Who We Are
Woodsmoke is a one of a kind youth camping program that develops outdoor skills, environmental stewardship, volunteerism, community, and thoughtful spirituality. We believe that the immersive experience of camp benefits youth in more ways than just keeping them entertained during the long summer months. We are committed to fostering a safe & welcoming place for everyone while simultaneously challenging young people to grow in new ways. Read our mission statement here.
The Woodsmoke Experience
The ‘Woodsmoke Experience’ is an intentional program for youth who are entering grades 5-12. Our program is run by a specially-trained and experienced staff – many of whom have been campers themselves. The camp is organized into small age appropriate groups so that each camper gets the individual attention they need to help them grow and flourish.
What Makes Woodsmoke Youth Camp Unique?
Our program is real, with real experiences that all have a purpose. Campers live in a rustic, hands-on setting where they learn self-reliance, practice decision making, attain a sense of belonging, learn the art of camp craft, plan and cook their meals, and collaborate on sustainable work projects and environmental education.
Younger groups learn the basics of setting up a campsite, fire building and outdoor cooking and respect for the environment. Every camper enjoys our magnificent Catskills setting while also enjoying opportunities to hike, swim, play games, make crafts, and learn about the local forest and pond ecosystems.
Older groups fine tune their skills in camping while also gaining experience in hands-on projects. Past Woodsmoke groups have built campsites, a playground, and a ropes course, and also have renovated the camp bathhouse, and nature center. These work projects have become the highlight for many of our campers, as they work side by side, not only building a physical structure, but lasting friendships as well. The projects also provide them with the satisfaction of creating a lasting impact on the Kingswood community at large.
In addition to the activities named above, and in contrast to the busy-ness of the ‘real world’, Woodsmoke also encourages a more relaxed pace. We have found that campers deeply value this unstructured time as part of their experience because it gives them a voice in making their week at camp truly their own. Instead of having every minute of their day planned by their counselors and program staff, campers are empowered to make decisions about how they want to spend their week. Want to go on a night hike for some impromptu stargazing? No problem. Tie-dye instead of swimming? You got it. Spend all of your free time during the week to prepare for an epic Sasquatch hunt on Friday night? Uhhh…. Sure?
As a camping program owned and operated by the United Methodist Church, everything we do is for the purpose of serving the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. We believe that camp should be a safe place where youth and adults alike can experience God’s amazing grace and love through community, service, nature, and worship. Everyone is welcome at Woodsmoke. We respect all kinds of religious traditions and honor the uniqueness of each individual’s faith journey. Here, we welcome questions, and believe that engaging in honest conversation about our faith in the safe space of Woodsmoke promotes deep spiritual growth. View Kingswood Campsite’s Mission Statement Here.
Do you have more questions? Please check out our FAQs page here or on the menu.
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