.

We asked Ben to share an embarrassing story with us so he shared one that actually happened at Asbury Hills!

“One week I was on support staff and we got a call from Caesar’s Head that a group of hikers got lost near us.  They asked if we could go out and help them.  Only thing was that it was tacky day at camp so I had my clothes on inside out with nothing matching, and there wasn’t really time to go back and change.  I was the one to find the group and I had to lead them back to Caesar’s Head dressed like that.  I wonder what was going through their heads as they saw me come running up looking ridiculous.”

Ben told us that his favorite superhero is Daredevil.  He didn’t go into why but I can assure you it it would be worth asking him about!  If he had to eat one food item for the rest of his life, Ben would eat pizza.  Why you ask? He had some great reasons:

  1.  It tastes great.
  2. You can mix it up so much.
  3. He heard about a guy in Maryland who has only eaten pizza for the last 30 years and he is doing just fine.

We asked Ben if there was anything he’d like to tell campers and his response was simple yet so important!

“You’re going to have a great time! Soak up every minute of it!”

A week at Asbury Hills seems like a long time but when you’re there, it flies by! We hope that each and every camper coming this summer really takes the time to enjoy everything about camp!

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We are looking forward to having Ben Sloan as our pastor for week one (June 4-9).  Make sure you are registered; you won’t want to miss out!

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FAQs: First Time Camper Parent

While it is a big deal to send a camper to camp for the first time, it is also a big deal for parents.  We get it! Sending your child away for the first time is a big step.  We also get that some peace of mind will make it a lot easier.  Here are some frequently asked questions we get from first time camper parents.  Don’t see a question you have? Feel free to email Paige at info@sccarm.org with any questions or send us a message on Facebook!

How old will my camper’s counselor be?

Our summer camp counselors must be over 18 and we prefer for them to have at least one year of college completed. 

Can my camper call me during the week?

Your camper will not have access to a phone during the week.  Their schedule will be to packed full of activities to even have time to think about calling home!

Can I call my camper during the week?

We do not allow calls to campers.  If an emergency comes up, you can always contact our office and someone will deliver the message to your camper. 

My camper takes a daily medication, is there a nurse at camp to make sure he or she gets the medication?

We have a licensed, registered nurse on site at any time campers are.  This nurse will be able to administer any medications to your camper and deal with any medical needs, as well.

How does Asbury Hills hire staff members?

Asbury Hills promotes summer staff starting a few months after the previous summer has ended.  We run ads on our social media accounts, web page, and we even reach out different Wesley foundations from various colleges in South Carolina.  Our staffers apply online and are required to complete a background check and submit at least 3 references.

How can I see photos of my camper during the week?

You can see photos of your camper by going to our website and navigating to the “For Parents” page under the summer camp tab.  You’ll see a yellow button to access photos where you’ll provide your log-in information.  Need assistance? Feel free to call our office at 864.836.3711 and Emily can help you!

What time will my camper eat meals?

Campers will eat breakfast at 8am.  Lunch is at noon and dinner is at 5:45.  These times stay the same throughout the entire week!

What if my camper is a picky eater?

Our Food Services Director is excellent in developing menus sure to please everyone.  There are always alternate options as well as a variety of items for campers to choose from during meal times.

Why does my camper need a sleeping bag?

If your camper is in middle or high school, they will do Home in the Woods where they spend the night camping outside and cooking meals over the fire.  A sleeping bag is perfect for campers to use on their bunk in their cabin, too.

Can my camper bring their cell phone?

We do not allow campers to have any electronic devices on camp.  Even if they could bring their cell phones, they wouldn’t get service!

What if my camper gets homesick?

We train our counselors extensively to handle a homesick camper so there is no need to worry.  If your camper does get homesick, your camper’s counselor is well equipped to make sure they are enjoying themselves.

Can I mail my camper letters? What about care packages?

You definitely can mail your camper letters! You may want to take into consideration how long it takes letters to go through the postal system to plan ahead in mailing your letters.  We don’t advise you to send care packages simply because your camper is in a cabin with up to 13 other campers who may not get care packages.  Your camper will be so busy during the day that they may not even have time to use what you send in a care package!

 

We hope these answer a few of those first time camper questions.  Of course, if you have more, we are only a phone call or email away!

Phone: 864.836.3711  Email: summercamp@asburyhills.org

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45 Days Until Summer Camp!

Only 45 more days until Summer 2017 officially begins!! Let’s be honest, we started counting down the days until Summer 2017 a long time ago.  Each day as the number gets smaller the air gets warmer, the creek gets less cold and the leaves are getting greener.

What are we missing? The sounds of campers laughing with their counselors, splashing from the lake, the worship band praising God with everyone and the echos of energizers before each meal.  These, my friends, are the sounds of summer that are only 45 days away! That is right! Only 45 days until the first day of Summer Camp at Asbury Hills!

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What are you most excited for?

Is it the drive into camp with the perfect view of Table Rock? What about the smiling faces that greet you as you do the last minute check-in for camp? Is it the smell of the cabins as you walk in and set up your camper’s perfect bunk? What about the hug your camper gets from the counselor you are entrusting them with?

Regardless of what it is that you are most excited for, we are simply excited to serve you and your family.  Our mission at Asbury Hills is to serve all people for Christian birth, growth and renewal so we plan to live that out this summer.

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What can you expect?

  • We are going to start introducing our staff members in the next few weeks on Facebook and Instagram! Feel free to share them if you know them–we are so happy to have the best staff this summer!
  • Camp Pastors are getting finalized so we will be announcing the official Summer 2017 Camp Pastor Line Up! Trust us, its a good one!
  • Our new activity for the summer is coming together so stay tuned for pictures!

We are only 45 days away from Breaking the Noise at Asbury Hills and we cannot wait!

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A Member of the Family

Asbury Hills has been welcoming campers and retreat groups for 55 years.  Once you camp with Asbury Hills, you are family! Our camp family is so important with us! Speaking of family, we recently spoke with a family with multiple generations of campers.  Jenn Strickland from Columbia shared her opinions about Asbury Hills and how both her and her daughter share the bond of being an Asbury Hills Camper.

Jenn’s advice to first time camper parents is to remember that the campers are in good hands. Something Jenn and her husband enjoy doing is sending emails to their campers and checking out the photos uploaded each day.

Jenn explains that her daughter started with Express Camp with her cousin.  She says that after the shortened week of camp, the girls were ready for a full week the following summer! “She loved it and us parents missed our little girls, however we knew it was great for them to mold into stronger independent girls!”

People often ask us what the meaning of summer camp is and Jenn couldn’t have explained it better.  When we asked Jenn why she felt like it was important for her daughter to experience summer camp, her response was this:

“I wanted my daughter to spend time learning about God and experiencing camping/unity with her cousin.  I wanted her to grow spiritually and learn things on her own without mommy and daddy’s influence.”

While Asbury Hills in South Carolina, our campers aren’t just from South Carolina! Jenn mentioned that her daughter raved about all the new friends she made from all around the USA! She even emails her new friends.

Here are Jenn’s final thoughts–

“This camp is molding our daughter spiritually and helping her develop independent skills for a lifetime! We are so proud of her, the friendships she is gaining and her personal growth in the Lord!”

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Jenn for sharing her thoughts about Asbury Hills! We are always open to hearing other thoughts and stories so if you have anything you’d like to share, please email Paige at info@sccarm.org.

 

 

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Open House: 2017

We have wrapped up Open House and it was a great success!! We enjoyed getting to meet new families and campers.  Our visitors were able to try out a few activities like the Rock Wall and Archery.  We have some staff members available to give tours–who wouldn’t want a tour on such a gorgeous day in a beautiful place!

If you missed Open House 2017, we sure missed you! Open House is the perfect opportunity to bring family and friends to show off camp.  We often get families who are interested in camp but want to see the property first.  Do you have friends who might be interested in camp? Open House is the perfect opportunity to bring your friends to prove to them how great Asbury Hills is!

What exactly did you miss out on? Here are some photos that Robert Bradley took for us! If you missed out, remember, there is always next year!!

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Check out our Facebook page for more photos from Robert Bradley!

Let the countdown to summer begin!!

Have you registered for camp?! Sessions are filling quickly so don’t miss your chance!

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Hands & Feet Wrap Up

A few weeks ago we wrapped up our Hands & Feet Service Weekend for 2017 and it was a huge success!! With over 150 people here working to make Asbury Hills even better, we accomplished so much.

Consider this a HUGE thank you to all the youth groups who spent their weekend being the hands and feet of Christ!  Have a look through these photos to see what all was accomplished.  You can find more on our Facebook Page.

 

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Check out the video to see even more of the great work that was done!! Click the link below.

Hands & Feet 2017 Video

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An Oscar, sandpiper & camp

If you watched the Academy Awards, you saw many incredible works of art and cinema on the big screen.  You saw actors and actresses gain recognition for their incredible abilities to bring characters to life for their viewers.  You may have also seen a little sandpiper named Piper get some recognition, too.

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As it turns out, Piper the little sandpiper and summer camp have a lot in common. What on earth could a sandpiper have in common with summer camp? I am so happy to tell you!

Piper, the short film created by Pixar, is about a young sandpiper who was so used to his mother feeding him. When it came time for him to learn for himself, he was too scared.  Makes sense, right? This mother decided it was time for her little sandpiper child to venture on his own to find food.  Now, obviously, he wasn’t completely alone.  He was running on a beach with tons of other sandpipers and his mother in close sight but still trying something new. If you watch this short, 6 minute film, you’ll see that Piper the baby sandpiper decides to try to find food on his own.  Does it work out for him? You can imagine so but I highly encourage you to watch this short film.

WATCH A CLIP HERE!

Now, I am sure you can see how this relates to camp. 

How often do we come across young campers who are afraid to try something new or step out of their comfort zone?

All the time! What would happen if our staff didn’t encourage these young campers to try new things? With Piper, he would never learn to feed himself and would always rely on his mother.  If our campers didn’t try new things and step out of their comfort zone, would they be learning anything? Would they be able to fully trust their counselors, new camp friends and ultimately God with their fears?

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Trying new things at camp is extremely important to the camp experience.  I’ll put it this way; if I never tried new things and just lived my life in the safe zone, I probably wouldn’t be half the person I am today.  If that little sandpiper didn’t try to go find food himself, he would forever rely on his mother for that. If our campers didn’t try to climb the Alpine Tower or try that first zip of the Canopy Tour then not only would they miss out on the camp experience but they wouldn’t be learning more about themselves and their abilities.  Trying new things is how we learn about ourselves, see what we are capable of and most of the time, we do not give ourselves enough credit.

If you are still reading then I hope this connection between Piper and summer camp is crystal clear.  We encourage our campers to always try new things and go beyond their comfort zone. Of course, we aren’t forcing this but by encouraging new things, we are encouraging our campers to grow.

So there you have it, an Oscar, a sandpiper and summer camp.  We are looking forward to a summer of trying new things!

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Sponsor a Summer Staff

Summer staffers spend the entire summer pouring into our campers and lifting each other up.  Summer staffers work all week, every week, like it is the first week of camp to make sure our campers have the best experience possible! Sound simple? Oh, it couldn’t be farther from a simple task.

What is it like to be on summer staff at Asbury Hills?

lifeguardClick this photo to read how Courtney describes being a summer staffer.

 

paigerailey-0742Click this photo to read how Brooke, Dillon, Jarvis, and Trevor feel about being on summer staff.

In the mean time, let’s just say that being a summer staffer at Asbury Hills can be one of the most rewarding ways to spend a summer!

 

Does this sound like something you want to be a part of?

We certainly hope so! Do you know the power of prayer? We sure do!

Would you be willing to pray for our summer staffers? We would truly appreciate it.

Would you be willing to start praying now? Summer Camp Director Sarah Moseley is right in the middle of working to hire our summer 2017 staff members.  Join us as we pray for God to work His will into this summer as we begin hiring staff members.  We pray that our God is preparing these future staffers’ hearts to live out our mission at Asbury Hills.

You can do more!

Our goal this summer is to have each staff member sponsored by someone.  What does this mean? This means we would love to assign each summer staff member their own sponsor who is, at minimum, going to pray for them throughout the summer.  Some sponsors in the past have sent things like cards or even care packages to their staff members, as well.

This may sound like something simple but it means so much more.

Is this something you are interested in?

Great! Click the link below and fill out the Google Form.  This by no means will not automatically sign you up as a sponsor but will serve as a way to gather interested folks.

sponsor-image-1Click this if you are interested in receiving more info about being a staff sponsor.

 

Have questions about Sponsoring a Staffer? Feel free to call our Marketing & Communications director, Paige, at 864.298.0125 or email at info@sccarm.org.

 

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A New Voice on the Phone

If you have called the Asbury Hills Office over the last year and a half, you got the pleasure of speaking with Susan Rouse, Asbury Hills Site Director David Rouse’s wife.  Susan was gracious and willing to fill the position of Reservation Specialist until our God sent us the perfect applicant.

We are happy to announce that the new voice on the phone will be Emily Eskridge.

Emily comes to us from Taylors, South Carolina where she lives with her husband, Franklin.  Emily was born and raised in Greer, South Carolina and has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Christian Studies and Communications from North Greenville University.  If Emily isn’t at camp, you’ll most likely find her antiquing or writing songs to play her guitar and sing to.

Emily is no stranger to the camp world!

She grew up attending Camp Marietta and Camp La Vida as a camper.  In the summer of 2013, she was a counselor for Merriwood Christian Camp in Clemmons, North Carolina.

We asked Emily, “What drew you to Asbury Hills?”

“As a camper and as a counselor, I experienced how special and unique camp ministry is.  My experience as a counselor marked so much growth in my life and the opportunity to see firsthand the growth in others.  Because of that, I realized the importance of camp ministry–maybe today more than ever, when society is constantly plugged in and there are an array of distractions. The Lord brought this back to my mind as I saw the posting of the position at Asbury Hills and I knew I needed to apply.

 

We cannot thank Susan enough for being able to be our interim Reservation Specialist and we are so thrilled to have Emily on board!

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“Working for a camp full-time always sounded too good to be true for me so I am THRILLED to be a part of the Asbury Hills family!” –Emily Eskridge

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