Archives for October 2015

What is Halloween, anyways?

Pumpkins and candy, that cool autumn breeze and falling leaves, and the tiny little witches, super heroes, and ghosts that roam the streets. Halloween is a fun time of year. The celebration of… well, what is Halloween exactly? How did we come into a tradition of dressing up, knocking on a stranger’s door, and asking for candy, anyways?

falling creek ninja turtles

Halloween started over 2,000 years ago, as a celebration of the new year, which for the Celts (ancient Ireland, UK, and northern France) started on November 1. They held a huge festival called the Festival of Samhain to rejoice the end of the harvest season and sadly bring in the cold, dark winter season. 2,000 years ago, this season was known for death, especially in the harshest of winters when survival was tough!

The Celts believed that on October 31, the night before the new year, the netherworld opened up and many ghosts and spirits joined them on the streets, some of them haunting their harvests and crops! To prevent these spirits from possessing them, the people would create a hug bonfire and everyone would dress up in costumes and make tons of noise, dancing around the fire, to scare off the evil spirits.

Eventually, the Roman Empire took control of the Celtic territory and by the 9th Century, Christianity became the primary religion of the region, mixing with the ancient Celtic culture. Ultimately, the church created a day specifically to honor the dead, known as All Souls’ Day or All-hallowmas, which was mostly created to replace the festival of the dead through a more religious-based holiday. With many of the same ceremonies, including bonfires, parades, and dressing-up, the day became more of a celebration rather than survival. Over time, October 31st became known as All-hallows Eve, which is where we get Halloween from today.

falling creek 4th of july

As colonies began to form in America, Halloween traditions followed. People held parties where they would all sing and dance, share stories of the dead, and celebrate the harvest. As the populations continued to grow, only those who could afford such parties continued to have them!
Sometime towards the end of World War II, many people could not afford to celebrate Halloween and host or even attend these parties. That is when the idea of Trick-or-Treating came in. The idea was for all people, especially children, to be able to celebrate the ancient traditions of dressing up and celebrating the harvest. Families who could afford small treats would light a candle on Halloween and children could parade through the neighborhood in their costumes to collect them. This idea took off and now is a widely celebrated holiday across the nation, stuffing our pillowcases with chocolates and candies galore!

It is definitely a fun time of year, whether you go to your local trunk-or-treat at church or knock on the doors of your neighborhood, or maybe you choose not to celebrate the holiday at all. Either way, we feel blessed at Falling Creek for the beautiful autumn we have had and are excited to welcome in the winter! We know that following winter is that warm sun which summer camp centers itself on!

falling creek pirates

Here is an idea to leave you with! If you feel overwhelmed by the calories collected in your children’s bags, discuss with them what a good amount of candy to keep is and then have them choose a place to donate the rest to. You could put them in little baggies and take them to a local shelter or nursing home!

Happy Halloween! Have a safe, wonderful, and fun weekend!

Sources;
www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween
www.carm.org/halloween

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The River City

Yates was thrilled to see so many Falling Creek families at the Sarah and Beau Hurst’s home where they hosted the Richmond, VA area camp movies and reunion. Their 4 sons, Spencer, Sam, Charlie, and Beau, are all going to Falling Creek this coming summer. In fact Spencer is going on the HUCK paddling Expedition in Equador.

Dads who were Falling Creekers, or who went to Father/Son Weekend, joined the boys in a group photo.  Hawse Spencer, the Hurst boys uncle (Sarah's brother - standing in back left), went to FCC as well and came to reconnect tonight.  Dads who were Falling Creekers, or who went to Father/Son Weekend, joined the boys in a group photo. Hawse Spencer, the Hurst boys uncle (Sarah's brother - standing in back left), went to FCC as well and came to reconnect tonight.
Charlie Hurst did a wonderful job sharing his interest in the Falconers of Falling Creek program.  He participated in Raptor week at camp with Steve Longenecker and earned his FOFC Waypoint.  Charlie Hurst did a wonderful job sharing his interest in the Falconers of Falling Creek program. He participated in Raptor week at camp with Steve Longenecker and earned his FOFC Waypoint.
Yates explained the Waypoints program where the boys and staff can earn waypoint markers to be placed on the map that every first year camper and staff receive.  These markers tell a story about their experience at Falling Creek.When a camper earns Ranger and Warrior in any activity, the two highest levels, their name is added to the progression wall permanently. This display of names is located on the wall of the side porch of the Dining Hall. Yates explained the Waypoints program where the boys and staff can earn waypoint markers to be placed on the map that every first year camper and staff receive. These markers tell a story about their experience at Falling Creek.When a camper earns Ranger and Warrior in any activity, the two highest levels, their name is added to the progression wall permanently. This display of names is located on the wall of the side porch of the Dining Hall.
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Our Nation's Capital

Yates made his way up to Alexandria, VA where Jennifer and Tim Adams hosted families from the Washington, DC area at their lovely home. Their son William (who will return to Falling Creek for his 6th summer), and their two daughters, Tindall & Augusta (both Camp Illahee girls), were a tremendous help tonight.

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Pizza and laughsPizza and laughs
Hard to beat enjoying some pizza with fellow FCC buds and new friends in front of a fire.  One of the boys said to his dad when he got out of the car, Hard to beat enjoying some pizza with fellow FCC buds and new friends in front of a fire. One of the boys said to his dad when he got out of the car, "It smells like Falling Creek!". He was referring to the smell of the fire. Priceless!
The boys and parents are enjoying the new Falling Creek movie.  No wonder why they have so many fun questions afterwards about how they can try to do the same things.The boys and parents are enjoying the new Falling Creek movie. No wonder why they have so many fun questions afterwards about how they can try to do the same things.
Lots of dads who were Falling Creek Campers and/or attended Father/Son Weekend jumped into the group photo with the boys. Tory Gentry (far right), who was on FCC staff in 2012 and 2013, graduated from Vanderbilt University in May and is very pleased to be working as an analyst for Deloitte in this area.  Tory's brother went to Falling Creek and she was a long time Greystone girl. Thanks Tory for taking time out of your busy schedule to come see us all!Lots of dads who were Falling Creek Campers and/or attended Father/Son Weekend jumped into the group photo with the boys. Tory Gentry (far right), who was on FCC staff in 2012 and 2013, graduated from Vanderbilt University in May and is very pleased to be working as an analyst for Deloitte in this area. Tory's brother went to Falling Creek and she was a long time Greystone girl. Thanks Tory for taking time out of your busy schedule to come see us all!
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Textile Capital Of The World

Yates made a short trip down from camp to Ashley and Jim Gettys’ home in Greenville, SC where they hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies and Reunion. Mary Pharr, Yates and Marisa’s middle daughter, made the trip with Yates to reconnect with the camp families. Their sons Riley, Gage, and John Houston are all FCC campers and were a big help to Yates tonight.

Another group of boys enjoyed playing some ball before the movieAnother group of boys enjoyed playing some ball before the movie
The boys enjoyed each others company while they had some pizza and Cheerwine before watching the new FCC movieThe boys enjoyed each others company while they had some pizza and Cheerwine before watching the new FCC movie
The movies and reunion are an excellent opportunity for new families to learn more about Falling Creek from veteran families and YatesThe movies and reunion are an excellent opportunity for new families to learn more about Falling Creek from veteran families and Yates
Mmmmm...Thanks Gettys FamilyMmmmm...Thanks Gettys Family
The new movie has been a hit with the boys and parents. The new movie has been a hit with the boys and parents.
A quick pause to take a group photo of the boys and the dads who have either attended Father/Son Weekend or were a FCC camper themselves.  Talbot and Jan Carter, counselors in the 1970's (located in the back right), also sent their 3 boys to Falling Creek.  Talbot has remained one of Yates' mentors.  He not only taught Yates and his brother Stephen how to paddle at FCC, but he learned life skills that no doubt prepared him for college and his future career. No question it was a real treat to see the Carter's tonight.A quick pause to take a group photo of the boys and the dads who have either attended Father/Son Weekend or were a FCC camper themselves. Talbot and Jan Carter, counselors in the 1970's (located in the back right), also sent their 3 boys to Falling Creek. Talbot has remained one of Yates' mentors. He not only taught Yates and his brother Stephen how to paddle at FCC, but he learned life skills that no doubt prepared him for college and his future career. No question it was a real treat to see the Carter's tonight.
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The Queen City

Yates made his way to his hometown of Charlotte, NC where CCDS classmate Howard and Stephanie Bissell hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies & Reunion. It was an outstanding group with many new and returning FCC families, as well as staff and alumni who had the opportunity to connect.

Burns Bissell, Tribal Leader Andrew Maddox, Owen Bissell, and Rex Hallow were a huge help tonight by greeting families as they arrived.Burns Bissell, Tribal Leader Andrew Maddox, Owen Bissell, and Rex Hallow were a huge help tonight by greeting families as they arrived.
Nothing like some games before the show in the back yard.Nothing like some games before the show in the back yard.
Many of the campers and boys who came to learn more about Falling Creek were joined in a big group photo by FCC staff who live in the area and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekends or were campers at FCC when they were young.Many of the campers and boys who came to learn more about Falling Creek were joined in a big group photo by FCC staff who live in the area and dads who have attended Father/Son Weekends or were campers at FCC when they were young.
Enjoying the new Falling Creek Camp movieEnjoying the new Falling Creek Camp movie
(l to r) Melissa Greer (recent graduate from UGA who is now a high school teacher - 2 years on FCC staff), Burns Bissell (9-year FCC camper), Yates, Andrew Maddox (3-years on FCC staff and served as Cherokee Tribal Leader this past summer. Recently graduated from Clemson University and will be going to grad school in physical therapy), Owen Bissell (3-year FCC camper), Tom Yoxsimer (5-year FCC camper), Andrew Josupait (on staff this past summer and is a Sophomore at UNCC), Paul Leonard (Alumni FCC camper who is excited his son will be going to FCC this summer), Matthew Leonard, and Mike Nuckles (7-year FCC counselor who has served as a Tribal Leader and is most active as one of our top tennis instructors. Mike is a coach and teacher at CCDS)(l to r) Melissa Greer (recent graduate from UGA who is now a high school teacher - 2 years on FCC staff), Burns Bissell (9-year FCC camper), Yates, Andrew Maddox (3-years on FCC staff and served as Cherokee Tribal Leader this past summer. Recently graduated from Clemson University and will be going to grad school in physical therapy), Owen Bissell (3-year FCC camper), Tom Yoxsimer (5-year FCC camper), Andrew Josupait (on staff this past summer and is a Sophomore at UNCC), Paul Leonard (Alumni FCC camper who is excited his son will be going to FCC this summer), Matthew Leonard, and Mike Nuckles (7-year FCC counselor who has served as a Tribal Leader and is most active as one of our top tennis instructors. Mike is a coach and teacher at CCDS)
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