Archives for July 2014

8 Reasons Why July 4th is Awesome at FCC

1. Breakfast of Champions!

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On the 4th of July, we start off the day with waffles topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and whipped cream to get our patriotic juices flowing with the red, white, and blue.

2. Hanging at the Lake!

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We have several activities at the lakefront on July 4th. Including an epic mountain biking lake jump where boys qualify to pedal hard down a small hill and up a ramp to jump off of their bikes in mid-air into the lower lake.

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Also at the lake, the ultimate frisbee players practice their layouts by jumping off the diving board to catch frisbees thrown out across the lake.

3. Impromptu Star-Spangled Banner!

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Randomly, at a meal, a group of people stand up and sing the National anthem. By the end of the song, everyone in the dining hall stands with hands over hearts singing their hearts out for America.

4. Even the Australian Staff Are Super Pumped for America

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We have several Australian staff members this year. They joined in the excitement all day for America’s birthday.

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5. DISC-GOLF!!!

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Several of the guys trekked across camp to play our 18-hole disc-golf course while looking great in their patriotic outfits.

6. Playing in the Mud Again!

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Every year, for the 4th of July, we hike down to the Green River Flats and have a great time hanging out. One of the biggest highlights of this is the mud pit. Even the directors roll around in the mud, and the boys have a great time getting dirty before washing off in the Green River.

7. Food! Food! Food!

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After all of the shenanigans in the mudpit, the boys clean up and change clothes and line up for great barbeque, delicious sides, and, of course, the wonderful drink that is Cheerwine (“Born in the South, Raised in a Glass”). They get to picnic in the grass and eat with any and all of their friends.

8. FIREWORKS!

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What 4th of July celebration would be complete without fireworks??? NONE! That’s why after the hike back to camp after dinner, the boys shower up and head out to the grassy knoll and lakeside spots to watch a magnificent fireworks display before heading to bed a little later(but a little more excited) than usual.

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A Song of Fire and Beards

Way up on the mountain,
away from camp,
away from the lodge and den
Resides a master smith,
Tommy Carroll,

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And his legion of Blax Brother men.
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Burning white hot coals of brotherhood,
they hammer out joy and mirth
All from the recesses of their hut
crafting their “Special” projects of worth
‘With four mighty forges—
run like horses—
hitched to a mighty ventilator
He’s chalked upon them names:
“Sky Forge,”
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“Stella”
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and one strangely
“Cat Cremator.”
Recruiting men
Whose skills would spark any anvil
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And perhaps
most importantly
Won’t burn themselves on black-hot metal
He plans to open the exhaust gates of good deeds
And forge friendships
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By the books,
Crafting candle holders,
which— Let’s face it—
Look like modified grappling hooks.
In the world of artforms, theirs is manliest,
Head and chest hair above any.
Let any man who doubt this
try crafting a Jay-hook in pottery.

-John

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The Ultimate Throw

You hear the announcement and you think, this is going to be cool. You show up to the activity and you think, this is way better than cool, this is awesome! Ultimate frisbee is an activity period usually played on the upper field, next to the gym. Only this day is different. This day the boys learn to do a full spread and the lake turns into the perfect safety blanket. As each boy hesitantly steps up to the diving board, they wait for instructions. Neil, the lead ultimate frisbee counselor, better known as Ultimate Neil, says to go at the frisbee with no fear. Even a hint of doubt will kill your form. As you watch the first counselor demonstrate, you understand the meaning of giving it your all.

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He runs and jumps several feet from the diving board into a superman like pose over the water. Fully extending his body and fully committing to the pursuit of the frisbee. Even though he does not catch this particular throw, he sets the mentality for the boys to follow. The full spread must be done with full confidence.

As the first boy steps up, the look in his eyes shows hesitation and uncertainty. He is quickly showered with words of encouragement. The camper takes a breath, runs, and jumps into the air. His knees tuck in and the frisbee flies past his hand. Ooooo, miss. The counselors quickly point out that he did not extend his whole body. He did not fully commit. As the boys behind him step up, each one takes their first jump in the similar manner. Jumping the first time with novice uncertainty.

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Then something great happens. A frisbee is caught. Everyone screams. This catch fuels the next camper and the next until everyone is doing the superman over the water. It gets more amazing. A camper jumps, catches, and then throws back the frisbee to the dock before even making a splash. And incredibly the frisbee was caught by a fellow camper, waiting in line for his turn to fly. The ultimate throw. Everyone explodes. The whole camp can hear and eventually a crowd forms around the lake. The audience only empowers the boys. By the time lunch pulls around, the whole camp has heard or witnessed about the happenings of ultimate frisbee.

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-Maddie Roberts

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Take A Hike!

With a program that competes with other adventure sign-ups like mountain biking and kayaking, it’s interesting to deconstruct why something as plain as backpacking can stand on its own. But there is more to hiking than walking through the woods with a backpack on.

“When we’re out in the woods, everyone’s equal,” says Ben Williams, adventure director and hiker. “You and I might be the trip-leaders, but at the end of the day, when it rains, we all get wet. There’s no favoritism. There’s an even playing field.”

The backpacking program has received new energy at the Creek. It branched off of the mountaineering program just a few years ago. But the pioneers to the activity are anything but inexperienced.

Jim Parham, who has helped shape the program to what it is today, is a well-known publisher and guide book author and creator of the iPhone/Android app Great Hikes of the Southern Appalachian (which you can download for free). Using his app, hikers find turn-for-turn directions to any route they decide to take as well as directions to access points.

He, with the rest of the adventure staff, have made an emphasis on lightweight hiking. They learn all of the key skills needed during a “prep” instruction class before they go on any trip. Instead of heavy name-brand stoves and kitchenware, they use penny stoves (burners made from used soda cans). Instead of carrying around bulky food and water containers, they use water filters to purify local streams in cooking their freezer-bag dehydrated foods. They build their tents using light-weight silnylon tarps lashed to trees or to their hiking poles.

backpack prep

Without concerning themselves with packing too much, they allow themselves flexibility in where they decide to go. Hiking head Colby Lyles claims he can change the trip up to 10 minutes before they’ve packed up the van. “We pick routes based on who signs up. Last trip, instead of hiking the day away, we went out to look at the waterfalls.”

waterfall

That’s not to say they’re ever at a loss of places to go. The camp lies within an hour of DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest, a place you could visit every day of the summer and still not walk down the same trail.

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This temperate rain-forest has over 400 miles of trails to hike through. It offers a network of access points all over the state to trails like the famous Art Loeb, a 2000 foot climb which runs across Cold Mountain (the same from the book and movie), Shining Rock (a rock which glistens like a white sheet) and exposed balds that you can look out from to forever. Black Balsam, a hikable peak along the trail, allows for one of the highest views on the east coast (6,214 ft. in elevation). Other routes could allow someone to see 15 waterfalls in one trip, others 5 peaks in an afternoon. What I’m trying to say is best said by Colby himself, “You can’t go wrong with Pisgah.”

black balsam

It’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of the Carolinas to miss the other practical side of hiking. In addition to learning knot tying, trip planning, bear bag building, and cooking, you learn an activity to do until you’re 90.

Mnt. Mitchell

“A lot of these boys are involved in sports like football, soccer, basketball,” says Ben. “And those are great sports. They’re fun to play. They’re fun to watch. But at a certain point you go from being a participant in that sport to a spectator. A lot of the times I see the adventure program as a way for the boys to get into a sport that they can participate in for the rest of their life.”

Backpacking plans on taking 15 trips in this “Main” camp session alone, including hikes that will range from full-day to 3-day trips.

By John Granatino

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