Camp McDowell

Camp McDowell

Welcoming All to God’s Backyard

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Year-Round Worship, Learning, Rest, and Play for the Church and Beyond

One of the largest Episcopal Camp and Conference Centers in the U.S., Camp McDowell is a ministry of the Episcopal Church in Alabama and is “the heart” of our diocese: a destination, resource, and opportunity for every person to find community, experience growth, and connect with God. We’re committed to the life-changing ministry that is Camp McDowell – for people of all ages, roles, and abilities – and welcome all to God’s backyard.

A Place to Experience Transformation: Why Choose Camp McDowell?

Space for Everyone

Covering over 1,100 acres, Camp McDowell is equipped with plenty of comfortable lodging, resources, and staff to host events and groups of all sorts and sizes.

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Getaways for Every Age

People in every stage of life can create unforgettable memories, grow personally and professionally, and strengthen their faith at Camp McDowell.

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The Way the World Could be

Bordering the edge of Bankhead National Forest, Camp’s breathtaking canyons, waterfalls, and forests make it the perfect place to experience God’s creation through rest and play.

More about “God’s Backyard” >>

Camp McDowell

McDowell Summer Camp 

A traditional residential summer camp that nurtures spiritual, social, and creative growth for children ages 5-17, each session features a unique program theme that encourages learning through the Holy Scripture, the teachings of the Episcopal Church, and personal and contemporary issues with themes ranging from the environment to discipleship.

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“It is a magical place where one can embrace and walk with the Holy Spirit.”

Camp McDowell

Special Session

Held every summer, this one-week camp is a unique experience designed for adults with special needs.

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“We seem to be unusually open to each other when we’re here.”

Camp McDowell
Conference & Retreat Center 

McDowell has meeting spaces that can accommodate 2 to 800 individuals, and the versatility of spaces means we can help you host the perfect meeting or event. If you can dream it, we’ve probably done it! Join the 50,000 people who visit Camp McDowell annually.

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“I love the beauty of nature and the peace it brings to groups gathering at Camp no matter the program.”

Camp McDowell
Alabama Folk School

Enriching lives and reconnecting people to music, art, and each other, the Folk School offers classes in traditional folk arts and is helping preserve Alabama’s cultural heritage.

Our workshops ››

“The Folk School setting and facilities are some of the nicest I’ve experienced at a traditional music camp, and I’ve taught at many, all over the country.”

Camp McDowell
McDowell Environmental Center

School groups participate in outdoor learning experiences that can’t be found in a classroom. Students connect on a deeper level to the environment, discover how to care for it, and are inspired to lifelong learning.

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“I love the Environmental Center and Farm School, and the invitation to schools and others who might not otherwise come to camp. That we can learn about our part in creation and how to care for it and each another.”

Camp McDowell
McDowell Farm School

Focusing on where our food comes from, our standards-based curriculum is designed for all types of learners in grades k-12. Students take part in sustainable agriculture, teamwork, and hands-on caring for our gardens and farm animals.

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Why People Love Camp McDowell
“My time at Camp McDowell serves as a time of retreat and escape from “life as usual”. It is a special place and from the time I pull off the highway onto the camp road I feel a sense of peace and tranquility. I attend church regularly but this time at Camp McDowell fills a void for me socially.”
“Of course, the location is just beautiful. The accommodations are always very clean and well-maintained. The staff never fails to be outstanding. Having a nurse on site has been a blessing for us more than once. The classes are engaging and the instructors are knowledgeable and manage the students well. My favorite part of camp is the way students are encouraged to be kind and thoughtful to one another and are also taught to take responsibility for the world around them. Through direct instruction and by example, the staff engenders a love of nature, a respect for the natural world, and a desire to treat everyone with love.”
“I love that the focus is grounded in acceptance, mindfulness, conservation, and what’s really important. My daughter says it’s a “no judgment environment”.
“I love the beauty of nature and the peace it brings to groups gathering at Camp no matter the program. I love the echo of laughter coming up the hill during summer sessions. I love folk school weekends full of music and art and creativity. I love the diversity of people who love Camp and continue to support it. I love the staff who make it all possible.”