Woodsmoke is based on a few principles. One of those, volunteering, is woven into the fabric of who we are at Kingswood and is our cornerstone. Our young campers learn that many of the facilities at Kingswood were thought of, designed and built by volunteers and Woodsmoke campers.
Woodsmoke volunteering began about 22 years ago when a few Woodsmoke campers thought it would be a good idea to have a bridge across the creek (now Jungle Pass). They asked for some wood and nails and built it. The concept of campers giving back was born and we have never looked back.
The list of projects that the campers have completed over the years include: Eagle 2, Tamarack, the Pines, the playground, the deck in front of Oasis, re-staining Oasis, rehabilitating our fields so the natural wildlife that lives there won’t get crowded out, building hand powered wheel chairs for third world countries that have a hard terrain to travel over, building and installing bird houses along many of the fields to encourage wildlife, a gazebo, and nature blinds, bridges on trails so you can pass over wet spots, and front decks on many of the tent platforms.
What college application isn’t looking for how an applicant volunteered in their community? Imagine being able to list projects dating back to the fifth grade. What a resumé that would be! Just recently a past Woodsmoke camper, now in college, e-mailed that she was working on a project in Appalachia and she felt her skills exceeded the person running the project. Go Woodsmoke!!
The second principle captured by Woodsmoke, is living and working in small groups where small group discussions and consensus are necessary. Each camp site plans and cooks most of its own meals. The campers make menus (deciding on what foods everyone will eat), build fires, and cook delicious meals. While learning the necessary skills to accomplish this, your children are surrounded by 766 acres of one of the most serene and beautiful areas on earth.
A nurturing staff and Chaplain discuss group and individual coping skills necessary for dealing with the pressures of growing up in this complicated world. The Bible is a source of many examples for how to do this. The Woodsmoke experience is one that will leave a lasting impression and create fond memories.
What are some of the past Woodsmoke activities?
Cove (Grades 5-6)
Activities include: learning camping skills, identifying wildlife, arts and crafts, the Creek Walk (bring old sneakers!) swimming and boating and uncovering the mystery of the missing banana boat desserts.
Maples (Grades 7-8)
Activities include: hiking, swimming, boating, a brr-isk early morning “polar bear” swim, a canoe lunch on the lake and the infamous “Monk’s Dinner!” This age group that is introduced to service projects when the campers are coupled with high school campers and staff for a few hours a couple of days of the week.
Hogan (Grades 9-10)
Hogan gave back to Kingswood by doing small projects throughout the week, 2015 projects included the continuation of field restoration, remodeling a nature center in the barn, building a access friendly latrine near the beach parking lot, and if time permits repairing the kitchens in Eagle 2 and Cove right. Additional activities include: swimming and boating, cooking, camp fire conversations, hiking, and a Hawaiian Luau!
Eagle (Grades 11-12) Week 1 and Eagle (Grades 9-12) Week 2
A couple of years ago, we decided to combine Hogan and Eagle when they are working on the service project. We found that it allows campers that camped with friends that were a year ahead of them in school can spend some time together. It also allows campers to choose the project they would like to work on. The projects for 2015 included the continuation of field restoration, remodeling a nature center in the barn, building a access friendly latrine near the beach parking lot, and if time permits repairing the kitchens in Eagle 2 and Cove right. Other activities include: swimming and boating, cooking, camp fire conversations, star gazing, and a New Orleans Dinner “Down by the Bayou.”
Counselors in Training: We have found that many of our campers want to come back as counselors. We believe they should get a year of training under their belts before they do this. Last year we opened up an opportunity for graduating seniors to give it a try. Three of our young graduating ladies took up the challenge and assisted us. We are planning to continue this policy on a case by case basis in 2016.
Come and join us, have some fun, and learn a few things along the way!
Where is Woodsmoke?
Woodsmoke is at Kingswood Campsite, just outside of Hancock, New York.
When is Woodsmoke 2017?
Please check back around Christmas for the date.
Who is eligible for Woodsmoke Camp?
Woodsmoke is open for all entering 5th through 12th grade in September 2017.
Where can I register?
Do you offer financial aid?
Download the financial aid form here!
Too old to be a camper, but still want the Woodsmoke experience?
We’re always in need of staff and volunteers! Apply here.