about us

Camp Overview

The way the world could be.

Since 1923.

The mission of Camp McDowell is to show the way the world could be through worship, learning, rest, and play in the beauty of God's Backyard.

The McDowell Camp and Conference Center is a ministry of the Episcopal Churches in the Diocese of Alabama and is open to all. With over 1,140 acres and 834 beds, McDowell is one of the largest Episcopal Camp and Conference Centers in the U.S. Relocated in 1947, McDowell borders the edge of the Bankhead National Forest in Winston County, Alabama, and consists of breathtaking canyons, waterfalls, forests, and is known as the Beautiful Queen of Clear Creek. Miles of hiking trails, glistening streams, comfortable lodging, and large meeting areas makes us an ideal venue for groups both small and large.

Our community retains a wonderful culture of welcoming acceptance and has established a reputation for being an outstanding destination built upon simple elegance and attention to service and enjoyment. McDowell is a warm and welcoming host for retreats, conference groups, weddings, family gatherings, and other special events. Events at Camp McDowell are memorable, uncomplicated, and as genuine as the historic property itself.

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Guests who visit McDowell become part of a friendly and inclusive community that strives to live the way the world could be. Whether visitors come for a day or stay overnight in one of our 150 hotel-style rooms, or reside in one of our 24 cabins, they will notice the staff is servant-minded and easy-going. Guests will experience our passion for being excellent stewards of God's creation through our use of renewable energy including solar and geothermal, as well as a rigorous recycling program. We invite you to visit our Creation Care section of this site to see all the environmentally focused initiatives we have going on.

McDowell is open all year and employs approximately 75 - 100 employees made up of year-round and seasonal staff. Around 30 - 55 staff members reside on campus, depending on the time of year and the number of seasonal team members. Our seasonal staff typically come from all over the United States and receive extensive training before working with youth in our various programs.

McDowell serves through six programs: Summer Camp, Special Session, the McDowell Conference Center, the Alabama Folk School, the McDowell Environmental Center, and the McDowell Farm School. The latter programs are geared towards the educational and academic communities and are in line with the Educational Curriculum of Alabama and surrounding states. McDowell also has several retreats and events throughout the year that are planned and staffed by our team members. Visit our Upcoming Events page to see opportunities to come to camp! Scheduled in between our programs and events, we host hundreds of groups of all sizes throughout the year from across the country who choose the serene surroundings and service found at McDowell as their venue.

Visit our History of McDowell page to learn more about Wonderful Wonderful Camp McDowell.

Contact us if you are interested in coming to visit or want to learn more about hosting your next event at the McDowell Camp and Conference Center.