Homesteading on the Archery Range

Our new raised beds for the F.A.R.M. program at Falling Creek Camp.Our new raised beds for the F.A.R.M. program at Falling Creek Camp.

Falling Creek Camp is pleased to announce a new activity that will be introduced to campers of all ages in the summer of 2016. We will have the opportunity to plant and harvest vegetables, tend to chickens and egg collection, create by repurposing materials, construct habitats, influence our footprint on the environment, and experiment with different composting methods, including black soldier flies, farming worms, and in vessel tumblers– all of this and more will be covered in our new activity focusing on homesteading skills.

The transformation of our activity area has involved relocating archery to a new structure next to riflery. This allows us to keep the target sports together and utilize the flat, open ground that the old range offers for raised beds and sunshine. Both activities will be in short walking distance to all of the other exciting programs offered at camp.

Relocated Archery range at Falling Creek Camp.Relocated Archery range at Falling Creek Camp.
Picking up some compost from Danny's Dumpster for our raised beds. Danny's Dumpster is a local business that has been our composting and recycling partner for many years.Picking up some compost from Danny's Dumpster for our raised beds. Danny's Dumpster is a local business that has been our composting and recycling partner for many years.

Our new F.A.R.M. program will focus on the words that make up the fitting acronym – Food. Animals. Repurposing. Manpower. The tasks and responsibilities each day will engage the boys with hands-on work and strengthen their connection we have with food. They will participate in projects and learn transferable skills that we can all add to our everyday lives. Those involved in this program will surely leave with an appreciation of sustainable living and quite possibly dirty hands.

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How do you hire 140 awesome counselors?

Camper and Counselor doing the 3-Legged Race at summer camp.

Did you know that more than half of our staff is made up of former Falling Creek campers and counselors? These are men who have experienced the magic of Falling Creek first-hand, men who value our traditions and have demonstrated a willingness to uphold our code of conduct. And did you know that roughly 50% of our counselors choose to return to Falling Creek each summer? That is a stat we are very proud of given the pressure college students feel to spend their summers pursuing corporate internships. (NY Times article, The Camp Counselor vs. Intern)

Each year we receive hundreds of applications, many from friends or family members of current FCC campers and counselors. Jim Goodrum, a.k.a. “Goody”, is our Staffing Director. He was a camper, C.I.T., counselor, and Program Director, and has spent a grand total of 30 years at Falling Creek! If anyone can spot a great counselor, it’s Goody. Outdoor Adventure Director, Ben Williams, and Program Director, Kyle Jeffries, also play a big part in our staff selection process and have a knack for finding just the right guys to make our activities sizzle. Ben has been on staff for 18 years and Kyle 6, so they know how to “pick ‘em”.

Goody thoroughly reviews each application and selects the best applicants for a personal interview with a Falling Creek Director. Next, reference and background checks are completed. Lastly, the best-of-the-best have a final interview with Yates before being invited to join our team.

Meet our Summer Staff!

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Ben Williams Scouts for HUCK Ecuador Expedition

HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.

We’ve scoured the globe to locate the best destinations for our campers. The photo above shows Outdoor Adventure Director, Ben Williams and a group of paddlers, on one of the rivers HUCK Ecuador participants will enjoy this summer. Ben lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Elliot during the school year teaching skiing at Alta Ski Area. (More photos from the scouting trip are below!)

For the summer of 2016, Falling Creek will be offering five expeditions for a total of 60 young men. Unlike other teen travel programs, Falling Creek Expeditions are goal-oriented and focus on a single sport. Our expeditions are designed to help participants develop their activity-specific skills as well as leadership and character. While on an expedition, each camper will identify and pursue specific objectives allowing him to mature mentally and physically. Make no mistake, these adventures will be both CHALLENGING AND THRILLING!

HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.

During the expeditions, each young man will gain a level of independence and confidence he will carry over to both school work and sports back home. He will return with a sense of pride knowing that he has invested his time and energy towards achieving his personal goals.

HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.
Ben running a rapid while on the HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.Ben running a rapid while on the HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.
Ben meeting a monkey on the HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.Ben meeting a monkey on the HUCK Ecuador paddling expedition scouting trip.
Waterfall Ben viewed in Ecuador while scouting the HUCK Ecuador paddling trip.Waterfall Ben viewed in Ecuador while scouting the HUCK Ecuador paddling trip.
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Falling Creek’s Leadership Team goes to ACA National Conference

Falling Creek Directors and summer leaders converged in Atlanta to attend the American Camp Association national conference in mid-February. It’s an opportunity to gather with other camp professionals from around the world to share and learn as we prepare for the summer.

Yates and Frank caught up with Virginia Ballard at the ACA Conference. Virginia is the mother of a long-time Falling Creek camper. She is now the president of Camp Aranzazu near Houston, TX, on the coast. The camp is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with chronic illness and special needs by providing unique camping, environmental education and retreat experiences.Yates and Frank caught up with Virginia Ballard at the ACA Conference. Virginia is the mother of a long-time Falling Creek camper. She is now the president of Camp Aranzazu near Houston, TX, on the coast. The camp is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with chronic illness and special needs by providing unique camping, environmental education and retreat experiences.
Falling Creek Directors and summer staff leaders at the ACA Conference in Atlanta ran into Sterling Ivy, the mother of a long-time camper from Augusta, GA. Sterling has started “Camp Ivey” as a camp for youth with developmental differences. (l to r) Frank Tindall, Kyle Jeffries, KD Lemons, Zach Rivera, Sterling Ivey, Marisa Pharr, and Yates Pharr.Falling Creek Directors and summer staff leaders at the ACA Conference in Atlanta ran into Sterling Ivy, the mother of a long-time camper from Augusta, GA. Sterling has started “Camp Ivey” as a camp for youth with developmental differences. (l to r) Frank Tindall, Kyle Jeffries, KD Lemons, Zach Rivera, Sterling Ivey, Marisa Pharr, and Yates Pharr.
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New Years Resolutions

3…2…1… Happy New Year!
Have you ever welcomed in the New Year with a resolution? According to Statistic Brain, 45% of Americans make a New Years Resolution each year.

What are the top five resolutions for Americans, anyways?

falling creek ironman

Number 5 is staying fit and healthy. After the past 2 months of stuffing turkey, ham, every casserole you could think of, the most delicious pies and cobblers in existence, and of course cookies, cookies, and more cookies into your mouth, it does seem like a good idea to put back on the tennis shoes and give your digestive system a good cleanse. Eating Well has some delicious easy and healthy recipes for any budget to get yourself back on track!

Number 4 is to enjoy life to the fullest. It seems like just yesterday, we were sitting at the table carving the turkey. The holidays fly by! It seems like the more that gets put on the calendar, the faster the days go by. Busyness takes over and we forget to slow down and actually enjoy life. Maybe we should just throw the calendar out the window! For most of us, that is impossible. There is soccer practice, piano practice, dance class, soccer game, oh, and the neighbor’s birthday party. Phew. Zen Habits says that it is actually possible to get the “you-time” in that you need each week! One wonderful habit they say to start, if you have not already, are date-nights with your spouse! Make sure this gets put on the calendar before anything else does! Have at least one each month. Another great tip is to create your calendar first. Find a time in the morning and evening to start and end the day without the kiddos. This means wake-up before them and send them to bed early so that you have a chance to enjoy yourself. You can use this time to workout, read scripture, meditate, or maybe just sit down and watch a good T.V. show or read a good book. You can also create more time for yourself by making household chores a family activity each week; not necessarily your own responsibilities.

falling creek basketball

Number 3 is to spend less and save more. If you have never heard of Dave Ramsey, he is “the guy” when it comes to dealing with that f-word…finances! Dave is a strong Christian man with amazing insights on how to grab hold of your finances and take control so that you are saving more money each week. If it has anything to do with money, spending, investing, or saving, he has tips and tricks to make you feel more satisfied and confident about your finances.

Number 2 is to get organized. The most frustrating thing is when you know you have seen something, you know, that thing you need right at that moment, but remembering where you saw it… huh. You open junk drawer number 1 and sift through the random assortment of gadgets, batteries, pens, and the duct tape you needed last weekend, but couldn’t find. You move to junk drawer number two, but no luck there. Then you face the dreaded closet; the one that you are afraid to open because an avalanche of who-knows-what is waiting behind a slight turn of the handle. Real Simple has some great tips on organizing those scary places in your home so that you can lose the fear of the dreaded closet. The first step is to have a family day specifically dedicated to cleaning out the closets and drawers and making a pile of anything that has not been touched or worn in 6 months. That Xbox game that has not been played in a year- see ya! The shirt you used to love, but it just does not fit right anymore. Yes, it is time to get rid of that one too. If it is taking up space in the closet and is no use to you, today, it is time to go! Depending on your pile of “stuff” you can either sell it or donate it. Once you get rid of the useless stuff, do not just throw what is left back in the drawer or closet. Instead, separate them into likes and neatly put them away. For example, one place for all of the shoes to go, unless going to your own closet. All the batteries gathered and placed in one drawer. Make sure they are easy to find this time so you do not have that frustrating, “I know I saw that somewhere” moment.

falling creek push up

Number 1 is, you guessed it, weight-loss. What is the most successful way to lose weight, anyways? We all hate hearing it, but it is not the powder you sprinkle on your french fries or the pill you take to burn off body fat. The most successful way to lose weight is, well, refer back to resolution number 5. Diet and exercise. Of course we go back to the most ancient from of weight-loss, but it is still the most successful to this date. There are many diets out there, but eating healthy portions and well-balanced meals is truly the best. There are some diets out there to guide you on the foods you should be eating, like Weight-Watchers or the Mediterranean diet. There are many ways to work-out as well, from popular work-out DVDs like PiYo and Insanity which allow you to work-out in your own home, or apps for the phone like Nike’s app called Running which will track your runs and workouts and help you achieve your goals. And do not forget the new Fitbit or iFit fitness trackers that work with your phone as well.

Although only 8% of Americans are successful in completing their resolutions, 46% are able to commit to an entire month, which is definitely enough to start some good habits. Even if you do not fully complete your resolution, there are other ways to measure success. The first step is to determine what success is, create a plan on reaching it, and stay determined to follow through! Most of the time, short-term goals are more successful than long-term, so start small to give yourself a an opportunity to succeed!

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