Kingswood provides the perfect setting for several programs. Families, couples, and friends can rent one of our unique campsites anytime during the summer and hike the trails, swim and boat in the lake, or just relax! Woodsmoke, our youth camp, provides an opportunity for youth to spend time away from home learning about the environment, discussing spiritual views, having fun swimming, hiking, and of course, making friends. Service events take place throughout the year and are a great opportunity for all ages to become more involved, get to know other camping community members, and give back to the camp. After all, without the Kingswood volunteer community, Kingswood would not exist! One other special program that everyone can participate in is the Stone Ministry program.
Kingswood is one of three camps owned and operated by the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and is a nonprofit organization. Our Farmhouse is available for rentals from mid-September to late May and is a perfect setting for retreats, reunions and group and family gatherings.
Whichever way you can get to Kingswood, we are absolutely positive that you will enjoy its beauty, nature, community, and peaceful setting.
Kingswood is a 766 acre site nestled in the Catskill Mountains at Hancock, New York. Huge forests, open fields, stunning views, and rolling hills create a breathtaking backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.
Kingswood Campsite is a quiet, natural setting in which the development of positive, cooperative experiences are encouraged. This setting provides opportunities for community: strengthening of families, giving back through volunteering, nurturing of friendships, renewing of spirit, and growing in respect for God’s Creations.
In 1958, the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church received, as a gift from a Dr. Lester L. Woolsey, a deed to a tract of woodland adjacent to the Hathaway farm. It was quickly decided to pursue the idea of developing this property into a youth camp. An outside consultant was engaged to make a planning survey of the property and his report was encouraging except for the lack of water sources. The timing was perfect because Robert Seymour had decided to sell the Hathaway farm, which of course included a pond and the upper reaches of Sands Creek. A sales agreement was concluded and the Hathaway farm, consisting of 450 acres, was deeded to the New York Annual Conference on September 16, 1959. The new property, totaling 766 acres, was named Kingswood after the town in England where John Wesley began field preaching and where he also started a school.
A master plan was developed, and in 1960 more than 250 volunteers from many churches visited the camp and devoted untold hours of work to develop rustic campsites. The following year, 1961, many church groups again visited the camp to work on improvements of camping, housing and sanitary facilities. And during five summer weeks of planned activities, 83 youths and 23 adults stayed at Kingswood, many living in makeshift shelters.
Over the ensuing years, following carefully developed plans, the grounds, accommodations and activities have been remarkably maintained, improved and expanded. Today we have ten weeks of activities every summer at Kingswood where retreat ministries, adult and youth groups and individual families enjoy a wide variety of outdoor experiences. And thus we are blessed with this wonderful legacy to Benjamin Hathaway, to the New York Conference founders of 50 years ago and to the hundreds of volunteers who made all of this possible.