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Why Hire a Camp Counselor?

Sure, we tell you all of the time that being a camp counselor is the greatest job in the world! But it goes so much deeper than having the opportunity to teach your passion, be a professional role model, or help a kid overcome homesickness; it develops skills that even the most prestige universities cannot teach. When it is time for the big interview, time to start your career, many employers favor the camp counselor over the intern. The intern may have learned some basic skills for the job they desire, but a camp counselor will learn and excel in life-long skills that any employer would want on their staff! The career-based skills are teachable, while the life-skills are not!

Life-Long Skills the Camp Counselor Has

Falling Creek Camp

1. The first skill is being a good communicator. From the children to the parents, coworkers and the directors, camp counselors have to be able to communicate with a wide range of people. This is different from any other job because parents leave the most valuable thing in their lives with us, their child. Parents have a short time on opening day along with a counselor bio on the website to leave camp feeling confident that their child is in good hands. As a counselor, opening day is not just a meet and greet, it is an interview! Parents will cling to every word a counselor says!

2. Camp Counselors are life-long learners. Sleeping for ten weeks in a cabin, on a mountain, in the middle of the woods, technology and media free seems to be an experience that teaches so much about oneself. It can be a difficult transition, but so many people fall in love with the camp scene and long to be back summer after summer. Many counselors are faced with new situations that they cannot always train for. So, through experience, watching others, interacting with campers, other counselors, parents, and directors, counselors come in ready to teach a specific activity, but walk away really learning how to learn, grow, and experience.

Falling Creek 4th of July

3. Camp counselors can handle anything for they are resilient! There is no award for the counselor who survived a tent-leak during a down-pour on their overnight, helped their camper overcome homesickness, while appropriately managing the bat that just happened to come into the cabin at 1:00am one night! There is no running away, but instead, fighting the battle with a smile on their face! They are not 100% trained for this kind of combat, but instead learn to put their campers first and manage it!

4. Solving one problem after another! Where did that dark cloud come from? Within 5 minutes the sun disappeared and a roar of thunder shakes the camp. It is not a problem for your camp counselor though! They are quick on their toes! With their creative thinking skills, there is no activity that is ever ruined! One little storm may put a halt on lacrosse, but it does not stop the fun. Counselors have many games and songs up their sleeve ready for any situation!

Falling Creek fishing

5. Camp counselors are some of the best leaders and some of the greatest followers. The impact a counselor leaves on a camper is unreal. Any camper can tell you which counselor they want to grow up to be like. Even the older guys watch their counselor’s every move. Camp counselors learn from each other, watching and learning how each situation is handled and being prepared for the any situation.

6. A solid work ethic. What internship involves 3 months of 24 hour work days? To wake-up each morning with a smile on their face, even when the rain is pouring down outside, it is hard to deny how hard a counselor really works. But even through the hard work and sweat, they love and care for their boys through it all and that is what makes camp counselors so awesome!

Employers who themselves have been camp counselors understand the qualities required to successfully do this job and, consequently, often seek these individuals out when filling positions. But now the secret is getting out and having “Summer Camp Counselor” on a resume can make a potential employee much more desirable!

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What to do at FCC: Activities

falling creek mountain biking

Falling Creek has so many activities to choose from. What is unique about our activities versus other camps is how we allow our boys to make their own decisions, their own schedule, and allow for changes to this schedule each week. We also offer several off-campus trips each day so they can choose to stay at Falling Creek or enjoy a trip to a river, mountain, or lake.

Falling Creek provides boys with something called special sign-ups. Like mentioned above, staff will announce what special trips will be leaving camp that morning and the boys can sign-up for anything they are interested in trying. Special sign-ups are not in our junior session, and the trips may vary between the other sessions, but trips can range from a half-day up to 5 days!

Special sign-ups include backpacking/hiking, canoe camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling. These trips travel from the Pisgah National Forest, Dupont, Nantahala, and the Appalachian trial to Lake Fontana, and many rivers, like the Pigeon, Chattooga, Green River, and more!
In camp activities range from water-based activities, like fishing, sailing, and swimming, to sports like, archery, basketball, cross country, flag football, lacrosse, riflery, soccer, tennis, the HEAT, and ultimate frisbee!

falling creek lacrosse

We also offer unique, traditional activities. These activities include; arts & crafts, blacksmithing, horseback riding, Indian Lore, music, nature, pottery, theater, and woodworking.

falling creek horseback riding

With so many choices for the boys to choose from, Falling Creek is always full of adventure, learning, and experience. What else is so cool about participating in these activities is we have a progression system for each activity where boys can advance through 5 levels from scout to warrior. Boys can take an activity even further by aiming to master an activity instead of just participate.

For more information on the activities we offer or the progression system, please contact us at 828.692.0262.

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Ice Takes Over Camp

The snow and ice started Monday afternoon and continued throughout the night. After a couple inches of accumulation, which was mostly ice, the storm had moved out.

The temperature has yet to reach above freezing, so the ice is sticking around. The trees glisten as the sun beams off of the ice-covered limbs. Camp is whole different place in the winter- that beautiful silence, when the snow just absorbs all the sounds and it is just you and peaceful nature!

Ice storm at falling creek camp
Ice storm at falling creek camp
Ice storm at falling creek camp
Ice storm at falling creek camp
Ice storm at falling creek camp
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From a Spark to a Flame

Another staff alumnus recipient of the It Only Takes a Spark grant program was M.A. Dozier. He was a cabin counselor and the archery activity leader during the summer of 2011. With a passion for hunting, an overwhelming desire to serve God, and a hunger for father-son relationships, M.A. is in the process of building his own ministry.

Nimrod Outdoors

M.A.’s experience at Falling Creek Camp gave him a new outlook on father-son relationships. He worked three Father-Son Weekends in 2011, including a special Military Father-Son Weekend that camp hosted. Working at camp left a long-lasting impact on M.A., but his experience with the Father-Son Weekends changed his heart.

Nimrod Outdoors

Through the experiences Falling Creek gave M.A., and a newly light flame, he has formed his ministry, Nimrod Outdoors. Nimrod Outdoors is a ministry that was developed to educate and equip men on the biblical role of fatherhood, while also giving them the opportunity to spend good, quality time, father with son, in the deer stand. Currently leasing property in Statesville, North Carolina, his ministry is built on a foundation of the Gospel and works through father and son relationships by defining and teaching the importance of father in a boy’s life.

M.A. describes his purpose, stating, “A father- son relationship is vital to the character and self-esteem of a young boy. Fathers have been given a command in Deuteronomy chapter 6, to be responsible for the biblical up-bringing of their children. There is a special connection between a boy and his father that runs deep in the soul; and if the father pawns off the responsibility to someone else, that person will be less than qualified because of the lack of connection that God has ordained between fathers and sons.”

M.A. believes that by removing the distractions of regular routine, technology, and overall loudness of everyday life, the woods, a father and a son are completely surrounded by God’s awesome creation. The Lord has provided a perfect place to provide a unique opportunity for a father to be intentional with his son through the absolute stillness of the woods. It is easy to forget the importance of relationships and the blessing of time.

Nimrod Outdoors

Nimrod Outdoors started last year and after a successful first father-son deer season, is currently working to become a 501©3, non-profit status. Falling Creek, choosing M.A. as one of the grant recipients, is helping support him through the process. You can learn more about M.A.’s ministry at www.nimrodoutdoors.com.

Nimrod Outdoors

A spark formed in the heart of M.A. Dozier one summer at Falling Creek Camp, and quickly spread into a flame, a desire, a hunger. What was planted at Falling Creek is now being supported, watered, and given a chance to grow into its own ministry.
The It Only Takes a Spark grant was established to provide Falling Creek staff members resources and support to positively impact others beyond the summer months. Recipients must demonstrate “Servant’s Heart”, one of the four pillars of The Falling Creek Code. To learn more about the It Only Takes a Spark fund, or to help support or donate, please visit the http://www.fallingcreek.com/about-us/giving.

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iY Generation: Gaining Independence

Independence (adj)
Not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself.

Generation iY is the now generation of kids, teenagers, and young adults. Any child born after 1990 is considered to be part of this peer group. This technology-rich generation has many talents balancing at the tips of their fingers, but so many lack social skills, leadership skills, and independence. Their best friends, all 261 of them, are just a “like” or click away.

Falling Creek Guitar

Tim Elmore, author of Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future and Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults. In both of these books, Tim describes how this rapidly growing generation has lost contact with so many basic skills even though they obviously excel in use of technology. It is not uncommon to see toddlers handling their own apps on a tablet or iPhone. Artificial maturity describes a false appearance in the maturity of children. For example, a five year old may be able to sit quietly through a dinner date. The couple next to them may comment that the child is really mature and well-behaved for his age, yet the tablet in his hands is the true reason he is able to sit through the dinner. It has nothing to do with his ability to engage in conversation, which is probably at a lower level than boys his age two decades earlier.

Tim describes a process of how these iY children are losing Independence as well. It is more common for these young adults to move back home after college. The percentage of the mid-20’s population that lives with their parents is increasing and continues to rise. Why? Tim believes that it has a direct connection with technology use. Before cell phones, it was only every once in a while that parents and their college student would communicate. With cell phones, it became a daily occurrence. But now, it is even more. Between social media and messaging, college students and their parents are in contact roughly 13.4 times each week and growing. These young adults are not learning how to “do it on their own.” They rely so much on their parents, even when away from home.

Summer Camp Grows Independence

Falling Creek Climbing Wall

Camp is a great way to grow independence in children, as well as leadership skills, confidence, and identity. Michael Thompson, Ph. D wrote the book, “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents can Help a Child Grow.” In his recent Huffington Post article, “Should I be Sending my Children to Camp?” he describes how residential camps can significantly teach children independence.

When children are asked why they love camp, many respond with; “I can really be myself here!”
How does the camp scene allow kids to ‘be themselves’? Who are they at home, if not themselves?

Falling Creek Crazy Creeks

Dr. Thompson says they are able to have their own experience at camp. At home, they are constantly surrounded by their parents, siblings, and friends. At camp, it is a clean slate. There are no parents, no routines, no technology; but just themselves. There are no standards to meet and no social media to hide behind. They are not expected to score baskets in a ball game or finish all of their homework before Boy Scouts. The child can play without a mom in fear of injury or their jeans getting dirty.

When Dr. Thompson interviewed college admissions, they said that kids who attend residential camp are most likely to succeed in college because they have had successful experiences away from home!

Summer camp can grow children in so many ways. They are able to try, learn, and discover on their own time and ability. They are faced with choices and decisions that they make solely on their own, without the influence of others around them! Oh, and did I mention they do this all without the use of technology?!

Do you want to see your child become more independent? Send them to camp!!

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