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DIRECTIONS:

From I-75: Take the Richmond/Irvine Exit 90A (southbound) or 90 (northbound). As you exit the interstate, you will be on the Richmond Bypass, Rt. 25.  Proceed East on 25 several miles to a LEFT onto 52 East at the Jeep/Chrysler dealership, stoplight #13.  Follow 52 East 20 miles to Irvine.  Go through Irvine / Ravenna (turn right at courthouse, stoplight #3)  proceed about 2 miles to flashing yellow light. Go straight through the intersection and pick up 1571. Follow 1571 under railroad, and left along the river. Follow 5.5 miles until it stops at 52 again. Turn left onto 52 west, go 1.3 miles to intersection of 1182, 975 and 52. Turn right onto 1182 and then IMMEDIATELY LEFT onto 975. Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center is at the end of 975 (3.2 miles).

From I-64: Take the Winchester / Paris Exit 96 and proceed south to Hwy 89 and on to Irvine.  Or take the Mount. Sterling Exit and pick up Hwy 11 to Clay City, turn right onto 15,cross over the Mt. Parkway, then take Hwy 82 and HWY 89 to Irvine. Follow Rt. 52 East through Irvine / Ravenna (turn left at courthouse, stoplight #3). Follow 52 about 2 miles to flashing yellow light. Go straight through intersection and pick up 1571. Follow 1571 under railroad, and left along river. Follow 5.5 miles until it stops at 52 again. Turn left onto 52 west, go 1.3 miles to intersection of 1182, 975 and 52. Turn right onto 1182 and then IMMEDIATELY LEFT onto 975. Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center is at the end of 975 (3.2 miles).

From Mountain Parkway: You can take the Beattyville Exit 40 to 715 to 11 to 498 to 52 West to 1182 to 975… Or Slade exit (Hwy. 11) to 498 to 52 West to 1182 to 975…Or Clay City / Irvine Exit (Hwy. 82) to HWY 89 Irvine. Turn LEFT onto 52 (LEFT turn at the courthouse, stoplight #3). Follow 52 about 2 miles to flashing yellow light. Go straight through intersection and pick up 1571. Follow 1571 under railroad, and left along river. Follow 5.5 miles until it stops at 52 again. Turn left onto 52 west, go 1.3 miles to intersection of 1182, 975 and 52. Turn right onto 1182 and then IMMEDIATELY LEFT onto 975. Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center is at the end of 975 (3.2 miles).

From Irvine: Follow 52 East through Irvine / Ravenna (turn at courthouse, stoplight #3). Follow 52 about 2 miles to flashing yellow light. Go straight through intersection and pick up 1571. Follow 1571 under railroad, and left along river. Follow 5.5 miles until it stops at 52 again. Turn left onto 52 west, go 1.3 miles to intersection of 1182, 975 and 52. Turn right onto 1182 and then IMMEDIATELY LEFT onto 975. Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center is at the end of 975 (3.2 miles).

Aldersgate Camp and Retreat Center: 125 Aldersgate Camp Rd. Ravenna, KY 40472 | (606) 723-5078

We strongly encourage you to write your camper, either by mail or email. Every day at lunch our staff lead mail call for the campers where they distribute mail in fun ways! This looks like singing the hallmark song if you send a hallmark card, fan mail, post mail and so many more. You can even write a note on the back of the letter that says "in order for (your campers name) to receive this letter they must (fill in the blank)" This could look like having them sing a song, answer a question, etc. Many campers get notes and cards, and it can be disappointing for those who do not. This is a great way for extended family members and friends to get involved in your child's camp experience. Please write upbeat messages! It is important to recognize that your child may have moments of homesickness a sad letter from home may further encourage those feelings. Campers may send mail from the office, so pack stationary and stamps if your child is interested in writing home!

  • Snail Mail: Write the name of your child’s specific camp on the outside of the envelope in addition to your camper’s name and the camp address (i.e. Adventure 1, Jr. High 1, etc.). You may leave mail with staff during check-in or send by mail. If sending via the post office be sure to mail it BEFORE your child leaves home so it will arrive in time. You may also want to write “Day 1”, etc. on the envelope if you want them to receive the letters on a specific day. The camp address is 125 Aldersgate Camp Road, Ravenna, KY 40472.

  • Camper-grams: You may send emails or CAMPER-Grams to your child online using a link that Aldersgate will provide at check-in. This is a free service. Your camper will receive printed Camper-grams once a day during mail call.

  • Phone Calls: Aldersgate's office phone line, 606-723-5078, is monitored 24 hours a day during summer camp in case of family emergencies. The phone is transferred to one of the directors during the evening. We discourage calls to campers as it can interrupt the camp experience and foster homesickness. We will arrange a time for you to speak to your child if necessary. If a child is homesick, we will communicate this with you and allow you to decide if speaking with them is the best decision for your child. If you receive a call regarding homesickness please encourage your child to stay and enjoy this opportunity. The camp director may give you some guidance; however, the decision about if your child will stay at camp or not is that of the parent/guardian. Campers are not allowed to have cell phones at camp. Cell phones brought to camp will be held in the office and returned at the end of the week. This is to protect campers from outside distractions and to help them to disconnect from the world in order to connect with God and the camp community. If there is a need for your camper to call home on a regular basis please communicate with us in advance so we can discuss what’s possible.

Homesickness Prevention

Although it sounds contrary to logic, do not talk about homesickness with your child prior to coming to camp. Rather, talk about how much fun they will have and set them up for success through your encouragement. If homesickness occurs, our camp staff will work with your camper and we call when appropriate. Do not suggest to your child to call home if they are homesick.

If this is your child’s first camp experience help them to know what to expect by talking with them about activities, lodging, making friends, rules, and the opportunity for spiritual growth. Encourage them to learn as much as possible and let it be known that you are excited to hear all about their experience when they return home.

Finally, pray with your camper about camp. Pray for safety and health, so they can enjoy all camp has to offer. Pray for friends who will have a positive impact on your child’s life. Pray for their counselor that they may help your child grow.

As we travel to camp fairs and to speak at churches, a phrase we commonly hear is, “I just don’t think he’s ready for camp yet.”

It can be difficult for parents to imagine their child at camp for several reasons. Perhaps they have not spent more than one night away from home before. Perhaps they need frequent reminders to take care of themselves, and the parent worries they won’t brush their teeth or bathe for a week. Or perhaps the parent is worried about themselves missing the child (a.k.a. being “camper-sick”), which is more common than most parents realize.

However, if your child is ready for camp (we’ll get to that in a moment), they most certainly will experience fun, love, community, God, and growth during their time away. We know it can be scary to entrust the care of your child to strangers, but know that we are professionals. We have years and years of camping experience, and although each child is different, we have seen SO many campers that may have been unsure about things their first night, but were tearful on the last day because they had had the time of their lives, made real friendships, experienced God for the first time, and couldn’t wait to return the following year.

 

So, how do we know when they’re ready to go to camp?

Jack Shitama of Camp Pecometh recommends taking this parents.com online quiz to assess whether your child is ready for overnight camp. The quiz is 10 questions and provides a thorough answer at the end. We tried it ourselves and agree that it’s a good place to start.

Jack also recommends asking yourself, “Whose idea is it?” He says, “[asking whose idea it is] doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to mention or discuss camp in any way until your child brings it up.

It just means that after she has had a chance to learn about camp through a brochure, website, video, camp tour, etc., you can ask, “Would you like to go to camp?” If she says, “Yes,” then give it a go. If she says, “No,” then wait until next year. If the answer is “Maybe,” then here are some other things to consider:

  • Has he had an overnight outing before at a friend or relative’s house? While it may be possible for a child to attend overnight camp without ever having stayed overnight anywhere, it’s probably not a good idea if his answer to whether or not he wants to go is “Maybe.”

  • Does she handle basic tasks of living such as washing up, brushing teeth, and getting dressed on her own? This doesn’t mean she does it without being reminded (even nagged), but once she decides to do it, can she do it without help?

  • Is he able to express his needs appropriately? Being able to say he needs to go to the bathroom, doesn’t understand an instruction or that he would like seconds are examples of basic expressions that are helpful in navigating camp life. If he can say it to you or a teacher, you can feel comfortable that he’ll tell his counselor.

If your answers to these questions are mostly yes, then her “Maybe” can become a “Yes,” especially if you decide to find a friend to go with her.” (You can find the rest of Jack's blog post here.)

Aldersgate offers two 3 night camps, Grand and Discovery for our youngest campers. Although you might think your child would do best at camp when they’re a little older, we think these shorter camps are a great introduction to camp and aren’t as intimidating as the 5-night camps that 5th graders and up attend. Younger campers can get a taste of what camp is like and know if it’s a place they’d like to return to in the future (we are almost positive they will!)

Finally, please know that camp is for everyone. For the adventure-seekers and for the creative. For fear-conquerors and for thinkers. For gamers and for athletes. For introverts and extroverts. For believers and the curious. Through intentional small cabin groups, Aldersgate focuses on creating an emotionally safe atmosphere where campers are empowered to be themselves and connect to others in a way that’s not always easy outside of camp. That means even the shyest children can blossom at camp.

If you’re thinking of sending your child for the first time, we encourage you to assess their readiness and then check out our "Summer Camps" page  to find an option that seems right for them. Check out our Facebook page to see pictures and videos, and feel free to contact us to set up a time to come explore camp with your child. We’d love for you and your child to join us at camp this summer and become part of our Aldersgate family! 

We know it's a big decision to entrust someone else with the care of your child, and that you may worry about their safety when they're away from home. Please know that we take caring for our campers very seriously. Anyone who has worked or volunteered at Aldersgatecan testify that our policies regarding camper safety are our most strictly enforced. See below for our main safety policies.

TWO DEEP LEADERSHIP

If you asked a past staff or volunteer about the main safety rule they remember from camp, we are confident that each and every one of them would reply with, "Never be alone with a camper." There are two counselors in each cabin, and campers and adults always travel in groups of at least three (i.e. either 1 adult and 2 campers, 2 adults and 1 camper.)

SUPERVISION

There are two counselors assigned to a cabin of a maximum of ten campers. In addition to these two counselors, there are many other staff members present at meals and each activity session. Older campers may use the buddy system at times, but counselors are responsible for knowing where their assigned campers are at all times, and campers are never alone.

SUMMER STAFF HIRING

Our summer applicants go through an intense interview process that lasts an entire weekend, during which we come to understand their beliefs, their strengths, and their weaknesses. We screen their past employment and social media in addition to reviewing references and performing background checks and sexual offender searches. 

VOLUNTEER SELECTION

We use a combination of summer staff and volunteers to serve as counselors for each camp. A trusted adult, often a pastor or a past Aldersgate staff member, is chosen by Aldersgate to be the leader/coordinator of each camp. This dean is responsible for recruiting volunteers to help during their week of camp. Just like staff applicants, volunteers must complete an application, and Aldersgate performs reference and background checks in addition to a sexual offender search. 

SUMMER STAFF TRAINING

Summer Staff undergo an intense training lasting a minimum of two weeks before working with campers. This training includes everything from activity facilitation to emotional safety to CPR and First Aid. 

ACTIVITY SAFETY

Our adventure activities are inspected and adjusted annually by an independent organization. Through this organization's report coupled with our additional inspections throughout the year, we work to constantly improve and update our courses, equipment, and safety procedures.

GENUINE COMMUNITY IS EXPERIENCED

Camp contrasts with familiar life. Labels, expectations, mindless daily routines, influences of parents, teachers, peers, media, and friends are left behind in favor of a special temporary community with focused purpose: presenting Christ and nurturing those in the faith toward maturity. Campers are immersed in a loving community, free to embrace the values and lifestyle of that community. Aldersgate can be a clear model demonstrating how Christians should live.

Separation from home removes the familiar physical and social supports that provide comfort and security. Campers are forced to transfer trust to others or depend on someone more secure and mature, and ultimately Christ.

 

MINISTRY TO THE WHOLE PERSON TAKES PLACE

Camp powerfully communicates spiritual truths and spurs spiritual growth among campers in the midst of God’s creation, by experiencing teachable moments, through worship, relaxation, and reflection times.

 

RELATIONSHIPS ARE BUILT WITH GOD AND WITH OTHERS

The activities of daily camp life teach social skills. Camp is foremost a highly relational experience. At camp, spiritual mentors are always present. They are visual examples of how to live when tired, how to be kind when others are unkind, how to control anger, how to discipline with love, how to ask for forgiveness, how to grow spiritually, how to deal with temptation, and how to live in community. The influence for change is great at camp, where relationships are valued. Jesus is our model for ministry.

 

MEMORIES AND MAJOR LIFE COMMITMENTS ARE MADE

Because camp is a contrast to everyday life, and because this contrast causes the camper’s senses to be heightened, time takes on new meaning. Events at camp become more engaging, alive, and vivid; they are filled with energy and totally absorb campers. Camp experiences provide moments that render campers ready for learning.

Struggling with new games, adventure activities, difficult peers, weather, heat, darkness, disappointments, camp duties, and separation from home all add to the variety and intensity of experiences. These teachable moments open doors of opportunity where spiritual truth can be presented.

 

TOMORROW’S LEADERS ARE DEVELOPED TODAY

Very few opportunities exist for young people to be given significant responsibility for others, especially responsibility to minister to others. Emerging leaders will discover the value of self, learning, and God.

  • Pack with your camper so that they know what’s in their suitcase.

  • Send comfortable clothes that can get dirty.

  • Be sure to pack extra clothes and shoes as campers will be in and out of the creek every day as well as hike through the creek to the clay wall.

  • Send a bag for dirty laundry in the suitcase and explain its purpose.

  • Write your camper’s name on the tags of items with a laundry marker.

  • Packs lots of socks and encourage them to wear them with all shoes to reduce toe injuries.

  • Please do not bring any valuables that could be lost or damaged. We can’t guarantee they’ll find their way home!

 

WHAT TO PACK:

  • Older clothes Swimsuit (one piece)

  • Athletic shoes (be sure to pack an extra pair!)

  • Bible

  • Towels

  • Flip flops or sandals for pool/creek/shower

  • Pillow and sleeping bag or twin bedding

  • Hat/sunglasses

  • Bathroom toiletries

  • Sunscreen

  • Small bag

  • Bug Spray

  • Water Bottle

  • Rain Jacket

  • Flashlight *For Great Outdoors, be sure to pack sleeping bag due to the overnight trip! If you do not have one, contact the office and we can help provide one

 

WHAT NOT TO PACK:

  • Weapons/knives/fireworks                 

  • Money/Valuables                    

  • Video games

  • iPods/music players                           

  • Snacks/candy/gum                  

  • Alcohol/drugs/tobacco

  • Tablets/computers/cell phones

  • Fans (all cabins have A/C and fans use LOTS of electricity!)                           

  • Peanut/tree nut products (we are a nut free facility!)

 

ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES

Alcohol, tobacco products, or illegal drugs are not allowed or tolerated at any time. If your camper does not abide by this rule, you will be called to pick them up. A random search of possessions may be done if the Director and Dean feel it is necessary.

 

DRESS CODE

  • Socks should be worn with all shoes

  • Shorts should extend past the camper’s fingertips with arms by their side.

  • Sleeveless shirts may be worn as long as the strap is wider than 3 of the camper’s fingers and does not have large arm holes

  • Midriffs must be covered

  • Underwear must be covered

  • One-piece swimsuits are required

  • Clothing with slogans promoting alcohol, sex, tobacco, drugs, profanity, or death themes are not permitted

 

MEDICATION AT CAMP

All medication, whether prescription or over the counter, is handled by Aldersgate's summer healthcare team. They will be present at Check-in to log medication, store it, and to see that your camper receives the correct amount at the proper intervals. Medication must be in its original container and prescriptions must have the name of the child. Please only send the amount of medication they will need during their camp. You’ll receive a form to fill out prior to camp. Please bring this with you for check-in.

 

CANTEEN (SNACKS & MERCHANDISE)

There is no need for your camper to bring money to camp. Snacks will be provided daily as a part of the camper fees. Campers will receive a camp t-shirt. Merchandise will be for sale the day of check- in and the day of check-out. Due to COVID this may look different this summer.

  • Before you pick your child up from camp there are things to keep in mind. They are coming home from a “Mountain top” experience and, as excited as they may be, this comes with tiredness and fatigue. Below you may find some tips in engaging your child after their time at Aldersgate.

    Your child may not be as delighted to see you as you are to see them. Going home and saying goodbye to their counselors and new friends can result in a challenging transition.

    When you arrive home be sure to provide extra time for rest and sleep. ​Listen diligently as your child shares what they experienced. Ask questions and be interested, but try not to probe too much. For a child who is quiet, reserved, and doesn’t open up easily, allow time for them to do so. It’s fun to share what the family did while the camper was away, but be sure to ask your child to share in return.

    It is not uncommon for your child to have a somewhat different attitude when arriving back home to their everyday community. Your child may say statements such as “Our youth group’s not much fun, but at camp…” or “I don’t want to go to Sunday school. My teacher is not like my counselor at camp.” Patiently wait out the comments; the transition can be difficult. 

  • We recommend letting your child write to the people they met in order to keep the connections they developed. For younger children, they often will want to stay in contact with their counselors; for older teens, it may be other campers.

    If you find your child mentioning one particular staff member who was an excellent role model, encourage your child to write and thank that person. Many of our staff members have been encouraged because a camper from a previous week wrote a note of thanks.

    Please keep in mind that Aldersgate hires an amazing set of staff and counselors; however, we do not supervise them outside of the camp experience. We do background checks, follow up with their references, and evaluate them through an interview process. We are confident that they are wholehearted followers of Christ. However, as a parent you should keep an eye on how your child interacts with their friends, online contacts, and those they met at camp, including staff and counselors. Ensure that any continued relationships/conversations with camp staff after summer camp are appropriate. This has not been a problem for us in the past, but in today’s world one cannot be too careful.

    We encourage you to show interest in what decisions or commitments your child may have made at camp. Allow them time to share those decisions upon arriving home; they may be on a spiritual high. Help your camper realize that whether they are up or down on the spiritual roller coaster, the commitment still stands.

    We will notify your church if your child indicated they made a decision about their faith. Please do not criticize your child if you learned about the decision through other sources.

    The period after camp is a great time to begin a new prayer time with your child and help them follow through with commitments made at camp. The realness of their time at camp will extend beyond their week at Aldersgate if God is part of their daily rhythm.

    Once again, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to know and work with your child. We hope to see them again next year!

    - Zane Johns-Morrison 
    Executive Director

Camper Check-In (Arrival)Upon your arrival at Aldersgate follow the signs and the guidance of our summer staff. They’ll direct you to check-in.  You’ll be able to stay in your car throughout the process. This system has helped make the check-in process smooth and cut down on homesickness. Plan to say your goodbyes while in the car. Our staff will help make your campers beds. If you want to get out of your car and help them to the cabin you are able to do that this year. If you do, we ask that you pull out of the car line to keep traffic flowing and that you limit your time so campers can begin to engage with all we have in store for their week. We will stagger arrival times based upon camper grades; however, we’ll also make special accommodations for those families sending multiple campers to different age camps. Arrival times are;Senior High Campers                                                 (9th-12th graders)                 4:00 PM Eastern TimeJunior High Campers                                                 (7th-8th graders)                   4:30 PM Eastern TimeDiscovery & Adventure Campers                                  (3rd-6th graders)                    5:00 PM Eastern TimeGrand Camper                                                                                                                           3:00 PM Eastern Time           Camper Check-Out (Departure)On the last day of camp, follow the posted signs for your child’s camp to pick up your camper. Upon arrival in your camper’s area an Aldersgate staff member will ask your camper’s name, verify your photo I.D., have you sign for medications, and they’ll send for your camper. Check out is at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. You may arrive as early as 10:30 AM. If you need an earlier check-out please contact the office in advance.

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