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NOV. 25, 2015


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Cara Varney, Development Assistant


  1. the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

It’s that time of year, the time when we start to reflect on all the events of the past eleven months. A time when we look forward to spending cool days with family and friends, eating comfort foods and telling stories.  It is a time when we give thanks and share with the people we love.

The history of the first Thanksgiving is one with conflicting stories, but one thing most agree on it that it is a time to thank others for the blessings of the year. At Eagle’s Nest and The Outdoor Academy giving thanks and expressing gratitude are strong themes that grow into a common thread in the lives of the people here. We give thanks at meals, we offer love and gratitude to others daily, and this practice continues to build a meaningful and intentional community year after year.  This thread weaves a tapestry that goes back years and generations, and will continue on with the cultivation of supporting and caring for others.

This season of Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. December 1st is #GivingTuesday. Now in its fourth year, this day is fueled by the power of collaboration, and the desire to help non-profits worldwide. Together with social media and individual donors, organizations have been able to raise vital funds to support their causes and programs.

It is not just that we feel grateful or express our thanks to others, but that we feel the sincere, intrinsic desire to give something back. For sometimes, when we express gratitude through words and deeds it enhances our own experiences of feeling grateful.

You just spent the weekend with your friends and family, perhaps braved the crowds and caught some Black Friday deals, now think about your family at the Nest, and what they mean to you. Join Eagle’s Nest and thousands of others on this day and make #GivingTuesday a part of your holiday tradition!  Express your gratitude, for the community that is cultivated here, for the time we spend in nature, for simple living, and to become your best self.

We invite you to get involved in two ways.

Get busy on your social media pages:

Giving Tuesday Graphic_blog

  • Make a few posts to your personal social media account(s)…email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. about #GivingTuesday
  • Use our #hashtags (#GivingTuesday, #togetherENF) and @accounts (@eaglesnest_hanteadv, @outdooracademy)
  • Make a donation! (on December 1st)
  • TELL YOUR STORY OF SUPPORT, and encourage others to visit our giving page online

OR Give us your testimonial, photo, #UNselfie, and donation, and we will post it on our pages in your honor!

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

John F. Kennedy

Cara Varney, Development Assistant

MAR. 3, 2015

New Neighbors? Maybe you could be Ours!

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Cain Cox, Eagle’s Nest Trustee

Over the past 88 years, Eagle’s Nest has seen a lot of change in the Little River Valley. More is coming, right alongside our campus. Recently, the owners of a 31-acre tract along our border put their land up for sale. This property has beautiful long range views of the valley, a nice road already cut in, many wonderful building sites, and of course the most amazing next door neighbor!

ENF has worked for many years to help preserve and protect the rural feeling of the Little River Valley. Teaching our campers and students the importance of being good stewards to our land and community has been a key aspect of our mission to promote the natural world and the betterment of human character. As part of our long range planning, we have worked diligently for the last three years to place 100 acres of our own campus under a conservation easement. This measure will ensure that we protect our streams, forests, and fields for future generations. It will also help us create another teaching tool. As the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy assesses our land and monitors our management of it, our own campers and students will participate in the work of exploring and documenting its natural features.

3 - Top of Road toward Cascade Lake

Given the centrality of careful, informed land stewardship to our work, ENF knows the importance of good neighbors. So the Foundation is reaching out to our larger community with this news of transition—and opportunity—on our southern flank. Do you or someone you know have an interest in owning 31 beautiful acres next to a thoughtful and vibrant neighbor like Eagle’s Nest? The property would make an ideal private estate or could perhaps be subdivided into several parcels.

If you are interested, email ENF Trustee Cain Cox at or call her at (828) 242-7707.

Cain Cox, Eagle’s Nest Trustee

MAR. 20, 2014

A Gathering of Minds

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Eagle’s Nest Plans for its Centennial
By Executive Director, Noni Waite-Kucera

They came from the East with bright, new day energy and vision. They came from the South full of compassion and sense of place.
They came from the West, with introspection and reflection. They came from the North, bearing years of wisdom.

As an Eagle’s Nest community of trustees, faculty and staff we gathered March 14-16 to plan and set priorities for our organization as we approach 100 years old. It was a remarkable 3 days of reflecting upon the input gathered at each of the 15 stakeholder gatherings held across the country last fall, the research conducted by staff, faculty and trustees and the years of experience collectively held by all those in attendance. Through a myriad of exercises that our consultants had prepared for us sprang a set of four overarching priorities for us to accomplish in the next 13 years:

• Empower a Community of Educators
• Cultivate and Celebrate our Place
• Engage the World in our Story
• Build Financial Resiliency

Within each of those of those priorities are many individual action items that you will hear about in the weeks to come. Our next step is for the staff to take our priorities and organize them into a draft timeline for approval by the Board of Trustees at the July meeting.

board at retreat

I can say that this weekend together just south of Atlanta was inspirational, energizing and full of promise for our school and camp that we hold so dearly. I am very grateful to everyone who participated in the pre-work leading up to the retreat, of which there are hundreds, and to those who worked so diligently last weekend to put it all together. This is just the beginning of some very exciting work!

OCT. 7, 2013

Eagle’s Nest Foundation Gets a New Look

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by Noni Waite-Kucera, Executive Director

What’s in a name?  For Eagle’s Nest Foundation it is 86 years of history steeped with traditions, innovations, growth and inspiration for generations of young people.  As we look forward to what Eagle’s Nest will be at 100 years we wanted to “freshen up” how we visually define ourselves.  With three strong programs operating within the Eagle’s Nest we wanted to find a way that each could visually distinguish itself and at the same time be clearly identified as a program of Eagle’s Nest Foundation. Hence, our four new logos you are seeing today.

New Eagle's Nest Foundation logo

New Eagle’s Nest Foundation Logo

As you look at the Foundation logo you will see components of the logos from each of the programs embedded in and around our central eagle – the icon that has been part of our traditions as long as we have been in operation.  Our eagle is strong, lofting upwards on air drafts pushing up from our Little River Valley.  In the background you will see our mountains as you would see them leaving our Everett Road entrance: majestic blue mountains, welcoming and ancient.


Topping the mountain you will see the rising sun that is integral to our Outdoor Academy logo.  The circle represents the student and the mountain the challenge that will inspire their growth while they attend our semester school.   The rays of light are each a principle that will serve as a guide post on their educational journey through our four pillars or cornerstones: Intellect, Environment, Community and Craft.   At each step on that mountain we develop the character required for life-long success by practicing our seven principles (the rays): Simple Living, Work Ethic, Curiosity, Integrity, Stewardship, Self-Reliance, and Gratitude.


Twinkling over the eagle are the stars of Hante Adventures, inspired by the quest for a journey.  Within the Hante logo these stars rise over our mountains lighting the way and the path to lands beyond our valley.  The constellation is Aquila, the Eagle, with the largest star being Altair, one of the points of the summer triangle.  Anywhere in the world that our Hante Adventurers may be they will share these same stars with their friends back at the Nest.


A single eagle feather demarks our oldest program, Eagle’s Nest Camp.  This feather, gently cupped, is our nest from which our campers grow and flourish, each one an integral part of the whole eagle – our community.

It is remarkable to look back over the years at the visual pieces we have used to portray Eagle’s Nest and know that at each stage we were marking who we were at that time.  Sometimes it feels sad to leave behind a look but it will always be there, a part of our growing history.  Our staff is very excited to share these new looks with you after months of scheming and drafting.  We hope you will share the story with your friends!