Posts Tagged With: friends

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?

1-DSC_4385

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.

DSCN3755

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.

Asbury LS Chapel copy

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.

Advertisements
Categories: Asbury Hills, Retreats, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Categories: Asbury Hills, Retreats, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

 

Categories: Asbury Hills, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

cover

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.

lake

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.

cabin

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….

Categories: Asbury Hills, Retreats, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Categories: Asbury Hills, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Strand Cord

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their hard work. 10 If either should fall, one can pick up the other. But how miserable are those who fall and don’t have a companion to help them up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they can stay warm. But how can anyone stay warm alone? 12 Also, one can be overpowered, but two together can put up resistance. A three-ply cord doesn’t easily snap.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

double_circle

Categories: Asbury Hills | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a Game?

In case you haven’t heard, the World Cup game of Germany vs. USA starts in less than an hour. This has us thinking about what makes for a good game. We do play the traditional kickball, soccer, basketball, etc. occasionally, but the best camp games tend to be the ones campers don’t get to play everyday. So, what makes a good game? The best ones engage all campers. We never want someone to feel like they are left out, so a good game keeps campers playing, still engaged if they are “out,” or have a fast turnover rate so a new game is quick to start. A good camp game also has the element of teamwork. Campers have to work together or interact with each other during the game. Games get bonus points if these interactions encourage campers to mingle and mix with the entire group. And most of all – games have to be fun. No one wants to play a boring game. The game that has quickly become a favorite at Asbury Hills is Ships and Sailors. Here’s how you play:

DSC_0206

Ships and Sailors

This game is a cross between Simon Says and Mingle. The facilitator is the captain and gives these commands:

  • Ships- run to the left
  • Sailors – run to the right
  • Captain on Deck – stand and salute. The captain will try to make you laugh.
  • At ease – Stand normally
  • Man overboard – Everyone pairs up in twos with one person on their tummy and the other with their leg on 
their back and hand over their eyebrows as if they are looking out to sea.
  • Chicken in the henhouse – 2 people. One person goes on all fours. The other puts their knee on the 1st 
person’s back and clucks like a chicken.
  • Walk the plank – 4 people line up single file
  • Three men in rowboat – get in groups of three and pretend to row
  • North Star – get in groups of 5 and walk in a circle with right (or left) hands in the center
  • Hit the Deck – Everyone drops to the ground
  • Beluga Whale – Everyone lies on their stomach grabs their ankles and sticks their tongue out
  • Life Preserver – Everyone runs and hugs a buddy
  • Cockroach – Lie on your back and wave your hands and feet around

Kids who do the action incorrectly or get left out of the groups are considered “out.” The last person remaining wins.

DSC_0230

 

Categories: Asbury Hills, Retreats, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When the Rain Comes

If you have ever been a counselor at Asbury Hills, you probably still have “flashlight, water bottle, poncho?” on repeat in your head. Why is this? Well, because it gets really dark at night in the woods so it is always good to have a flashlight on hand. Also, summer heat + hiking everywhere you go + lots of physical activities = the need for lots of water. And lastly, it is much better to be dry in the rain instead of wet.

1-DSC_4063

Did you know that Asbury Hills is located in the Appalachian temperate rain forest? This means that it rains at camp.  It rains a lot. One of the questions we get asked frequently is – what do you do when it rains? Honestly, the answer is pretty simply. We just have camp in the rain. Many of our activities are water based, and it really makes no difference if you creek hike in the rain or sunshine. You are getting wet regardless. Other times, campers can simply put on their rain jacket or poncho and continue doing the activities.

1-DSC_4558

There are other times, like during a thunderstorm, that activities must stop. It is obviously not safe for campers to be in water or 50 feet in the air attached to metal cables during a storm. Thankfully, most thunderstorms are pretty short lived, and groups can wait them out. Other times, counselors pull out their rainy day games to keep their group safe, engaged, and having fun. These are games like party quirks, banana slugs, mind games, and signs. There are also times when the weather decides to grace us with rain during a scheduled outdoor worship time. This is also no problem as we just move locations to the Rec Shelter, dining hall, or other covered space and worship continues as scheduled.

1-DSC_4025 copy

Categories: Asbury Hills, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home in the Woods

We are in week 1 of summer camp, and it is Tuesday.  This can only mean one thing – it is home in the woods night!  Home in the woods is a long standing tradition at Asbury Hills because of its ability to get groups outside of their comfort zone, fully immerse in God’s creation, and come back to main camp as a much stronger group for the rest of the week.  But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Sam Bradley, a camper and staff alumnus, shares her story:

My first week as a counselor on staff at Asbury Hills was going well. I had a great group of campers that were all having a wonderful time together. Home in the woods, our night of camping out, started off just as well as the rest of the week. We arrived in plenty of time, gathered lots of firewood, and were eating dinner by 6:00. Because we were able to eat at a decent hour, we decided to play in the creek for a while before eating s’mores. It was dark by the time we settled around the fire for dessert, so we could not see the dark clouds forming over our heads. All of a sudden the bottom fell out. Everyone rushed around the campsite grabbing book bags, sleeping bags, and extra clothes and throwing them under the security of the tarp. My co-counselor and I ushered the girls under the tarp while we threw another tarp over the firewood and began to fix our now leaking shelter.

1-DSC_4449

My heart was beginning to sink. We were having such a good time, and the rain came and ruined our camping experience. I knew the girls would forget the fun we had before, and would only remember how cold and wet the rain felt on their skin. When we finally got the tarp lowered to prevent any more rain from coming in, we entered the shelter, ready to comfort our disappointed campers. But to our surprise, we could not have been more wrong. The girls were all huddled together in the middle of the shelter, laughing about what had just happened. They had already decided how they would spread out their blankets to share with the girls who had wet sleeping bags. We all spent the next couple of hours sitting together talking about everything imaginable. When we finally went to sleep, the rain outside was long forgotten.

1-DSC_3818

The next morning, they could not wait to get back to camp to tell everyone about our night out in the woods. I could not believe how excited they were about soggy s’mores and wet sleeping bags. But when I started to think about it, I knew exactly why they were so excited.

7 years ago, the first summer I was a camper at Asbury Hills, nearly the exact same thing happened to me. The rain poured down on us, we could not get a fire going, and finally ended up eating dinner well after nightfall. We too huddled together in the limited dry area of our shelter. The bond I formed that night over the shared “hardship” with my fellow campers was the reason I decided I wanted to come back to Asbury Hills the following summer.

DCIM100GOPRO

Although a dry home in the woods experience is much easier and less stressful for everyone involved, a part of me always prays for rain on nights of a campout at Asbury Hills.

Categories: Asbury Hills, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Staff Equals Happy Campers

We are partly through our last week of staff training before summer camp begins THIS SUNDAY! Asbury Hills is really blessed this summer with a fantastic staff, and training has flown by. We have had a great time training on the Wet Willy, zipline canopy tour, summer craft, and more. But we also realize that some important topics like child abuse and safe sanctuary are very necessary, but not fun topics to talk about. We also know that as the summer progresses, staff members will have a rough week or two and be tempted to lose energy.

dinner

To combat this, Asbury Hills really pours into our staff. We firmly believe that happy staff equals happy campers. And if we don’t have happy staff, we will not have happy campers. No one wants this so we do the following to keep our staff happy:

drive

  1. Time off during the weekends. If this is impossible due to Family Camp or other groups, we will make it up during the week.
  2. Staff dinner offsite on Fridays.
  3. A rivalry softball game with a neighbor camp during staff training.
  4. Staff funs days like a Greenville Drive baseball game and a surprise trip in July.
  5. Staff sponsors to pour into our staff with prayers and cards during the summer. (To learn more about this, click here.)
Categories: Asbury Hills, Summer Camp | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.