Opportunities for Spiritual Enrichment at Kingswood

We are one of two camps owned and operated by the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Many of our campers are Methodist, but many are people of other religions or of no religion at all.  All are welcome.  We offer many opportunities for those who are interested in deepening their relationship with God in our beautiful, quiet natural setting:  Morning Watch, Sunday Morning Chapel Service, Prayer Trail, Labyrinth, Adult Spirituality Camps, and the Stone Ministry program on Friday and Saturday.

Morning Watch

Greet the new day at Kingswood at Morning Watch.  Join Kingswood’s Program Director at the outdoor chapel by the pond at 7:00 am as she leads a short time of scripture reading, devotional readings, and prayer.  Soak up the sounds and sights and smells of nature as you begin the day in quiet prayer and praise.

The cupboard at the outdoor chapel has devotional books, Bibles, journals, tape recorders and tapes of devotional music for you to enjoy.

Sunday Morning Chapel Service

On Sunday mornings at Kingswood the chapel by the pond is a great place to be.  Campers are invited to gather for an informal service of singing, sharing, praying, scripture, and message.  The service is at 10 am.  We retreat to the barn in inclement weather.

Prayer Trail

You are invited to experience the Prayer Trail at Kingswood.  Begin on the Red Trail, just past the swim area.  There are seven stations featuring suggestions for prayerful activities including rest, attentiveness, crafts and “building.”  Also each station has a box containing a Bible, devotional book, and paper for journaling.  Try our suggestions or simply meet with God in your own way.  Child and adult friendly.  Although the hike is easy and short, some rough, uneven terrain and raised boardwalks make this difficult for a person with mobility issues.  Allow approximately 45 minutes to an hour minimum to try all the activities and enter into prayer.  Click here for more details.

Take your time, as there are many lovely places to stop and reflect. As you walk beside the beauty of the pond, you may see the beaver swimming or the great blue heron land on the opposite shore.  We hope you will use the trail as often as you may need during your stay.  Please know that we have prayed for each of you and your time here with the Lord.

Labyrinth

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”   Isaiah 30:2

Have you discovered the labyrinth at Kingswood?  It’s just up the hill from the Craft Area.  Are you wondering what a labyrinth is?  Read more about labyrinths here.

For a number of years Kingswood used a portable rope labyrinth created by Linda Mellor, set up near the Craft Area.  Walking that labyrinth was great – until the grass grew and you couldn’t see the rope!  When the new dam was built, part of that space by the Craft Area was lost, so we decided to construct a different kind of labyrinth in a new spot – in the field up the hill.

In the summer of 2013 Linda Mellor and Dale Meck, along with Holly Moore and Tracy Moore, laid out a seven-circuit path, patterned on the well-known Christian labyrinth design that was built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France more than 800 years ago.  This involved using a huge compass that Dale’s father had invented, spray painting lines on the tall grass, and figuring out where the cross pieces should go.  Once we had marked where to place the paths, Mike Weinlein mowed through the tall grass to the middle and then installed a large rock in the very center as a place to pause and meditate.  Initially, the grass and flowers in the field were quite low, but by the end of the summer, labyrinth walkers were walking right among tall Goldenrod plants, Astors, Thistles, St. John’s Wort, Pearly Everlasting, Indian Paintbrush, and Yarrow.

We would love to have campers contribute to our labyrinth by bringing colorful perennials from home that would survive without much watering in a field in full sun.  We’ve left a shovel and a bucket for watering near the entrance so you can plant the flowers that you’ve brought as soon as you arrive.  Suggestions: Black-Eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s Lace, various Yarrow varieties, Cone Flowers (or Echinacea), Bee Balm, Shasta or Montauk Daisies, and Phlox. With your help, we can make our labyrinth walk a living garden, a spot where many people have planted a part of themselves, and a place where it feels like we walk with God.  Franklyn Torres donated the lovely chair that sits at the entrance to the Labyrinth for walking preparation and reflection.

So how does one walk a labyrinth?  Read here to find out.

“The God who has girded me with strength has opened wide my path.” 2 Samuel 22:33

Stone Ministry

Stone Ministry is a program that leads Kingswood campers to create a physical connection to the camp, its community, and God’s creation through stone masonry.

Campers first select stones that were rejected by the previous farmers of the camp land as not worthy for building.  Next the campers scrub the stones free of their temporary soil stains and inscribe them with personal messages.  Finally, the campers mix mortar and cement the stones into the timeless evolving Stone Ministry Structure.

The stone and its invisible message become permanent and integral parts of the structure and are therefore anchors for the camper into community harmony and God’s peace which are hallmarks of Kingswood Campsite.