This spring, Susie and camp press manager Katey headed up the trails into the Black Mountains to scout for water and campsites appropriate for this year’s first-ever Camp Spring Creek backpacking trip! Katey is an experienced hiker who grew up in Oregon and has led trips for schools in the past. She was also an AmeriCorp volunteer working in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to build, maintain, and service backcountry trails in Adirondack State Park (a park six times the size of Yellowstone!). She’s excited to give the campers a positive, challenging experience, similar to the trips she was sent on as a child all over the West.
After some investigating and timing, Susie and Katey decided the campers will hike about halfway up Colbert Creek Trail the first afternoon of our hike and camp out here:
Not shown, of course, is all the gear and water we’ll be huffing up there, not to mention the distant cooking site, latrine site ( = dig your own hole in the ground), and bear-bagging tree ( = really tall tree, really far away, with the perfect outstretched branch to throw a rope over).
The next day, we’ll day hike up to Deep Gap and the Black Mountain Crest Trail for awesome views looking west over the South Toe River Valley and east toward the Cane River Valley. After a break, we’ll hike further to summit Winter Star Mountain at 6,203 feet. Later, back at Deep Gap, we’ll likely adventure around for a good water source, then hike down to “base camp” for the night. In the morning, we’ll hike back down Colbert Creek Trail to the vans, hive-fiving all the way!
Fresh from camp, these clips were shot this afternoon when Katey met with the senior campers for their first introduction to backcountry basics. They rotated through stations to practice cooking a meal, packing and fitting a pack, pumping and purifying water, and digging cat holes for a backcountry latrine. They’ll spend an additional hour each day this week practicing these skills, as well as time sorting and packing food and gear as they get ready to hit the trails this Friday! At the end of our afternoon, each camper shared “Hopes & Hesitations” by writing down one thing they hope for on the trip and one thing they feel hesitant about. We shared the hopes and hesitations anonymously and debriefed, getting pumped up for the trip.
The campers arrived this weekend! We’re thrilled to welcome them and wish everyone safe travels back across the globe as you make your way from Bakersville, North Carolina to home. Here’s a little breakdown of info about some of this year’s campers:
Thanks to our camp photographer, Nina van der Vorst, for these opening day snapshots. We’re having a blast so far!
Last month, Susie led 5 women through the Orton-Gillingham Associate Level Training program out at Camp Spring Creek. After many hours of work, many tests, many flashcards, and even more observations to come, these women finished strong. We want to acknowledge their efforts in the course, as well as the support from their families who were without them for 10 days. Traveling from Pennsylvania, Alabama, and South Carolina, they gave up a lot to be here…and chose to work hard for the betterment of children with dyslexia. THREE CHEERS!
For those of you who use our YouTube channel and this blog as an educational resource, we’ve sorted the categories on our site (on the right sidebar) to make it easier for you to find the videos you’re looking for. Camp videos and educational/training videos are separated into their own tags under Resources–please explore, and enjoy!