Archives for October 2018

Week 3 and 4 - Camp Movie Show and Reunion Travel Blog

It’s hard to believe the third and fourth week of travel is finished already! It was extra busy during the third week, as Yates traveled to four cities in a row instead of just three. On Monday, October 22nd, we kicked off the week in Charlotte, NC. Then we headed to Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday and Winter Park, Florida on Wednesday. The final stop for the week was Charleston, South Carolina. To start off the next week, we got to travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Monday. Meeting new families and catching up with old alumni and campers is one of the best parts of camp’s “off season,” and we really enjoyed getting to share this week of travel with you all.

Camp friends catching up in CharlotteCamp friends catching up in Charlotte

Monday’s show in Charlotte, NC was special for Yates because it is his hometown. Kelly and Patrick Ridinger graciously hosted the Falling Creek Camp Movies & Reunion at their home. Charlotte remains a huge "camp town,” and many current Charlotte campers also have fathers who are Falling Creek alumni. It’s exciting to see camp get passed from generation to generation, where fathers and sons can have that extra bond that comes from sharing the camp experience. Paul Leonard lives in Charlotte, and was a Falling Creek camper in the late 70’s through the early 80’s. He came with his son Matthew, and we enjoyed having them to help tell everyone stories about their experiences and what makes them continue to come back to Falling Creek.

FCC alumnus Paul Leonard (left) and his son Matthew reconnect with Yates and other FCC families.FCC alumnus Paul Leonard (left) and his son Matthew reconnect with Yates and other FCC families.
Mike Nuckles and Andrew Josupait are two all-star recent alums. Nuckles worked at FCC from 2009-2016, and Andrew was here in 2015 and 2017. They have also both worked recent Father/Son Weekends, and took the time to come and support Falling Creek at the Charlotte movie show and reunion. It was great to catch up with them, and they are doing big things. Nuckles is the assistant athletic director at Charlotte Country Day School, which also happens to be Yates’ alma mater. Andrew will be graduating in December from UNCC with an engineering degree.
10-year camper Bo Phillips (left) reconnects with previous staff members Andrew Josupait and Mike Nuckles10-year camper Bo Phillips (left) reconnects with previous staff members Andrew Josupait and Mike Nuckles
Thanks also to Cannon Ridinger for sharing his home and helping Yates with the presentation. We are excited that Cannon will be coming to Main Camp in 2019, where he can expand his passion for whitewater paddling!
Great turn-out at the Ridinger's home in Charlotte!Great turn-out at the Ridinger's home in Charlotte!
The Dads who attended Father/Son Weekend joined FCC alumni, staff, and the boys for a photo of the big turnout at the Ridinger's home.The Dads who attended Father/Son Weekend joined FCC alumni, staff, and the boys for a photo of the big turnout at the Ridinger's home.
5-year camper, Roy R (left) and 6-year camper Mason S enjoyed reconnecting, and they are exciting to be returning to June camp in 2019.5-year camper, Roy R (left) and 6-year camper Mason S enjoyed reconnecting, and they are exciting to be returning to June camp in 2019.

On Tuesday, we headed down south to visit our camp families in Florida. Though we’re breaking out the sweaters and watching the leaves change color already at camp, it was nice and warm in Florida still. Jacksonville was the first stop in Florida for the Falling Creek Camp movie and reunion tour. Thanks to Raymur and Phil Rachels for hosting the big event again at their home. It was great to reconnect with a number of veteran campers, including Richard Nichols, Hill Jenkins, Gunnar Davidson, and Jack Valentino. All of them have been to camp for more than 5 summers each, so they were the perfect crew to tell the new families about their Falling Creek experiences.

The crew in Jacksonville at the Rachels family home The crew in Jacksonville at the Rachels family home
Hill Jenkins and Gunnar Davidson enjoying the opportunity to reconnectHill Jenkins and Gunnar Davidson enjoying the opportunity to reconnect

From Jacksonville, we headed farther South down Florida to Winter Park, where Laura and Brett Lawton hosted the Falling Creek Camp movies and reunion for the Orlando area. Laura presented a beautiful Falling Creek cookie cake, which was a huge hit.

Laura's famous FCC cookie cake!Laura's famous FCC cookie cake!
Their son Jack was a big help by answering many of the questions for parents and boys who have not been to camp yet. We are excited that he will be coming to his first Main Camp session this summer! There were several other veteran campers who helped Yates as well. We love having current campers and alumni at these reunions because not only is it fun to catch up, but it is always nice to have returning campers share their Falling Creek experiences so new parents can hear from them directly. It was wonderful to reconnect with William Boor, a long time Falling Creek alum from Atlanta. Will was a camper from 2002 – 2011, a CIT in 2013, and a counselor in 2015 and 2016. He works in the insurance business in Orlando now and took the time to come by and support FCC. Everyone enjoyed hearing about his camp experiences, including his accomplishments of Warrior in Blacksmithing and Ranger in Ultimate Frisbee. Alumni Pat Malloy was a Falling Creek camper in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and is now the upper school principal at the nearby Trinity Preparatory School. We can’t wait to see his boys, Wip and Duncan, at the 2-Week session this summer.
Alumni Pat Mulloy, William Boor, and Yates Pharr reconnecting at the Orlando area FCC movies and reunion Alumni Pat Mulloy, William Boor, and Yates Pharr reconnecting at the Orlando area FCC movies and reunion
Having a ball at the movie show and reunion in Winter Park, FL!Having a ball at the movie show and reunion in Winter Park, FL!
Alumni and dads who have come to Father/Son Weekend joined the group photo with the boys in the Orlando areaAlumni and dads who have come to Father/Son Weekend joined the group photo with the boys in the Orlando area
Catching up with camp friends in Winter Park!Catching up with camp friends in Winter Park!
We love having the opportunity to reconnect after the summerWe love having the opportunity to reconnect after the summer

From Florida, we headed back North on Thursday and stopped in Charleston, SC with the FCC families in the area. Many thanks to Beezer & Emily Molten for having us in their huge Half-Moon Outfitters store, which was a fun setting to host the event. Also a big thank you to Catherine and Clay McCullough for coordinating the yummy pizza and refreshments. The boys loved having the opportunity to climb on the two large rock walls in the store while seeing their camp friends.

Having two indoor rock walls at the Charleston show was awesome!Having two indoor rock walls at the Charleston show was awesome!
It was great reconnecting with Steven & Cindi Feingold and one of their sons, Sam. The Feingold family has been an important part of the camp community as a long-time camp doctor family. We are happy they’ll be returning to Falling Creek in 2019 for their 10th summer serving as one of our weekly camp doctor families.
Yates with Cindi & Steven Feingold, with one of their sons, Sam. They will be returning to FCC in 2019 for their 10th summer as the camp physician family for a weekYates with Cindi & Steven Feingold, with one of their sons, Sam. They will be returning to FCC in 2019 for their 10th summer as the camp physician family for a week
Hunter Louis, an FCC camper in the 90’s, also brought his two boys to the movie show and reunion. Hunter and his oldest son will be attending the August Father/Son Weekend this summer. We are also excited that the entire family will be serving as a camp doctor family during a week of the 2-week session.
FCC alumni Hunter Louis with his family. Hunter will bring his family in 2019 to serve as the physician for a week during the 2-week session.FCC alumni Hunter Louis with his family. Hunter will bring his family in 2019 to serve as the physician for a week during the 2-week session.
Chip Shealy, also an FCC alumni, brought his two boys, Jackson and Whit. Jackson will be returning for his 4th summer in 2019, but it will be his first time at the June Camp session. His brother Whit is headed to Junior camp. 10-year camper Harper Kissell and 7-year camper Rodgers McCullough were also able to make it to the reunion and movie show. They teamed up with a number of other veteran campers to help tell their Falling Creek stories to all of the new families who came to learn more about camp.
10-year FCC camper Harper Kissell (left) and 7-year FCC camper Rodgers McCullough.10-year FCC camper Harper Kissell (left) and 7-year FCC camper Rodgers McCullough.
The great crew in Charleston, SC!The great crew in Charleston, SC!

On Monday after the weekend, we traveled to Nashville, Tennessee on October 29th. It was a great way to start off the week, and a big thanks to Elizabeth and Les Coble for hosting the event at their home. Their son Daviss will be returning to camp in 2019 for his third summer, this time at the Main camp session. Thanks also to Shae and Jim Uden, who served as co-hosts. Jim Uden was a camper and counselor at FCC when Yates was also a counselor, and now his son Whit will be returning for his second summer at the June camp session.

Jim Uden was a camper and counselor at FCC when Yates was also a counselor, and now his son Whit will be returning for his second summerJim Uden was a camper and counselor at FCC when Yates was also a counselor, and now his son Whit will be returning for his second summer
Camp nurse Brittany Nelson and her son Jack also came to support, and they will both be back at June camp this summer.
Camp nurse Brittany Nelson and her son Jack-  they will both be back at June camp this summer!Camp nurse Brittany Nelson and her son Jack- they will both be back at June camp this summer!
There was a great group of returning campers who helped Yates explain the Falling Creek experience to those new families who came. Charlie Gatto, Jack Nelson, and Drew Bennett were among those returning campers who helped answer questions and share stories.
Yates with Charlie Gatto. Charlie will be returning for his 8th summer and his brother Henry will be returning for his 4th in 2019Yates with Charlie Gatto. Charlie will be returning for his 8th summer and his brother Henry will be returning for his 4th in 2019
Great seeing everyone in Nashville!Great seeing everyone in Nashville!
Daviss and Cole - can't wait to see you both again this summer!Daviss and Cole - can't wait to see you both again this summer!
Great evening at the Coble family homeGreat evening at the Coble family home

Thanks again to all of the families who took time out of their busy schedules to catch up with us. Next week we’re headed to Texas and New York! Come join us in Houston on Monday, November 5th, Dallas on Tuesday, November 6th, and Bronxville on Wednesday, November 6th. Just one more week of travel left, plus our live-streamed show in Asheville on November 14th! Can’t wait to see you soon.

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Camp Movie Show and Reunion Travel Blog - Week 2

As we reflect on our second week of travel, we’re constantly reminded that camp friendships run deep. Previous campers and counselors gather at these movie shows to reunite with old friends. Whether they were campers here just this past summer, counselors a few years back, or they are grown dads who have fond memories at The Creek from decades past, they are all united by their positive experiences at camp. Even though these camp movie shows were initially started to explain what Falling Creek was about and introduce new boys to camp, they have since turned into more. Not only are they informative and inviting for new families, they are also fun reunions for returning camp families. Every city we go to is a chance to reconnect with friends, sharing the camp experience that is so important for us all. It is exciting to see how expansive those camp connections are, uniting boys all across the country and even the world. This week we stayed on the east coast, traveling to Raleigh NC, Richmond VA, and Alexandria VA.

On October 15th, we started the week off in Raleigh at Emily and Pat Funderburk’s home. Their older son Patrick will be returning to 2-Week camp for his third year this summer, and we’re looking forward to when Wells is old enough to join too! There were quite a number of dads at the Raleigh show who have been a part of Father/Son Weekends, and it is always enjoyable to catch up.

Yates with the Funderburk’sYates with the Funderburk’s
Raleigh show at the Funderburk's home -  all the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staffRaleigh show at the Funderburk's home - all the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staff

George Edwards was one father who was part of Falling Creek in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. His son will be returning to camp in 2019, and they both came to the show in Raleigh to reconnect with everyone. Tor Ramsey, who has been involved in editing the camp movie several times since 2006, lives in Raleigh, and was also in attendance. Tor was the lead behind "Behold50,” the new 1 hour movie celebrating 5 decades at Falling Creek camp. You can find the link to this movie in the alumni section of the Falling Creek website. Tor did a great job as usual, and we suggest sitting down to watch this movie on your TV. Another thank you goes out to Sam and James Frushone, who are returning to Main camp in 2019 for their 6th summer. They both helped explain to the new families what Falling Creek is about, and gave some insight into their camp experiences for new boys who came to learn more about FCC. James was the first Warrior ever in the F.A.R.M., one of Falling Creek’s newest programs that focuses on learning about sustainability, gardening, animals, and repurposing materials. Sam has 2 of his 3 Warrior waypoints, which is the highest level attainable in our programs. He is a Ranger in his 3rd, which is the level just below Warrior. To become a Journeyman, campers must first show proficiency in a variety of camp activities, and must have reached the level of Warrior in at least three programs to prove this. Sam is well on his way, and plans to focus on becoming a Journeyman in this coming 2019 summer. You can read more about this unique challenge and camp experience in our previous summer blogs about Journeymen during Main camp this past summer. Sam is excited about working towards his Journeyman status, and having a chance to complete his Journey to become a Keeper of The Flame in the future.

Yates with Sam and James Frushone in RaleighYates with Sam and James Frushone in Raleigh

For following day on the 16th, we headed to Richmond, VA, the next stop on the Falling Creek Camp movies and reunion tour. Thanks to Sarah and Beau Hurst for hosting at their beautiful home. The 4 Hurst boys have been spending their summers at Falling Creek since 2007. They’re known for being big outdoorsmen, and especially avid whitewater paddlers. Wade Blackwood, who was a counselor at Falling Creek in the mid 90’s, brought his family to the movie show and reunion. His son Spencer is coming to Junior camp for his first Falling Creek experience this summer. Wade is the Executive Director of the American Canoe Association where Chris Stec, a former FCC counselor with Wade, and Program Director at FCC, is also on the ACA team as it’s Chief Operating Officer. Meade Whitaker was a camper and counselor in the 80’s and 90’s, and he drove over from Charlottesville, VA where he and his family live.

The great crew in Richmond, VA - all the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staffThe great crew in Richmond, VA - all the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staff
Yates with Meade WhitakerYates with Meade Whitaker

Steve and Kirki Fuller also came to the Hurst’s home, and their son Harrison is returning to main camp for summer 2019. Steve and Yates especially enjoyed reconnecting as they are fraternity brothers from their days at Appalachian State. Steve also took Yates out on the brand new mountain bike trails at Pocahontas State Park before the camp movies and reunion event.

Yates with Harrison, Kirki, & Steve FullerYates with Harrison, Kirki, & Steve Fuller
Cheerwine!!!Cheerwine!!!
Enjoying pizza and friends at the Richmond, VA movie show and reunionEnjoying pizza and friends at the Richmond, VA movie show and reunion

The final day of travel was this past Wednesday, October 17th. We made our way a little further north to Alexandria, VA, where Katie and David Woodruff hosted us at their beautiful home. Their sons Will and Charlie are main campers, and they joined with several other FCC campers in attendance to help tell the story of camp to new families.

The crew in Alexandria, VA! All the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staffThe crew in Alexandria, VA! All the boys in attendance, plus dads from Father/Son, alumni, and staff
Friends at the Woodruff home for the Alexandria, VA movie show and reunionFriends at the Woodruff home for the Alexandria, VA movie show and reunion

It was also wonderful to reconnect with Mickey Herman, a 13-year camper, CIT, counselor, and previous assistant director at Falling Creek. Mickey finished law school recently at Wake Forest and is starting his new life as a lawyer in D.C. this month. Patrick Greenwood, a 3-year counselor at FCC, returned from coaching in Europe and came to the Woodruff home as well. He is now serving as a teacher and coach nearby. We are appreciative to them both for taking time to come and support Falling Creek! It was a beautiful night to share camp.
Thanks to everyone who came to the camp reunions and movie shows this week, and especially to the wonderful families who hosted. Whether it was our first time meeting you, or you are a long time friend and Falling Creeker, we loved getting the chance to see you all!

Yates with Mickey Herman and Patrick Greenwood in Alexandria, VAYates with Mickey Herman and Patrick Greenwood in Alexandria, VA
Camp friends at the movie show and reunion in Alexandria, VA Camp friends at the movie show and reunion in Alexandria, VA

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Camp Movie Show and Reunion Travel Blog - Week 1

Every summer after the last camper heads home, the final activity supplies are put away, and the last counselors leave, camp reverts back to it’s dormant phase, quietly waiting for another exciting summer to begin in May. You might think that the same is true for the directors and leadership team. Don’t they close up shop and retreat back to their homes for the long winter? Actually, it’s the opposite – the off season for camp is almost busier than than when the campers are here! During the Fall and Winter, the year-round team is busy recruiting staff, interviewing, completing work projects, planning the upcoming sessions, and traveling all over the country to camp family homes and colleges.
This past week was the first of many in this year’s Camp Movie and Reunion travel schedule. These shows take place all over the country, from the end of September through November. A full travel calendar can be found on our website (https://www.fallingcreek.com/news/travel-calendar), but if we don’t make it to your city this year, you can always tune into the last show in Asheville, which we stream live on Facebook. To kick off this season of travel, Yates was able to visit four cities, hosted by four of our incredible camp families. He was in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, then Birmingham, AL, New Orleans, LA, and finally Greenville, SC on Wednesday.
The Daniel Family were our gracious hosts for the show in Atlanta on September 30th. It was a fantastic way to start the travel week, and director Frank Tindall was also able to be there. Pizza was served and there was time to mingle before watching the movie in the backyard in a fun outdoor setting.

Atlanta kicked off the week with a great Movie Show and ReunionAtlanta kicked off the week with a great Movie Show and Reunion
Camp friends in AtlantaCamp friends in Atlanta
The new 2019 trunk sticker was also revealed, which is a collectible item that campers can only receive at a Movie Show and Reunion. This year’s design is the dining hall, and we were excited to share these stickers for the first time in Atlanta.
The 2019 Collectible Trunk Sticker The 2019 Collectible Trunk Sticker
As a side note, if you would like a sticker but we aren’t traveling to your city this year, just tune in to the Asheville Facebook live show and we’ll send stickers to all those who participate through the live feed as well!
The second day led us to Birmingham, where the Mandell Family hosted at their beautiful home on October 1st. Ken Cochran, who was on staff in 1988-89, also came to reconnect and even took some photos, just like he did at camp back in the late 80’s when he was on photography staff.
It was a great turnout in Birmingham!It was a great turnout in Birmingham!
It was fun having so many veteran campers in attendance to share their Falling Creek experience with all of the new families. Though many of the families who come to these shows are new to camp and looking for more information about Falling Creek, there are also many families who come to simply reunite with friends and catch up since the summer.
Watching the Camp Movie in the Mandell Family home Watching the Camp Movie in the Mandell Family home

On October 2nd, the Pipes Family opened their home in New Orleans. New Orleans has always been a city that sends a number of boys up to NC for camp in the summer, and we are always happy to reconnect with our friends down in Louisiana.
The great crew at the New Orleans Movie Show and Reunion!The great crew at the New Orleans Movie Show and Reunion!
Many of the boys at the New Orleans show were at camp this summer, and even though it has only been a few months since we last saw them, you can already tell how much they are growing! Seeing the boys grow into the great young men we know they are is one of the most rewarding parts of the ongoing camp experience.
A few of our incredible campers from New Orleans!A few of our incredible campers from New Orleans!

To round out the week, we finished the tour on Wednesday in Greenville. It was a beautiful evening, and we are grateful to Cary and Gage Weekes for welcoming everyone to their home.
4-time Father/Son attendees, the Savage's, came to reconnect with the FCC community4-time Father/Son attendees, the Savage's, came to reconnect with the FCC community
Yates was able to reconnect with Kelly Odom, who was a camper in his June 3-Week cabin back in 1987! He was able to meet Kelly’s family, and we are excited to have his son join us at Falling Creek this coming summer.
Yates Pharr with Kelly Odom, one of his campers from June Camp 1987Yates Pharr with Kelly Odom, one of his campers from June Camp 1987
Yates and Frank Jackson leading a Fontana Trip during June Camp in 1987 (Kelly is in the blue second from the right) Lawrence Whatley is to the right of Frank, and Spencer South is to the right of him. Both are FCC dads, and Lawrence was at the Monday night show!Yates and Frank Jackson leading a Fontana Trip during June Camp in 1987 (Kelly is in the blue second from the right) Lawrence Whatley is to the right of Frank, and Spencer South is to the right of him. Both are FCC dads, and Lawrence was at the Monday night show!
Yates with his June Camp Cabin in 1987, including a young Kelly Odom Yates with his June Camp Cabin in 1987, including a young Kelly Odom
Cary presented some amazing FCC logo and CODE cookies for dessert that were almost too pretty to eat, and were a huge hit. It was great seeing super-counselor Andrew Smith, who is now a PA in Greenville and came by the show to support and reconnect.
Cary presented some incredible custom cookies at the Greenville show!Cary presented some incredible custom cookies at the Greenville show!
Thanks for a great night Greenville! Long time staff member Andrew Smith (back row far left) was also able to reconnect and come say hi Thanks for a great night Greenville! Long time staff member Andrew Smith (back row far left) was also able to reconnect and come say hi

We are so grateful for all the incredible Falling Creek families who open their beautiful homes for these Movie Shows and Reunions. Your support is what makes all of this possible. Our next travel week, starting Monday, October 15, will take us to Raleigh NC, Richmond VA, and Alexandria VA. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

-Annie Pharr

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