MAY. 5, 2017
What’s the theme for this year’s Final Banquet? Is it Intergalactic Travel? Is it 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Is it Apple Sauce or Tie Dye Carnival? Wouldn’t you like to know! The Final Banquet theme is one of our most closely guarded secrets. If you want to be in on the reveal and all of the magic and drama of Final Banquet, you’ll have to come to Session 3. The good news: it’s not too late to sign up!
So what is Final Banquet anyway? It’s just about the most elaborate, creative, and dramatic production and party that Eagle’s Nest puts on! It involves a secret theme, costumes for everyone at camp, performances and giant sets across campus. Sometimes it also includes root beer, huge turkey drumsticks and even *gasp* candy. The banquet usually begins by gathering in Cabin 7 field or the Meadow where campers and staff delight in seeing each other’s costumes. Then it winds its way across campus, revealing the characters and story while taking everyone on an experiential journey into their imagination.
The theme for Final Banquet during my first summer at Eagle’s Nest was, “Murder on the Orient Express.” The Dining Hall was transformed into an elaborate dining car, with sconces on the wall and Oriental rugs on the floor. Gary and Diane Daniel, our Property Manager and Arts Arena Director at the time, even created a movable country scene that stretched the length of the Dining Hall and gave the illusion that we were all on a moving train. Through the years our over-the-top decorations have included a working periscope created for the “Yellow Submarine”, an elaborate food distribution machine built for “Dr. Seuss”, and a gigantic dinosaur puppet built only a couple of summers ago for “The Land Before Time” (here’s a video from that Final Banquet).
The sets created for Final Banquet may be incredible, but they are matched by the drama. Each of the campers and staff members has a role and throughout the night they perform. One summer Taylor Dunn, a song writer, performer and former staff member, wrote songs for each of the cabins to perform for the “Heart Break Café” Final Banquet. I remember watching Taylor work his way from cabin to cabin, teaching the songs with a piano in the back of the maintenance truck.
My favorite Final Banquet was probably “Scheherazade and the 1001 Nights.” During that banquet each cabin told one of her stories and they seemed to go on all night. Other exciting banquets include “Where the Wild Things Are”, “The Voyages of Captain Cook” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, where we actually had candy hanging from the trees at Eagle’s Nest (a first and last). I also loved “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” themed final event from a couple of summers ago. To get a glimpse of that banquet you can watch this video.
We’ve already had meetings about Final Banquet 2017. Don’t miss out on the fun! Register for Session 3 today!
Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director
APR. 21, 2017
At the end of Staff Training last summer we took some time to write letters to ourselves to give us a chance to look forward to an exciting season. As the summer came to a close we returned to these letters to reflect on our growth and remind ourselves of our thoughts during training. Somehow I forgot about my letter and recently found it at home while organizing my drawers, nearly a year later. What I found in that letter, and myself, felt profound and ultimately extremely encouraging. As we look forward to starting our programs in just over a month, I’d like to share my letter:
Remember how grateful you are to have the adventure of traveling with an old friend. You are not bound by your gratitude, but show it and make known the importance of this kind of opportunity and leadership. Remember how good it feels to teach. Even when you don’t feel prepared, you are, in many ways, always prepared.
Remember that you are a masterful teacher and that recognizing your room for growth only proves the consciousness of your mastery…but remember that there is still so much you can learn.
Remember that movement and change are the catalysts for growth and learning and practice build mastery. And curiosity feeds the mind, heart, and soul. And remember the simplicity of laying in the field, in the afternoon shade. The warmth of the summer’s beginning with the cool breeze of spring’s end. Remember these motions are all at once familiar and virgin, and that these moments, like all things, will pass. Stay connected to yourself and give in to the love of living freely in a place of acceptance, intention and greatness.
Marlin Sill, Hante Director
APR. 13, 2017
Spring is an exciting time, not just because everything is in bloom and it’s almost time for camp, but also because it’s when seniors across the country decide what they’ll be doing in the time following their high school graduation. Each August and September Eagle’s Nesters pack their trunks or backpacks, not for camp, but for a gap year of adventure and growth or for the college or university where they will spend the next 4 years.
Once April rolls around I get really excited about talking with seniors about what they’ll be doing after graduation. By April, most of them have a pretty good idea of their plans and are feeling more secure and enthusiastic after months of playing the waiting game. It’s fun to think about where they’ll be going and what they’ll be doing, but what delights me most is helping them make connections with other Eagle’s Nesters who have forged a similar path or gone to the same school. Over the years I’ve heard stories about alumni who never knew each other at Eagle’s Nest, but met on a college campus because they saw the other in a tribal t-shirt, or of campers showing up to class and actually having an Eagle’s Nest alum as their professor. Eagle’s Nesters are everywhere, and there’s a good chance that several of them will end up in the same place next year.
So if you’re getting ready to graduate, please let us know where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing next year. We’d love to hear from you and to help you connect with other Nesters who you may or may not know.
Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director
APR. 5, 2017
Hi everyone! I am psyched to be sitting here writing this as I look forward to an exciting and productive summer! I came to camp for the first time as a cabin 1er and returned for many years including 2 summers as a counselor. I am so happy to say that I am now returning to the Nest as full time staff! Summer is right around the corner and I wanted to share with you a part of camp that I love and that I look forward to being a part of very soon.
I recently began introducing my roommate to the world of rock climbing. We started going to a gym together once a week a few months ago. She loves it! She is a natural and started investing in gear and going more often. More recently we have been able to head outside to climb on the weekends and she is ecstatic. It has strengthened our minds, our bodies, and our friendship. Besides the obvious benefits of spending quality time together and sharing a common interest, our friendship has been strengthened by the nature of climbing itself (trusting your partner with your life) and the gratifying experience of passing on a skillset. She has gained a new passion and I have reaped the rewards of sharing something that I love and watching someone learn and grow.
If any of this reminds you of camp, you are not alone. Everyone comes from different places and brings new experiences and passions to the table. It is one of my favorite parts about being at camp. Campers (and counselors) learn new skills at camp and choose to advance in those areas. There is nothing more exciting than watching campers share their skills with newer campers and seeing JCs thrive as new educators.
One of the best parts of skill sharing is the support that accompanies it. This is one of the most magical sounds at camp. One can walk by the climbing tower and hear students shouting words of encouragement to their peers or head to the arts arena and watch a first timer being guided on the ceramics wheel. It is in every class and it is amongst all ages and it is inspirational.
I hope that you are as excited as I am to start a new season of learning and sharing!
Anna Lauria, Camp Program Manager
MAR. 31, 2017
Spring is finally here and we couldn’t be happier to see the daffodils popping up and the sun shimmering off the lake. This warmer weather has us thinking about summer and camp is just around the corner!
To get you warmed up and back into the swing of camp things, we have put together a list of classic camp movies along with a selection of camp themed books. As an added bonus we have tracked down the ACTUAL camps and locations where the movies were filmed. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to write a book about your summer of fun. Maybe one day we’ll even see a movie on the big screen that pays homage to our little nest on Hart Road!
- The Parent Trap (1998) – Camp Seeley, Crestline, CA
- The Parent Trap (1961) – Camp Bluff Lake, Big Bear Lake, CA
- Camp Rock – YMCA Camp Wanakita, Haliburton, Ontario and Kilcoo Camp, Minden, Ontario
- Ernest Goes to Camp – Montgomery Bell State Park
- Troop Beverly Hills – Mainly filmed in Beverly Hills, San Bernadino National Forest.
- It Takes Two– Camp Mini-Yo-We, Ontario, Canada
- Cam Jansen and the Summer Camp Mysteries by David A. Adler
- The Berenstain Bears go to Camp by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- Runaway Ralph (Ralph Mouse Series #2) by Beverly Cleary
- Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #2: Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation! by Ann M. Martin
- Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
- Fun Camp by Gabe Durham
- The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams
Michelle Miller, Development Assistant
MAR. 23, 2017
Here in western North Carolina, signs of spring are everywhere. Birds are chirping, colorful flowers are popping out of the ground, and even the spring peepers have emerged with their familiar evening song. Watching the season creep across the Eagle’s Nest campus is exciting for us all. Soon, Pink Lady’s Slippers will line the trails and the Dogwood trees will show off their beautiful blooms.
Working at Eagle’s Nest throughout the year provides a unique opportunity to experience campus in seasons beyond summer. The spectacular colors of fall, frosty days of winter, and brightness of spring are a joy to witness.
We’d like for you to have the opportunity to see Eagle’s Nest in the spring, too! You and your family are invited to join us for an Open House on April 30th. Campus will be open from 12 – 3pm for tours, games, a scavenger hunt, and, you guessed it…Cho-Chos. Past, current, and future campers are welcome, and we’d love for you to bring your friends, too.
A quick recap:
Spring Open House
April 30, 2017 12-3pm
All are welcome
If you have questions or would like to RSVP, send us an email. We can’t wait to see you and get excited about the summer!