top of page


Our mission statement: Cedar Crest Camp, a United Methodist Camp and Retreat Ministry, is committed to being a place where children, youth, and adults discover and connect to God’s call to transform the world.


Our vision: To use our gifts of good land and hard work to create opportunities of formation and transformation for our campers, guests, and their communities.


Summer Camp, Retreats, and Environmental Education are how we connect to our neighbors to share these gifts. We are open to churches and members of the Mid South community. ALL persons are welcome here.  

Our Philosophy

Cedar Crest strives to be a partner with parents, churches, and the Middle Tennessee community in providing traditional camp programming for children and youth.  By learning to live, play, and work together with others at camp, campers can learn to appreciate, understand and value others as special and unique individuals. Our programming helps to teach campers the importance of community, empathy with a loving adult mentor.


Cedar Crest celebrates the rights and dignity of all campers and staff, including but not limited to individuals with varying abilities, cultures,ethnicities and race. Cedar Crest is inclusive to all campers and staff are trained to set the highest examples of inclusion and love for campers.


In the late 1950s, the Legacy Tennessee Conference of the United Methodist Church answered a call to create a camp for the greater Nashville area. Working with local landowners and making small purchases, over 500 acres came together to make Cedar Crest a camp and retreat center in 1959. Our roots in camping are in rustic small group camping; our first summer camp experiences were done in covered wagons. These important roots still drive our mission to create intentional experiences done in “family groups.” 


In the early 1970s, two lodges- Cecil Lodge and Nickell Lodge- were created to give four season retreat opportunities for Middle Tennessee communities. The late 1970s saw the creation of “Birdland” and “Treeland,” two cabin communities in the main camp area of Cedar Crest, as summer camp moved away from covered wagons.  These cabins were rustic, wood frame cabins and became the base of the summer camp experience well into the early 2000s.


In 2014, Cedar Crest officially transitioned from the rustic cabins, using its lodges as the home base of summer camp operations. In 2015, Cedar Crest became an accredited camp by the American Camp Association, one of only a few overnight camps in Middle Tennessee to hold that distinction. In 2016, a new cabin building, Songbird, was constructed to accommodate the growth of summer campership. In addition, a high ropes course and an outpost camp were created. In 2018, an additional cabin building, Owl, was built to further accommodate summer camp growth. These cabins are a testament to the leadership of Bishop Bill McAlilly, Legacy Tennessee Conference Connectional Ministries, and the Legacy Tennessee Conference Committee on Finance and Audit who secured funding to allow the growth of Cedar Crest. During this time, Eagle’s Nest- a former rustic cabin- was remodeled to become a sabbath cabin for those in ministry; it was renamed Hinton Eagle’s Nest in honor of Rev. Dickie and Thelma Hinton, longtime leaders of camping ministry in the Tennessee Conference. In 2019, Cedar Crest launched an Environmental Education program to offer learners in the Mid South hands-on education that can supplement their classroom experience.


Recent additions such as the camp garden, the perimeter trail, and outdoor classrooms for Environmental Education situate Cedar Crest to continue its growth and importance in the 2020s.

Cedar Crest serves predominantly Middle Tennessee Families.  From across the economic and racial/ethnic spectrum we partner with many different kinds of people and children, and seek to be diverse in our representation and hospitality.  During our summer camps offered, we offer a United Methodist centered church camp experience that is open to everyone of all faith and background.  



Cedar Crest is located just off of Hwy 7 South in Lyles, Tennessee. Located in Hickman County, Cedar Crest is just 10 miles from Dickson, 30 miles from Franklin, and 45 miles from Clarksville, Nashville, and Murfreesboro. Less than an hour’s drive from most places in Middle Tennessee, Cedar Crest is situated on 500 acres of fields and forest, a lake and a creek. Looking to visit?  You can use our address:

Cedar Crest Camp Office,

7900 Cedar Crest Camp Road, Lyles TN 37098

Partner with us

Your partnership will help us as we continue to meet our mission. If you are interested in donating or partnering with us, please sign up below.  

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page