Tag: main camp

Final Day of Main Camp

As parents, it probably seems like this month without your sons has crawled by, but here at camp we can’t believe where the time has gone! Today was the final day of Main Camp, and we’ve been spending the past month together enjoying the outdoors, building skills in activities, growing deeper friendships, and gaining more self-confidence and independence. This morning we had our last three activity periods, the final chance for boys to work on progressions and finish projects. It was also the chance for counselors to do something fun and different in their activities.

"cool and creamy"... a classic whipped cream skip during today's Morning Assembly!

At archery, the boys shot arrows at water balloons for fun explosions of water. In pottery, the boys teamed up with arts and crafts to create spin art on the pottery wheels. At the F.A.R.M., the boys prepared fresh blackberry jam with the blackberries they picked around camp. Up at the barn, the boys had been practicing for the annual horse show, and were ready to show off all they had learned with their favorite horses. There were show categories for every level rider, from walking up to jumping. No matter who got the awards, we thought they were all “best in show”!

Jumping high on ShortyJumping high on Shorty
Best in Show part 1!Best in Show part 1!
Best in Show Part 2!Best in Show Part 2!

After lunch (and a “Lost and Found fashion show” throughout the Dining Hall to reunite boys with their misplaced items) we had an extended Rest Hour for packing and getting our trunks ready to go. Before dinner, we gathered in the gym for our awards ceremony. The awards ceremony is our chance to celebrate boys’ achievements and honor their hard work and dedication. Counselors hand-make the awards as well, which makes them even more special to receive. The awards often reflect the four values in our Falling Creek Code. For example, the “Carpenter’s Cup” award, which was given to Owen W. for displaying Servant’s Heart in woodworking, always helping others with their progressions instead of just focusing on his own projects. The awards also celebrate values like dedication: the “Golden Boy” soccer award was given to James A., who juggled the ball an incredible 363 times in a row. Some awards have silly names like “Poseidon’s Choice” at sailing (given to Thomas P. for his incredible skills on the water), or the “Spirit of Murdoch” award, which was a Christmas nutcracker given to Cole A. for his dedication in paddling.

One last One last "Slothclaw!" at the awards ceremony
We're proud of all our campers this session, and got to celebrate many of them tonight during the Awards CeremonyWe're proud of all our campers this session, and got to celebrate many of them tonight during the Awards Ceremony

After each activity gave their awards, it was time to recognize campers who were here for their 5th year this year. We even had three boys celebrating their 10th summer at camp: John C., Sam C., and Jack H. Yates had the Honor Council stand to be recognized and receive pins, and all of the boys got Waypoints stickers for their FCC map to commemorate each achievement. To close out the ceremony, we recognized our FLINT (Forging Leaders INTentionally) guys. FLINT campers are the oldest in camp, one year younger than our men of STEEL (formerly counselors-in-training). This morning FLINT returned from their hike up to the top of Looking Glass with their counselors Brian and Alex, and Yates. Last night they had the opportunity for a primitive camping experience after the strenuous hike, getting the opportunity for more reflection, challenge, and time in nature by spending the night as a FLINT group in the woods. This whole month they have been focusing on leadership training and leadership theory with their counselors, and yesterday’s challenge was a great way to cap off the session.

FLINT during their hike up Looking GlassFLINT during their hike up Looking Glass

Tonight after dinner, we returned to the gym for the annual Main Camp Talent Show. Some acts are just silly and funny, but some acts are impressive and moving. Many boys show their Warrior Spirit by having the bravery to share their talents in front of the whole camp community. We had everything from silly Taylor Swift karaoke and Napoleon Dynamite dance routines, to musical performances and beautiful singing. It takes courage to perform in front of hundreds of people, even if they are your peers and friends. However, 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 tonight, and continued throughout our final 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 ball field. As everyone stands in a circle together 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, surrounding the lake with glowing candles that reflect off boys’ faces. 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.”

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

-Annie Pharr

More Highlights From This Final Day:

  • We had some clean cabins this session! Winners of the cabin inspection “cleanest cabin award” were divided by tribe. In Cherokee, it was Cabin 8 with an average score of 9.79 out of 10 for the whole session. In Catawba, it was Ishi with an average score of 9.81. In Tuscarora, it was Sequoyah with an average score of 9.67. In Iroquois, it was Black Hawk with an average score of 9.70.
  • Patton J. earned Ranger today in Cross Country. He ran over 60 miles this session, but finally achieved Ranger after breaking the 6 minute mile today!
  • We celebrated 5 birthdays today! Colin B., James L., Teddy, Quinn, and Jack (who is part of our kitchen crew)
  • Breakfast: make-your-own breakfast burritos with tortillas, scrambled eggs and sausage, cheese, and salsa, plus an oatmeal station and a fruit, granola, and yogurt bar.
  • Lunch: Italian day with cheese calzones, meatballs in alfredo sauce, and steamed vegetables, plus a full salad bar, chicken tortilla soup, and ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
  • Dinner: Beef tips in gravy, seasoned rice, roasted broccoli, warm bread, a full salad bar, and huge fudgy brownies for dessert.
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Building a Solid Foundation

If you’re a young boy, it’s not every day you get asked to help build something with power tools. In woodworking and at the F.A.R.M. though, boys were doing just that. Today at the F.A.R.M., several boys had signed up to help build a pallet shelter for the pigs, and using power tools to do so was one of the highlights. Danny and Zeb were helping each group of boys build a shelter; one for Marvin, and the other for Wilma. The structures were simple: just a three sided shelter with a roof, made mostly out of 4 pallets, plus some extra wood as reinforcements. Guinea hogs are accustomed to a wide range of weather and temperature conditions, and are a very hardy breed. Still, we thought it would be nice to give them the option to keep the rain and sun off their backs.

Securing Marvin's pallet structure shelterSecuring Marvin's pallet structure shelter

Henry C. was using the drill to connect the top pallet to the left side pallet with a screw. “I’ve never used a power tool before!” he said, and was enjoying the opportunity to build something new. “You have to apply a lot of force to get the screw to ‘bite’ into the wood,” Zeb explained to him. “Here, want me to help?” Ransom offered, holding the end of the heavy drill so Henry could push down on the screw more steadily. The boys worked together to assemble the little structures, despite the drizzly rain that had been sprinkling throughout the afternoon.

Ryan M. and Charlie H. were helping assemble the pallets with Ransom and Henry, ensuring that Marvin (our boy pig) had a sturdy shelter, while Danny’s group worked to secure Wilma’s (our girl pig). Between turns hammering and using the drill, boys were trying to entice Marvin and Wilma into letting them pet them. Will B. was crouched down in the grass, calling to Wilma. She came right up to him and sniffed, hoping he had some food hidden on him somewhere. The pigs have only been here a few weeks, but they have already become more used to the boys and eager to say hello. Hopefully they’ll be even more social after they see what a good job the boys did with building their shelters.

Locke making sure Wilma's shelter is coming alongLocke making sure Wilma's shelter is coming along

Meanwhile at the wood shop, boys were working on the finishing touches to their projects. Taishi and Kaido were busy building a board to play on with their Magic cards. The board had a playing card sized indention in each of the four quadrants of the board, with the top left quadrant split into four smaller divots. “This box is for the deck,” Taishi explained, pointing to the bottom right indention. “This box next to it is for the discard pile, and this other box is for the exiled cards. The little boxes are for the dice,” he told me. They were proud of their card board because it was not only something they had come up with themselves, but it was also functional. They played the trading card strategy game, Magic, often, and now they were excited to have a board to keep their cards from getting dirty when playing outside.

Working on his Magic game board in woodworking Working on his Magic game board in woodworking

Grayson was sanding his candle holder, getting ready for Campfire on closing night. Tomorrow evening, we’ll gather for our Ceremony of Light, the memorable night of Candlelight Campfire. “I put this tack in the bottom of my candle holder so the bottom of the candle would stick to it and it wouldn’t fall out,” Grayson showed me. Warner was also making a candle holder. “The coolest thing I made this year was this bull face,” he said, holding up a chiseled picture of a bull’s face that he had carved into the wood. “Next year I want to build a sling-shot,” he planned.

Building a chair in woodworking Building a chair in woodworking

Wood projects aren’t the only thing we’ve been building during these past four weeks at camp. More importantly, we’ve been building less tangible things that will last a lifetime. During this Main Camp session, we’ve been building friendships, confidence, independence, and skills, through a variety of different camp experiences. Camp builds a good foundation for life skills, giving boys an edge when they’re back home or at school. When they return home, they can build on the foundation that they’ve started here at camp, drawing on the experiences they’ve enjoyed and lessons they’ve learned, away from their parents and in a setting that can be both supportive and appropriately challenging.

Tonight we’ll continue to build on our camp experience even more with a night in the woods as cabins. Our older cabins in Tuscarora and Iroquois headed out for their overnights tonight, while our younger Cherokee and Catawba cabins stayed behind for their turn to have a cabin pizza picnic. The afternoon rain let up just in time for overnights this evening, and the older boys enjoyed chicken fajitas around the campfire. The younger boys submitted their “pizza orders” to our incredible kitchen staff, who prepared two pizzas for each cabin, complete with all their requested toppings. After tonight’s discussions over the campfire, an evening spent making s’mores, and falling asleep to the sounds of cicadas and bullfrogs, we’ll look forward to having everyone back in camp for breakfast in the morning. Tomorrow is already the last full day at camp, and we’re going out with a bang!

-Annie Pharr

What a backdrop! What a backdrop!

More Highlights From This Wednesday

  • We celebrated Hueur’s birthday today at lunch with cake and singing!
  • Manu and Manuel both earned Ranger at Archery
  • Harrison, Walker L., Jacob B., and Ryder B. All earned Ranger in Horseback
  • The “White Tiger Staff-of-the-Week” award was given to John Czabala, our Tuscarora assistant tribal leader, for his constant positivity and helpfulness.
  • Breakfast: pancakes and bacon with a grits station, and a fruit, granola, and yogurt bar.
  • Lunch: build-your-own subs, with salami, ham, turkey, and cheese, plus tomato and lettuce, macaroni and cheese, sliced peaches, steak and rice soup, and cherry cobbler for dessert.
  • Dinner: Chicken fajitas over the fire for boys on their cabin overnights, or build-your-own pizzas for our younger cabins.
Practicing fire building with flint and steel in OSCPracticing fire building with flint and steel in OSC
"use your indoor voice" is never a phrase heard at camp!
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Horse Swim

It’s mid July, and we’ve been feeling the heat. Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to cool off at the swim docks, paddle refreshing rivers, or slide down chilly Sliding Rock. Campers aren’t the only ones trying to escape the sun with a cool swim – today the horses got to swim at the lake too! During rest hour this afternoon, Ransom, Walker L., Clayton, Jacob, and Charlie took some of our water-loving horses for a quick swim.

Even though horses are big animals, you might be surprised to learn that they can really enjoy swimming. Some of our horses are content to just stay on the shore and splash their hooves in the water, but others love swimming, and will submerge themselves to where just their eyes, nose, and ears are peeking up off the surface. Gizmo fits into the latter category, and even though he is one of our oldest horses, he was the first to get in the water and start splashing around like a young pony. Walker was riding Gizmo, and couldn’t stop smiling as Gizmo tested the waters, splashing his front hoof so hard that water was spraying up all around them. After getting comfortable, Gizmo walked straight into the lake and even got out deep enough to start swimming a few strokes.

Gizmo loves to swim!Gizmo loves to swim!

Cruz was just as excited, splashing water with his hooves before marching in up to his neck. As Ransom got on Blaze’s back, I asked him if he has ever taken a horse swimming before. “Never!” He exclaimed, eager to get in the water. Swimming the horses might have been a new activity for these boys, but they were no strangers to the barn. Over the past three weeks, boys have been working hard at the barn, improving their horsemanship skills and equine knowledge. Just last week, several advanced riders were jumping in the upper riding ring, working with Doss and Baylee on their position and jumping confidence. It takes a lot of trust in your horse and confidence in your skills to have the bravery to jump with such a big creature, but these boys were up to the challenge. They leapt over cross bars and jumps a couple feet high, gaining confidence and knowledge with every landing.

Getting ready to cool off in the lake Getting ready to cool off in the lake

Besides jumping, boys have been doing a lot of ground-work to advance in their progressions. They have to learn the technical parts of riding like foot-falls and leads, plus the details of how to feed horses and ensure they have proper supplements to their nutrition. Boys learn how to take apart, clean, and reassemble each component of a horse’s tack, plus basic equine first aid. The progressions are a big part of maintaining a quality horseback program at camp, but that doesn’t mean it’s all work and no play. Besides today’s fun horse swim, the boys have also had fun with the horses by painting them, or giving them baths with sudsy bubbles and shaving cream. For many boys, they don’t care what the activity is, they just enjoy being around the horses.

"Pool party" for the horses!

Though riding is a lot of fun, the boys also know that it takes hard work to care for the horses. After a fun jump lesson in the ring, those same boys will be the ones mucking stalls, scraping hooves, and brushing horses. Riding takes just as much Warrior Spirit as it does Servant’s Heart, teaching boys what it takes to care for a creature other than yourself. After a month at camp, you can often see how the bonds between horse and rider have grown. I’m sure these boys will be signed up to hang out with their favorite horses over the next couple of days, packing in as much time as they can at the barn during this final week.

Fly tying with Josh for fishing Fly tying with Josh for fishing
Green vs. Gold during Evening ProgramGreen vs. Gold during Evening Program

More Highlights From This Tuesday:

  • We had four previous campers visit during lunch today: Carson, Cooper, Harrison, and Greg. They were members of the FLINT crew last summer, and it was great to see all of them. They returned to reconnect with the camp community for the afternoon. “I love hearing that bell,” Harrison said at lunch. “We just got here but it already feels like we’ve been here for a while,” he explained, talking about how normal it felt to be back.
  • Quinn B. achieved Warrior in Lacrosse
  • Lawton J. Earned Warrior in Arts and Crafts and Ranger in Pottery
  • Dasher E. led a Kung Fu lesson during second free period, announcing the activity to the whole camp community during lunch today.
  • Breakfast: Chicken biscuits with scrambled eggs, hash browns, oatmeal, and a fruit, granola, and yogurt bar.
  • Lunch: Hot dogs with chili and cheese, seasoned french fries, pasta salad, apple slices, broccoli and cheddar soup, a full salad bar, and s’more pockets for dessert
  • Dinner: Turkey and homemade mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans and a warm dinner roll with apple turnovers for dessert.
Energy is always high during Evening Program!Energy is always high during Evening Program!
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Checking Off The Camp Bucket-List

When boys arrive at camp on Opening Day, many of them already have a goal or two in mind, ready to check off of their mental “camp bucket list” as the session progresses. These goals can be activity based, like riding a horse for the first time or making it to the top of the climbing wall. They can be more general, like making it through four weeks away from home for the first time, or making at least 5 new friends. Some boys have progression-based goals, like making it to Warrior in an activity or becoming a Journeyman. For Paul M. in Cabin 5, his camp goal had to do with progressing through the paddling program.

“My goal this summer was to get a yaklet,” Paul told me, proudly showing off the green bandana bracelet on his wrist, known around camp as a “yaklet.” He had just earned it last week after his trip down the Nantahala River, and was preparing for his first day in a kayak today. If you read the July 9th blog, you might already know that “yaklets” are given to boys who have progressed through the paddling ranks in a canoe, proving that they have the skills and confidence to start learning in a kayak, if they choose to move on from a canoe.

In that July 9th blog, we heard about Patton V. in Cabin 5, who was going on the Nantahala trip and was most excited about making it down the Falls. Patton was proudly sporting his Yaklet at the docks this morning as well, just as eager as Paul to get in a kayak. “The first time I went down the falls I didn’t make it down right-side-up,” Patton explained, “so we had to carry our canoe and gear back up to the top of that long rapid and do it again.” The second time, he and his paddling partner made it, achieving his goal and earning himself a spot in a kayak. He was back at the docks, ready to keep building his skills with a Lower Green trip this morning.

Last week's Tuckasegee/Nantahala paddling trip - both Patton and Paul were on the trip and earned their Yaklets!Last week's Tuckasegee/Nantahala paddling trip - both Patton and Paul were on the trip and earned their Yaklets!

Paul was planning to head on the same Lower Green trip, but with all the busyness of the weekend, he hadn’t made it to the docks in time to get his paddling prep done. Luckily, counselor Daniel McCarthy, known by his FCC friends as “Cuatro,” offered to give Paul a lesson before the trip headed out so that he would be able to join them on the river. With only 4 days of activities left in camp, this would be one of Paul’s only chances to get on the Lower Green in a kayak, so his paddling counselors wanted to make sure that would be able to happen.

Right after breakfast, paddling counselor Charlie Pike began loading the trailer and preparing the van, while Cuatro met with Paul to teach him the basics and make sure he was confident and comfortable in the kayak. He picked out a boat and paddle in Paul’s size, and showed Paul how to put on the kayak spray “skirt,” made of stretchy neoprene to keep water out of the boat as you paddle through rapids. After making sure everything fit, Paul pushed out into the water to practice his “wet exit.” Though boys have to master their roll before making it on more advanced whitewater, you just have to know how to wet exit before paddling down the tamer Lower Green. If you happen to flip over while paddling, you can either roll the boat back up with your hips and the paddle, or you can pull the handle of the spray skirt off and swim out, known as a “wet exit.”

Cuatro walked Paul through the steps before he flipped himself into the water. “Once you’re flipped under the water, I want you to tap the right side of the boat three times, then rub the left side three times. Then pull your skirt and swim out.” Cuatro wanted Paul to take his time underwater, rather than just flipping and pulling the skirt immediately. This way he would be able to see if Paul was calm under the water or if he would panic. Paul took a deep breath and flipped over, and several seconds later he surfaced back up effortlessly. After showing calm under water, learning basic strokes with a kayak paddle, and demonstrating he could make some basic maneuvers in the kayak, he proved himself ready to join the trip to the Lower Green! He and Cuatro finished their lesson just as the rest of the crew was finishing loading boats on the trailer.

While the boys on the Lower Green were getting ready for their first time in kayaks, some of our more advanced paddlers were packing up their own trailer for some bigger whitewater. The advanced trip was heading out to another challenging river. James L. from Rising Warrior was among them, and had been chatting with Paul as the two of them got ready for their different river trips this morning. “Hey, aren’t you my neighbor?” Paul asked James, noticing that the two of them were both locals from Hendersonville. “Yeah!” James responded, shaking his hand. “If you want to meet up in the off-season, I can help teach you how to roll,” James offered, knowing that today was Paul’s first day in a kayak. Paul seemed excited by that idea, and the two wished each other luck as they packed up for their respective rivers.

Part of the Yaklet earning process on the TuckasegeePart of the Yaklet earning process on the Tuckasegee

No matter what a camper’s goals are during the summer, our goal as counselors is to help them reach that goal. Boys work on their progress year after year, returning each summer, but the progress doesn’t have to stop when the session ends. Many boys meet up during the off-season with friends they met at camp, working on their favorite activities together. We also encourage boys to reach out to their counselors and write them letters, staying in touch with those mentors throughout the year. Though we only have less than a week left in this session, we are excited to continue laying the foundation, introducing boys to skills that they can progress in long after camp has ended. Here’s to another day of growth and fun tomorrow!

-Annie Pharr

Camp friends are the best friends!Camp friends are the best friends!
Fishing with friends during Free-TimeFishing with friends during Free-Time

More Highlights From This Monday:

  • We had some unique trips heading out of camp today: Riflery took a trip to the Biltmore Estate to practice “skeet shooting,” where clay discs get shot into the air and boys try to shoot them as they fly. Fly Fishing also took their first trip, traveling to some beautiful local rivers for three days of fishing off-property.
  • Pach E. earned Ranger in Rock Climbing
  • Henry E. earned Warrior in Lacrosse
  • James L. earned Ranger in Soccer
  • William A. achieved Warrior in Nature
  • Booker M. became a Ranger in Disc Golf
  • William Z. became a Warrior in the HEAT
  • Talent Show auditions continued tonight in the Library! We’re looking forward to seeing all the acts during an Evening Program Talent Show this week.
  • Breakfast: Homemade french toast with syrup, sausage patties, a grits station, plus a granola, fruit, and yogurt bar
  • Lunch: Grilled cheese and tomato soup, with seasoned fries and fruit salad, plus a full salad bar and M&M cookies for dessert.
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken, seasoned rice, honey carrots, sliced bread, a full salad bar, and “dirt pudding” (chocolate pudding with oreos) for dessert.
Fully focused on our woodworking projectsFully focused on our woodworking projects
Learning map reading and navigation skills in OSCLearning map reading and navigation skills in OSC
Hanging out with the critters at NatureHanging out with the critters at Nature
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Sunday Ironman and Campfire

The exciting start to the 2019 Ironman!The exciting start to the 2019 Ironman!

“Pow!” The cap gun goes off and dozens of boys jump into the lake from the lower dam. Water splashes and limbs start paddling quickly through the water. Each boy is competing to be the fastest one to swim across to the other side, hoping for a lead in the three-part race of endurance. This afternoon we began our annual Ironman triathlon, a competition that boys can choose to challenge themselves in during Main Camp. This event goes back to 1981 at camp, when it was started under the leadership of Skeet Keyes, Terry Tyree, and Garrett Randolph. This year, we had 36 boys step up to the challenge and compete for the win.

Making it out of Part 1: the swim across both lakes Making it out of Part 1: the swim across both lakes

Just like the real Ironman, there are three parts to the race: swimming, running, and biking sections. Each competitor has to prepare all session long, practicing, training, and preparing. This preparation includes going on a swim check to practice swimming the length of the two lakes, completing a mountain bike prep and “camp ride” to ensure their confidence on a bike, and running the full lap of the trail course to make sure they knew the route. After spending the past three weeks getting ready, today the boys finally raced.

High fives on the 2nd section of the Ironman: mountain bikingHigh fives on the 2nd section of the Ironman: mountain biking

To kick off the race, the boys swam across the Lower Lake, ran up the upper dam, and swam around the Upper Lake while lifeguards paddled along next to the swimmers to make sure everything was safe. When they got out at the Roller Coaster, they transitioned to the mountain bike section, quickly putting on shoes and shirts while still dripping wet and breathing hard from the swim. It takes a lot of effort to put a dry sock on a wet foot! Many boys had friends volunteering as “pit crew,” helping them with anything from putting on their shoes, to getting them water, to just cheering them on as they pushed forward to the next section.

Servant's Heart means helping friends out during the race: supporting them, cheering, and even helping them put on socksServant's Heart means helping friends out during the race: supporting them, cheering, and even helping them put on socks

During the mountain bike section, the boys ride two laps of a course around camp, beginning with a challenging switchback climb up from the lake to the back of the Tuscarora cabin ridge. The mountain bike course led riders on familiar trails around camp, but didn’t leave out all the challenging sections. Boys had to climb up a long section from the Lower Lake to the old BMX trail loop above the Iroquois cabins, crossing a technical root section, before finishing the lap on a winding descent back to the Roller Coaster.

Finishing on Part 3: the trail run to the finish lineFinishing on Part 3: the trail run to the finish line

After two laps of riding, the racers ditched the bikes and headed out on a different course for two final laps of running. The running route took them on the old “Foo Foo Trail,” heading out toward the old apple orchard and back around to the Dining Hall. Having the course loop around the Dining Hall several times before finishing helps make the race more spectator friendly for those who choose to watch and cheer rather than compete. The race ends on the ball field, with each racer running through the finish line and into the cheering arms of friends, cabin mates, and counselors.

Nothing beats the feeling of getting across the finish line, especially if you're being cheered on by dozens of friends!Nothing beats the feeling of getting across the finish line, especially if you're being cheered on by dozens of friends!

As the boys finish, they run right past the landsports hut, which has the names of each Ironman winner from the past 38 years, listed on painted wooden plaques to commemorate the victories. This summer, Cameron S. was our winner! Collier L. finished in a strong second after a tight race. We’re proud of all the young men who competed in this 2019 Ironman, challenging themselves by giving it their all and preparing diligently for the race.

Congratulating friends after a hard earned finishCongratulating friends after a hard earned finish

This evening, we gathered in the Campfire area for our last Sunday Campfire before the Candlelight Campfire’s “Ceremony of Light” on closing night. As the whole camp community came together, it was nice sharing the moments of reflection and silence while the James M, a Keeper of The Flame, lit the fire and the flame slowly grew. The silence was only broken by Alex Paris, opening Campfire by announcing, “Behold,” followed by Psalm 133:1. Tonight’s Campfire was about “Integrity and Decision Making”, setting up the final theme for our last week of camp. We had the privilege of tapping four new members of the Honor Council, voted on by their peers for consistently living by the Falling Creek Code and Honor Creed. Alex from Cabin 1, Taishi from Sequoyah, Walter from Rolling Thunder, and Tal from Comanche. Ben Williams also led a “friendship talk,” inviting everyone to come sit down by the fire in a tight group, symbolizing the tightly knit bonds that have already formed over these past three weeks. We’re looking forward to tomorrow, kicking off the final week of Main Camp already, which is sure to be a great one.

-Annie Pharr

More Highlights From This Sunday:

  • During Church, our theme was on Service, finishing out the week’s focus on how to serve others. Josh Cooey and Parker Moon read from Mark chapter 10, about service. Dusty shared a story with us about a runner he knows who came from a very challenging background with limited resources, but now donates all the sponsorship money and race winnings back home so that he can help alleviate others growing up in poverty.
Dusty giving us some words of wisdom about Dusty giving us some words of wisdom about "Service" during Church this morning
Josh and Parker reading from Mark at today's Church ServiceJosh and Parker reading from Mark at today's Church Service
  • Breakfast: After sleeping in, we had Krispy Kreme doughnuts, sausage,breakfast casserole, oatmeal, and a full selection of fruit, granola, & yogurt bar, to start off another great day at camp!
  • Lunch: Our famous fried chicken Sunday lunch, complete with mashed potatoes, green beans, warm rolls, and a full salad bar.
  • Dinner: Cookout Supper! We enjoyed our weekly picnic on the turf field, sitting with friends and sipping on Cheerwine sodas. We had hamburgers, two kinds of pasta salad (one with kale and a creamy dressing, and one with peas and ham), pickle spears, coleslaw, and brownies.
  • Sunday cleaning means more in-depth cabin inspections, but we had some exceptionally clean cabins! Through inspection, we aim at reinforcing parents’ teachings of respecting and taking good care of our belongings. As a community living in a tight knit area, it is important to teach boys how to think about our surroundings, keeping spaces clean out of love for the camp environment and respect for each other. Cabins 9, Gall, Standing Bear, Anasazi, & Nantahala were all the cleanest cabins in their respective tribes. This means they were first in line for Sunday ice cream sundaes!
  • We celebrated the birthdays of Larry J., a “Man of STEEL”, and Kimry Cannon, one of our fantastic counselors!
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