Aldersgate News Archive

Spring 2019 Edition of Xenia is Available

Spring 2019 Edition of Xenia is Available



The Spring 2019 edition of our newsletter, Xenia News, is now available online. Click here to read about what’s been going in the life of Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Posted on April 2nd by Matthew Williams

Committee on & Director of CRM Publish Letter In Response to Special Session of General Conference

Committee on & Director of CRM Publish Letter In Response to Special Session of General Conference

Click here to view a full screen version for easier reading


CRMletter

Posted on March 18th by Mike Huber

2019 Summer Camp & Retreat Programs Registration Opens!

2019 Summer Camp & Retreat Programs Registration Opens!

Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries (CRM) is excited to announce that registration is now open for its 2019 Summer Camp & Retreat programs. Program details are available online and brochures will be mailed out in the coming weeks. Brochures will be 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 a searchable list of all of our 2019 programs, click HERE. If you know which program you’d like, and want to register directly, click the link for the corresponding site below:

ALDERSGATE
ASBURY
CASOWASCO
SKY LAKE
SKYE FARM


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

Posted on January 10th by Mike Huber

Be A Donor 2018

Be A Donor 2018

What does it mean to be a donor?

It means actively engaging with the ministry of Aldersgate and Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries. It means doing something more than just supporting this ministry with your voice and your prayers (both of which are immensely important.) It means actively underwriting the operational and program costs associated with offering a ministry that truly transforms lives.

Beginning with #GivingTuesday on November 27, 2018, and continuing through the remainder of this year, we invite you to Be A Donor to the Aldersgate Annual Fund.

Over the coming weeks, we invite you to stay tuned to our Facebook page to learn more about what your generous financial donation supports.

Whether you ultimately decide to give $5/week, $15/month, or a one-time gift of $5000, we thank you in advance for choosing to Be A Donor!

BE A DONOR!

This link will take you to the Upper New York Camp & Retreat Center’s donation portal. Please select “Aldersgate Annual Fund” from the drop-down menu at the top of that form if you would like your donation to be used specifically for Aldersgate. Donations to the “CRM Annual Fund” will be used where most needed at the end of the year.

Posted on November 22nd by Matthew Williams

Autumn 2017 Edition of Xenia is Available

Autumn 2017 Edition of Xenia is Available



The Fall edition of our newsletter, Xenia News, is now available online. Click here to read about what’s been going in the life of Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries.

Posted on November 20th by Matthew Williams

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

Shari Mudge named Seasonal Site Manager at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center

Shari Mudge named Seasonal Site Manager at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center

Mike Huber, Upper New York Conference’s Director of Camp & Retreat Ministries, has named Shari Mudge Seasonal Site Manager at the Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center. Mudge will serve as the site host for guest groups and will be the primary contact for public relations and volunteer recruitment.
“I am very excited about Shari joining our seasonal team of staff,” Huber said. “She has been an advocate and critical member of the extended camp and retreat community so it’s fitting that she moves into this role as a primary contact for guest relations. Her love of Jesus and passion for Aldersgate will be real blessings.”

MudgeAlthough her role will primarily be to serve guest camp groups, Mudge will also assist Huber July 12-17 for the week of summer camp. Huber will serve as the camp director for the week. Mudge was raised in Philadelphia, N.Y., and attended Aldersgate as a camper in the mid-1970s. In 1983, she was asked to serve as a counselor for a junior high camp, and she has been intimately involved in camping ministries ever since.

Over the past 30 years, Mudge has served as a camp counselor, local church camping agent, and member of the leadership team for the Family Life Weekend and seasonal office work. Mudge recently served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, looking at all six of the Conference’s beautiful camp and retreat centers.

Shari and her husband, Adirondack District Superintendent the Rev. William Mudge, served the Boonville United Methodist Church for 20 years, from 1991 through 2011. Shari took her role as camping agent very seriously and began sending area children to camp. During those years, Shari led a great team of folks who worked year-round to raise money to send several hundred kids to camp. The record year was 72 children fully funded, with the average being approximately 40 children per year.

In 2007, Shari was awarded the Denman Award for Evangelism in recognition of the ministry to the children she helped send to camp and for the revitalizing effect this camping ministry had on the Boonville congregation. As kids met Jesus at camp and found new joy and acceptance, they often returned home and became part of the church family.

Shari met her husband at junior high camp in 1983, and Aldersgate has been an important part of their family’s life. All four of the Mudge children have attended and worked at camp. In 2003, Shari’s oldest daughter, Rebekah, met her husband Paul while they were on staff at summer camp at Aldersgate. Shari’s son, Benjamin, and his wife Danielle also worked on staff at Aldersgate, and they still serve whenever called upon in maintenance, in the kitchen, or in any capacity. Sarah, now serving as a US-2 missionary in Tacoma, Wash., began her ministry as a volunteer and eventually became part of the summer lead team. The youngest, Hannah, has spent her whole life seeing Aldersgate as home away from home. She has volunteered countless hours in ministry and service. Sending kids to camp, fundraising year-round, and recruiting has been a family adventure and a labor of love.
Over the past 30 years, God has expanded Shari’s love for camp from Aldersgate to all six Conference Camp & Retreat Ministry sites. Recently, Shari attended the National Gathering of Camp & Retreat Leaders at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. Shari said, “It was awesome to be around all of the people serving so faithfully all around our United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry connection! It was like meeting new family. I learned so much, and I am excited to learn more. People come to all of our Camp & Retreat centers to find a safe place where they can be accepted and be themselves; we meet Christ here!”

Posted on March 17th 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