Archives for December 2015

Christmas Joy

It is that time of year again! A time of excitement, family, and joy. But where do you find your Christmas joy?

The Ornament

Evelyn, 12 years old, has spent many Christmases around many different trees. Born fatherless, her mother passed away when Evelyn was young and she spent most of her life being passed around orphanages and foster homes. Every year, Evelyn would ask Santa for the same thing; a real home and a real family.

fcc christmas tree

This year was different. As she helped Mrs. Vance and her 3 year old daughter hang ornaments on the tree, Evelyn found it hard to get in the Christmas spirit. “Every year is the same,” she thought to herself. “I hang these beautiful hand-made ornaments, family photos, the cute little clay ornaments celebrating the first house, the first Christmas, etc. But there is no ornament for me!” She appreciated everything the families would do for her and how they would include her in their Christmas celebration. But she just didn’t belong anywhere.

That Christmas Eve, the whole family came to the house for dinner. The grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Vance, some aunts and uncles, and some cousins. Again, Evelyn felt out of place. But this was a very normal feeling. She would just smile and give hugs and show the family her appreciation. After dinner, the whole family sat around the tree. Presents filling the bottom. They all began to exchange gifts. One at a time. Evelyn was used to this. Nothing unusual. The Vance’s little girl waddled over to Evelyn, with a small red box. Evelyn smiled and said, thank you. Evelyn began to open the present. Again, this is very common. She usually gets a neat toy or new book to read. This box was very light though. And small. A book would definitely not fit in this box! She carefully unwrapped the gift, feeling everyone’s eyes in the room beaming down on her. And there it was, the ornament.

It was a clay ornament. Hand-made. A clay man, a clay woman, a clay girl, and a clay toddler, all hand-painted with their arms around each other. At the bottom was a clay banner with 1st Christmas hand-painted on it and the words, Evelyn Vance below it.

For the first time, Evelyn had her very own ornament to hang on the tree. Tears streamed down her face. She was in shock. Immediately the Vance’s surrounded her with hugs and together they hung the ornament on the tree; a tree she could now call her own. Evelyn had been adopted and for the first time, she was no longer fatherless.

falling creek candle

Finding Joy
It is so easy to get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas. Doesn’t December just seem to fly by? Wouldn’t it be nice to slow it down and recognize the joy that Christmas brings, beyond the opening of presents?

2000 years ago, a baby, born in a manger, changed everything. He brought us the best gift, the ultimate gift, a miracle; salvation. Because of this gift, we have all been adopted by The Father and we are no longer fatherless! There is no greater joy than that!

Isaiah 9:6 says “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! Praying for a home full of joy this Christmas!

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The Perfect Christmas Gift

It is that time of year again! We are constantly asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Less than 10 days away from Christmas and most people are trying to find time to get to the store, are waiting for their online purchases to make it to their door step, or maybe you are one of the many still trying to figure out what in the world to get their children or grandchildren for Christmas!

We are here to help! From the perfect Christmas gift to some awesome stocking stuffers, Falling Creek is here for you!!

The Perfect Gift!

falling creek climbing wall

These days, there is so much out there, from toys to electronics, which it seems that most toys these days are electronics! There is one small problem with electronics, however, within a few years, they are out of date or they break! So, what is the perfect gift?

Imagine a gift that lasts a lifetime! A gift that develops a child’s interpersonal skills, resilience, competence, decision making skills, and so much more! A gift that creates memories, bonds, and friendships that will last forever! What “thing” can do all of that?

Summer Camp!

Falling Creek offers the opportunity for your boy to experience, grow, and develop skills from physical to social that will mold them for success in school, athletics, college, and through adulthood. We offer camp from one week to four week sessions for boys starting in 1st grade. We also offer father-son weekends where the skills and memories can be developed as early as kindergarten, experiencing camp with their dad! Falling Creek also has expeditions; amazing adventure-based trips where the boys travel to places from Ecuador to Utah to grow their skills in backpacking, paddling, rock climbing, or mountain biking.

falling creek expedition

Camp truly is the “perfect” gift! But for those of you who have already picked camp, we have some awesome stocking-stuffers too!

Falling Creek just recently partnered with Everything Summer Camp and built an online store. We have amazing gear from all sorts of clothing, to mugs, to posters, and so much more. To have your order by the Christmas, it is recommended that you make your purchase by the 18th. We will also be updating and adding more to our store over the next few weeks, so make sure to check it out before camp!

You can visit the Falling Creek store here!

To learn more about what Falling Creek can offer you and your family, please contact our office at 828.692.0262 or .

You can also apply for camp at

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Child Protection Improvements Act

As the holidays approach, that means camp is right around the corner! In just a few short months, we will be welcoming our first group of campers for 2016.

Our leadership team spends a great deal of time during the off-season to assemble a team, who share our core values, to dedicate their time and talents to serve as mentors and role models for the camp community. Our staff go through a rigorous process before they are offered an opportunity to be part of our team. A critical piece of our vetting process is the background checks of our staff. Currently, our background checks consist of the following searches: Social Security Trace, County Criminal Conviction Search (All counties of residence), National Criminal Conviction Search, National Sex Offender Registry and Motor Vehicle Record.

falling creek staff

This background search is extensive and does provide great detail into the background of our staff, however, there is no single all-encompassing background check database available in this country. While still not all-encompassing, an FBI check is the best background check available, yet it is not always accessible to camps and other youth-serving organizations. The FBI check is the only truly nationwide check available. Individual states are the gatekeepers of criminal history information and they can decide who can access the information, as well as who can have access to the FBI’s information. In fact, thirty-four states bar access to FBI information!

At Thanksgiving of this year, the Child Protection Improvements Act was introduced to both houses of Congress, Bills S. 2332 and HR 4703. The purpose of the bill is to close a gaping hole in the federal law that prevents camps, children’s groups, mentoring organizations, after-school programs and other organizations that work with children or vulnerable adults from gaining access to federal criminal background checks on employees and volunteers.

We need your help!

We would like to ask that you support this legislation and advocate for Falling Creek and other camps alike. Advocating for the passage of this important legislation is very easy! ACA has an online tool with key messages and sample advocacy messages that can be sent immediately to your legislators. Participate today or learn more about the bill by visiting the Child Protection Improvements Act Advocacy Tool. Please take the time to help us advocate for this legislation and protect our campers today and for years to come.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your time and support!

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Your Gift Matters

This time of year is all about giving. We have 3 amazing opportunities for you to give to Falling Creek campers and staff.

American Camp Association (ACA) Campership

These funds generously provide campership opportunities for boys whom Falling Creek would otherwise be out of reach. Your gift will make it possible for boys from around the country to benefit from the Falling Creek experience.

Western North Carolina Counties Campership

In 1992 a scholarship fund was established by Director Emeritus Chuck McGrady through the Community Foundation of Henderson County. This scholarship allows boys from several western North Carolina counties, who otherwise would be unable to attend a camp, the opportunity to share in the Falling Creek Camp experience.

It Only Takes a Spark Fund

This grant program has been established to provide Falling Creek staff members resources and support to positively impact others beyond the summer months. Through an application process, the selection committee awards funding from $250 – $1,000 per project for various work around the world. Recipients demonstrate “Servant’s Heart”, one of the four pillars of The Falling Creek Code. The fund is set up through a partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. We have highlighted two of our It Only Takes a Spark recipients from last year in past blogs; From a Spark to a Flame and It Only Takes a Spark.

If you would like to support any of the camperships or funds above, you can contribute online or mail in your contribution. To learn more or for corresponding addresses and links to give to, please click here.

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