When Fall arrives at camp, it seems like a “reset button” after the summer. Each August after the last camper heads home, the final activity supplies are put away, and the last counselors leave, camp reverts back to it’s dormant phase, quietly waiting for another exciting summer to begin in May. You might think that the same is true for the directors and leadership team. Don’t they close up shop and retreat back to their homes for the long winter too? Actually, it’s the opposite – the “off season” for camp is almost busier than when the campers are here! During the Fall and Winter, the year-round team is busy recruiting staff, interviewing, completing work projects, planning the upcoming sessions, and traveling all over the country to camp family homes and colleges.
This past week was the first of many in this year’s Camp Reunion and Movie Show travel schedule. This year, we’re traveling from October through November for our camp movies and reunion tour. Kyle Jeffries has already started his staff tour to meet with potential counselors at college campuses, many times participating in their job fairs. Our full travel calendar can be found here on our website, and if you have any questions about directions or details, call the camp office at (828) 692-0262.
To kick things off, we began our Travel Calendar in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday, October 15th. We have a great group of families in Charlotte, and the city will always be a soft spot for Yates since it happens to be his hometown. The Ridinger Family graciously hosted at their home for another year, and it was fun to meet new families and reunite with old ones. Pizza was served and there was time to mingle before watching the newly updated movie. Some campers at the show have even been part of the Falling Creek family for the majority of their lives! Walter from Charlotte is one example, who will return to Main Camp in 2020 for his 10th summer. Walter is also a talented horseback rider and dedicated Boy Scout, who had come straight from the barn to the movie show, and then to his weekly Scout meeting. In fact, we learned that Walter won a ribbon in his horse show in Tryon last weekend, and the Scout troop he is a part of (Troop 55 at Myers Park Presbyterian Church), is the same troop that Yates received his Eagle Scout rank, and served as an Assistant Scoutmaster for. We continue to be proud of all the accomplishments that our campers achieve!
The new 2020 trunk sticker was also revealed, which is a collectible item that campers can only receive at a Movie Show and Reunion. We create these limited edition stickers each year, and our 2020 design is the bell. We were excited to share these stickers for the first time in Charlotte! As a side note, if you would like a sticker but we aren’t traveling to your city this year, just tune in to the Asheville, NC event on November 6th at 6:30pm EST. We will be streaming through Facebook live and Instagram live (for the first time this year!), and we’ll send stickers to all those who participate through the live feed. We also offer this trunk sticker design in a poster and many of you are collecting these. Just contact the camp office to order your new 2020 poster and we will mail it to you. We also have all designs from previous summers available as well. These make for excellent Christmas gifts.
On Wednesday, October 16th, we were down in Charleston, SC. Thanks to Megan and Hunter Louis for hosting the event, and to Beezer and Emily Molten for opening their Half-Moon Outfitters West Ashley store to make the event a success! The Molten’s Half-Moon Outfitters store even had an indoor rock wall, which was a huge hit. Everyone loved getting the chance to climb with friends before watching the movie. The Louis’ are no strangers to Falling Creek themselves. Hunter is an FCC camp alumni camper from the early 90’s, and you may have seen him and his family around camp when he served as camp doctor this past summer. We are excited to have them back in the Doctor’s A-frame again this summer! After her Falling Creek experience, Megan shared a thoughtful parent’s perspective, explaining how, “Historically, I would be a mother who would have the ‘guilty’ feeling of sending my son away for part of the summer. But after being on site during camp doc week and seeing/living/breathing the experiences, emotions, and attitudes of the campers, I can speak to the joy these boys are filled with and the sense of unity and freedom they have.”
Another well-known doctor, who was also in Charleston, is Steven Feingold. The Feingolds have been returning to camp each year for over a decade, and in 2020, we’re excited to have Steven returning as camp doctor with his family again (for their 11th summer!). It was also fun to catch up with long-time Camp Nurse, Mary Lobianco, and her son and husband Dan. We were lucky to be able to see quite a few returning campers in Charleston that evening, including Wells G, Woods G, and Tommy S, who were dressed sharply as they made time to attend the show before heading to their cotillion.
Charlotte and Charleston were a great way to kick off the travel calendar; thanks to all who came to share it with us. Camp friends in Raleigh, we’ll see you on Monday, October 21st!