We are very excited to announce that Falling Creek Camp was among a handful of finalists at the October, 2013 Verizon Wireless Technology Innovation Awards hosted in Greenville, SC. The contest is for small and medium sized businesses from the Southeast region to share challenges that were overcome through the use of wireless technology and the Verizon network.
Falling Creek’s activity programs are based on the boys being able to choose what activities they want to participate in. In addition to the base daily activities they have selected to attend on a consistent basis during the week, they hear special signup activity announcements several times a day that offer alternative activities to participate in. These programs require participation that is greater than the one hour daily activity period and can be as long as a 5-day trip. Keeping track of the boys and their activities is of utmost importance to us since this includes important personal needs such as medications, allergies, etc. With the help of a local web development team, Nathan Newquist spearheaded the design and production of a web based application we call “Chuck Norris” that tracks camper attendance and progression, and helps with the overall logistics of the camp program. It also gives us valuable information to track activity trends and much more that we will continue to expand upon the future. 4G wireless tablets were given to most activities this past summer, and counselors would take roll at the beginning of each activity period, instantly updating the program office on the status of each camper. The activity counselors could also monitor and update each camper’s activity progression using this program. “iTaylor” Hall, a software and information systems major at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, who served as our Digital Asset Manager for the 2013 camp season, worked with Nathan to tweak the program throughout summer.
While we didn’t win the Verizon Wireless Technology Innovation Awards this year, we learned a lot in our first year of implementing the system, and continue to make improvements to insure next year it’s an even more helpful tool for our awesome Falling Creek Camp summer programs. The best part about this “out-of-the-box” planning is that the boys don’t feel the technology presence. The small tablet is all that may be seen, but roll call is not a long process and the progression data and trip sign-ups are done as if the counselors were writing on paper or away from the campers.
Please join us in congratulating Nathan Newquist, “iTaylor” Hall, and the FCC program team in their innovative efforts!