Archives for November 2011

Jennifer Pharr Davis, Who Broke The World Speed Record For Hiking The Appalachian Trail, Is Nominated For NatGeo's Adventurer of The Year

Vote For Jennifer Pharr Davis As NatGeo Adventurer Of TheYearVote For Jennifer Pharr Davis As NatGeo Adventurer Of TheYear

Famous local hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis, who broke the world speed record for hiking the Appalachian Trail, has been nominated to receive National Geographic’s Adventurer Of The Year.

Jennifer was a long-time camper at Camp Greystone for Girls and is the owner of Blue Ridge Hiking Company. Greystone director’s, the Miller Family, founded Falling Creek Camp in the summer of 1969.

Fitz Cahall, from National Geographic Magazine, writes “Records are made to be broken,” says long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis. “It’s not the number. The method and the approach are what matters more at the end of the day.” For the last 40 years, men have held the Appalachian Trail record. In the last 20, it’s been confined to an elite club of ultra-runners who typically covered the requisite 30 to 50 miles per day in an 11- to 13-hour period. Conventional wisdom suggested that breaking the record would mean running faster with the same strategy. And a new record holder would most certainly be male.

Jennifer Pharr Davis Sets World Speed Record For Hiking The Appalachian TrailJennifer Pharr Davis Sets World Speed Record For Hiking The Appalachian Trail

Pharr Davis, 28, took the standard strategy and turned it upside down. Moving from north to south, she covered the trail’s 2,181 miles by hiking for 16 hours a day beginning at 4:45 in the morning and walking well into darkness. To stick to an average pace of 47 miles a day, she slept on the trail or at road crossings to eliminate needless commute times to and from the trail. Her husband, Brew Davis, served as the support crew.

Pharr Davis trained by hiking rather than running—and the novel approach worked. By the time she reached the trail’s southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, she had trimmed 26 hours off the previous record with a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. “Exploration can be twofold. It can be going to a new location or it can mean pushing through a physical boundary,” says Pharr Davis. “We were exploring what people thought was possible, for what was possible on the Appalachian Trail, and what was possible for a woman and a hiker.”

Please VOTE for Jennifer and National Geographic will announce the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year in February 2012.

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Movies and Reunion in Asheville

Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Tindall's home in Asheville, NC on 11-13-11Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Tindall's home in Asheville, NC on 11-13-11

Yates and Marisa, and their girls, Annie, Lucy and Mary, traveled with Nathan and Simon over to Asheville, NC on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, where Frank and Elizabeth Tindall, and of course LuLu, the black Lab, hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion. There were many veteran campers present that shared their camp experiences with the new families who came to learn more about Falling Creek.

Steve Longenecker showing Sage, the Peregrine Falcon, to Matt and Ellison Smith at the Asheville Movies on 11-13-11Steve Longenecker showing Sage, the Peregrine Falcon, to Matt and Ellison Smith at the Asheville Movies on 11-13-11

A highlight of the afternoon was Steve Longenecker greeting the families with Sage, the Peregrine Falcon. You could see the interest in their eyes as they got a chance to visit with, up close, the fastest animal in the world. Steve, a 30 plus year FCC staffer, cares for about 7 birds of prey year round that he has to educate groups every week. We’re very excited to say that Falling Creek, we understand, is the only traditional summer camp that has a Birds of Prey program.

It was also wonderful to reconnect with many Falling Creek Staff from the area who took time out of their busy work and school schedules to come and support FCC. These folks included Tisha Mason, Robert Kirby, Virginia Anderson, and Tyler Biggs, all of whom, we are super excited to say, have formally committed to returning for the 2012 summer on staff.

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Camp Movies and Reunion in Greenwich, CT

Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Futch's home in Greenwich, CT on 11-9-11Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Futch's home in Greenwich, CT on 11-9-11

Yates traveled up to the Northeast where Clarke and Julie Futch hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at their home in Greenwich, CT. Their son Hayden will be returning to Main camp for his 6th summer. Hayden was a big help for Yates in managing the movie and also shared his camp experiences with the new families who came to learn more about Falling Creek. We especially enjoyed seeing all the projects he made in Blacksmithing, as Hayden is a “Warrior”, the highest level of progression.

Robert Eshleman, a long-time FCC camper and counselor from New Orleans, took time out of his busy schedule to come and support us. Robert, who recently graduated from the University of Virginia this past May, is working in New York City.

Yates was also very pleased to see Ashley Hutto, an Alumnus who was at FCC in the 80’s and 90’s and was in Yates’ cabin in the late 80’s.

Bryan Milo, also an FCC Alumnus, came to reconnect as well. It was great fun for them to share their stories about their camp experiences at Falling Creek.

Dan Martin, also an FCC Alumnus in the 70’s, brought his son Spencer, who is returning to camp this summer, going to the August session.

We thank the Futch family for again opening up their beautiful home for the Movies and Reunion.

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Movies and Reunion in Space City

Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Mentz's home in Houston, TX on 11-8-11Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion at the Mentz's home in Houston, TX on 11-8-11

Yates made his way southeast to Houston, TX, where Hal and Paula Mentz hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion. Their sons, Henry, James and Philip are long-time FCC campers. Henry is a freshman at Sewanee now and Philip is coming back to main camp for his 6th summer.

Yates enjoyed the opportunity to meet with so many new families who came to learn more about Falling Creek. With there also being a large group of veteran campers present, these boys were a huge help in answering the new families questions and we all enjoyed them sharing stories about their camp experiences.

Yates was also pleased to reconnect with Laffy Herring, an FCC Alumni who went to camp with Yates and Goody in the 70’s and early 80’s. His son, Lafayette, will be returning to the June session for his 4th summer. Carleton Riser’s 3 boys came to see why his dad enjoyed going to FCC for many summers in the 80’s. He was in a cabin with Yates one of those summers during Main camp. Seth Barrett, also a Falling Creek Alumni, brought his son Bobby to see the camp movie. Although he is too young to go now, Bobby can’t wait.

Many thanks to the Mentz family for opening up their beautiful home to host this large group of families.

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