Big Snow at FCC
February 13th, 2014
Yates & Marisa Pharr and Frank Tindall attend the American Camp Association Conference
February 10th, 2014
Yates and Marisa Pharr and Frank Tindall traveled to Orlando, Florida to participate in both the Camp Owners & Directors Associaton and the American Camp Association’s annual conferences. Both conferences were jam-packed with quality programming from renowned presenters including Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, the co-author of the best-selling THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD, and Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success . Topic areas at these conferences included Business and Operations; Emerging Issues, Technology, and Strategies; Executive Leadership Forum; Innovative Programs and Activities; Staff Training and Leadership; Youth Development and Behavior; and much more!0 Comments
BSA Troop 8 At FCC
February 8th, 2014
Matt, a 7-Year veteran Falling Creek Camper from Asheville, NC, organized his Boy Scout Troop 8 in a Trailblazer project at camp today. They worked with Drew Boggan to clear out the 18 fairways of the disc golf course in order for it to be ready for use this summer. Matt did an excellent job setting it up and they all enjoyed pizza at the Dining Hall after the hard work. Falling Creek salutes Matt and the scouts and parents of Troop 8 from Biltmore United Methodist Church. Well done!1 Comment
Nathan And Paige Go To Camp
January 30th, 2014
Nathan and Paige recently joined 400 other representatives from camps all over the world for the annual CampMinder Camp in Boulder, CO. They participated in sessions to learn about best practices in the camp industry and new things about CampMinder, the system we have used for seven years for camp operations and parent communication. Nathan was recognized several times as CampMinder’s “6 year” camper—their longest time camper. Way to go Nathan! We are looking forward to implementing some new ideas to prepare for Summer 2014!0 Comments
Beautiful Snowy Day At Falling Creek
January 29th, 2014
Steve Longenecker continues his care of Birds Of Prey
January 13th, 2014
A report from Steve Longenecker, long time FCC staff member:
“When I took a short trip to my family’s home in North Florida this past week, I left all the other birds in the care of a Scoutmaster/friend here in Asheville, but took “Sage” with me. I can’t leave this special friend in someone else’s care, especially at her advanced age.
A nature writer/photographer wanted to do a story about “Sage” for the Jacksonville newspaper. We met and he took several photos of her. Here are just two of those:
“Sage” will have been with me three years in April of 2014. She’s been seen by thousands of school children, Boy Scouts, summer campers and others since placed in my care. She has been the “star” of my programs all that time and I treasure every day I awaken and find her “talking” to me and flapping those glorious wings!
How much longer will she be with me, I don’t know. Nobody knows, I guess. She, like all the raptors in my care, have brand-new pea gravel in their mews and on the trails connecting the various enclosures. Three owls, three hawks and two falcons occupy a lot of space here at my place in Asheville.
Sage’s story (being a “Runway Bird” in Indianapolis) seems to fascinate my audiences. I tell them that this single bird has saved millions of dollars-worth of airplanes and possibly thousands of human lives because of her ability to frighten-away flocks of nuisance birds from the flight paths of planes leaving or landing at that one airport."
The story recently ran in the Florida Times-Union1 Comment
A High School Senior Reflects On His FCC Experience
January 2nd, 2014
Attached please find an essay that I wrote for a college application, which connected my expected pursuit of engineering with my blacksmithing experience at Falling Creek. The prompt was “Tell us about a person who has influenced you in a significant way.”
“Fleas of Hades!” bellowed George Matthews, master blacksmith, gesturing at the tiny fireworks spontaneously emerging from his iron bar’s lemon-hot tip. We fifteen-year-old apprentices exchanged sideways glances. Was this watered-down profanity or an anachronistic interjection? Ultimately, it proved to be neither.
Fleas of Hades are burning particles that flit from a superheated bar. According to George, these pyrotechnics indicated that the bar had cooked too long and should cool briefly before being worked. While ancient blacksmiths may have cursed the Fleas as vengeful spirits, I was simply fascinated and baffled.
More mysteries emerged as I labored at the forge. George sternly warned me not to quench – douse with water – higher grades of iron, because, as he gleefully demonstrated, they would become brittle and shatter. I learned to gauge temperature by color of the bar – lemon indicated ideal temperature, while anything hotter spewed Fleas.
This art, blacksmithing, is the manipulation of energy and matter for a functional and beautiful result. George shapes metal with full knowledge of how it will respond to his influence, but his expertise is not only a result of the vast repository of past trial and error which he also possesses. George is a scientist.
My curiosity piqued by the fleabite scars I had just obtained, I stayed late one day to ask George why the Fleas of Hades phenomenon occurred. He explained that the Fleas were not iron, but carbon: tiny impurities in the iron bar, dissolved during smelting, that strengthen it. At sufficient heat, the iron bar becomes permeable to oxygen’s entry by diffusion. Upon contact, the carbon ignites. The expansion of the released carbon dioxide within the metal propels the carbon specks like a miniature jet engine. The carbon flies briefly, burning.
George’s explanation of a visually dramatic phenomenon on an atomic level galvanized my interest. I returned home overflowing with boyish excitement, having broken through a mental barrier. I saw clearly that an invisible set of rules governed every object in existence. George mastered some of these laws, as has every blacksmith before him, from the first bronze weaponsmith to Henry Bessemer and his steelmaking process, and it gave George the power to mold metal into useful and elegant forms. This epiphany had implications beyond blacksmithing, generating a great enthusiasm for the insights science classes granted into the workings of our world. Sadly, no science lab thrill has ever topped opening a blast gate, feeling the heat soak my skin, and removing the iron to hammer the blade of a tomahawk.
My education has provided me with answers to questions I would once have asked George, but he set me on the path to find them myself. I now know not to quench high-grade iron because rapid temperature decrease locks the molecules in a brittle crystalline structure. I have learned that iron’s emission spectrum governs its color progression, as hotter iron releases higher-energy photons with shorter wavelengths, the change terminating at white when photons of all visible wavelengths are being emitted. Most importantly, George’s example taught me that knowledge truly is power. I want to gain the power to design airplanes through aerospace engineering, and if I learn to sculpt an airfoil with half the grace with which George sculpted an iron bar, I will consider my education worthwhile.
Evan – member of the Stanford class of 20180 Comments
Waypoints at Falling Creek Camp
December 28th, 2013
What are waypoints? In navigation they are a set of coordinates that represent a fixed location, or an objective along a planned course in one’s journey. Falling Creek developed the Waypoints tradition so campers and staff will have intentional objectives throughout their journey.
Progression is not age restrictive as the boys are able and encouraged to pursue advancement based on their interest. There are Waypoints for each individual’s unique course at Falling Creek. Currently, progression Waypoints can be earned in 27 activities, 4 expeditions, and 23 specialty awards. Achievements will be rewarded with Waypoint Markers at the end of each session that can proudly be displayed on a frame-worthy base map of Falling Creek’s campus.
New campers and staff will receive a map after their first summer. These Waypoints are highly sought after by campers and staff alike. We encourage the boys to challenge themselves to progress in the many activities offered at Falling Creek Camp.0 Comments
You work at a summer camp? What do you do in the winter?
December 27th, 2013
We often get this question and the answer is that we are carefully finding the 140 awesome folks that make up our outstanding staff. We are also busy planning the upcoming summer at Falling Creek to make sure it is the best experience for each of the campers, parents, and staff. For the 10 days just before Christmas, I enrolled in a Wilderness First Responder update course managed by SOLO and hosted at the Nantahala Outdoor Center.
During the 10 day course I learned some new skills, refreshed some old ones, and put it all into practice into several mock rescue scenarios. During the scenarios the instructors used actors, stage make-up and natural debris to create life like injuries for the class to treat. During my course, the instructors opted to do a rescue which started at roughly sunset and lasted several hours before all of the victims had been successfully evacuated and transferred to the local EMS. In that rescue I served in several different roles including SAR, patient transport, building and applying traction-in-line splits, and the treatment of several environmental injuries. As I start to plan an amazing summer of adventure trips, I will use the skills I learned to make sure each trip is designed to meet the following ideals….. FUN-LEARNING-SAFETY. I also insure the staff have the skills they need to run a trip in which boys of all skill levels and ages are challenged both mentally and physically!
Outdoor Adventure Director
Merry Christmas from FCC Down Under!
December 26th, 2013
Wishing everyone associated with FCC a great festive season! It’s a cool 95 deg here in Sydney, so Jez woke up this morning at 730am and after breakfast immediately signed up for a Paddling Trip at the Whitewater centre, he’ll follow that up with a special signup of Surfing at Bondi Beach this afternoon! After some bike maintenance, Pete decided to take a more leisurely 20km Biking trip around Sydney Olympic Park, and then signed up for a 2 day bi-venture Canyoning/Backpacking trip in the Blue Mountains! Lili couldn’t make the picture because his paddling trip left before Morning Assembly, so he is somewhere around on a nearby river, for a 3 day! And David is off to do some "Cloud Watching” at Manly Beach, followed by a 4 day River Rafting trip out west! A festive game of Cricket is lined up for evening program later this week!
Happy Holidays! And we’ll see you in 2014!
David, Jez, Lili, & Pete0 Comments
View newer or older posts.