Nestled in the beautiful woodlands adjacent to the Bankhead National Forest sits Camp McDowell, a vital gathering spot for the Diocese of Alabama since 1948. Current and former campers alike will tell you that Camp McDowell fosters a supportive Christian community in which an enthusiastic staff supports personal growth and development for all ages of an abiding respect for each other and the world around them.
In 2015, Bethany Village was built at Camp McDowell as an expansion of our mission and ministries. Named for the place where Jesus’ friends lived, Bethany is also sometimes called “up the hill” or “upper camp”, whereas our Clear Creek area is known as “down the hill” or “lower camp”.
Bethany was a very ambitious and successful project fueled by the primary goal to do more of what Camp McDowell has already done well: show the way the world could be, a world God is calling us to become. With the addition of Bethany, Camp McDowell:
At Camp McDowell we show the way the world could be through worship, learning, rest, and play in the beauty of God’s Backyard. At our camps in Bethany Village, we spread the Gospel through Christian camp community, the care of creation, the gift of inclusion, and the joy of creativity and play.
Each Bethany Camp sponsored by Camp McDowell has a unique theme that nurtures spiritual, social, and creative growth specific to the age and stage of the camper in a supportive and loving community. Most programs incorporate skits, songs, art, and a healthy dose of humor to encourage learning through scripture, the traditional teachings of the church, and safe space for discussion on personal and contemporary issues with themes ranging from the environment to discipleship.
In addition to hands-on care of creation on Mark’s Farm, campers in Bethany Village may enjoy a host of fun activities, including such favorites as hiking, paddle-boats, arts & crafts, swimming in our zero-entry pool, a ropes & group action course, field games like soccer, frisbee, and capture the flag, free-time and Pasture Party (cookout) complete with face-painting and a hayride. All are welcome with love and joy so come join us!
For information on Family Farm Camp, Mother/Daughter Retreat, Our Time grief camp, Diocesan Homecoming, CREATE, Bethany’s Kids inclusion camp, Camper Buddy Program for Bethany’s Kids, or The Vine Initiative summer intern program, please contact Susanna Whitsett, Faith-Based Program Developer for Bethany Village at Camp McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.281.1903
For information on Special Session, please contact Lindsey Mullen, Special Session Executive Director at email@example.com or 205.530.0685. You may also visit the Diocesan website to learn more about Special Session atwww.dioala.org
For information on Summer Camp on Clear Creek (“down the hill”), Fall Fling, Winter Weekend, Awakenings, or Father/Son weekend, please contact Stratt Byars, Summer Camp on Clear Creek Coordinator at Camp McDowell. firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.387.1806.
For information on Christmas Conference, Rites of Spring, or the Diocesan Youth Lock-in please contact Susan Oakes, Youth Ministries Coordinator at the Diocesan Office at email@example.com or 205.715.2060 Ext 325. You may also visit the Diocesan website to learn more about these events atwww.dioala.org.