Last summer (2012) we had many boys who became members of an special group of campers,“Falconers of Falling Creek Camp (FFCC)”. Nine boys during June Camp, three of which were members of the original group from 2011.
During our Main Camp session, we had fifteen campers who were FFCC members. Five had been part of the original (2011) group, along with ten new boys.
Cal Oakley was the first and founding camper from 2006. His name is engraved on the original FFCC plaque at the Nature Hut, along with the names of Boy Scouts and adults who constructed two sets of enclosures, several at Falling Creek and another set at Steve Longenecker’s home in Asheville NC.
Each summer, Falling Creek campers see the attractive wooden signs on the side porch wall of the dining hall, then often ask, "How can I become a “Falconer”? Easy!…
During the second week (“Raptor Week”) of both sessions, Steve brings the falcons/hawks/owls to Camp for six days. The birds have comfortable enclosures outside of our Nature Hut, where they stay, each in their special cage, for the week.
Under the tutelage of Steve and Nature Staff counselors, interested boys of any age learn how to feed, maintain the “mews” (Falconer’s name for the cages) and check the raptors before bedtime each night. Towards the end of “Raptor Week”, these boys present an elaborate “Raptor Show” to the Falling Creek community, where they plan, organize and narrate the entire program.
The “Falconers of Falling Creek Camp” are unique in the summer camping world. This is the only camp in the U.S. who has the Federal and State permits to have raptors in-residence on the camp property.
For 2013, our hope is to include new campers into the June Camp and Main Camp FFCC groups. Interested boys should be alert for information. “Raptor Week” will be the second week of each session.