Posts Tagged With: christian

Going on a TREK

What is the definition of trek?

  • a long arduous journey, especially one made on foot
  • go on a long arduous journey, typically on foot

Why did the Israelites follow a cloud through the wilderness? What the heck does washing someone’s feet have to do with being a Christian servant?  What does being a follower of Christ even mean?  These are the questions we are excited to explore this summer as we TREK with Christ using the mnemonic FAST.

F – Follow  We’re going to discuss examples of the Israelites faithfully following God, and the disciples sometimes struggling to follow Jesus.  Is it easy to follow?

A – Abide  “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.”  What does abide even mean and what does it tell us about the relationships we have?

S – Serve Jesus gave us some pretty poignant examples about what it means to be a servant.  How can we live this out in our lives?

T – Trust “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Have you ever had doubts?  Had your trust broken? Felt alone?  We’re going to discuss how the disciples might have felt this way, but also the ways that God overcomes all doubts to allow us to live fully.

It’s going to be a great summer.  Don’t miss it.

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Characteristics of an Asbury Hills Must Hire Staff Member

Because we know that having the right people on staff can make all the difference to a summer camper at Asbury Hills, we spend a great deal of time searching for, interviewing, and training the very best. Here are some characteristics we look for in our summer staff:

  1. Growing in his/her relationship with Christ
    In order to help others grow in their relationship with Christ, a staff member must first be growing in their own relationship. We believe that a growing relationship is the first sign of a person who is ready to be a staff member at Asbury Hills.

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  2. Leadership abilities
    Every position at a summer camp is a leadership position. A staff member is either a leader of campers as a counselor or recreation staff member, leader of worship in a band or camp pastor role, a leader of staff as a coordinator, or a leader of meals as a kitchen staff member. Having the ability to lead is essential to being a great staff member.

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  3. Servant heart
    On the flip side of leading, we also need those with a true willingness to serve. Summer camp is great, but there are less glamorous moments. Occasionally a camper gets sick in the middle of the night, and it needs to be cleaned up.  Or a group finishes late at on the canopy tour, and it’s all hands on deck to get their home-in-woods set up. Having someone who realizes that every moment can be a ministry moment can make all the difference.

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  4. Team player
    The summer, we will hire around 70 summer staff members. These staff members not only will work together for the summer, but they will also live and worship together in Christian community. In order to have achieve this Christian environment, having staff members who are team players and realize that it is all about serving Christ instead of serving themselves is critical.

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Does this sound like you or someone you know? Check us out and apply today!

http://www.asburyhills.org/summer-staff/

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Christian Birth, Growth, & Renewal

We are in full planning mode at Asbury Hills. The 2015 budget has been finalized. The site is humming each weekend with retreat groups worshiping, fellowshipping, and having a blast! Details for Summer Camp 2015 are coming together and on-line registration is being set up. Part of planning for us is refocusing on our mission. What is the purpose of Asbury Hills?

Our mission is to serve all people for Christian birth, growth, and renewal. But what exactly does this mean?

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Christian Birth:
Because if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and in your heart you have faith that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. –Romans 10:9

We desire for people to know Jesus Christ. Admittedly, most of our summer campers and retreat guests come from a church background. They do know Jesus Christ. But many do not. We want anyone who steps onto the property of Asbury Hills – whether it be a retreat guest, summer camper, hiker, person making a delivery, or simply someone who got lost in the mountains – to be able to encounter the living God.

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Christian Growth:
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. –John 15:5

We desire for people to grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ. As mentioned before, most of our guests do know Jesus Christ. But we also believe that faith is a journey, and part of this journey is to become more and more like Jesus. The staff at Asbury Hills seeks to provide an atmosphere that enables people to abide in Jesus Christ. This may be intentionally through a summer camp worship service or staff led devotion. It may also be something as small as trail maintenance to allow guests to hike and experience God through nature. We are always seeking to remove barriers and distractions so that guests can be focused on what God wants to do in their lives while on site with us.

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Christian Renewal:
Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so you can figure out what God’s will is – what is good and pleasing and mature. –Romans 12:2

We desire for people to be renewed in Jesus Christ. The world is full of distractions. Maybe our guests and campers have hit a plateau in their faith. Maybe they have started to fall away from faith all together. Asbury Hills seeks to create an environment that reflects Christian fellowship and community. We want to create an environment where it is easier to be a Christian. Unfortunately, we understand that people cannot stay at Asbury Hills forever. Hikers, campers, and retreats guests will have to return to their normal lives – complete with all the distractions they left behind. But our goal is that by creating the atmosphere of Christian community and temporarily removing the distractions, we have allowed time for our guests to be renewed in Christ and ready to take on the world again.

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One Year of Blogging

It was almost one year ago today that Asbury Hills started this blog.  We wanted a better way to connect with you – to tell stories, share information, or even just share a quote and a picture.  We had no idea it would take off the way it has with 2,148 followers and thousands of monthly views.  The best part of blogging though is getting to hear from you!  We love seeing you share our stories around Facebook & Twitter and being able to read the emails you send us asking for more information or sharing your opinion.  So for the next year, we ask you to keep them coming!

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And if you’ve missed out, here are our top 5 viewed blog posts from the past year.

1. 10 Questions with Asbury Hills Director David Rouse

2. Because I Went to Camp: Sarah’s Story

3. Happy Staff Equals Happy Campers

4. But Why? The Closed-Toe Shoe Rule

5. Asbury Hills – More Fun Than Disney World

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Climb the Alpine Tower

The staff here at Asbury Hills are having a blast planning for Summer Camp 2015 and getting to serve tons of retreat groups.  One of our favorite activities for both campers and retreat guests is the Alpine Tower.  Now, we understand that some of you reading this are too far away to travel to Asbury Hills for our annual Fall Festival on November 1st to try it for yourself.  We also understand that some of you are terrified of heights and simply putting on the harness is pushing you outside your comfort zone.  So whether you have already climbed the Alpine Tower, wish to climb, or can’t imagine climbing it – here is your opportunity to virtually climb the tower.

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Survey Says….

At the conclusion of each week of summer camp, Asbury Hills sends out camper and parent surveys.  Here’s what you had to say:

 
Asbury Hills Infographic

 

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Platforms Coming to Home in the Woods

Home in the woods is a long-standing tradition at Asbury Hills. But it is also one of the activities on parent and camper reviews that people seem to either love or hate. We get it! It is designed to be an activity to challenge groups to work together and push campers out of their comfort zones. We understand that family camping, especially primitive camping, is not as common as it once was. Because of this, for many of our campers, home in the woods is their first experience camping out ever!

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Many of you know, our staff spends many meetings each fall and spring reviewing the results of summer evaluations and planning to make the next summer even better than the last. Because feedback is typically split on home in the woods, it is something that we discuss each year. The answer we come up with is always a resounding YES. Home in the woods is still worth it for our campers because it offers individual skills and aids in group formation in ways we cannot replicate with a different activity. (For a former staff’s perspective on home in the woods, click here.)

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However, we are sensitive to our campers’ experiences and expectations. We expect home in the woods to be a challenging activity for some, but we want it to be a great one by the end! This is why we are excited to announce, for the summer of 2015, there will be platforms built at the home in the woods sites. These platforms will allow our groups to have the same opportunity to experience nature first hand and for campers to learn camping and cooking skills while providing a little more comfortable of an experience. Campers will still be sleeping in nature without having to sleep directly on the group. This will also limit the amount of tarp flooding that can happen when rain moves in on home in the woods nights.

Eagle scouts and other volunteer groups will be working various weekends this fall and spring to outfit our campsites with platforms. We are excited to be able to offer them to campers this summer!

Examples of a platform type:

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Throwback Thursday: Dreams Becoming Reality On Methodist Mountain Camp-Site

Below is an article originally published in the February 21, 1963 edition of the Advocate. Today, we are thankful that 50+ years ago many worked towards and dreamed of the place that would become Asbury Hills Camp & Retreat Center.

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Next Sunday is Camp Development Day in the Methodist Churches of South Carolina.

Behind it are the hopes, dreams, and mountain-top visions, on the part of many people through long years of youth-work in the Methodist churches of South Carolina, which are now becoming a reality.

In the mountains, between Travelers’ Rest and Caesar’s Head, Cleveland, SC, the Methodist Camp is taking physical form.

Ten cabins have been finished, of which seven are for Juniors, and three for Senior Youth.

Being built are the Health Center, Staff Lodge, and Dining Hall. Just completed is the Bath House. Previous to this, a water system was install, roads built, a dam built and water impounded for the lake, and a home constructed for Camp Superintendent Wesley Voigt and his family.

There are 565 acres in the site.

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Camping has been an important part of the program of Christian Education conducted by the Boards of Education of the form Upper South Carolina and the South Carolina conference. With the merging of the two conferences in 1949, the program has been statewide in nature.

Working under the direction of the conference executive secretary of the Board of Education in this program have been Directors of Youth Work, who have borne a major part of the responsibility through the years.

With state-wide responsibility, and coming into contact with hundreds of young people from the nearly 800 Methodist churches throughout the state, the post is a vital one in the life of the church. At times served by volunteer leaders of the Conferences, and at other times by full-time persons, all have found camping a valued part of the church’s work.

Each summer, for many years past, the camping program has been carried on at State Parks, rented for limited periods of time in the summer, and in such other facilities as have been available.

Under such circumstances, limitations of time and facilities have limited the number of youth who could be accommodated in the summer camping program. It has also meant that no opportunity was available for junior-age children to camp. Yet, year-by-year it was demonstrated again and again that the camping experience under church sponsorship opened the way to joy and happiness and increased spiritual growth…

Now the work is under way.

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With the earlier contributions, and the memorial cabins already built and the work that has already been done, the present construction will make it possible to use the Camp in the summer of 1963.

Beginning the third week in June, there will be four weeks of camping for Junior girls and boys.

Senior youth, age 15 and above, will have a two-weeks Work Camp, beginning the first week in July. At that time they will help to develop some phase of camp life. Last year, 20 young people in such a camp built two bridges over streams in the camp.

The Work Camp this year will be limited to 22 persons. Applications should be made to the Youth Director….

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Summer Camp 2015!

It may be the end of August 2014, but the Asbury Hills staff is already hard at work planning for the summer of 2015!  There are many things that are in the works that we are excited to tell you about in the coming weeks and months.  We have gone through parent, staff, and camper surveys to compile lists of what you said you wanted.  One of these wants we’ve been hearing for the past couple years is holding a two-week camp, and Asbury Hills is excited to announce it is happening for 2015!  Our Junior and Senior High campers will have the opportunity to worship, fellowship, and have fun for two weeks next summer at our Expedition sessions.  If your camper is not quite ready for a two-week camp yet, that is alright!  Here is the full schedule for summer 2015.  Hope to see you there!

2015 Summer Calendar Web

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Reflections on an Unlikely Summer

By Frances Hulme

What an awesome summer we’ve had here at Asbury Hills! I started as a camper at Asbury Hills over 20 years ago and even with all of the changes and growth we have seen over the years, it is so powerful to see that Asbury Hills (at its roots) is still the same loving, challenging, and spiritually grounded place that it was for me as a camper, CIT, and summer staffer. Spending this summer as the Interim Camp Director wasn’t easy, but so good for my soul. I’ve seen camp from several different perspectives. But from this perspective, I could see so much growth not only in the campers that came through each week but also in the staff that helped mold those campers’ experiences. And summer camp is nothing if not an awesome growth opportunity.

_dsc0366Campers got the chance to try out a couple of new activities this summer including 9-Square and Human Foosball, but the ever popular Gaga Pit was still the place to be. We had several groups who got the opportunity to go off-site on fun adventures. From touring high places to tubing at Lake Jocassee and even white water rafting down the Chattooga River, the excitement continued even past the gates of Asbury Hills. “Home in the woods” nights served as an opportunity for campers to get outside of their comfort zones and experience God in nature without any distractions. Our Camp Pastor, Kenny, taught the campers that even though the world may see you as “unlikely”, God chooses us to do amazing things in His name.

_dsc0560All in all Hobos and s’mores were devoured, campers faced their fears and tackled challenges before them, motions and dances abounded during worship, messages and devotions opened eyes and ears to new scripture and thoughts about their walk with God, and new lifelong friendships were formed. I very much appreciate the trust that parents put in our staff to not only take care of their children, but to also have allowed their children to be challenged and grow in their experiences here at Asbury Hills. Yes, from this perspective camp was a beautiful sight to behold. From this perspective, I saw God move in ways I never had before; especially through me.

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