Championship Youth Mountain Bike Race to be Held at Falling Creek

Youth Mountain Biking at Camp

CYMBL is a youth mountain biking league formed by Falling Creek’s Marisa Pharr and Ben Williams, along with Todd Branham and Heather Wright of Blue Ridge Adventures, one of mountain biking’s top event organizers. With 1 more race remaining this fall, come join us!

The Championship Race of the series is September 29, 2012 at 9:00am on Falling Creek’s very own outstanding trails! Check out some of the trails!

If you are a youth rider, there is still time to sign up! Or if you would like to come and watch, we invite you to come out and cheer for these outstanding athletes.

For more information, visit the Carolina Youth Mountain Bike League’s website or Facebook Page.

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Nathan shifts to new role at Falling Creek as Operations Director!

Nathan, a native of Texas and graduate of Texas Christian University began his Falling Creek career in 2001. After many summers serving as cabin counselor, tribal leader, and head of waterfront, Nathan joined the year-round team as Program Director in 2008. Capitalizing on his many skills, he will now shift his energy to ensuring smooth day-to-day operation of camp.

Over the last few years Nathan has been responsible for many improvements at Falling Creek; including publication of newsletters, The Green and Gold book, website design, and online features for camp families and staff. He is definitely our go-to-guy for all things “tech-y.” Nathan’s knowledge of Falling Creek combined with his skills in system’s design and management continues to move FCC to the high bar we set for ourselves…. “takin’ it to a whole ‘nutha level!”

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Wishing Susan Well

Susan Frame, camp’s Registrar extraordinaire, is moving on from Falling Creek after 22 years of service. She is active in church and community activities and may even get in some golf with her husband Charlie, but she is adamant that she is not “retiring” in the normal sense.

Her son’s business may even keep her hopping, as Sam is the Founder and President of Titan-Pro Drumsticks, the world’s first 100% Green Drumsticks made from recycled carbon fiber. They have received high praise from the industry.

Susan has been a valuable member of the Falling Creek Camp family and the first person you speak with when contacting camp. She voiced that she will miss talking on the phone with camp families that she has developed a strong relationship with over the years.

I know you join us in wishing Susan well in her future endeavors.

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Two New Exotic Snakes for FCC's Nature Program

Two beautiful, exotic snakes were donated to Falling Creek by The Wilds, a camp near Brevard, NC. They had used the snakes as part of their Nature Program, but decided that they were too much trouble to keep during the off-season.

A Ball Python, perhaps the gentlest of all exotic snakes!A Ball Python, perhaps the gentlest of all exotic snakes!

Most problems with keeping tropical snakes involve the feeding and overall enclosure temperature. Unlike our native species that don’t eat between fall and late spring, boas and pythons feed year-round. And as they become larger, they need food that is expensive and sometimes hard to locate.

Normally, our Nature Program restricts itself to critters who are native to the NC mountains. Since Steve Longenecker does many school and Scout programs during the school year, he accepted these snakes to use in those roles and will let them become part of our 2012 program at FCC

These two seem to not only eat readily, but have gentle personalities and accept handling quite nicely. They are welcomed as important facets of Falling Creek’s Nature Program and could well-become “camper favorites” by the time summer’s over!

Steve knows, from his many years doing snake programs, that one of the most important aspects of those programs is giving the audience a chance to touch/hold non-venomous examples. He knows that doing that is often a huge breakthrough for “snake haters,” and often permits them to have an entirely-different attitude towards one of the most misunderstood animals on Earth.

If you’d like to keep up with SFL and the snakes and raptors, you can visit his website.

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Warrior Spirit on the River

Falling Creek provides a community that develops character for campers and staff alike. When one takes a deeper look, one can see the set of values that are shared by members of the Falling Creek community. It is the Falling Creek Code. It has always been here, however, over the summers of 2010 and 2011 we put words to it, introduced it, and intentionally weaved it into all aspects of daily camp life.

The Falling Creek Code is made up of Warrior Spirit, Positive Attitude, Servant’s Heart, and Moral Compass. All of these are grand topics and one might ask, “How do you teach warrior spirit, and more importantly, how do know when you have the spirit of a warrior?” Falling Creek is in the unique setting to give the campers an education that is more than books and papers, it allows us to build character. We have the ability to teach it every day that a camper is part of our community.

The Code hangs outside the Dining Hall at Falling Creek Camp.

A warrior’s spirit. When I think of warriors, I see knights riding off to battle. They have courage, perseverance, and an outlook on life that pushes one to do your best. At Falling Creek I see these items daily. I see young men working hard to achieve a time on the buoy course which allows them to earn a coveted spot on the Lower Green Trip (doing your best). I see young men looking at a 400-foot cliff and having the courage to take the first step! I see young men that will fail many times before they succeed, thus learning how to handle both the failure and the joy of success.

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of paddling with a current Falling Creek camper and a long-time camper/staff member, Taylor Barker. We paddled at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. During our time on the water we caught eddies, surfed waves, punched holes and ran rapids that pushed us both mentally and physically. Near the end of the day, I saw a Warrior’s Spirit.

After a couple of runs through the pushy water of the M-Wave rapid, the group’s confidence was high. Seeing the rapid, one would understand why. Let me paint you a picture of M-Wave. It is a wall of water 6-ish feet tall and about 20-feet wide with a large breaking wave on the top that wants to flip you and hold you at the bottom. Now, if it was just that one series of moves it would be no big deal. However, directly below M-Wave you have several hundred yards of rapids, waves, and holes before you have a chance catch your breath, thus increasing the intimidation factor of the notorious M-Wave.

After one run that was extremely exciting, the camper arrived in the eddy and asked Taylor and I if he could walk back up and do it again, as his performance was below his personal best. Sure! We started to climb out of our boats and he said, “I would like to do it on my own. Will you wait in this eddy for me?” Sure! After ten minutes or so of hiking back up stream and getting set in the boat, we saw a green helmet and red boat line up to punch through M-Wave! The boat was upright and in control. Coming off of the crest of the wave, he was driving the boat hard to the left to avoid the next hole. He rounded the hole and was punching the next series of waves lining up to catch the eddy!

We went on to run that series of rapids several more times, and with each successful run the warrior was present! To answer my original question of how do you teach a Warrior Spirit: you put young men in a setting that requires courage, doing your best, and perseverance. As we have seen over the years, a young man with character is a young man that will rise to meet the challenge at hand.

-Ben

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