Archives for December 2009

Merry Christmas!

The FCC crew invaded the kitchen, baked cookies and poured some milk… but snack time is just not the same without all of you!

FCC camp staff baking cookies for snack time.

Yates, Patrick, Frank, Goody, Jerry, Simon, Claudia, Susan, Ben, Nathan and Marisa.

We look forward to seeing you this summer and we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Community and a Bike Ride

When reading or watching anything about Falling Creek, the idea of community is represented in several different ways; in the cabin, in an activity, on a trip or around a campfire. An often overlooked part of community building takes place outside of the summer season.

Group of Falling Creek mountain bikers.

Johnathan Bain, Kevin Burnett, Ben Williams, Laura Garrett and Annie Pharr.

A few weekends ago, I experienced the power of community firsthand. With a few phone calls and a random meeting at the local Target Superstore, the makings of a wonderful adventure were in the works. The power of this experience was centered around sharing time with family, friends, co-workers, and mentors – all while enjoying the wild wonders of Western North Carolina via a mountain bike.

Yates and Annie

Every member of the bike ride was a part of the Falling Creek community, whether as a camper, staff member, as a carrier of the flame or as a member of a Falling Creek family.

During our ride we cheered for each other going up hills, spotted for each other, laughed and enjoyed every minute. It was a day that represented the joys of the FCC community and the power of shared experiences.

I am truly grateful to be part of such a community.

-Ben Williams

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First Snow!

It’s not really camp’s first snow this winter… I’m talking about the puppy in the photo!

Puppy's first snow at Falling Creek Camp.

This is Doggy’s first time seeing snow.

Doggy Dog is Nathan’s puppy. She is a six-month-old black Labrador. He got her at the beginning of Junior Camp last summer.

She’s become good friends with Lulu (Frank’s dog), Bogey (Goody’s dog), and Jiggs (the Pharr’s dog). Doggy and Saturday (SFL’s dog) met for the first time yesterday.

If it snows as much as the weather reports predict, I’ll snap some photos around camp for everyone to see camp in a blanket of white. Until then, enjoy these photos of Doggy playing in the snow!

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Thirty-Six Hours with Crom and JBone

After a busy fall semester of classes and leading various on-campus organizations at the University of Knoxville, 2009 staff members Crom Carey and Jonathan Grayson (a.k.a. JBone) decided to start their Christmas break with trip to Tuxedo.

Jonathan and Crom

While in the area, the pair devised a plan to incorporate as many different activities into a 36-hour visit as possible.

The first phase of the mission included a visit to a local Mex-Cali restaurant to see who would step up to the challenge of the “mucho mexicano,” which combines several different traditional Mexican delights into one dish. Crom accepted the challenge and walked away with the knowledge that he had earned his spot on the list of folks who have finished the “mucho mexicano.” After dinner the group at the table enjoyed hearing camp stories from Robert Kirby, who is a master story teller and long time Falling Creek Counselor.

Crom in DuPont

The second phase of their plan was to ride mountain bikes at DuPont State Forest and discuss trip ideas for the shocktaw for next summer.

It was a wonderful plan, but the temperature dropped overnight to a chilly 28-degrees. Crom, JBone, and Ben Williams made sure they had all of the warmest gear they could carry and set off for the DuPont-Two parking lot to ride eastern slickrock at it finest.

JBone in DuPont

The trio rode several trails, fixed a flat tire, practiced catching air, and enjoyed the day fully!

The final phase of their plan was to return to Knoxville for a 7:00 p.m. play! It was great to see you guys!

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Perfect Paddling

Doug paddling the Mini Gorge.

One of the many joys of living in the southern Appalachian Mountains is the year-round perfect paddling weather and the abundance of high-quality whitewater within a short drive of Falling Creek.

Recently, Ben Williams and Doug Koziol explored Big Hungry, one of the main tributaries of the famous Green River. Doug is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University and has provided excellent paddling instruction at Falling Creek during the past two summers.

Big Hungry drops into the Green River gorge over a series of slides and tight boulder garden rapids and provides paddlers with a wonderful burst of whitewater.

Ben paddling a slide on the Big Hungry.

The highlight of this run is the Mini Gorge that contains five rapids in quick succession. The river goes from 40 feet wide to roughly five feet wide and stays that way for a quarter mile, all while dropping 50-plus vertical feet. With the steep gradient and the prolonged narrowness, the river forms sticky holes and breaking waves that test the skill of paddlers.

After the Mini Gorge, paddlers arrive at the confluence of Big Hungry and the Green River, where smiles and whoops of joy are often heard as groups celebrate a successful descent with wonderful friends, amazing scenery, and rapids that test both the mental and physical skill of the paddlers.

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