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!”