Asbury News Archive

2017 Summer Camp & Retreat Programs Registration Opens!

2017 Summer Camp & Retreat Programs Registration Opens!

Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its 2017 Summer Camp & Retreat programs. Program details are available online and brochures were mailed this week! Brochures were sent to past participants and campers as well as all Upper New York Annual Conference churches.

“We are excited about the high quality and excellent variety of programs being offered this summer,” said Mike Huber, director of CRM. “The CRM team, in collaboration with hundreds of volunteers, has created programs specifically designed for spiritual growth, birth, and renewal.”

CRM offers programs and experiences for children, youth, families, and adults. Summer Camp programs/week(s) will be held at Aldersgate, Casowasco,  Sky Lake & Skye Farm. Retreat programs and events will be held at Asbury, and will include adult, family, and youth retreats.

Each of our centers offer online registration for most programs, making it easy to register for a favorite or to find a new one to attend. To view programs or to register, click HERE. To download a PDF of the brochure, click HERE.

For more information, contact us via e-mail at registrar@campsandretreats.org or toll free (855) 414 - 6400 or 315-364-8756.

Posted on February 14th by Mike Huber

We’re Hiring! Assistant Director Position and Seasonal Staff

We’re Hiring! Assistant Director Position and Seasonal Staff

We’re Hiring!

Asbury Camp & Retreat Center is now seeking an individual for Assistant Director (Full Time/Year Round) as well as seasonal staff to support its summer retreat programming.


Seasonal Staff positions available include:
Program Staff
Waterfront Staff
Kitchen Staff
Maintenance Staff
Housekeeping Staff

Click here to apply for seasonal positions. Click here to apply for Assistant Director.


The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to building a diverse team. We strongly encourage women and men from all races and backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply.

Questions? contact us

Posted on April 19th by Mike Huber

CRM Fall/Winter 2015 Newsletter Released

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.” - Abraham Lincoln

There are numerous references in the Bible addressing the Christian’s commitment in various aspects of
life: to our families, neighbors, employers, the church, our health, and in all things we do and say (Acts 2:42;
Hebrews 10:25; 1 Corinthians 6:19, 31). But the Bible also teaches that the chief commitment of our lives is to
God. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

Paul followed the Lord’s example of commitment in sacrifice and service. Paul said, “I have been crucified with
Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in
the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

One of my favorite things to do is read camper evaluations. This is where we learn about favorite foods,
activities, and what the campers would like us to add or subtract from our programs. This is also where we
offer the campers the opportunity to disclose how the experience at camp helped them in their commitment
to follow God. The entire reason camp and retreat centers were established was to assist the local church with
the evangelic work of renewing or creating a transformed life for Christ. All the fun activities and meaningful
learning help to create the environment where one can meet the creator and come to walk side by side in a
relationship that changes all other relationships.

Our centers are incredible places where participants on retreat or engaged in one of our summer camp
programs learn about the act of commitment. Whether it’s serving table mates, community cabin/lodge clean
up, or taking turns on a given activity, guests learn that there is a God, God loves them, and God wants a
relationship with them. We encourage campers to commit to forming genuine community, to each other, and
to creation around us. Each and every week campers are invited to make a commitment: to renew an existing
relationship with God, or to prayerfully consider making a first time commitment to follow Jesus and live as a
transformed light in the world.

Many people over the years have made sacrificial commitments to serve our centers with their time, talents,
and financial resources. Even just this summer thousands of hours were donated as service to God and
these beautiful places. Nancy prepared over 30 hand made custom stoles for Director’s Invitational and has
for many years. Jennie and John gave 47 full days and drove an hour each way over the summer months to
serve at Aldersgate as an act of commitment to God. Each and every Thursday a group of men sacrifice their
‘to do’ list at home and commit to traveling and serving at Skye Farm as volunteers. Numerous churches and
individuals commit to give to our annual funds, designated projects, or where needed most. We appreciate
you committing your prayers, your talents, and your financial resources. Our commitment to you is that we
will continue to honor the gift and the giver as critical to this sacred work for Christ that we do together.

May God continue to bless these places where Lives are Transformed.


Mike Huber
Director Camp & Retreat Ministries

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

Posted on November 30th by Mike Huber

CRM Announces Staff Transitions

This summer, thousands of children, youth, and adults have enjoyed a summer camp program, a family camp program, or a retreat program at one of the Upper New York Conference’s six camp and retreat centers.

Even as the summer season winds down, CRM has begun welcoming guests to many of its facilities and is preparing for a busy fall season of hosting guests at the six sites. The season is full of changes: soon the leaves and temperature, and then back to school for many seasonal staff and campers. With that, there are also transitions within UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries for three of its staff.

Jim Daly, Director at the Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center in Warrensburg, will retire Sept. 12. He has just completed his third summer at Skye Farm. Daly will retire after 36 years of full-time service in Camp & Retreat Ministries, having previously served in the Central Pennsylvania and Detroit conferences in addition to serving as the Director at the Asbury Camp & Retreat Center in Silver Lake.

Aliechia Post, Director at the Findley Camp & Retreat Center in Clymer, will return to full-time teaching, having accepted a position in North Carolina. Post has served as director for the past five years and, prior to that, as the seasonal program director and summer staff member at Findley.

Demetrio Beach, Director of Program & Outreach for Camp & Retreat Ministries, has accepted a position at Trinity First United Methodist Church in El Paso, Texas, where he will serve as the Associate Lay Pastor of Discipleship Ministries. Beach has served the past two years as CRM’s Director of program and outreach.

Post, Daly, and Beach have worked tirelessly to support the vision and mission of Upper New York.

“Aliechia, Jim, and Demetrio have been critical in developing programs, maintaining and upgrading facilities, and working with our volunteers and staff in ensuring quality experiences for all our campers, guests and staff,” said Mike Huber, Director of UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries.

“I have known Jim for many years; his deep knowledge and appreciation for facility management and care of our beautiful natural settings has been a rich blessing that will be missed. Aliechia has guided Findley through a significant time period and has learned a great deal and has offered herself fully to the demands of the position. Demetrio has helped develop and create new programs and outreach opportunities for our camp and retreat centers, connecting churches and families to all that we have to offer. It is sad to see Jim, Aliechia, and Demetrio go. I wish them all the best in the next phase of their journey.”

A transition plan is in place for the fall season with support from the Camp & Retreat Ministries Staff Leadership Team.

Posted on August 19th by Mike Huber

CRM Spring/Summer 2015 Newsletter Released

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

A Note From Mike Huber, Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries:

Dictionary.com defines mentor as ‘an experienced and trusted adviser.’

As I reflect on the number of meaningful mentors in my life I am overcome with gratitude to God for the people I have learned from and been blessed by throughout the years. I have had many mentors, but now and then there is a person that is more than that - a Spiritual Guide, or a Wise Counsel. There is one such person that I miss a lot. Although Sharon Fulmer served as the Director of Communications for the former North Central NY Conference and did a tremendous amount of marketing for camp and retreat ministries - as well as actively donating time, worms for fishing, Oreos for the office and financial resources to camp - she was much more a mentor, guide, spiritual counselor and friend to me. She has gone to be with God - taken too soon from us - but home among the heavenly realm. Sharon was an advocate and faithful donor. Although camp was important to Sharon, her family was most important to her. Each year prior to her granddaughter being old enough to come to sleep away camp, she would ask me how old a child needed to be to go to camp. She was so excited the year Morgen turned old enough to go to camp on her own. Morgen has come every year since, and is now a senior in high school applying to work on staff! Morgen has been a participant for 12 years and now, much like her grandmother, serves as an advocate, friend, donor and leader (and possibly a mentor) of her peers: a life transformed that is now transforming others as a Disciple of Christ.

There are tens of thousands of people like Sharon and Morgen that have experienced one of our six centers and found or strengthened a relationship with Christ and an appreciation for the Creator God. This is a relationship that affects all other relationships. For this issue of Xenia News, Morgen Fulmer agreed to offer a Story of Transformation from our Holy Grounds.

Find out how you may get involved and/or support Camp and Retreat Ministries at www.campsandretreats.org or by calling 315-424-7878 Ext. 309

Mike Huber
Director Camp & Retreat Ministries

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

Posted on June 27th by Mike Huber

Take advantage of our Summer Camp Discounts!

Time is running out to take advantage of our discounts and special deals for Summer Camp 2015.

Reminder to Register by May 1st to receive the early bird discount and save $10!

Also don’t forget about our other discounts this year:

Refer a Friend to summer camp and save $25 for EACH friend referred!

Take advantage of the sibling discount and save $15!

Sign up for camp today! www.campsandretreats.org

Questions? E-mail us at info@campsandretreats.org or call us at 855-414-6400.

Posted on April 16th by Mike Huber

CRM Fall 2014 Newsletter Released

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

A letter from Mike Huber, Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries:

“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.”
- Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November

I came across this quote recently and it stirred me. It moved me in several ways as I contemplated my personal love of autumn as my favorite season of the year. This is a time of year that in our part of the world the earth is in such change and yet so beautiful. Our neighbor creatures are gathering in supplies and getting ready to hunker down in preparation for the season just around the corner. Like our neighbors, my family enjoys harvesting apples every fall and our bounty is used in many ways over the coming months, even as gifts to others. Last year my cousin Betsy, from Tennessee, came for a visit during fall for the first time since childhood. She must have taken no less than 2,000 photos of the autumn colors that week. She was astounded by the beauty and change of the landscape.

Tove Jansson’s quote also makes me think about our centers and how they have provided safety and security for so many people throughout the seasons of their life. The turbulent cold storms and darkness of our lives are made bearable because we may enter the sacred places apart and find peace, solitude, renewal and revival. A young child at summer camp as well as an adult on retreat carries burdens, questions, and anxieties on their heart that once one sits by the water experiencing the beauty of the Adirondacks, Western NY, the Finger Lakes or the Catskill Region while receiving the hospitality of Christian servants will be welcomed by the Holy Spirit.

I confess that I also considered the reality that it seems many camp and retreat centers, and for that matter many churches, have hunkered down and seem to have remained in that position unwilling to experience the fullness of changing seasons. Hiding from a storm does not mean that it is not there. We must not remain trapped in a place where we do not allow the Holy Spirit to move us and grow us. The Holy Ground of our centers are campfires
for the soul. Jesus told us to gather together to worship and praise and then to Go Out into the world. We must not sit gathered together sheltered from the world. What foresight our founding sisters and brothers had when they established our amazing sites. I don’t imagine that they intended them to be places trapped in time but rather places where we may gather together for a time and no matter what is happening in our lives we may come to the
water and be renewed in the knowledge that there is a God, God loves us and God wants a relationship with us. It is this reality that challenges us to then go and serve the world.

Contact info@campsandretreats.org for more information or to book a retreat.

Mike Huber
Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

Posted on December 1st by Mike Huber

CRM Spring 2014 Newsletter Released

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

A letter from Mike Huber, Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries:

As we continue the process of Strategic Planning, we find ourselves contemplating a significant number of meaningful questions. What is our mission? How do we achieve that mission? What makes us a unique ministry to the world? How do we connect with and augment the work of our local churches? How do we financially undergird the mission to remain viable and relevant for future generations? Our formal mission statement is being reviewed by the Strategic Planning Team, but I find it interesting to ponder what our visionary leaders from over 100 years ago thought when they started United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministries.

In this conference, Findley Camp and Retreat Center is 78 years old this year! These leaders saw these facilities and the program opportunities as critically important to the life and vitality of their local churches and communities. If you went to Sunday school, you went to camp,; if you were in UMYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship), you went on a retreat - you might attend a family retreat or camp; if you participated in UMW (United Methodist Women) or UMM (United Methodist Men), you went to a retreat; the leadership teams of the church met at the centers for strategic thinking and prayer apart from their local surroundings.

These locations of incredible natural beauty and serene space have been a part of generations of families’ Christian education and spiritual formation. As the church has begun to shift and redefine itself through a number of challenges and in the midst of decline, these incredible resources also must redefine and adapt while also remaining a resource to local churches as they build disciples of Jesus Christ. These are exciting times with many opportunities to collaborate with churches and other organizations seeking to do good in the world. It is clear that we have much to do and much to learn as we listen for God’s voice and watch for the places God is calling us to serve.

The Committee on Camp and Retreat Ministries, the Strategic Planning Team, and the year round staff team, are all committed to answering the challenges facing us now and preparing the way for the future God is calling us to. In Matthew 11:28 we are reminded that when we are heavy-laden and weary we are to come to Jesus and he will give us rest. Camp and Retreat Ministries is a renewal experience for the faithful, a birth-place for creativity and vision, a spark that gets the fire going, a crossroads on one’s journey or a sanctuary for the weary. In all these cases, Jesus awaits to meet you where you are and walk with you. May you be open to what God has in store for you this day and the days gifted to you in the future - and please pray for the ministry of CRM.

Mike Huber
Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

To view the complete newsletter click HERE.

Posted on May 6th by Mike Huber

Join us for one of our Open Houses!

Join us for one of our Open Houses!

Plan to attend one of our Open House events this year! Whether you’re brand new to our sites or whether it’s been a while since you’ve visited us, this event is for you! These events are great for first time families to meet the staff and tour the facilities.

Sky Lake - May 18 - 1:30pm – 5:00pm -  Click HERE for more info
Asbury - June 8 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm - Click HERE for more info
Aldersgate - June 14 - 2:00pm - 7:00pm - Click HERE for more info
Casowasco - June 15 - 2:00pm - 7:00pm - Click HERE for more info
Findley - June 22 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm - Click HERE for more info
Skye Farm - June 28 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm - Click HERE for more info

Questions? Contact us at 855-424-7878 x309 or e-mail us at info@campsandretreats.org

Posted on April 3rd by Mike Huber

Fall 2013 CRM Newsletter Released

Camp & Retreat Ministries has released it’s Fall 2013 Newsletter “Xenia News”. To read the entire newsletter, you can download it HERE .

A note from the Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries:

As we admire the last of the fall foliage, I am reflecting back on another summer of ministry at our UNYAC camp and retreat sites. I was able to spend time at each of the sites throughout the summer, including a trip to each site to serve as a tour guide for Bishop Webb. What a joy it was to show our bishop each of the sites, their blessings and attributes, as well as the places where they can improve and grow. It was a blessing to share these sites with this faithful follower of Christ who is focused on our mission as a Conference and believes that camp and retreat ministries plays a key role in that mission.

We toured each site, talked about the history and shared some of the stories of the ministries that happen at camp and on retreats. We also shared with him that each of our facilities this year followed the summer camp curriculum called “All Things New.” The curriculum states that we are all in a constant state of creation and change, we are new every morning. Our sites are the same way. They have rich histories, but they are constantly in need of change and become new every morning. One of the verses that the children, youth, and adults who attended summer programs learned about was Isaiah 64:8, “We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” They also read in Jeremiah 18 where the LORD spoke with Jeremiah about going to the potter’s house. Jeremiah watched as the potter marred the pot he was making, but didn’t simply throw away the clay. Instead, he made it into a new vessel. When a potter throws a pot on a pottery wheel, it is important to have the clay centered on that wheel before they start any forming or shaping of that pot. Just as we, as individuals, must center our lives on Jesus and our relationship with him before we can do any more meaningful shaping of our lives.

Each of our sites has been blessed with people who have centered their lives in Christ, and each site goes through constant shaping and reshaping to best meet the needs of the people they are serving. Each site strives to maintain its center on Christ while also allowing for God’s hands to be involved in changing it to fit God’s purposes. We are constantly trying to look at these sacred places with new eyes, looking for places or programs that need reshaping in order to fit God’s purposes.

In consultation with the committee on camp and retreat ministries, we have launched a comprehensive strategic planning process. This process will be led by a professional consultant team who specialize in camp and retreat ministry planning. The consultants will primarily collect data, listen to stories, assess current realities of program and facilities as well as lead the planning team in discerning what and how God is calling camp and retreat ministries to serve the world in accomplishing the mission of Christ and the Upper NY Annual Conference. This team made up of clergy, laity, staff, donors, volunteers, guests, young and seasoned leaders, will help to shape the future of this vital ministry. We have decided that a one year immediate plan is needed given the sizable changes and transitions related to the forming of our new conference. This plan will lead into the longer range 4-7 year plan that will guide our decisions moving forward. Only by the grace of God and hard work from those that desire to support through gifts of time, talent and resources, will our facilities and programs continue to serve as Holy Ground for generations to come.

I encourage you to contact our office at info@campsandretreats.org or by calling 315-424-7878 Ext 309 for more information or to volunteer your gifts.

Mike Huber

Director, Camp & Retreat Ministries

Posted on November 20th by Mike Huber

CRM Spring Newsletter Released

Camp & Retreat Ministries has released it’s Spring Newsletter “Xenia News”. To read the entire newsletter, you can download it HERE .

A note from the Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries:

“Why do we need camps?”  This question was posed to me recently by a long-time Methodist who thinks that it costs too much and it may be time to do something other than “Camp”. I always thought I had done a decent job of answering this question in the past; but a magnificent poster that came in the mail two days prior from the Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA), helped me articulate the answer to this question better than I had previously been able to do.

Consider the following statistics as they relate to the development of the average child in the United States:

Children ages 8-18 years old spend an average of 7.5 hours per day on electronic media.  That’s nearly 2,712 hours or 113 days every year spent playing electronic games, talking/texting on the phone and watching television or using a computer.  200 fast food commercials air during Saturday morning cartoons. 

Only 33% of teens get enough exercise, and the average child spends just 4 minutes a day engaging in outdoor play.  5.4 million children 4-17 years of age are diagnosed with ADHD, 16% of 6-19 year olds are obese and 215,000 youth under the age of 20 have diabetes. 

7.5 million homes are headed by single moms with another 2.5 million headed by single dads.  The average U.S. child spends only 3.5 minutes of meaningful conversation with their parents each week.

Only 15% of the average church budget is for youth programs; and only 24% of church leaders view youth ministry as a priority

The poster referenced above suggested I go to a web site and check out a video called “The Power of Camp.” I was so pleased and impressed with this new web site and the material posted that I have already shared the link with a number of staff and supporters. With permission, I share it with you in hopes that you will continue to advocate for this transformational ministry of our annual conference.  You may view the video at www.thepowerofcamp.org

• Transformed lives – At camp, young people have the mental room to consider some of the most important issues of life. This break from the craziness of their regular routine allows campers to think about their future, to evaluate unhealthy patterns, and to discover the truth that God loves them and has an amazing plan for their lives.

• Adult mentors – According to researchers, kids spend on average 3.5 minutes in meaningful conversation with their parents each week. At camp, caring adults, counselors and mentors come alongside campers, helping them think through decisions and experiences in a way that will prepare them for their future. Many campers point back to a positive role model they met at camp as one who helped shape the direction of their lives.

• Nature and adventure – Our camps are set in some of the most beautiful spots on the continent. Campers explore nature, participate in new adventures and test their limits in a healthy environment surrounded by the grandeur of God’s creation.

• Lifelong friendships – Good friends who exert positive peer pressure can make all the difference in a kid’s life. Friendships with caring adults and other campers, forged through shared experience and the compressed time at camp, can last a lifetime and provide a connection that helps young people navigate the challenges of life.

• Temporary Community – In a setting separate from their daily routine, with an opportunity to shed the expectations and pressures of others, campers are freed up to truly be themselves, to live above artificial limitations and blossom into who they were created to be.

You see … the power of camp is experienced by combining high adventure with caring adults, the beauty of nature and time to think without distractions, as well as the chance to be known and loved, which in turn creates lifelong friendships and changed lives.  Camp is a temporary community where safe risks can be taken and important questions can be asked. A week at camp gives participants approximately 10,080 minutes of time away from the normal pressures of life to decompress, believe and dream. Caring adults help young people navigate the tough decisions of adolescence; and most importantly, these same caring adults listen and guide as these future moms, dads, church leaders, and world leaders discover their purpose and passion.

How do we put a value on such a profound experience for so many people? “Camp” doesn’t cost nearly enough for the value that it gives participants and leaders. What a small amount to pay for such a powerfully practical tool that enables the church to reach children and youth. I invite you to share this experience with someone who has not had it as yet. Contact my office to discuss the ways in which you may be able to assist in providing these experiences for others. The cost of camp is relative while The Power of Camp is transformational.  .

Mike Huber
Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries

To read the rest of the CRM Spring Newsletter, you can download it HERE

To download the poster referenced in Mike’s article click The statistics are referenced at the bottom of the poster HERE. To learn more about The Power of Camp campaign, go to www.thepowerofcamp.org

Posted on May 21st by Mike Huber

Camp & Retreat Ministries Launches New Websites

We are pleased to announce that Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM) recently launched new websites for all six camp and retreat centers. The new website design and layout provides campers, families, and guests at all of our centers up-to-date information that is easy to find. They will also be a great tool as new guests and families consider our sites for their retreats or summer camp experience.

All summer 2013 programs are searchable through a brand new online catalog where visitors can search for a program or retreat and register online - there are over 200 to choose from! Click HERE to view. Mike Huber, Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries, says, “These websites have been a comprehensive project that bring the best integration of web site technology in user friendly formats for today’s world. Desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets are all supported. We are excited to provide this to over 10,000 guests and over 4,000 campers who will attend one of our centers this year as well as an outreach tool to reach new families and guest groups.”

CRM still has openings for programs and there is still time to register before the early bird registration discount ends May 1st! Save $25 on every first time friend you refer. You won’t want to miss out on the highlight of your summer!

Check out our new look:

Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center (www.aldersgateny.org)
Asbury Camp & Retreat Center (www.asburyuny.org)
Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center (www.casowasco.org)
Findley Camp & Retreat Center (www.campfindley.org)
Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center (www.skylakecenter.org)
Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center (www.skyefarmcamp.org)

Posted on April 23rd by Mike Huber