Tag: june camp

Final Day Of June Camp: Responsibility, Talent, and Candlelight

This session zipped by!This session zipped by!

“It’s been said that the line between childhood and adulthood is crossed when we move from saying “My shoes got lost’ into ‘I lost my shoes.’

Indeed, being accountable – and understanding and accepting the role our choices play in the things that happen – are crucial signs of emotional and moral maturity. That’s why responsibility is not only a part of the Moral Compass in the Falling Creek Code, it is one of the main pillars of good character and of being a good person.

Many people have been lied to by Peter Pan. A cultural icon representing youthful innocence, a refusal to grow up, and the avoidance of the burdens implied in being accountable. Yes, responsibility sometimes requires us to do things that are unpleasant, worrisome, and even frightening. It asks us to carry our own weight, prepare and set goals, and exercise the discipline to reach our dreams and aspirations.

But the benefits of accepting responsibility far outweigh the short-lived advantages of refusing to do so. You might get away with being quiet about something that you’ve done, or even blaming someone else for your misdeeds. You might not face consequences for your wrong action – at the time. Eventually this poor choice will catch up with you and, it’ll typically cause more pain for you down the road than if you’d stepped up to the situation and said, “I did it”.

When you blame others, you give up your power to change. It has a devastating effect on your own mind and heart. When you know you have failed to take responsibility for something that you should, it’ll begin to bother you, to eat at you, little by little. Pretty soon, you’ll feel very small inside. No life is made better by avoiding responsibility. In fact, irresponsibility is selfish. It is inconsiderate of the situation and the people around you. It goes against the concept of service.

Responsibility is about our ability to respond to circumstances and to choose the attitudes, actions, and reactions that shape our lives. It is a concept of power that puts us in the driver’s seat. The grand perspective of the potential of our lives can only be appreciated when we begin to be accountable and self-reliant.

In the words of a great leader – Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time, “Responsibility demands sacrifice.” You may sacrifice your time, your energy, your honor, your pride – but real responsibility and sacrifice is the path to happiness.

Responsible people not only depend on themselves, but show others that they can be depended on. This breeds trust, and trust is a key that opens many doors. If you want more control over your life and the pleasure, privilege, and power of freedom and independence, be more responsible for your actions.

You will make mistakes along the way. People make mistakes. It’s what you do after you make a mistake that matters. It’s apart of growing up. And you never really stop growing."

The above writing is by Beau Kebodeaux, and it’s how we all began the day today. Beau led us in Morning Watch, and offered these poignant thoughts to start off this Thursday. Throughout these past three weeks, we have seen plenty of growth from the campers. These boys have certainly grown physically, but they have also shown growth in things like independence, collaboration, and responsibility. They have grown their friendships and improved in activity skills, and it is hard to believe that June Camp is already wrapping up.

After a final morning of activities, we had a favorite lunch of macaroni and cheese, mini corn dogs, chili, a charcuterie spread on the salad bar, and s’mores pie for dessert. Afterwards, we gathered at Morning Watch once more to celebrate these boys and the hard work they have put in during this session. Beau spoke about responsibility and being accountable, and there are certainly boys who have gone above and beyond in this department. It takes a lot of dedication and responsibility to progress in activities, and sometimes the hard work isn’t always the most fun. It might mean hours of practice at the swim docks to nail the perfect stroke, time spent mucking stalls at the barn between rides, cleaning up at arts and crafts after a messy day of painting, or repeating drills on the basketball court until you get the perfect layup. However, these boys were setting goals and holding themselves accountable until their hard work paid off. At the awards ceremony this afternoon, we were able to honor three boys in each activity with an award, celebrating them for modeling the Falling Creek Code every day. The full list of awards and their awardees will be included in our next “Grow and Behold” issue, along with the list of those who reached their Ranger and Warrior levels.

The Awards Ceremony is a great chance to celebrate our campers even more The Awards Ceremony is a great chance to celebrate our campers even more

Tonight’s Evening Program gave even more proof of the responsibility these boys have chosen to accept. The annual Talent Show was hosted this evening, and it had been camper-led from the beginning. Though counselors were there to help set up speakers and such, the campers were the ones who wanted to handle the logistics. In particular, Slater N. volunteered himself to be responsible for signing up everyone and organizing the order of those performing. He made announcements in front of his fellow campers, asking them to meet him on the side porch if they were interested in being in the Talent Show. He was there at the practices as well, excited to help make this event a success.

When the time finally came for the curtain to raise, everyone was eagerly awaiting the performers. We gathered in the gym as one big camp community, looking forward to celebrating the many talents that our campers were willing to share. We had 14 great acts, including singers, musicians, comedians, and more. To close out the show, Slater sang “Hallelujah,” accompanied by counselor Danny on guitar and Quentin on electric bass. It takes courage to perform in front of hundreds of people, but we are lucky to have a supportive camp community that cheered for each other throughout every act. The brotherhood that has been built really showed, and Slater’s act was followed by a standing ovation from the whole crowd, appreciative of not only his singing, but also the hard work that he put into making the show happen.

Slater bringing down the house with the song Slater bringing down the house with the song "Hallelujah," accompanied by Danny and Quentin
It was a high-energy crowd at the talent show!It was a high-energy crowd at the talent show!

The final event of the night was Campfire. We close every session with Campfire, which gives us time to reflect as a community and enjoy songs, skits, and verses in an area special to camp. Tonight was our Candlelight Campfire, where everyone lights their candles and walks out of the campfire area, encircling the upper lake. As everyone lines the bank with their tiny flames, we begin to sing Falling Creek’s version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” It is a beautiful way to end the day, and one of the verses particularly resonates with the atmosphere during our Campfire: “so when you leave tonight, by the fire’s light, please leave your spirit here. And we’ll let the trees, and all the memories, guard them all till we’re back next year.”

Candlelight Campfire is always a special evening at campCandlelight Campfire is always a special evening at camp

Everyone headed to bed tonight tired and happy, dreaming about this whirlwind of a session, and all the fun and growth we packed into three short weeks. Parents, we know your sons can’t wait to see you tomorrow morning! The gates will open at 8:30am, see you then!

-Annie Pharr

Encircling the lake with our candles Encircling the lake with our candles
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Horsing Around

Focused all the way to the top of the wall on the final full day of activitiesFocused all the way to the top of the wall on the final full day of activities

When boys come to camp for the first time, it’s almost overwhelming to choose just one activity to try out first. Everyone adds six activities to their schedule initially, but throughout camp, boys can change their activities around to find the ones they like the most. Towards the end of the session, you’ll often see boys changing their activity periods to allow for some extra time to spend in their favorite activity. Up at the barn today, several campers were working on progressions (or just loved spending time with the horses), and had signed up to ride all day.

Will A. had been riding in the ring this morning, but signed up again for an afternoon trail ride. He was grooming Gizmo to be tacked, and his friend Sawyer was helping him out by picking Gizmo’s hooves as he brushed. Both boys said that Gizmo was their favorite horse. He is one of the older members of our barn, but still has a lot of energy for an old pony. “I like him because he listens to me,” Will explained. “I can just say ‘canter’ and he’ll go faster without me even kicking him.” Gizmo has mellowed out in his old age, and was relaxed as the boys brushed his coat and prepped him for the ride.

Will during his morning ride in the ring!Will during his morning ride in the ring!

In the next stall over, Nolan was getting Pharaoh ready to join the trail ride. “I even got to give him his present,” Nolan said proudly, holding out the new girth that the barn staff had just got for Pharaoh. Doss, one of our great barn staff, was helping Nolan put the bridle on Pharaoh. Pharaoh could tell they were about to go on the trails, and was getting excited, making it more challenging to get him tacked. “If you blow in his nostrils, he’ll blow back. That’s how the horses say hello to each other in the pasture,” Doss told Nolan. He quickly blew in Pharaoh’s nose, and Pharaoh calmed down, realizing that Nolan was trying to “say hello.” Nolan put his cheek up to Pharaoh’s nose and exclaimed, “he blew back at me!”

Nolan riding Wilbur in the ring during his morning classNolan riding Wilbur in the ring during his morning class

Inside the barn, Nolan’s brother Colin was also learning about the horses. Instead of riding this afternoon, he had chosen to work on ground skills, studying gaits and foot-falls as part of his progressions. “I’ve been making a lot of study guides. I can’t wait to go home and tell my friend how much I know about horses!” he said excitedly, showing me his notebook full of drawings and notes. He had a complete picture of a horse drawn, labeled with 36 different parts of the anatomy. He also had two full pages of notes from their lesson on horses that work with police, plus the different gaits of a horse drawn out with their foot-falls. His favorite part of the ground skills had been earlier in the session when they painted the bone and muscle structure onto the outside of an actual horse. On one side, they painted the bones in white paint as they learned about them, and on the other they detailed the different muscles.

Mary, helping the boys tack up and get readyMary, helping the boys tack up and get ready

This afternoon, Colin was helping Carter and Matthew put a halter on a horse and tie the lead rope with a quick-release knot. It was great seeing the three campers teach each other, and Colin was a skilled teacher. They were practicing with Wilbur, who is a huge paint horse and quite the gentle giant. Even though Carter was nearly 1/8th the size of Wilbur, he was able to put on his halter and tie him up properly. All three boys got their progressions checked off, and are working towards completing Explorer, the second of the five levels.

Heading back to the barn after a great ring lessonHeading back to the barn after a great ring lesson

Jonathan is currently a Ranger, the fourth of the five levels, and knows just how much time and dedication it takes to progress that far. He often volunteers to come early and help out at the barn, not just for the fun parts, but even for mucking stalls and cleaning tack. The barn staff have nothing but nice things to say about Jonathan, and are always appreciative of his help and his Servant’s Heart. “He helps muck stalls when he doesn’t have to,” Mary shared. Doss agreed, adding that he “comes more than he has to for just his progressions.” Jonathan isn’t concerned with only his progressions though. He continues coming to the barn because he loves it, and because he knows how much work it takes to care for the horses. Sometimes before breakfast, he sets his alarm early to meet the staff at the barn and help spread the shavings, bring the horses in, and feed them their breakfast, all before he eats his own.

Today, Jonathan was one of the boys out on the all-day advanced trail ride. Clarke and Kimry took the riders up to the old apple orchard where they enjoyed a picnic lunch before heading back in the afternoon. “My favorite part was when we played tag on the horses” Jonathan grinned, but he said that he liked it all. Tomorrow is already the final full day for our June Campers, and we know they’ll be cherishing every moment spent in their favorite places in camp.

-Annie Pharr

More Highlights From This Wednesday:

  • Our Cherokee and Catawba cabins headed out for their overnights tonight! Luckily the weather was clear as they headed out to their campsites. The Tuscarora and Iroquois boys got to have pizza picnics this time, enjoying a mellow evening with their cabin mates.
  • Hudson T., Hudson Y., Edwin S., and Will A. all earned Ranger in Pottery
  • Sam D. became a Warrior in Pottery
  • Jack B. became a Ranger in Archery
  • Chris Ocana gave JP Van Buren the “Silver Tiger” Staff of the Week award
  • We celebrated three birthdays today! Doss and Beau, two of our incredible counselors, as well as Philip C. who turned 11!
  • The kitchen team outdid themselves again with our pizza picnics, allowing each cabin to place their pizza order with all their toppings after lunch, and pick up the pizzas at dinner time. Breakfast and lunch were also delicious, with hot pancakes and bacon and grits this morning, and chicken marinara sandwiches with seasoned fries, fruit salad, and banana pudding this afternoon.
Morning Watch before breakfast, the best way to start the dayMorning Watch before breakfast, the best way to start the day
Concentrating hard at the blacksmith shopConcentrating hard at the blacksmith shop
Another great day for sailing at Lake SummitAnother great day for sailing at Lake Summit
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Serving our Community

Every week, we have a theme that shapes our Evening Embers discussions, inspires the lessons during church, and influences the skits at Campfire. This week, the focus is on “service,” and throughout the day boys are realizing just how many ways there are to serve each other at camp. During Evening Embers, boys gather with their counselor and cabin mates at the end of the day, discussing a question together in their cabin. One of the questions this week asked, “what can we do tomorrow to better serve our Falling Creek community?” It seemed like this question was still fresh in everyone’s minds today, because examples of service could be found in all aspects of camp.

Our kitchen staff serves us delicious food three times a day, but they are doing more than just serving out platters. The care that they put into preparing each meal is apparent, and the way they provide substitutes for specific diets and allergies shows their attention to detail. This morning we were treated to warm biscuits, sausages, eggs, seasoned hash browns, oatmeal, and a fruit and yogurt bar. We eat family style so that we can sit down with each other for conversations over our meal, and each table cleans up after themselves when we finish. Boys take turns carrying up the tray of plates after the meal, and sharing the cleaning is just one way that we can serve each other.

Good thing our counselors are strong!Good thing our counselors are strong!

The attitude of service carries over into our activities, especially at the F.A.R.M. where boys were taking care of the 23 chickens. The boys learn what it takes to care for chickens, helping to feed them and refill their water, as well as digging up bugs or harvesting lettuce for them to snack on. Some of the boys even have favorite chickens, like “Fancy Nancy,” who is named because of her “fancy feathered boots.” She is a brahma chicken, so she has fluffy feathered feet that sets her apart from the others. Today, the campers were working on updating the “chicken fort” in their run. They were collecting sticks to add to the fort so the chickens had a place to play and hide in. Beckett B. was working on making a chicken “restaurant” out of sticks, and laying out a buffet of lettuce for them. Everyone was having so much fun taking care of the chickens that they hardly realized they were serving them.

Caring for the chickens at the F.A.R.M. Caring for the chickens at the F.A.R.M.

On trips out of camp, a lot of planning and work from the counselors has to happen before the fun can begin. If counselors didn’t take the time to show this service, their trips wouldn’t be able to happen properly. Today, mountain biking was heading out to Dupont. Riley was most excited to ride Ridgeline again, (one of the most famous trails at Dupont) even though he had just been in Dupont last week! Before he even loaded up his bike though, mountain biking counselor Evan was in the kitchen making sure he had all their lunch supplies and no one would be hungry. Meanwhile, Dusty was serving his campers by leaving breakfast early to double check that the van was full of gas and ready to go. They were heading to Linville Gorge (or as Dusty says, Linville gorgeous), and the climbing staff wanted to make sure everything would be set, modeling their Servant’s Heart for the campers.

On the Tuckasegee river today, boys were learning more than just how to paddle the rapids. Ben Williams was teaching them what to do if someone falls out of their boat or has to wet exit in the whitewater, as well as how to perform rescues. The boys learned the technique for throwing the rope, and practiced “rescuing” each other on a tame section of the river. This kind of service is important during trips, because it allows boys to see that these adventure sports are more than just fun, and that to be successful they have to work as a team and serve each other.

Learning how to make rescues on the Tuckasegee RiverLearning how to make rescues on the Tuckasegee River

Back at camp, tennis was working on a different kind of serving! They’ve been busy not only during daily lessons, but also with the Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament. Thomas was telling me about his tennis partner, Matt, who is also his cabin counselor in Satank. In the last match they played earlier this week, they both wore fun matching neon shirts. Thomas and Matt are still in the bracket, and Thomas told me there were about 16 teams left this morning. He was looking forward to serving in their next match, which would be during Free Time. The Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament is always a fun challenge, and everyone enjoys watching the highly anticipated final match!

Matt and Thomas, matching and ready for their Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament matchMatt and Thomas, matching and ready for their Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament match

It doesn’t matter if you are in camp activities, out of camp on trips, cleaning your cabin, or working in the kitchen, examples of service can be seen everywhere at camp. The Falling Creek Code is made up of four parts: Warrior Spirit, Positive Attitude, Moral Compass, and Servant’s Heart. Servant’s Heart is at the crux of what makes the Falling Creek Community so strong. If we didn’t encourage each other to model unselfish behavior and think of our neighbors with our Servant’s Heart, camp wouldn’t run nearly as smoothly. Today was a good reminder of just how many answers there are to that Evening Embers question, “what can we do to better serve our Falling Creek community.”

-Annie Pharr

Learning how to tie knots at the climbing wallLearning how to tie knots at the climbing wall

More Highlights From This Tuesday:

  • Today was Green and Gold Day! Green won the “minute to win it” toilet paper mummy challenge at Morning Assembly, and the boys split into their tribes for Evening Program for more Green vs. Gold points games on the fields, in the gym, and in the thunder dungeon.
  • Lunch was make-your-own wraps, with turkey bacon, tomato, lettuce, onion, cheese, ranch, and corn or wheat tortillas. There was also homemade potato salad and fresh watermelon, with chocolate Oreo pudding for dessert.
  • Dinner was homemade perogies with cabbage, kielbasa, a hefty salad bar, and oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert
  • Nathaniel R. became a Ranger in Archery
  • Hudson T. became a Warrior in Archery
  • JJ H., Robert P., & Tyler B. all became Rangers in Basketball
  • Wells W. became a Warrior in Basketball
Green team wins the minute-to-win-it challenge at Morning Assembly!Green team wins the minute-to-win-it challenge at Morning Assembly!
Foggy but beautiful morning at lacrosse todayFoggy but beautiful morning at lacrosse today
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Trying New Things

It's not every day you get to hammer steel at the forge - unless it's camp!It's not every day you get to hammer steel at the forge - unless it's camp!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first time camper or a multi-year counselor, trying new things is never easy. Routines are comfortable, familiar, and convenient. It’s nice to have a schedule and a set of daily rituals, so it’s easy to fall into habits. After all, what if you try something new and you don’t like it? Nevermind if you try something and actually enjoy it; the future can seem too far away and abstract to justify forgoing your usual routine. However, at a certain point, routines start to impede growth. If you never try anything new, you’ll never push your comfort zones, explore new hobbies, or find out what you might be capable of.

Rich Walker is a psychologist at Winston-Salem State University who has been studying how “trying new things” can boost one’s happiness. TIME Magazine reported on how he studied people’s memories from 30,000 events, plus 500 diary entries, finding that people who have the most varied experiences also have a higher likelihood of reporting the most positive emotions (https://bit.ly/1NYFur1). It’s sometimes hard to add variety to your daily experiences when you’re at home, but at camp, we’re lucky enough to be able to choose from a seemingly endless array of activities each day. Besides the six daily activities you can choose to do, there are always plenty of trips going out or special signups happening that offer a huge selection of experiences.

You only have to try the blob once to find out how much fun it is!You only have to try the blob once to find out how much fun it is!

For some boys, simply making the choice to come to camp is a new experience. It can be intimidating to leave home for three weeks and live with a group of boys you don’t know. In fact, the camp experience might even be a boy’s first time away from his parents for this long. It’s never easy trying new things, but pushing your comfort zone by living in a new setting can have huge positive effects. Trying something new like “sleepaway camp” can improve independence, confidence, communication with peers, flexibility, and more.

For other boys who have been coming to camp for years, there are always opportunities to branch out and try something new. Martin Z. has been coming to Falling Creek for four years now, but he didn’t go to the archery range until this summer. “I had never tried it before, but I just felt like seeing something new,” he told me today during a foosball match at Free Time. He said that he enjoyed archery, and it may have inspired him to try other new things at camp. This same summer, he was finally able to paddle the Lower Green for the first time. He has tried a few times before in past years, but bad luck has forced him to keep trying. “One time my paddling partner got sick, another time we paddled a different river because the water was too high, and another time I was sick!”, Martin explained. This past trip was finally his time though, and Martin said he was glad that he persisted in trying something new.

Shocktaw!Shocktaw!

Aiken was also looking forward to trying something new with paddling: today he was heading on a combination “bi-venture” with biking and paddling! In this unique trip, boys would spend part of the time riding mountain bikes, and then they would swap gear and spend the rest of the time paddling whitewater. Aiken was excited because he had never done a trip with both experiences together. “There are only five other guys going I think, because you have to have done a Lower Green paddling trip and a camp ride or trip to DuPont with biking,” he told me. These guys had worked hard in both activities to be ready for the multi-sport trip, and it was a great way to have campers on the same trip who may ordinarily only focus on one of those activities. Aiken said he was more of a mountain biker, but was up for trying something new, and excited to have the chance to combine both activities.

Every day at camp is a chance to try new things. These new things could be big challenges like climbing on your first Looking Glass trip if you’re scared of heights, or sleeping outside in a tent for the first time and ignoring your fear of bugs. They could also be seemingly small things, like trying the pickled beets on the salad bar for the first time, or feeling comfortable enough to talk about your emotions with your cabin during Evening Embers. Trying new things at camp isn’t limited to the out-of-camp adventures either. For example, Simon got his cabin mate to teach him how to play the Magic trading card strategy game, something that he had never tried to learn back home. Jamie learned a new way to make paper airplanes, a silly but fun activity that was being offered during yesterday’s special signups. Brian and Croft were teaching boys how to slackline, helping them build up confidence to try and balance by themselves.

Brian helping boys find their balance while trying out slack lining Brian helping boys find their balance while trying out slack lining
Jamie's paper airplane is ready for take-off!Jamie's paper airplane is ready for take-off!

We may only have a few days left in camp, but each day comes with a thousand opportunities to try new things. We can’t wait to tell you about what kinds of activities we get to experience tomorrow!

More Highlights From This Monday:

  • Four Birthdays today! Happy Birthday to Tate B. who turned 11, plus three of our incredible staff members: Chloe, Admezzy, and Coleman.
  • Lochlan M. became Ranger in theater
  • Jack R. earned Ranger in basketball
  • John G. is now a Warrior in tennis, the highest level!
  • We were treated to some delicious meals today: french toast, bacon, and grits for breakfast, cheese quesadillas, rice, and black beans for lunch, and “fish and chips” with steamed vegetables and vanilla cake for dessert.
  • EP: tribal games! Cherokee on the turf field, Catawba on the landsports field, Tuscarora in the “thunder dungeon” for dodgeball, and Iroquois playing the famous Multi-ball game on the tennis courts
Jumping for the catch at flag footballJumping for the catch at flag football
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Behold

Behold.

If you could narrow camp down to a single word, it could arguably be summed up by these six letters. “Behold” is the word that begins every Campfire, the cheer we yell at the end of group huddles, the word you whisper to yourself when you stand in awe at the Overlook, and the way that Psalm 133:1 starts out: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” The word evokes memories of campfires, brotherhood, and community, all things central to the Falling Creek experience, and all things that we get to enjoy on Sundays at camp.

Reading along during ChurchReading along during Church

On Sundays, everyone is back from trips, and we become one big community once more. We’re able to slow down the pace a bit and savor this brotherhood that has been created at camp, catching up with friends about all the trips, progressions, and fun that has happened throughout the week. Sundays offer more thoughtful moments, shared together during Church and Campfire, as well as exciting moments during afternoon special sign-ups and Cookout Supper. Plus, any day that begins with a late breakfast of Krispy Kreme doughnuts is destined to be a good day.

Kyle leading the discussion on anger at churchKyle leading the discussion on anger at church

During Church, we gathered in the Campfire area by the lower lake, enjoying the sunshine and peacefulness. The program of today’s Church continued the week’s theme: anger. For the skit, Lochlan M. performed a solo monologue, in which he pretended to be two different people discussing how to deal with anger. Kyle spoke about our relationship with anger, and it was fitting that we followed his talk with the song “Peace Like A River.”

Our camp band leading the songs during ChurchOur camp band leading the songs during Church

Lunch was our classic fried chicken meal, followed by Sunday Sundaes outside. The fresh strawberries on the salad bar were at peak flavor too, which was my personal highlight of the meal. Nothing beats a buffet line of ice cream on a hot summer day, and ice cream sundaes are eagerly anticipated all week! The top cleanest cabins from Sunday Inspection were the ones who got to get their ice cream first. In Cherokee, it was Cabin 8, In Catawba, it was Ishi, in Tuscarora, it was Little Raven, in Iroquois, it was Tecumseh, and in the Creek non-cabin counselor tribe, it was Ocoee. We also celebrated two birthdays at lunch, Coley H. and Charlie Pike!

After rest hour, the afternoon is full of exciting special signups, where the boys are able to choose activities that aren’t always offered during regular camp days. During the first half of the afternoon, the horseback riders were going to ride the horses back up to the barn from Fisher’s Field. Andy Killebrew was leading a casual hike on property, and Gabe was going to be at the riflery hut teaching how to sight a rifle. Boys could learn how to play basic poker, or trade Magic cards with Danny. Nic was hosting a “brisk walk” to Smith Pond, and everyone who joined would have to bring a water bottle and “the biggest hat they owned.” The docks were open if any boys wanted to cool off in the lake, or they could play flag football with Tre on the turf field. For anyone focused on progressions, the FARM and the climbing wall were both open. Pickleball games were happening on the courts, and Ian was leading a meditation session at the Overlook. Finally, if any counselors and campers were still competing in the Camper/Counselor Tennis Tournament bracket, the courts would be open for them to finish their matches.

During the second half of the afternoon, the fun continued with a host of different activities. Sam Limby was leading chess games and Yox was deck building with Magic cards at the old library. The finals of the basketball tournament were going to be played in the gym, and boys could learn how to make different paper airplanes and fly them off of the front porch. Alex was teaching boys how to make natural cordage from grass, and Parker Moon was leading a workout session in the Lodge (AKA, Frank’s Body Shop). CJ was leading a game of Manhunt, and Carson was taking boys creek-stomping to look for salamanders and other water critters. The climbing wall was open, as was blacksmithing, and boys could also choose to play Steal the Bacon on the landsports field. There was a plethora of options to choose from!

Pumping up his bike tire after practicing changing it during free-time!Pumping up his bike tire after practicing changing it during free-time!
Erskine beating everyone in Erskine beating everyone in "Knock Out" at the gym!

For dinner we enjoyed gathering on the field for Cookout Supper, and had char grilled hamburgers and hotdogs with cole slaw, baked beans, and the famous chocolate brownies for dessert. Our incredible kitchen crew even grilled corn on the cob, and boys could peel the corn husks back to dip the corn cobs in butter before eating them! Cheerwine is always a favorite during Cookout as well, and it’s fun to eat outside with friends on a nice evening.

To finish the day, we made our way to Campfire by cabin, quietly crossing Bain Bridge and taking a seat along the benches. Yates lit the fire from a single candle after everyone was settled. Tonight, Josh Cooey opened Campfire with that beloved “Behold,” welcoming us with Psalm 133:1. Beau read about “service”, introducing the final theme of the week for this session. He explained how service is only valuable “when rendered in the spirit of joy.” Kyle elaborated on this message when he spoke, sharing that “the spirit of Falling Creek is founded in the idea of service and unselfishness.” He told everyone that this week we would be talking about how to better serve each other, our responsibility to serve our community, and how to best serve mankind as a whole.

Lighting our candles to close out Campfire Lighting our candles to close out Campfire

The verse that Kyle chose to share during Campfire related to this idea of service in abundance. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This week our Evening Embers and cabin discussions will be centered around the idea of giving service with joy, and giving it in great measure.

Before we closed campfire, several boys led their own skit about our emotions. Lachlan narrated, while three boys acted as the emotions. Jake H. was as the character, “joy,” along with Beckett as “sadness,” and Rusty as “anger.” The skit was funny and entertaining, but after it ended, Rusty and Jake shared the moral of the story. “Anger always starts the fights,” they explained, “but you don’t have to let it win against joy.” After the final song, “Carolina Calling,” the tribal leaders and directors went down to the fire to light their candles. From there, they spread the light to the counselors around them, letting the light spread throughout the whole camp. These boys have certainly let their light shine these past two weeks, and we are lucky to have them in the Falling Creek community. We’re looking forward to activities and trips starting back up tomorrow morning. Behold!

-Annie Pharr

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