Thankful-for-nature

Stings n' Storms

How can we change and control our attitude when stings and storms hit?

By Dusty Davis

“Owww, I’m hit!"

“Michael and John are hit… keep moving, NOW!”

I barked orders, like repeating the lines of a Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson movie. “Yellow jackets, run!”

Campers climbing at camp.

Our camp climbing crew of seven fled up the rooty path. We regrouped on a slab of granite around the corner and out of the strike zone from our flying enemies. Breathing hard and pumped with adrenaline we did a casualty count… only two boys, two stings, non-allergic and we can save that valuable epi-pen for another day.

Pisgah National Forest was especially humid on this mid-July day and the morale of our normally aspiring climbers began to weaken.

“I got stung—come on man—you carry the rope”

“Can we just go extreme wading and then get Dolly’s?”

“Chicken wraps for lunch…again?”

By three o’clock a shroud of clouds rolled across the top of the Parkway eclipsing Looking Glass and our climbing plans. Classic pre-storm gusts, temperature drop and the smell of rain had us thrashing through our packs for rain jackets.

Our soaked and disheveled army trudged back to the trail head and to the big white van. We passed out some morale-boosting Teddy Grahams, put on a bluegrass playlist and buckled up to head back to the “The Creek.” Before the boys’ heads began to bobble with sleep, we began a trip debrief. The standard, “what did you like or not like,” questions soon gave way to a crucial code-cracking discussion.

Camp climber looking out over Pisgah National Forest.

“How can we change and control our attitude when stings and storms hit?” I asked.

A smallish voice from the back of the van piped up. “Maybe we should just get better cell service and a weather radar app that warns us before we get soaked.”

“Fair enough,” I said, “but don’t you guys think its part of the adventure to get caught in a mountain storm and taste fresh rain?” My gray-haired wisdom knew that the struggle made the sunshine sweeter.

“John, I noticed you didn’t make a big deal about getting stung—are you in anaphylactic shock or did it not hurt that much?”

“Nah, it stung bad, but really, I’m just thankful it was on my leg and I didn’t get more stings—like on my face,” he said with a laugh.

Thomas chimed in, “You sound like your gunning for the Positive Attitude Award.”

Trying not to sound preachy I added, “I’m liking that John. Seriously, you tapped into the gratitude attitude and shifted your focus to what you can be thankful for—that’s MEGA.”

It grew quiet in the van as bodies slumped and the boys succumbed to the cumulative exhaustion from our three-day excursion.

The van lumbered up Bob’s Creek Road and I pulled over to put in the gate code. A voice from the back said, “You know why I’m thankful?”

I was thinking, “Great! They are really getting this live with Gratitude Attitude.”

Then the voice from the back said, “I’m thankful because, I call first shower!”

Campers enjoying the blue ridge mountain view.

Have a “MEGA” Thanksgiving from all of us at Falling Creek Camp. We are thankful to God for each one of you who make up our huge camp family. Our prayer is that this Thanksgiving would be a time that you can shift focus and be filled with gratitude even in the midst of the Stings n’ Storms of Life.

We invite you to leave a comment and share a story or something you are grateful for!

Every breath is a gift from God. —Acts 17:25

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A “Good” One Gets Away

Jim “Goody” Goodrum
(Camper 1980-87, CIT 1988-89, Staff 1990-2002, 2008-17)
After being a camper at Falling Creek for eight years, Goody became a CIT, then a cabin counselor and the head of waterfront activity in the early 90s. He served as associate program director for 10 years, and finished out his last 10 years at FCC as the staffing director, in his words: “Recruiting and retaining the best camp staff in the world!”

Everyone loves Goody and he has consistently served as the lead to hiring some of the best camp staff in the country!

Goody has recently become the Director of After-School Programs and Summer Activity Programs for the middle and upper schools at the Carolina Day School in Asheville, North Carolina. He will oversee all after school activities, and all summer and academic programs for the middle and upper schools, and he is working with the CFO to come up with creative ways to generate non-tuition based revenue for the school.

Goody has been an important part of the success of Falling Creek, wearing many hats over the years. These are big shoes to fill and we wish Goody and his family the very best!

Goody (left) enjoying the funny verdict being handed down by the judge in a Kangaroo Court evening program in the mid-1980'sGoody (left) enjoying the funny verdict being handed down by the judge in a Kangaroo Court evening program in the mid-1980's

Goody with Hayden Vick (left) and Will Young at the UNC- Chapel Hill Job Opportunities event this past springGoody with Hayden Vick (left) and Will Young at the UNC- Chapel Hill Job Opportunities event this past spring
Goody as a Catawba Tribe cabin counselor with Neal Clark in 1990.Goody as a Catawba Tribe cabin counselor with Neal Clark in 1990.
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Announcing the Sale of Mountain Bikes and Kayaks/Gear

We are making room to purchase the latest and greatest new gear for the 2018 summer

Mountain Bikes
2017 – Specialized Pitch Comp 650B $535
Sizes available – XS, S, M, & L

Jackson Kayaks
2013 -All-star $400
2013 – Superstar $400
2016 – Fun $500
2016 – Zen (sm) $500
2017 – AntiX (m) $600

Kayak Gear
Paddles – 2015-2016 Accent – Rouge – straight shaft $120
Spray Skirts – 2015-2017 – (IR)Immersion Research Shockwave $50 – $70
(price varies due to wear)
Helmets – Shred Ready standard full cut $40

  • Kayaks and equipment are available now and mountain bikes are available after the August 18-20, 2017 Father/Son weekend.
  • Prices do not include shipping
  • To avoid shipping costs, you can schedule a time with Yates to pick it up at camp.
  • Each underlined area above is a hyperlink to provide more information on that item.
  • E-mail to let us know what you are interested in purchasing.
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Survey Says: What Families are Saying about Falling Creek

What was the greatest value your son gained at camp?

Camper riding mountain biking trails at Falling Creek Camp.
  • “Independence. Achievement. Self-confidence. Social skills.”
  • “Over the years our son has become very invested in the FCC Code. In fact, he based his boarding school admissions essay on the code.”
  • “Spiritual nourishment”
  • “Learning to sail which he had never done before – camp is always a great time to learn new things that we have less access to at home.”
  • “I appreciate the emphasis on moral compass.”
  • “Being a part of a brotherhood of boys/young men who all wanted the same experience for each other and accomplished that in many ways.”
  • “Being more helpful to others – we hear a lot about Servant’s Heart”
  • “A willingness to try things outside of his comfort zone.”
Campers at Falling Creek Camp learning to farm in raised beds.
  • “This year, it was the break from anxiety over high school and social media while returning to nature.”
  • “The freedom to be unplugged, outdoors and just have silly boy fun with new friends.”
  • “He said this year it really “clicked” for him…our role in this world in relationship to God and those around us.”
  • “Confidence in trying new activities. Since we live in an apartment building in a large city (Cairo, Egypt), it was so good for him to experience the great outdoors with other boys.”
  • “Maturity, increased confidence”
  • “Warrior Spirit”
  • “The confidence to be away from home and grow in an all-boys camp.”
  • “Sense of freedom, independence—away from parents, technology and heat.”
  • “Setting goals and working diligently to meet them.”
  • “Learned confidence and perseverance”
  • “Learned the value of honesty in sporting events.”
Climbing Wall tower at Falling Creek Camp.
  • “Time away from electronics, school friends, time pressures of regular life”
  • “Independence and the opportunity to make their own choices”
  • “Our son worked very hard to get his warrior level in archery and soccer. He was determined, deliberate and conscientious!”
  • “Belief in himself”
  • “Only child gets to be around other boys in a close environment for a month.”
  • “Met good friends, nice boys, learned to be more independent, developed more leadership skills.”
  • “We love to see him grow in independence. His most meaningful value gained was the FCC code.”
  • “Independence, leadership and positive attitude”
  • “Confidence doing the ironman”
Camper group smiling at Falling Creek Camp.
  • “Independence, activities, meeting new friends and mentors”
  • “Helpfulness”
  • “He loved all he learned on his backpacking trips and practicing the respect of nature”
  • “Working hard to achieve goals, ie: getting his yack-let.”
  • “Away from parents, screens and everyday life in a beautiful place with adventures and challenges”
  • “It was the perfect environment for our son to learn how to get along with others. We are happy that he speaks so highly of Falling Creek each and every day. You do a wonderful job hiring the best counselors and staff members. I feel that Falling Creek is a wonderful family to be part of.”
  • “Independence and respect”
  • “Independence-being out of his brother’s shadow. Confidence and peer interaction”
  • “A willingness to try things outside of his comfort zone”
  • “Leadership, energy, self awareness, group work”
  • “Learning to persist in the face of challenges”

If you could change or add one thing to improve your son’s experience at Falling Creek, what would it be?

Campers on our Roller Coaster at Falling Creek Camp. It goes into the lake!
  • “A little more guidance for the boys when choosing activities to encourage them to try more new things vs. repeating.”
  • “More opportunities for blacksmithing and woodworking.”
  • “I do not know if there is anything specific. My boys both loved the new camp games especially game they are calling “Call of Duty”. Ryan also really loved FARM. So what I take from this, is that they love all of the traditional items but are up for a few new surprises.”
  • “Make it longer!!! :-)”
  • “Our son would love to see more Fly Fishing excursions being offered.”
  • “He had an awesome time at camp and only expressed that it was over too quick.”
  • “A bit more information prior to camp on the waypoint system”
  • “More opportunities to be a leader for younger campers.”
  • “More days – signing up for Main Camp next year!”
  • “Encourage him to take more risk with his class schedule. Go on more overnights”
  • “Longer session!”
  • “Not a thing”
  • “A bit more encouragement to try new things.”

What’s your son’s favorite thing about camp?

Campers playing Lacrosse at Falling Creek Camp.
  • “Returning! He loves everything outdoors.”
  • “Camaraderie of boys-wonderful friendships made.”
  • “Keeper of the Flame experience, being with friends”
  • “Being in the woods”
  • “Learning to play the Ukulele.”
  • “Great counselors, rock climbing trips”
  • “He liked the three-day hike even though it was hard. He also said that everyone in his cabin was nice. :-)”
  • “I think he likes handling things himself the most. There is a safety net, but not his parents”
  • “He loved many different things but if I had to pick one I think it would be his cabin counselors and CIT. He loved blacksmithing.”
  • “Camp is like a second family. He has a blast.”

What’s your son’s least favorite thing about camp?

Mom and Dad: Let your son help pack his trunk and prepare for camp. Talking with him about going to camp and how he feels is a helpful way to make sure he will have a successful time at camp.
  • “He says the swim classification!”
  • “4 weeks wasn’t enough”
  • “Leaving on closing day”
  • “Getting stung by a yellow jacket! That is literally the only thing he did not like.”
  • “Not having enough time to do all the activities”
  • “Nothing – he loves every minute of it!”

Would you recommend Falling Creek to friends with camp-age boys?

100% of families who completed a survey said yes!

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