This week of travel was our longest one on the calendar – we visited four great cities! Starting Monday, we headed to the North Carolina capital of Raleigh, and then to Richmond, VA on Tuesday. On Wednesday we were just outside the Washington DC area in Alexandria, VA, and finally we finished up the week in Greenville, SC on Thursday. We were lucky to have several great staff members (both current and alumni!) come out to see us at these events. We always enjoy catching up with our camp families and getting the opportunity to meet new ones. Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Camp Reunions and Movie Shows this past week.
The Funderburk family hosted us in Raleigh, where we were able to watch the camp movie under the stars on a beautiful evening! Emily and Pat Funderburk are always great hosts, and we are thrilled to have their two boys back at camp this summer. Their oldest son will be joining us for his 4th summer as a 2-week camper, and this year his younger brother will join us for the first time in Junior Camp.
It’s always a treat when our counselors take the time out of their busy college schedules to join one of these Camp Reunions and Movie Shows, and in Raleigh we got to see David Cowan, Chris Ocana, and Tom Yoxsimer. Chris transferred from Mercer to UNC-Chapel Hill for Media and Communications. David, a 6-year FCC camper from Charlotte, NC, is a sophomore in pre-med at UNC- Chapel Hill, and Tom Yoxsimer, also a FCC camper for 5 summers and a Junior at UNC- Wilmington, was in town for an Ultimate tournament. You’ll be excited to know that Tom has already committed to coming back as a counselor in 2020!
We were also able to catch up with campers Max and James, who plan to return to June Camp in 2020 for their 6th and 4th summers. They, and their father Andy, have enjoyed 4 Father/Son Weekends together over the years. Todd Hancock was another familiar face we reconnected with in Raleigh. He went to Falling Creek with his brother when they were boys, and on Monday he brought his son to the Reunion and Movie show to introduce him to the camp he enjoyed as a boy.
The next day, Yates headed further up north to Virginia, where he made his first stop in Richmond, before heading to Alexandria. The Melton Family hosted the Richmond area Camp Reunions & Movie Show in their beautiful home, and it was a great evening catching up with camp families and meeting new ones. Sarah Hurst and 2 of her 4 boys, were able to come to the Richmond event, as well as the Bass family, who will be returning for June Camp in 2020. All of them are great campers, and we were happy to have the chance to catch up!
Yates was able to reconnect with Steve, one of his fraternity brothers from Appalachian State, whose son Harrison is returning to Main Camp for his 7th summer in 2020. Wade Blackwood also made time to join the event in Richmond, and we’re excited to have his son returning to camp this summer. Wade, who was the Executive Director of the American Canoe Association, was a counselor at FCC in the 90’s and, like Yates, served on the FCC paddle staff.
On the second evening in Virginia, Yates headed up to Alexandria, right outside the DC area. Many thanks to the Woodruff Family for hosting the Reunion and Movie Show at their home on Wednesday. We enjoyed seeing the two Woodruff boys, who will be returning to Main Camp for their 8th and 6th summers in 2020. Yates was also thrilled to reconnect with FCC superstars Mickey Herman and Harrison Kilgore, both long-time camp veterans. Harrison is a prior camper, counselor, and Tribal Leader, and Mickey is a 9-year camper/CIT, prior 5-year counselor, Tribal Leader and Asst. Program Director. Both are now successful lawyers in the DC area.
Another exciting note from Alexandria is that we got to see Whit and Gabe, two older campers who are currently juniors in High School. We’re so happy to share that Whit and Gabe will be back on the mountain again, since they have both applied to be Men of STEEL this summer. This is one of our counselor training programs which follows FLINT, but is more selective and requires an application and interview, much like applying to serve as a counselor at FCC. STEEL stands for Summer Training Encouraging Emerging Leaders, and is intentionally designed to foster leadership, service, responsibility, and teamwork. Both young men are no strangers to camp – It will be Whit’s 9th and Gabe’s 12th summer at FCC!
To round out a great week, Yates finished in Greenville, SC on Thursday evening. It was a beautiful fall night to enjoy the Falling Creek Camp Movie outside at Cary & Gage Weekes home! It was fun getting to connect with Andrew Smith, who will be returning for his 12th summer at FCC during Main Camp in 2020. Andrew works as an endocrinologist Physician Assistant in Greenville. We also enjoyed seeing Tom Feingold, a previous FCC camper and staff member, and 10-year FCC veteran with his family, attending while his father served as the camp physician for a week. Tom and his sister are Juniors at nearby Furman University.
David Savage and his boys were at the Greenville event, and we are excited to have them returning for their 6th Father/Son Weekend! Doug Spear was enjoying watching the 2019 summer slideshow with his son, who will be returning to June Camp in 2020 for his 5th summer, along with both Savage boys! We can’t wait to have them all back this summer. The Wyland family was also in attendance, and we are happy to have the boys back at Main Camp with us this summer. Not only did we enjoy pizza for dinner, but Cary also had beautiful cookies custom baked for everyone with the Falling Creek flame on them – they tasted as good as they looked!
We’ll kick off next week’s travel with a visit to Birmingham, AL on Monday the 28th! Come see us in Nashville and Atlanta after that. We still have two more weeks of travel, but if we don’t have your city on the calendar this year, tune in on November 6th to our live-streamed show from Asheville, NC! We’ll be on both Facebook and Instagram this time, and we’re excited to have as many people join us as possible.