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The Big Apple Joins The Constitution State

Yates made his way up to the Northeast where Kristin and Matt Edwards hosted the Falling Creek Camp movies and reunion in their beautiful Darien, CT home. Their son Hayden will be returning for his 8th summer in 2015!

Veteran FCC campers enjoy telling stories about their time at Falling CreekVeteran FCC campers enjoy telling stories about their time at Falling Creek
A number of families from New York and the Connecticut area came together for campers to reunite with camp friends while new families learned more about FCC. There were also some FCC alumni and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekend as well.A number of families from New York and the Connecticut area came together for campers to reunite with camp friends while new families learned more about FCC. There were also some FCC alumni and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekend as well.
Everyone enjoyed watching the brand new camp movie.Everyone enjoyed watching the brand new camp movie.
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4 Basic Knots That Everyone Should Know (On a Campout)

Most likely the hikers, and other adventure people of Falling Creek, all know these knots. They use them in any of their overnights, setting up tents, or securing bear bags. They are essential to camp-outs.

So, to make it easier for you, I have organized a top 4 list of knots you should know if you want to go on a camp-out of your own.

Falling Creek Knots

4. The Square Knot

The square knot is simple and perfect for tying together two lengths of rope. If you can remember the phrase: over-under, under-over, you will forever know how to tie the square knot.

Falling Creek Knots

It is two overhand knots, tied over each other… in opposite directions.
Easy to explain. Easy to mess-up.

If it doesn’t look like the picture, then you have tied the dreaded granny knot (which could take hours of picking at with your fingernails to untie if it’s been tugged on). You need only undo your second overhand knot and tie it the opposite way.

Falling Creek Knots

3. The Sheet Bend

Let’s say you want to tie a p-cord to a shoestring because those are the only two strings you got on you (common problem). Will the square knot work? You have two cords that are different sizes, shapes, and textures.

The sheet bend is exactly the knot you need in this situation. It ties similar to a square knot, but with a twist.

Falling Creek Knots
  1. Create a loop.
  2. Feed the p-cord under and through the loop
  3. wrap it around the base
  4. and instead of completing the loop through the shoe string, pull it under the p-cord, to make an ‘x’ shape

It should look similar to the square when you’re done, but 50% more awesome.

Falling Creek Knots

2. The Bowline

Just about anybody can tie a slipknot, but it will almost always frustrate you when you try to use it for any practical purpose. You can’t control how tightly it constricts and it will always constrict as tight as it can.

If you want a loop that won’t constrict at all, then you will want to use the bowline, my friend.

Falling Creek Knots
  1. It’s as simple as twisting your rope to make a hoop
  2. Sometimes you need to leave more excess rope for a larger loop
  3. Feed the end of the rope through the hoop
  4. Then wrap that end around the base of the rope above the hoop
  5. and back down the hoop

If you imagine the tip of the rope as a rabbit, popping out of its “rabbit hole” (the hoop), running around the tree (the base of the rope), and jumping back in it’s hole (the hoop again), you will never forget this knot.

It’s perfect for hanging random objects on hooks, or tying your yacht to the docks.

1. The Tautline Hitch
Falling Creek Knots

To make a Falling Creek tent you will need to know this knot.

It keeps a rope wrapped tight around a tree or a stake. It also allows you to adjust the rope tighter and tighter (as the title would suggest).

It slides only one way (whatever direction makes it taut), unlike that fiendish-slip knot which will go anywhere with the slightest provocation.

Falling Creek Knots
  1. Like the timber hitch, you’re going to wrap the rope around your base
  2. Tuck it back under the rope
  3. Make a loop
  4. Form another loop for good measure
  5. Then going under the rope, make a loop on the opposite end

Cinch this down as tight as you can before pulling on the cord to tie your tarp or stake…

Hopefully these knots will help you like they have for me.

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The Big D

Falling Creek alumni and campers reunite (l to r) Rick Broad, Charles, Bennett, Lance, Yates, Whit, and Lucas Horton. Rick and his wife Emily met at Falling Creek and their three boys are veterans at camp.  Rick also served as a Program Director at FCC in the early 90's.Falling Creek alumni and campers reunite (l to r) Rick Broad, Charles, Bennett, Lance, Yates, Whit, and Lucas Horton. Rick and his wife Emily met at Falling Creek and their three boys are veterans at camp. Rick also served as a Program Director at FCC in the early 90's.

Yates traveled north to Dallas to Dotti and Nupe Singhal’s beautiful home where they hosted the Falling Creek Camp movies and reunion. Their sons will both return to FCC this summer and they were a big help tonight for Yates in answering questions about camp.

Returning campers, boys who came to learn more about FCC, alumni, and dads who attended Father/Son Weekend pose for a group photo.Returning campers, boys who came to learn more about FCC, alumni, and dads who attended Father/Son Weekend pose for a group photo.
Ryan Tinch, a camper in the 80's and 90's from Arlington, TX, brought his son tonight to reconnect.  They attended the Father/Son Weekend this past summer.  Ryan Tinch, a camper in the 80's and 90's from Arlington, TX, brought his son tonight to reconnect. They attended the Father/Son Weekend this past summer.
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Hip Houston

Camp buddies are awesome!Camp buddies are awesome!

Yates traveled from south Florida over to Houston, Texas where Winifred and Carelton Riser hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion. Two of their boys will be attending camp this summer, following the footsteps of their dad. Carleton and Yates were actualy in the same cabin together in 1981.

There was a large group of returning campers tonight that welcomed the new families who came to learn more about FCC.  The alumni and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekend joined these boys in a group photo.There was a large group of returning campers tonight that welcomed the new families who came to learn more about FCC. The alumni and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekend joined these boys in a group photo.
It was a full house tonight and they all enjoyed watching the new camp movie.It was a full house tonight and they all enjoyed watching the new camp movie.
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Legend at Sheep's Rock

Falling Creek is unique for having one of the largest collections of endangered species living on grounds in the country. We have the Peregrine Falcon, the fastest known species alive; the timber rattlesnake, a vanishing reptile that has a household name; and the pitcher plant (which you can find near the waterline to the right of Morning Watch).

But none have proved more elusive than the legend of…

The Green Salamander

Green Salamander
Photo compliments of TN Herp of the Day

I say ‘legend,’ because technically we haven’t had an official confirm their existence in our particular area yet; this is not to say we have not had an official come to Falling Creek Camp, though. In the early 2000’s, we had a representative from the U. S. Forest Service, Mae Lee A. Hafer, come to investigate the salamander population on our grounds.

The purported area is Sheep’s Rock, behind the Tuscarora campsite. It is a well-wooded trail, which snakes down a sheer drop-off along the side of a mountain (but well worth the journey). The bald rock faces, once a climbing spot for the adventure staff, now just serves as a great source of natural beauty. Sheep’s Rock doesn’t get its name from the sheep living on its peaks, however. Within the walls and cracks of these stony formations you can find on any given summer day cave crickets and salamanders of all kinds. You need only to shine a flashlight down the deep crags and watch legs scatter and antennas wiggle.

What you will be hard pressed to find is, you guessed it, Green Salamanders. That’s not to say that they don’t live in the area. Cracks in the cave walls like the one in Sheep’s rock are a perfect habitat for them. They enjoy the protection and the cool, moist climate the stone walls provide. They also seal their eggs to the solid rock walls.

But they just may not be there while you are at camp. During the fall and spring, the salamanders gather in pockets and holes in the rock. Those are the seasons when they can hang out on the ledges catching bugs while remaining not too hot and not too cold. These are called cluster times. But during the summer time when most of us are at camp, they are actually spread into the surrounding wild, hunting in the overgrowth and in general being scattered.

It may not seem like a big deal to protect these guys and their habitat if they do actually exist on camp property, but like everything in the food web, they serve a more profound purpose than we would only notice if they went missing.

Falling Creek Green Salamander
Photo Compliments of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources

Believe it or not, salamanders actually cut down on global warming. There’s a pretty complicated explanation laid out for this in a New York Times article, but in laymen’s terms, salamanders eat shredder bugs (insects that eat part of a leaf and leave it to hang on a tree). They can ruin the leaves of an entire tree. The shredder bug contributes to CO2 emissions that are higher than if the leaf fell naturally in autumn, where the emissions can be insulated by everything else on the ground. So, while cow flatulence is ruining our atmosphere, Green Salamanders are saving it. Sadly, they are suffering population drops due to drought, cold, disease, and destruction of habitat.

Though the Forest Service was never able to confirm the population on our camp grounds, they have been spotted by past nature staffers and adventure seekers alike. So, if you find yourself down the trails behind camp at the beginning or end of the summer, you could be one of the elite, who can say, they saw the legend living at Sheep’s Rock.

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