Casowasco News Archive

Peace Be Still: An Update on Summer Preparations in Upper New York

Peace Be Still: An Update on Summer Preparations in Upper New York

Like many of you, we are finding social distancing to be rather challenging. We are camp and retreat people after all and bringing people together is core to what we do. As we continue to pray for you and all those impacted by COVID-19, we remain hopeful and excited for our 2020 Summer Camp Season.

Last week we announced an update to our cancellation policy to allow for cancellations up to two (2) calendar days before the start of a given session for health and safety reasons related to COVID-19. Full refunds will be issued in this case, however, our standard cancellation policy for other reasons remains in effect.

Today we are extending our early-bird discount deadlines. Registrations received by May 1st will automatically receive a $25 discount, while registrations received by June 1st will automatically receive a $10 discount.

Our refer-a-friend and sibling discounts remain the same.

We are also working diligently to secure additional funding for camperships to ensure that our programming remains accessible to all. Please do not hesitate to apply for a campership.

May the joy and hope of the summer camp experience continue to sustain you during these uncertain times.

In Christ’s Service,
The Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries Leadership Team

Posted on March 25th by David Wood

March 18th Update from UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

March 18th Update from UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, is often attributed as having said, “Proceed with much prayer and your way will be made plain.”

After prayerful consideration, Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries will close our sites to retreat guests effective immediately until Monday, April 13th. As we continue to monitor the current situation closely, this date could be extended. However, we believe by implementing these precautions at this time, our actions will contribute to flattening the curve and allow us to continue serving the guests we love.

We continue to work diligently to prepare for this upcoming summer season. In order to best support our camper families and to help them make summer plans, we have amended our refund policy and health and safety procedures to the following:

⚬ A full refund for cancellations for health and safety reasons related to COVID-19 will be granted until two calendar days before the start of the session. Our standard cancellation policy for other reasons remains in effect.

⚬ A member of the site staff will contact the parent/caregiver of the camper to complete a verbal pre-camp health screening at least 48 hours prior to arrival. This will be in addition to the screening already a part of our check-in procedures

At this time, we continue to accept registrations and applications for the summer season as well as guest-group bookings for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. We also continue to accept applications for open positions on our summer/seasonal staff teams.

While our sites are closed to retreat guests, our year-round staff teams will be working remotely or practicing safe social distancing as we deep clean our facilities and work on those “rainy day” projects that will enhance your next visit!

We continue to pray for our local and global communities as we forge ahead through uncharted waters. We also pray for your continued good health and look forward to serving you when we are all safely able to be together again!

The Upper New York Camp and Retreat Ministries Leadership

Posted on March 18th by Matthew Williams

UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Responds to COVID-19 Outbreak

UNY Camp & Retreat Ministries Responds to COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Valued Guests, Campers, Participants & Families,

We strive to provide a time and place in which all who attend our camp and retreat centers in Upper New York, can get away from the hectic pace of the world and just be… with God, with Creation, and with one another. One of the things we do to ensure that this sort of experience can safely continue is to keep an eye on what’s going on in our region, our country, and our world.

Like many of you, we’ve been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the past few months. As you likely already know, all of our centers operate under American Camp Association standards. In addition to setting the standards for the camping industry, the ACA also provides its members with some incredible resources—most recently on COVID-19. We are also fortunate to have a great working relationship with our County and New York State Departments of Health, which also continue to provide us with valuable resources. We are focused on staying informed and taking proper precautions during the current climate, while continuing to host our spring guest groups and prepare for our awesome upcoming summer season!

While we monitor the news, we are even more conscientious about continuing to do the things we always do, like disinfecting surfaces in between retreat groups, staying home if we’re not feeling well, and washing our hands a lot! We are adding sensible precautionary measures as well, including a daily sanitization of high traffic surfaces while guests are on site, increased guest and staff education around CDC recommendations for effective handwashing and safe sneezing/coughing, an increased availability of hand sanitizer/hand washing stations in our buildings, and heightened staff awareness to our personal and communal health. We are also currently reviewing our summer procedures, including check in, and will let you know if/when we make any updates to those.

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation closely as it evolves and follow any and all applicable recommendations put out by the CDC, ACA, and New York State Department of Health. We commit to keeping all our guests, campers, participants and families informed throughout the coming weeks of any further steps taken in response to this concern. The continued health, safety, and well-being of all our guests is our top priority, and we look forward to serving you both through and beyond this current situation. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any concerns further, you are welcome to call or email us at any time, we’d be happy to talk with you!

Sincerely,
Upper New York Camp & Retreat Ministries Leadership

Posted on March 14th by David Wood

Response to Global Coronavirus Concerns

Response to Global Coronavirus Concerns

Dear Valued Guests, Campers, & Families,

We strive to provide a time and place in which all who attend Casowasco can get away from the hectic pace of the world and just be… with God, with Creation, and with one another. One of the things we do to ensure that this sort of experience can safely continue is to keep an eye on what’s going on in our region, our country, and our world.

Like many of you, we’ve been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) over the past few months. As you likely already know, Casowasco is one of only 25% of summer camps in the United States which are voluntarily accredited by the American Camp Association. In addition to setting the standards for the camping industry (and helping us stay accountable to the standards that revolve around health, safety, and programming) the ACA also provides its members with some incredible resources—most recently on COVID-19. With so much information out there, we are grateful for the ACA cutting through all the noise on our behalf so that we can focus on hosting our spring guest groups and preparing for our awesome upcoming summer season! We are also fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Cayuga County and New York State Departments of Health, which also continues to provide us with valuable resources.

While we monitor the news, we are even more conscientious about continuing to do the things we always do, like disinfecting surfaces in between retreat groups, staying home if we’re not feeling well, and washing our hands a lot! We are adding sensible precautionary measures as well, including a daily sanitization of high traffic surfaces while guests are on site, increased guest and staff education around CDC recommendations for effective handwashing and safe sneezing/coughing, an increased availability of hand sanitizer in our buildings, and heightened staff awareness to our personal and communal health. We are also currently reviewing our summer procedures, including check in, and will let you know if/when we make any updates to those.

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation closely as it evolves and follow any and all applicable recommendations put out by the CDC, ACA, and New York State Department of Health. We commit to keeping all our guests, campers, and families informed throughout the coming weeks of any further steps taken in response to this concern. The continued health, safety, and well-being of all our guests is our top priority, and we look forward to serving you both through and beyond this current situation. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any concerns further, you are welcome to call or email us at any time, we’d be happy to talk with you!

Sincerely,

Casowasco Staff

Posted on March 13th by David Wood

Summer Camp 2020 Registration Now Open

Summer Camp 2020 Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for our exciting slate of 2020 summer programs at Aldersgate, Casowasco, Sky Lake, and Skye Farm! Additionally, Asbury Retreat Center will continue to offer exciting retreat opportunities for children, youth, and adults throughout the summer season. Information on program opportunities at Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center will be available in the coming weeks.

We are also excited to announce some changes to our available discounts for 2020!**

summer camp discounts

Early Bird Discount:
-Register by March 1st and get $50 off!
-Register by April 1st and get $25 off!
-Register by May 1st and get $10 off!

Refer-a-Friend Discount:
-Refer 1 new camper and receive a YETI water bottle!
-Refer 2 new campers and receive a free gift AND $50 off!
-Refer 3 new campers and receive a free gift AND $100 off!

Sibling Discount:
-Each sibling who attends camp receives $40 off, this is applicable across all Upper New York Conference camps.

**Please note that, NEW THIS YEAR, discounts are already built into ALL ALDERSGATE programs, so no additional discounts/incentives will apply.

Also new for 2020 is a decentralization of our registration process for summer programs. Each site will be handling their own registrations, which means all registration forms, paperwork, and payments should be sent to the local site. Contact information for each site and the link to register is listed below:

Aldersgate Camp & Retreat Center:
To look at the full list of programs and to register:
REGISTER HERE!
3343 St Rt 38
Moravia, NY 13118
315-364-8756 (phone)
315-364-7636 (fax)
registrar@aldersgateny.org

Asbury Retreat Center:
To look at the full list of programs and to register:
REGISTER HERE!
PO Box 218
Silver Lake, NY 14549
585-237-5262 (phone)
585-237-6863 (fax)
info@asburyuny.org

Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center:
To look at the full list of programs and to register:
REGISTER HERE!
158 Casowasco Drive
Moravia, NY 13118
315-364-8756 (phone)
315-364-7636 (fax)
info@casowasco.org

Sky Lake Camp & Retreat Center:
To look at the full list of programs and to register:
REGISTER HERE!
501 William Law Road
Windsor, NY 13865
607-467-2750 (phone)
607-467-4612 (fax)
info@skylakecenter.org

Skye Farm Camp & Retreat Center:
To look at the full list of programs and to register:
REGISTER HERE!
1884 East Schroon River Road
Warrensburg, NY 12885
518-494-7170 (phone)
800-627-0052 (fax)
info@skyefarmcamp.org

Posted on January 15th by David Wood

Final Installation of 2019 Advent Series

Final Installation of 2019 Advent Series

The final installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Luke 2:1-20.

https://youtu.be/emiKMZkGyg8

The gospel of Luke is the only gospel that provides us with a full birth narrative of Jesus Christ. This story tells us of peace. Peace on earth. Peace to all whom God loves. We can imagine the peace Mary must have felt finally holding her son, or the peace the shepherds experienced when they saw that what was spoken to them by the angel was real. This was the promised messiah, here in the flesh.

God choose unlikely people to announce the messiah’s birth. The shepherds! They were seen as lowly and unimportant. Yet God uplifts them to share the good news that the messiah has come!

Guiding Questions for small Group Discussion:
1. As Shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night, they were probably fairly peaceful, before the angel of the Lord appeared. But what kind of peace must they have experienced after meeting the Messiah? Would it have been the same peace Mary felt?

2. What does this statement mean to you?
Peace among those whom God favors (NRSV)
Peace to all men & women on earth who please him (The Message)
Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased (New Living Translation)

3. Why would it have been shocking for people to hear news about the messiah’s birth from the shepherds? Who do you think would announce a messiah’s birth in our generation?

4. Mary and Joseph were turned away at the inn in Bethlehem. This was because of the census being taken. All of Joseph’s family was in town! Have you considered they must have been turned away by family? How must have Joseph felt?

Posted on December 20th by David Wood

Advent with Casowasco: Week 3 - Joy

Advent with Casowasco: Week 3 - Joy

The third installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Isaiah 11

The book of Isaiah foretells the coming Messiah that we know today as Jesus. The ancient Hebrews were faced with turmoil, conflict, oppression, and it was often hard to look at their circumstances and feel joy. Yet in these times where it would be easy to despair, they were given the promise of joy to come.

The image of something new coming from the roots or remains of the past is one that we can take solace in when we struggle to find joy in our daily lives. We know that we are part of a lineage of faith, that salvation is promised and joy is ours for the taking because of Jesus.

Guiding Questions for Small Group Discussion:

1. Knowing that the one we anticipate has a Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear in the Lord, what joy does this give you?

2. What does it mean to delight in the fear of the Lord?

3.Where have you found joy this advent season? From what stumps/roots of the past has this joy grown from?

 

Posted on December 13th by David Wood

2nd Installment of Advent with Casowasco Released

The second installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Luke 1:26-56

This week we reflect on Mary, the mother of Jesus. While Mary is strong in her faith, and sure of the love of God, she does what we all would do, she questions how she it is possible that she of all people is chosen by God for this work.

As we continue our journey, we should take time to reflect on the times in our life that we have felt God’s call to action. What holy work has God set aside for us to complete? Do we feel worthy of the call? Do we feel capable of completing it?

The answer? On our own, it’s no. However, we as people of faith know that we are not called to this work alone. We have a covenant with the God of creation, a covenant of love. Our God pledges to work with us and through us on the journey.

Guiding Questions for Small Group Discussion:

1.Reflect and discuss the above questions in relation to calls you have felt from God.

2.Mary finds herself facing a great amount of social criticism, yet still is able to praise and love God in the face of it all. Have you ever found it difficult to praise and love God in the face of overwhelming obstacles?

3.Have you ever experienced God’s love in a surprising way? Was the experience overwhelming? Did you doubt yourself or your worthiness? How did you respond?

Posted on December 6th by David Wood

First Installment of Advent Study - Hope

First Installment of Advent Study - Hope

Advent with Casowasco: Stories for the Season: Week 1 - Hope

The first installment of our 2019 Advent Study is based on Mark 1:1-8.

We begin our advent study with John the Baptist and the message of hope he brought, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy and preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. This is the start of a journey, and while we know that journey leads to the Cross and ultimately the Resurrection, the people who heard John speak had no clue where this journey would lead them.

As we begin our journey through Advent, we do not yet know where it may lead, or where we may find ourselves at the end of it. However, God has prepared a way for us, and will guide us along the way.

Guiding Questions for Small Group Discussion:

1. Who has been the John the Baptizer, the voice crying out in the wilderness in your life?

2. What have you anticipated for in the wilderness?

3. What does it mean to you to have a living hope?

4. How did John the Baptist provide hope? To the Judean countryside? To Jerusalem? To you today?

5. What doubts do you think were in the hearts and minds of the people who heard John’s message of hope but could not yet see how it would come to be fulfilled?

6. What messages of hope has God been sending you lately? Have you doubted them because you do not yet see how they may be fulfilled?

Posted on November 29th by David Wood

Casowasco Announces 4-Part Advent Video Series

Casowasco Announces 4-Part Advent Video Series

Join us each Friday throughout Advent as we explore Stories for the Season! Each video will be published Friday afternoon and contain music and story to help us in this season of preparation, as we journey towards the celebration of the birth of Christ! Churches, Sunday School Classes, Youth Groups, Families, and anyone else who would like are invited to not only join us each week, but to use these videos as a resource this advent season! Our first installation will be on Friday of next week (11/29) and will be posted on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and casowasco.org. We hope you’ll join your hearts with ours this Advent season!

Posted on November 22nd by David Wood

Mike Huber Reflects on 27 Years of Ministry at Casowasco

Mike Huber Reflects on 27 Years of Ministry at Casowasco

By now, you may have heard that after almost 30 years of ministry at Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center, Mike Huber is transitioning to focus entirely on his role as Director of Camp and Retreat Ministries for the Upper New York Conference. There are more details in the linked article here: https://www.unyumc.org/news/article/new-structure-in-uny-camp-retreat-ministries. The following is a message from Mike:


Posted on October 30th by David Wood

Casowasco to Offer American Red Cross Lifeguarding Course

Casowasco to Offer American Red Cross Lifeguarding Course

Casowasco is offering an American Red Cross Lifeguard & Waterfront Certification Training this spring! The course is from Tuesday, May 28 through Friday, May 31 and will include classroom learning in addition to practical training in both a pool and waterfront setting. Overnight housing and meals will be provided at Casowasco for the duration of the course.

This course will be FREE OF CHARGE for anyone who successfully completes the course and serves a full summer as a Lifeguard at any Upper New York Conference summer camp this season!

Call 315-364-8756 or email dave@casowasco.org to register today!

Posted on April 25th by David Wood