["Reflections" Archives]

Looking back on
FNCA 2018

by Trevor

© Beki Greenwood 2018Camper favorites this year included returning "blast from the past" campers, this year's Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer, several memorable outings, some work crew workings, and quiet moments here and there, among other things.

But first, a few words about the 1st week Sparks and the 2nd week Flames: there were a LOT of them! There were 16 Sparks during Week 1, with some locals stopping in regularly for class and/or Sparks Games. And there were 18 Flames during Week 2, mostly due to the large influx of Mid-West teens. Both groups added a lot to camp and were very much appreciated.

© Florian Mania 2018One returning "blast from the past" camper was Florian Mania, who came all the way from Germany with his young family and returned to camp Final Weekend after an absence of 38 years! It was a very emotional return, not only for him, but for his father, Rev. Christian Mania, back home in Germany. Both were brought to tears more than once during Florian's brief visit.

© Susannah Currie 2018Another "blast from the past" was Rev. Paul Martin. We heard he was going to be in the area during camp (their family has a vacation cabin nearby), and we were thrilled when he accepted an invitation to join us and give a lecture 2nd Week, which was very well-received, by the way. Paul himself was welcomed back by many, all of whom enjoyed catching up together with old friends during his visit. So, Paul, we would very much like this to become a regular thing!

Speaking of people, we were absolutely delighted to have Dr. Soni Werner both as this year's EKB Visiting Lecturer as well as leading our Opening Weekend Program. Dr. Werner's specialties include developmental psychology, organizational psychology, forensic psychology, and conflict management. She has recently authored several books, including The Growth of the Female Mind, The Search for Mary Magdalene, and Altruism: Many Kinds of Kindness. Our 1st Week lecture theme — Altruism and Kindness — was specifically chosen with her in mind. Her two lectures were titled "Altruism for the Spiritually Hungry, Thirsty, and Estranged" and "Altruism for the Spiritually Naked, Sick, and Imprisoned" and were truly nourishment for the soul.

Dr. Werner's Opening Weekend Program on "Conflict Resolution Skills Learned from Psychologists and Angels" was very well-attended and discussed many times throughout 1st Week.

Memorable outings this year include:

  • A group Outing Day trip by about a third of the camp to the ocean at Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth ME (several of the Mid-West teens had never seen the ocean before!);© FNCA 2018
  • An Outing Day canoe trip by the Flames down the Saco River to Swan's Falls;
  • An afternoon trip by the Flames to Diana's Baths and Cathedral Ledge (photo above) in nearby North Conway NH.

As for work crew workings, several people mentioned how much they enjoyed watching Troy Grams and crew's efficient work both putting in and removing our heavy dock down at the waterfront. It is a BIG project and they have it down pat. A BIG Thank You to Troy and crew for doing this year after year!

© Dan Dyer 2018

We also were amazed and amused to see another crew hard at work down at the Waterfront: Ken Woof, Martin Vojtko, Troy Grams, Dan Dyer, plus Ian Woof when he arrived later. They removed a large tree that had fallen across our swimming area over the winter. This project took most of five days during 1st Week. First they lopped and removed the branches. Then they cut the trunk off in several large pieces. A BIG Thank You to this crew, also, for a difficult job done well!

So what's the "amused" part mentioned above? Ian Woofenden, a professional tree worker in a former career, was seen both bouncing up and down on that final section of trunk while it was still attached to the bank (we have the video), as well as doing some real lumberjack log rolling once they finally got it loose!

Quiet moments enjoyed by campers are always many. A few mentioned this year include:

  • Amy Blackman's delightful cardholder craft project;
  • Deane Currie's occasional creative and gentle announcements at meals; © Sarah May Grams 2016
  • Watching Colgate "put some finishing touches on his architectural wonder": that on-going camp project of his which we call Colgateville;
  • 5-year-old Margaret Woofenden participating in the Dole 3 Miler;
  • Rest Hour (YES!)© Nancy S. Hinson 2018
  • The surprise Polar Bear painting by Nancy S. Hinson that now hangs above the Polar Bear Quotient chalkboard in the Dining Hall;
  • Quiet early mornings at the fireplace before the Rising Bell;
  • Adults and kids watching the Flames bonfire for the Corn Boil down on the beach from up on the edge of the front lawn.

A few final experiences to share:

© Beki Greenwood 2018First, a big shout out to 13-year-old Zed McNaughton for his performance in the Dole 3 Miler this year. In 2015, he finished in 16th place. In 2016 and 2017, he was in 9th place. This year, Zed came in in 7th place, shaving nearly half a minute off of last year's time. And for the fourth time since he was 9 years old, he was the first FNCA person to cross the finish line! GO, GO, ZED!

© Jesse White 2018Second, the Flames did a fine Morning Chapel presentation of the Good Samaritan, which they had been studying in class, complete with a well-done skit of the story during the Bible reading.

© Susannah Currie 2018Third, the return of the Afternoon Book Club this year, studying Rev. Dr. George Dole's new book The Universe and I: Where Science and Spirituality Meet. They gathered 3 or 4 times each week to read the book through from cover to cover.

© Beki Greenwood 2018Fourth, the terrific new waterfront ramp that Colgate built for us. He took the measurements for it during Work Weekend and then built part of it at home. He arrived at camp a little early (like he often does) and finished it up on the front porch in time to install it at the Waterfront when the crew put the dock in at the beginning of camp. Thanks, Colgate!

© 2018 Jason GreenwoodAnd lastly, the camaraderie at camp this year was simply wonderful. So many people who love each other all gathered together in the same place. It was truly one big happy family.

And that's what it's all about.


© Martin Vojtko 2018

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