Ownership: Camp Asbury is one of three camp and retreat sites operated by the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church. Camp Asbury began summer programming in 1957. A thirty-one person Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries provides vision, policy and evaluation of all programs and facilities. The Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries is amenable to the Council of Ministries and the East Ohio Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Mission: The mission of East Ohio Camps and Retreat Ministries is to develop comfortable settings and implement quality Christian programs at camp and retreat sites through which the members of the East Ohio Conference and persons in surrounding communities can experience Christ’s love for them and all creation, and have the opportunity to share that love with others.
Camp Asbury’s mission-specific niche is to connect the site, a unique landscape that supports a diversity of northeast Ohio life, with the diversity of a 2.5 million person metropolitan area, and to discover and celebrate signs of God’s presence and activity in the interaction of people and landscape.
Vision: Camp Asbury completed a two-year consultation process with Kaleidoscope Inc. in 2001, producing a Strategic Plan for Site Development at Camp Asbury. This vision develops a possible long-range site plan, identifies resources and suggests management steps to support the year-round program ministry of Camp Asbury. Camp Asbury’s strategic plan is updated at regular intervals by the Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries and Camp Asbury staff.
Programs: In the summer Camp Asbury offers six-weeks of outdoor programming for children and youth: day camp for grades 1-6; short-term residence camps for grades 1-4, week-long residence camps for grades 1-12. All events are co-educational and emphasize small group living with an emphasis on Christian faith development. A few programmed family events are held during the summer season.
During the school-year Camp Asbury hosts weekday and weekend retreats and events for religious congregations, schools, community organizations and agencies. The camp provides limited program assistance for retreat and outdoor education groups. In the school year Camp Asbury serves approximately 5,000 guests.
Staffing: Year-round staff includes: Director, Assistant Director, Food Service Manager, Site Manager, part-time Office Manager, Program Specialist, part-time food service and housekeeping personnel. The seasonal summer staff consists of an additional 25 employees.
Guest Facilities: Three year-round retreat centers, each with a central meeting room, can accommodate a total capacity of 130 guests. Asbury Lodge provides a dining hall staffed by a year-round food service and a separate large group meeting space in its lower level.
Activities at Camp Asbury include: Archery, Biking, Camping, Canoeing, Wagon Rides, Hiking, High and Low Ropes Challenge Courses, Giant Swing, Outdoor Climbing Wall, Bouldering Wall, Art, Music, Disc Golf, Gaga Ball, Volley Ball, Nature Exploration, Spiritual Formation, Swimming, Fishing, Worship, Winter Recreation, Mudslide, Star-gazing. (These activities are dependent on pre-arrangement of appropriate staff and weather dependent).
Program Areas: Approximately six miles of marked trail provide opportunities for hiking on the property. Several small secluded waterfalls are popular destinations. A 2 ½ mile section of the Buckeye Trail, maintained by the Buckeye Trail Association, is located on Camp Asbury property. A low and high ropes challenge course with outdoor climbing tower and a two person giant swing helps develop teamwork and stretch personal limits. A four-acre pond with beach provides a small waterfront for aquatic activities. Several adventure camp sites on the property offer primitive small group camping.
Setting: Camp Asbury consists of 450 acres of forest, fields, and wetlands nestled in the headwaters of Eagle Creek Valley of northern Portage County. The camp is home to a diversity of northeast Ohio’s plants and animals. 80 acres of Asbury wetland were permanently protected in 2004 by a USDA Wetland Reserve Program conservation easement. Camp Asbury has been a certified tree farm since 1981 managed with a Forest Stewardship Plan revised every five years with the assistance of an Ohio DNR service forester. Camp Asbury’s Sugar Maple trees are annually tapped by neighboring farmers. Graded pure Ohio Maple syrup is available at the camp store.
Other Facilities: Eleven unheated cabins, two picnic pavilions, maintenance workshop and equipment workshop, Site Manager’s residence (basement houses the camp office), Director’s residence, a rustic site with two Adirondack shelters. Camp Asbury maintains two Ohio EPA approved drinking water systems and an EPA approved waste water treatment plant
Finances: Budget size is approximately $ 540,000. One-quarter of the budget is supported by contributions from the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Nearby Outdoor Recreation: The Headwaters Trail a Portage County Park District seven-mile hike and bike trail connecting Garrettsville and Mantua runs adjacent to Camp Asbury’s southern property boundary. The upper Cuyahoga River, a state scenic river, is easily accessible for canoe trips. Camp Hi—three miles from Camp Asbury– provides canoe and kayak livery services on the upper Cuyahoga River.