Posts Tagged With: summer camp staff

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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


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

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Join the Summer Staff

Monday marks the start of staff hiring, and we are so excited to see who God has to join our ministry.  Want to know more about the Asbury Hills summer staff experience?  Read Paige’s reflections:

DSC_0844 copyMy contract reads, “Photographer and Videographer” but there is so much more to what I do as a summer staffer at Asbury Hills. So much goes into making the week the best week of each individual camper’s life. Some weeks there are only 50 campers but some weeks we break 150 campers, easy. If my job title in my contract read exactly what I do, it would sound something more like, “DVD making, name tag creating, sometimes mail delivering, stand in camp store working, dining hall music DJing, mural painting, white truck driving, s’more assisting, sometimes counselor, alpine tower belaying, band aid getting, golf cart driving, fire building, laundry doing, energizer leading, table setting, creek hiking, cascade jumping, home in the woods visiting, smile making, hug giving, coffee delivering, rocking chair rocking, Bible reading, praising and signing, life time friend making, photographer and videographer.” In my eyes, I have the best job because I get to walk around a beautiful camp and capture the moments of each camper’s experience. The campers, however, are only the half of it. I most definitely work at Asbury Hills to change camper’s lives but I also am surrounded by some of the greatest people. I often say that camp friends are the best friends and I mean it one hundred percent. Some of my closest friends are people I met at camp. The bonds that we build in our own little community are unbreakable. I find myself not even worrying about what is going on in the “real world” because why worry? I have my closest friends right there with me. Trying to explain this bond to non camp friends is the hardest but also the funniest because they will never understand. I could relate basically anything to camp and my real world friends hate me for it. Personally, I think it is out of jealously because I work at the greatest place ever but I could be slightly bias. I once looked up the definition of what a summer camp was and what gave me was this, “a camp, especially one for children during the summer, providing facilities for sleeping and eating, and usually for handicrafts, sports, etc.”   No offense to the people who wrote that but they left out all the good stuff!! After working two summers at Asbury Hills, I think that the definition should read something more like this, “a camp, especially for children who want to have the time of their lives, providing high energy, smiling staff members doing everything they possibly can to make that summer memorable for the children, and usually for trying new things, growing spiritually, and making lifelong friends.” I think I am pretty spot on, but, again, I may be bias.

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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.


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.


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.


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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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.


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.


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.


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.

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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.


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:


  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.)
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Meet the Camp Pastor

Guest post by Kenny Maple

I’ve really been anticipating this summer – my fifth at Asbury Hills. They’ve not been consecutive; I last worked at camp the summer of 2006. My summers at camp mostly consisted of maintenance work. I was proud to serve the camp through the cutting of grass, the cleaning of bathrooms, the removal of garbage from the premises, and also the coveted job of assisting in the maintenance of the waste water treatment plant. I enjoyed this work immensely. Seriously, I did.

This summer is different. I’ll be serving in the capacity of camp pastor, and I’m beyond excited.

I spent the last year and a half serving as a missionary in Sofia, Bulgaria. There I was involved in a number of efforts like discipleship, small group ministry, and sports ministry. These projects had me working with gypsies and orphans and refugees and children. I loved it. God blessed me with those opportunities.

Previously, I served as the director of youth ministry at Fairview Presbyterian church in Fountain Inn, SC.  I also spent time as a missionary in Poland.  (To learn more about this, check out Kenny’s book.) I have a Master of Arts in practical ministry from Erskine Theological Seminary and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Lander University. I’m passionate about missions and making disciples. I also really love sports, music, writing, and this camp.

Kenny Maple
Zephaniah 3:9

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New Beginnings

There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens:
    a time for giving birth and a time for dying,
a time for planting and a time for uprooting what was planted,
    a time for killing and a time for healing,
a time for tearing down and a time for building up,
    a time for crying and a time for laughing,
a time for mourning and a time for dancing,
    a time for throwing stones and a time for gathering stones,
a time for embracing and a time for avoiding embraces,
    a time for searching and a time for losing,
a time for keeping and a time for throwing away,
    a time for tearing and a time for repairing,
a time for keeping silent and a time for speaking,
    a time for loving and a time for hating,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


Although he will be missed, it is with much joy that we announce that Ryan Culby’s season as the director of Asbury Hills has come to an end. He has accepted a job with the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church as the Director of Buckhorn Camp in Bellvue, Colorado. Please be in prayer for Ryan and his family as they transition to life in Colorado. Buckhorn Camp has been faced with lots of challenges, and Ryan feels this is where God is calling him to serve.

It is with excitement that we also announce we have already begun the search process to find the person God is sending to Asbury Hills. Your prayers are also very appreciated as we are accepting resumes and creating our short list of candidates. We will keep you posted on the progress of the search.

In the meantime, camp continues to run strong with the staff going full steam ahead. Asbury Hills is also blessed to have Frances Hulme return this summer as the interim summer camp director. You may know Frances from her many summers at Asbury Hills both as a camper, CIT, and staff member. Most recently she has spent the past several summers as the summer office manager. She works during the school year as a guidance counselor at Pickens High School, and we feel she is the perfect person to serve as the director this summer.


We are looking forward with great anticipation to the next season at Asbury Hills…both for this summer and the summers to come under the new director. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to give our Executive Director, Arthur Spriggs, a call at 864.298.0125.

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But Why? The Closed-Toe Shoe Rule

Oh it is the bane of many a summer staffer’s existence. The closed-toe shoe rule. Summer is hot. The shoes generally take longer to dry when campers decide to jump in the puddle. In a cabin of 6-year-old boys, the counselor will end up tying approximately 43.6 shoes per day. Brand new Chacos are sitting unused in the bottom of a trunk. It all seems like a cruel joke. So why do we insist? Well, shoes that aren’t tied on can come flying off on this


or this


or this

or this

It is very hard to reach the top of this in sandals.


But most importantly we have lots of these


 and these


 and to get anywhere you have to walk here


 and here


And even though all of our staff are trained in first aid and we have a registered nurse on site, a week of camp is much more fun when your feet don’t look like this


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Because I Went to Camp: Sarah’s Story

Summer Camp 2014 registration officially went live this morning, and we are beyond excited about what next summer has in store.  Now there is a massive amount of research showing what makes a child a successful adult, and I could certainly overwhelm you with statistics about how summer camp helps contribute to this.  I could also tell you my story.

I grew up going to Asbury Hills as a camper.  I looked forward to packing my bags, seeing my camp friends, meeting my counselor, and trying new activities every summer since I was seven.  As soon as I was old enough, I packed my trunk and worked through several summers at Asbury Hills as a lifeguard, counselor, and eventually leadership staff.  I was then blessed with an internship opportunity that turned into a full-time career.  Now, I understand this is not the typical path campers take.  We have 1000 summer campers, 50+ summer staff, and 5 full time employees.  Not every camper will find their career or a even summer job in camping ministry, but the lessons I’ve learned in my 20 summers of camping have set me up for success wherever life takes me.  Here are the top 3 things Asbury Hills has given me:

  1. Confidence
    As a camper, I was given the opportunity to try activities I did not get to do at home.  As a staff member, I was entrusted with a small group of campers and later other staff members – all looking to me as their leader.  Succeeding at the activities as a child and meeting the camper and staff needs as a young adult, has given me the confidence to try new things and take charge of my responsibilities as an adult.
  2. Working with Others
    I have been surrounded by people who are very similar to me and extremely different both as a camper and staff member.  Some of these people I got along with exceptionally well.  Others…not so much.  It didn’t matter though.  As a camper, my cabin group became family who worshiped, camped, hiked, canoed, and completed team building together.  As a staff member, I gave the same effort and camp experience to my campers regardless of who I was working with that week.  It’s the same in life.  No one likes their co-workers or classmates 100% of the time, but you are expected to work together and value each other. Camp taught me how to do this more than any group project in college ever could.
  3. Resilience
    As a camper, I experience dropping pack-out lunches into a creek and having to hike back into camp to make new ones.  I experienced a rainy home-in-the-woods where our tarps almost flooded.  As a staff member, I experienced thunderstorms in the middle of pool Olympics, homesick campers, and working 40 minutes to build a fire with wet wood only to have it go out before dinner was cooked.  These things all taught me that life rarely goes according to plan, but that is ok.  It gave me the resources to deal with a staff member’s car that breaks down 2 hours away from their scheduled church visit.  And even taught me that if it is frustrating in the moment, it will probably become one of my favorite memories.

You don’t have to take my word for it though.  Here are some other, more famous faces, sharing what they gained from summer camp.

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