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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center flood relief update

    July 26, 2021 / By Shannon Hodson / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    On July 12 in wee hours of the night, Casowasco Camp & Retreat Center was devastated by heavy rain and flooding. As UNY Communications reported later that day, four parts of the road were completely washed away; seven to 10 culverts were impacted or washed away; several vehicles were flooded; boats were damaged; and the swimming area shoreline eroded away. The Lakeview Chapel, Galilee Lodge, Bethany Lodge, The Emmaus Commons, and the office building were all flooded with 1-4 inches of water.

    The great blessings are that despite this damaging flood, camp has continued without missing a beat, several ERT members have been working tirelessly on the clean out that needed to take place on the immediate end, and dozens of donations have come in to help with the many repairs needed.

    Mike Block, UNY Director of Missional Engagement said, “Everything essential is back in working order, but a lot more work needs to be done when the long-term recovery team comes in. Casowasco’s devastation was intense!”

    As is the case with most properties, insurance carriers (both commercial and personal) do not cover any damage that is caused by a flood. The Conference trustees were able to negotiate a $5,000 limit when coverage moved to Brotherhood Mutual Insurance in 2020.

    Trustee Jack Keating said, “The recent water damages at Casowasco Camp and Retreat Center were responded to by our insurance carrier, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.  After examining the loss suffered, it is apparent that the proximate cause of loss is that the ‘holding pond’ near the top of the hill overflowed and inundated the property causing a flood. The policy defines flood as ‘the overland flow of a lake, river, stream, ditch, pond, etc.’  As a result of these findings, our policy responded by paying its internal limit for flood coverage of $5,000 per loss.”   

    Because the insurance payment will only minimally help with the needed repairs, donations are still needed for the damage relief. The repairs needed at Casowasco will cost many thousands of dollars.

    Jack Keating said, “The Trustees will continue to try to secure higher coverage limits and more coverage extensions but must do so in a cost-effective manner for all of our Conference properties and local churches.”  

    If you would like to help financially support the Casowasco disaster relief efforts, you can do so by clicking here.  Please be sure to type “Casowasco relief” in the note field. You can also send a check to the Upper New York Conference, 7481 Henry Clay Blvd., Liverpool, NY 13088. Be sure to write “Casowasco relief” in the memo line.”

    Jack Keating said, “Our Annual Conference is very thankful for the efforts of our camp staff and ERT volunteers who responded so quickly to help our ministry continue and address the cleanup needs at the camp.  We have been richly blessed by so many wonderful people who hold our camps properties near to their hearts!  And we look forward to the rest of this wonderful season of camping ministry here in the Upper New York Annual Conference.   


    With more than 134,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 85 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."