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In Memoriam

Rachael Panning

Rachael Panning

OA Alum

Rachael Panning attended The Outdoor Academy as part of Semester 17 in 2003.  She died at age 29 on July 17, 2017, after a two-year struggle with brain cancer.  While at The Outdoor Academy, Rachael made friends with whom she was close the rest of her life.  Already an outdoor enthusiast, her time at The Outdoor Academy made her even more of a conservationist and wildlife lover, which shaped her later career. Rachael liked to travel and successfully completed her goal of visiting all 50 states with a trip to Hawaii in November 2016.  Most of all, Rachael loved people. Rachael was kind, caring, and considerate, and was a wonderful friend to many.  Rachael’s time at The Outdoor Academy had a profound impact on her life.

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Jay Ellis

Jay Ellis

Former Trustee

George John “Jay” Ellis, III, 80, died June 18, 2017, at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. After a weekend spent enjoying a large family reunion, Jay visited Mammoth Cave with his three adult children, who grew up at Eagle’s Nest Camp. He died quietly in their presence, in a familiar natural setting within an hour’s drive of his childhood home. Jay spent many summers as medical director of Carolina Camps for Children with Diabetes, and after diabetes camp ended, many more years as a board member and strong supporter of Eagle’s Nest. Jay’s legacy at Eagle’s Nest will live on through his service to the community and passion for enriching the lives young people.

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Moseley Waite

Moseley Waite

Former Trustee

“He was a great man who will be sorely missed,
but the good he brought to this world will live on in us all. To carry on all that he did will be an honor and a high task–in his memory we will do it.”
– Noni Waite-Kucera, Mo’s daughter

Dr. Benjamin Moseley (Mo) Waite, Ph.D., died on February 3, 2017. He was a scientist, educator, and conservationist. In 1950 Mo’s parents Dr. Alex and Hannah Waite chartered Eagle’s Nest Camp, originally founded in 1927, as a non-profit educational organization. Mo continued the legacy by serving on the ENF Board of Trustees for over 35 years. He also helped found Carolina Camps for Children with Diabetes, providing life-changing opportunities for children to learn to manage their illness in a camp setting.  Scientist, ceramicist, furniture maker, gardener, pickler, blueberry farmer, whitewater paddler, world traveler, bibliophile; Mo’s interests and talents ranged as wide as the circle of people who respected and loved him.

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