In the late 1700s, a tradition was begun in America in which individuals eager to spread their Christian faith gathered in revival-styled services for days on end, first camping out under the stars, later in tents, and eventually in wooden cottages all surrounding an open-air sanctuary. Originally, the Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists were a part of the mix, but it was the Methodist Episcopal Church that saw camp meetings as an integral part of helping people renew their faith commitments while sharing fellowship with like-minded individuals in their region.
By 1810, Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury noted in his journal that it was his hope that at least 600 camp meetings could be held annually throughout the young United States. In 1807, the first known camp meeting in this area occurred about 30 miles northwest of Dimock, near present-day Smithboro, New York. It went on for four days and Asbury was in attendance during the last two.
By the 1870s, plans were underway to install permanent camp meeting grounds in each of the regional districts within the Methodist Episcopal Church's annual conferences. The Dimock grounds were to serve the Wyalusing District, then one of seven districts in the Methodist Episcopal Church's Wyoming Conference. The Wyalusing District was dissolved in 1879, but camp meetings continued.
Attend the Sunday evening chapel programs.
Hear inspirational preaching, musical groups, or witness religious rama.
Engage in an ecumenical spirit of friendship and fellowship around a table.
Participate in a stimulating study group to stretch and grow your faith.
Enjoy a and solitude at the end of a day at Sunset Point overlooking the valley below.
Sing around the in the camp square.
Hike the nature trails.
Picnic at the Pavilion, have potlucks or game nights in the dining hall.
Chat with others on patios and porches or over a shared meal.
Work alongside others to maintain our traditions.
O God, we lift up before you now the life and mission of the Dimock Campmeeting. As sojourners upon this sacred ground, we are grateful for the vision efforts and memory of those who have gone before. Enable us to faithfully steward these grounds and the purpose and mission for which they were created. Inspire within us a sense of community, unity amidst our diversity, and the desire to seek the common good so that the gospel of Jesus Christ may forever be heard and known through our having been together at this time and in this place. In Christ's name we pray.