2016 Expeditions

Whether climbing the edge of a canyon, pedaling down 7,000 feet of open forest, trekking through some of the most gorgeous lands on this earth, or fighting the rapids in the jungle, Falling Creek has an expedition calling out to your adventurer! Expeditions are led by experienced FCC staff members and are focused on helping campers develop character and build leadership skills. Under the guidance of outstanding role models, participants learn strong outdoor living skills as they share in responsibilities on the rocks, rivers, and trails.

Falling Creek HUCK Ecuador

HUCK Ecuador is a nine day kayaking expedition and will be based out of the Rio Quijos Eco Lodge. The lodge will provide a great place to sleep, warm showers, and outstanding food. During the day the group will explore two very different river systems. Some days, they will paddle large volume rivers that will provide big water fun! Other days, they will paddle tight and technical creeks; these days will provide outstanding venues to further the boys’ boat control.

This trip will be full of wonderful paddling memories; however they will also have many other highlights including a visit to the Equator and “mitad del mundo” or the middle of the earth. On the way to the lodge, the boys will cross the Andes which involves driving over a 14,000 foot pass! While descending from the pass, the landscape will change from high elevation cloud forest to the heart of the Amazon Jungle headwaters. AMAZING!

Falling Creek HUCK Ottawa

HUCK Ottawa is an 8-day expedition focusing on various aspects of whitewater kayaking (river running and playboating). Utilizing the scenic Ottawa River, participants will improve their paddling skills while enjoying the beauty of Ontario, Canada. The Ottawa was the home of the 2015 Kayak Freestyle World Championships. This location was chosen because of the wonderful playboating, outstanding accessibility, and wonderful community of kayakers in the area. A highlight for the campers will be paddling the main channel for the first time as it provides the first taste of the big water that the Ottawa is famous for!

CRANK Park City is an eight day mountain biking trip to the only IMBA, or International Mountain Biking Association, Gold Level ride center in the world. What makes an area a gold level ride center? Trails… lots and lots of trails. These trails range from first time on the bike to the highest level of professional riding – all in one place. From the small main street of Park City, we will have over 400 miles of trails that we can access without the need of a car.

Falling Creek CRANK Utah

A highlight of this trip will be the Wasatch Crest Trail which goes from the top of Park City Mountain Resort all the way to Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Crest Trail will have the boys riding at almost 11,000 feet and they will have amazing views from the ridge line in every direction. However, you might not hear about the views as the group will descend 7,000 feet off of the ridge to the valley floor! Amazing!

Falling Creek Summit Utah

SUMMIT Utah is an eight day rock climbing program that will take place in the amazing Wasatch Mountain range just outside of Salt Lake City. The Wasatch Range is made up of five major canyons, and each of the canyons provides a world class area; when combined the amount of climbing is mind blowing.
During SUMMIT the boys will climb a wide range of rock types and route lengths. The campsite will sit at just below 11,000 feet near the head of Little Cottonwood Canyon, where they will enjoy wonderful sunsets, outstanding wildflowers, and a jumping off point for the rest-day activity which will be a hike/scramble to the top of Mt. Superior. From the top of Superior the group will be awarded with amazing views of both sides of the Wasatch!
Other than climbing and snow skiing, Little Cottonwood Canyon is also famous for the Mountain Goats which live high on the granite walls. It is one of the major peaks in the Salt Lake City skyline.

BLAZE Yosemite is a nine day backpacking trip to one of the crowd jewels of the American National Park system, Yosemite National Park. During BLAZE the campers will hike in and around 60 miles in famed Yosemite Wilderness. BLAZE will start at a far-removed trail head away from the hustle and bustle of the valley floor way below.

Falling Creek BLAZE Yosemite

As the campers hike they will encounter massive cliffs, cross deep gorges, and enjoy the wonder that is the high sierra! The trip will hike along the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne and then turn south to camp near the famous Merced Lake. From there they will hike up the valley passing near the base of half dome. The trip will conclude with a hike up the valley to enjoy the view of EL Capitan, which Ansel Adams made famous.

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Enrollment 2016!

It is that time of the year again! Woohoo! Online registration for the 2016 Summer begins Monday, August 24th at 9:00 EST. If you are new to Falling Creek and would like more information please call the camp office at 828-692-0262. With long waiting lists certain, we encourage interested families to review our session options and submit an application as soon as possible.

How to get into camp?!
Any 2015 returning campers are guaranteed a spot in the same session as long as the camper meets the grade requirements and the application and deposit are received before September 15.

Any 2015 returning campers who wish to change sessions will receive second priority and will be enrolled on a first come – first served basis as space allows beginning on September 16.

Applications from campers previously on our wait list, sons and nephews of Falling Creek alumni, brothers of current campers, and former campers received by September 15th will have third priority and will be enrolled as space allows.

New camper applications received before September 15th will be held in the order received. Beginning on September 16th, new campers will be informed of their enrollment status and/or position on the wait list. Your deposit is fully refundable at any time if you decide to pull-off the wait list.

Father/Son session applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis until the session fills. Then applications are placed on a wait list.

A $1,000 deposit is required to complete your application process. Payment via eCheck or Credit Card is accepted during the application process. Checks also may be sent to camp, however the application will not be considered complete until we receive your deposit. Note that there is a Credit Card Convenience Surcharge added to all payments made by credit card.

For up to date session availability, please contact our camp office. We anticipate cancellations each year, so we will be able to enroll some boys from our waiting lists. Since waiting list boys receive second priority enrollment the following year, we advise you to submit an application and remain on our waiting list even if chances seem slim.

Cancellation Policy
If a cancellation of an enrolled camper is necessary for a camp session or expedition, payments, less a $200 cancellation fee, are refundable if written notice is received prior to December 1. The cancellation fee is 20% of the tuition for a cancellation received between December 1 and April 1. No refund will be made for cancellations after April 1.

For Father/Son Weekend cancellations more than 30-days before your weekend will be assessed a 20% cancellation fee. Father/Son cancellations less than 30-days before your weekend are non-refundable.

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Send A Line That Their Lines Don't Cross Us

A Call To Action!

Some of you may know that Duke Energy is planning to build [web link] a new 230kV transmission line [web link showing types of towers] from Campobello, South Carolina to the site of a new natural gas plant in Asheville that will aid in the replacement of the current coal plant. The potential routes for the line were recently released. Two of those line segments pass through a part of camp. Those segments are named 8B, 10A, and 4.

Duke Energy Proposed New 230kV Transmission Line Across Falling Creek Camp. Note: The yellow line on the map represents the proposed location of the transmission line construction.  It illustrates a 1,000 foot wide area that Duke Energy used to contact all property owners within this area. The final right-of-way condemnation will be 150 feet wide in the center of this yellow line. Duke Energy Proposed New 230kV Transmission Line Across Falling Creek Camp. Note: The yellow line on the map represents the proposed location of the transmission line construction. It illustrates a 1,000 foot wide area that Duke Energy used to contact all property owners within this area. The final right-of-way condemnation will be 150 feet wide in the center of this yellow line.

The lines are an answer to a problem of growth which gives rise to its own specific family of issues, one of which is that of protection for the resources we share on this increasingly crowded shelf. And of those precious resources, one is particularly difficult to protect as it happens to be the one resource missing from every map and geological survey: PLACE. Rather, what most could attest to having felt at some point as ‘a sense of place.’ For some, it’s frustratingly abstract: Hard to relate, hard to describe, and tragically most often evinced only when it is destroyed. It is the impression left by any number of elements around us; sounds, clouds, smells, trees, the light, a shared experience, the way a ridge writes its own particular horizon from any given view—feelings that would be forever absented by the proposed misplacements of infrastructure despite serving to comprise the fundamental essence of this region’s allure: places that leave an impression on us. Putting those line segments in the wrong location would cut deeply into the heart and bone of our state and yet still such value is ignored simply because we have no way to measure the impact that a place has on a human. We seem able only to read the inverse.

You can’t see Bob’s Creek Road from Asheville, nor can you see Green River Road or Cabin Creek. They could be overlooked as quaint country roads, or scenic fodder for the fronts of postcards. But those roads demark some very special places, places that by their years seem to have been welcomed into the very landscape that bears them. Knowing that the beauty and permanence of these places has been safeguarded for those who love them and those who have yet to know them is what sets this region apart.

I doubt Duke could be convinced not to build a line at all, but if this region is destined to grow, then please tell Duke it needs to be done right. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a pernicious ideal. Our opinion is they should build the lines near existing infrastructure or in existing right-of-ways.

Duke is taking comments until August 14th. Below is the link where you can write to them, however we ask that you please be constructive, just like we model here using the FCC Code [web link]:

Interactive map [web link]:

1. Click the blue button at the top center of the map labeled “Submit a Comment”
2. Register (pick a user name and password, etc)
3. Search for Falling Creek by address (Type in 816 Falling Creek Camp Rd., Zirconia, NC 28790)
4. Leave a comment about segments 8b, 10, and 4.

Many thanks for taking the time to offer your comments.

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Stout Paddling At FCC

Hey mates, Jez here and I wanted to let you guys know about some of the adventures we get up to here at Falling Creek. As the ‘Director of Vibe’, I head up the paddling program here at camp and, let me tell you, it is just a huge ball of energy right now as camp has swung right into top gear.


We start things off with boys in canoes and they start off with the basics of learning how to paddle and maneuver their craft. Then if they pass the buoy course we take them onto our local class 1 river called the Lower Green, where they learn the basics. Next off, they are invited to a Tuckaseegee/Nantahala 2-day river trip which are class 2-3 rivers near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here they continue their learning of boat control, catching eddies and peel outs on the river.

If the tandem canoe team successfully catches truck stop eddy, which is just above the Nantahala Falls, and then runs the Falls clean, then the two are given their green level ‘Yacklet’, a wristband that encapsulates their hard work and allows them to move into kayaks and one person crafts. These young men are then encouraged to move into the paddling progression in a kayak, C1 or OC1 and they again start from the lower green onwards, while being taught how to roll and control their craft.

As the boys to return to FCC year after year, their paddling ability increases, and I am astounded at how far some of these guys have gotten. When I first started at camp, our highest river trip was the Ocoee River. Now this is just another river we do on week 2 of our program. These young men are paddling outside of camp more and more in attempts to paddle more difficult rivers while attending camp.

Some of our more advanced boaters have had the opportunity in the past to head up to West Virginia to tackle bigger water such as the New River Gorge and the Gauley, two spectacular rivers that have a huge variety of features. Our more advanced and intermediate boaters who successfully complete the Pigeon River, and who show great examples of the Falling Creek Code are often given an invite to our Expedition Programs. Maturity and great leadership skills are assets that we look for rather than just paddling ability.

Here is where things get really exciting. Our Expedition Programs are the upper echelon of what we do. After 4- week main camp is over we invite a select group of paddlers to our HUCK Expedition Programs, which have in the past traveled to the Ottawa River in Canada, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the Southeast, Costa Rica, and last year was by far one of the most amazing river trips to the Canadian Wilderness where we flew in on float planes to the Magpie River and paddled down this remote wilderness for 8 days. Truly one of those life changing moments. I only wish I was able to have been a part of this kind of experience when I was their age.

So there really is so much to our program, so many stories that I wish I could share with you all, just not enough time to mention all of them. Let me say this, the paddling program here at FCC is second to none. Boys here have a chance to be part of something truly special, and watching all of these young men learn how to paddle, and gain outdoor leadership skills at camp, and to see them progress to paddling these bigger expedition trips is just so rewarding.

Cheers for reading and I hope to see you at opening or closing day at Falling Creek Camp.

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In the Heart of the Flame

It is quite an amazing sight; three hundred and twelve boys, ages ranging from 8-17 sitting in utter silence. The sounds of a large crackling fire, and the sounds of a larger mountain range of woods are clearly audible. Maybe this is a common occurrence, after all there are dozens of summer camps scattered along these mountains, but to me, first as a camper, and now a counselor, this place is special.


Every Sunday the entirety of camp gathers in this particular spot. Skits are performed and songs are sung, though applause never follows a performance. Perhaps the crowd may sing along, or make a noise that ties into a skit, but clapping is discouraged. I remember thinking this was strange when I was younger, after all when a group of people deliver a stage worthy show, it feels only natural to clap.
But when friends and peers deliver a worthy show, and then walk off to the sounds of crickets, it’s more then just entertaining, it’s powerful.

There are lessons, or themes if you will, tied into every campfire. Last week’s overriding theme was stewardship, it focused on the importance of maintaining the environment in which we live, from the environment here at camp, to the environment that surrounds us in our day to day life. The skits will back up whatever particular theme each campfire involves. The skits are usually, if not always, absolutely hilarious, but behind the jokes the message is clearly communicated. The songs will similarly relate to the theme, for example say the theme is friendship, we might sing the white stripes song “Lets be Friends”.


The music at camp is sung and played by a small group of camp counselors, who so always happen to be extremely talented. The band usually consists of an ever changing eight- to ten people, who stand in front of the massive semi-circle of benches, and consistently sing with a visible passion; it is clear that ever member of the band shares a love for campfire, and for camp in a general sense. And while some members come and go, some are regulars, and are certainly worth a mentioning; Mike Nuckles is one of these regulars. He’s been here for seven years, and is more or less famous in camp as a tennis counselor, cleaning guru, and simply overall good guy. He’s been here since my first year as a camper seven years ago. Now, it’s a little weird finding myself asking him for advice on being a counselor myself. Before camp began, I asked him what his biggest piece of advice would be. He told me that as a counselor, it can’t be about you, it’s about the kids, it’s about making their experience special, by really having your heart in it. Every time I’m sitting there in that semi-circle watching knuckles sing with the band, I can see, and hear, exactly what he means.

While I’m only going to take the time to mention one other campfire musician, all that perform are equally important. But regardless, I’d also like to mention a man named Nathan Newquest: A single father of two charming young boys, a fourteen year veteran to Falling Creek, and a host to numerous camp positions in the past. As a counselor, it’s become apparent to me that Nathan is simply part of the glue that holds this place together. He’s held an array of vital, hectic positions in his time here, yet despite this he can usually, if not always be found in front of the musicians with a guitar in his hand, and smile on his face. That smile is probably the brightest most contagious smile I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, I don’t think camp would be quite the same without it.


So far, the specific people I’ve mentioned are veterans at camp, but one of the great things about the ever-changing staff is that new, wonderful personalities are constantly surfacing in our community. One of these recently surfaced, wonderful personalities is that of Sam Downy. He’s an Acting Major attending NYU and has taken on the monumental task of composing campfire skits this year. For the most part, my favorite skits are the classics, the skits saved and repeated every year; This year my inclinations haven’t been as one sided, Sam has written a few truly amazing skits, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some next year. Additionally, he has taken on the role of narrator in many cases, and when the booming low voice of this large young man introduces a story, everyone knows it’s truly worth listening too.

All of these different aspects of campfire, all of the different views of people described above, are from my own perspective. I would not dare to speak for everybody who comes to this place every summer. Every single person sees this magical thing that we call campfire from a different light, and from a different spot in the semi circle. But I’d be willing to speak for everybody in saying that this amazing thing is in some way special, different from their normal busy routine. At its simplest level, campfire is chance for all involved to sit with friends, watch some people do some silly things, and listen to the music of the woods, and the people who live there.

- Kevin Slafsky

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