Learning to create and appreciate aesthetics is critical to a boy’s healthy development. Boys are able to enjoy painting, drawing, screen printing, lino block carving, tie dye, and many other unique projects. Our Arts and Crafts program also serves as nice balance to camp’s more active programs. Campers are able to relax, and often recognize interests and talents they may not have been aware of.
Blacksmithing is offered as a daily “block” activity meeting all morning or afternoon. Campers must be 10 years of age or older to participate. We start with a safety clinic and then begin learning blacksmithing techniques. The program has a well established progressions and many campers set the sights on the highest rank of Blacksmith Apprentice (the Warrior level).
Working in the blacksmith shop requires proper clothing. Campers need to wear bluejeans and closed toe shoes. Due to sparks, shirts and pants need to be 100% cotton – no synthetic clothing. Sandals or crocs are not permitted.
Chess serves as a nice balance to camp’s more active programs, and allows boys to learn the strategy and fun of this classic game. This activity takes place under the Dining Hall in the heart of camp. Chess has been known to improve concentration, strengthen your brain, enhance memory, and support critical thinking skills - but for our campers, it’s just fun!
The F.A.R.M. stands for Food, Animals, Repurposing, and Manpower, all of which boys learn about in this activity. You will have the chance to plant and harvest vegetables from our 15 raised beds, grow herbs and flowers, and care for our dozens of chickens and two American Guinea Hogs (Wilma and Marvin!). At the F.A.R.M., boys gain a better understanding of their footprint, as well as the importance of their influence on the environment. Boys can experience a sample of this sustainable living culture during our activities, including learning about composting, recycling, planting, and chickens.
Campers participate in projects, such as constructing habitats for the farm animals or planting new crops, and learn transferable skills that can be used in their everyday lives. Through the F.A.R.M., our goal is to strengthen the connection boys have with food and nature.
While it is not a daily activity to sign up for, Free Choice happens twice a day and offers many activities to choose from. It takes place during the hour before lunch and dinner. Campers can choose from a variety of activities, including:
We ride English style at Falling Creek. If you don’t know what that means, you can learn it on the first day of Horseback Riding!
Horseback offers a variety of opportunities with our camp-owned horses, for which boys can sign up each day. You’ll need to wear Long Pants and Closed-Toe shoes.
The Progression in the horseback program includes both barnwork on the ground, and ringwork or trail riding while mounted. Boys can improve their horsemanship and work up to jumping or caring for a horse on an overnight trip.
In our Music & Theater Program, we facilitate the creativity of both campers and staff by playing instruments, writing and performing skits, and practicing improv. Instruments can include the guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, dulcimer, drums, and even just our voices. Our staff are interested in teaching what they know about music, whether it is at an advanced level or for a camper just wanting to learn an instrument. If they are interested, Campers have the opportunity to play music in front of the camp community or participate in short plays during in Morning Assembly, Church, and Campfire, as well as the talent show. Theater has a youthful energy and gives a sense of empowerment to its participants, who gain self-confidence and communication skills when performing in front of a crowd. Youth theater has been shown to be vital to the personal, social, and aesthetic development of young people. Theater art is a universal expression of human kind and helps young people to find their place and voice in society.
My son was a main camper this year and spent his month learning a new instrument…the piano! He came home from camp so excited about what he’d learned and even asked for a piano for his 13th birthday..a piano and not a video game! We were shocked and absolutely delighted that he found this new passion at camp. I am so grateful to your counselors that made this passion come alive for Cameron. Thank you for providing music as an activity option and making it so fun!
Sarah N. / Raleigh, NC
Nature is a daily activity at Falling Creek. In the Nature program you will explore the trails, lakes, bogs and creeks around camp, learning about the flora and fauna native to the southern Appalachian mountains. It is one of the most popular camp activities.
Each day brings a new adventure in Nature. You will discover things around camp and in the woods that you have never noticed before. Nature gives you a chance to get muddy, wet, dirty and learn about the habitats of animals that live near camp.
Steve Longenecker (a falconer, mountaineer, and wilderness medicine instructor who has been teaching at camp since the 70s), also brings snakes and raptors to live at camp during the summer for our falconry program and educational snake programs. There are red-tailed hawks, peregrine falcons, kestrels, owls and more. Boys learn how to take care of these incredible birds, how to identify snakes local to this area, and have the opportunity to safely see them up close.
Some of our Nature Topics Include:
In Outdoor Skills Certified (OSC), boys learn outdoor skills and tips for surviving in the woods, as well as basic camp craft that they can use on overnights and trips. The activity location is in a beautiful clearing in the woods below the lower dam, right next to a peaceful creek. Boys can work on skills essential for any outdoorsman, including fire building, making rope from natural fibers, reading maps and navigating with a map and compass, identifying harmful or helpful plants, building outdoor shelters, and more.
Pottery gives boys an opportunity to be creative and work with their hands. It’s quite satisfying to start with a lump of clay and end with a project you can be proud of. Campers will learn the basics of throwing a pot on the wheel as well as hand building and glazing skills, all while working through a progression system under the guidance of an experienced potter.
In woodworking, campers love working with their hands to build individual and group projects. Creating something from a shapeless piece of wood is quite satisfying. Boys learn to use traditional woodcraft hand tools under the careful supervision of our staff, as well as learn how to safely use some power tools for larger projects.
Beyond the sheer fun of creating projects, there are other benefits to woodworking. Working with your hands improves fine motor skills, as well as stimulating creativity.