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Looking back on
FNCA 2014

by Trevor

The 2014 FNCA session included the usual stuff --- excellent lectures and religion classes, frolicking down at the Saco River, lots of social time with friends old and new, Outing Day, Work Day, the Annual Meeting, Colgateville, good food in a fabulous location, etc. --- as well as a wide variety of special activities.

© Jon Cousins 2014The biggest special activity was the first annual Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration Three Mile Road Race, a.k.a. "the Dole 3-Miler". Visit the official event website here. The race was held middle Saturday at 8:00 a.m. on the Mountain Division Trail which starts directly across the road from the Assembly. 72 runners competed in this inaugural run, including the esteemed George Dole himself.

The race was originally started from an idea by Nancy Little to honor George's participation in the 1954 race in which Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile, so on the Friday evening before the race, about 75 people gathered in the Assembly's dining hall to hear George talk about that famous race and his part in it. The audience included FNCA members, friends from the community, as well as over a dozen runners registered in the race who had never been to the camp before.

The race results are available at Cool Running. To the amazement of all, © Jon Cousins 2014the first person from the FNCA to cross the finish line was 9-year-old Zed McNaughton in 9th place with a time of 21:12, followed four seconds later by his dad Nate McNaughton in 10th place! Other top 20 runners from camp included Ryan Cook at #15 (23:26), Ben Phinney at #19 (24:07), and Marina Wood-McNaughton at #20 (24:58). George, who is still running daily at age 83, led off the race and finished 37th with a time of 30:06, first in his age group.  "Better than I expected," he commented afterwards.

© Beki Greenwood 2014A huge thanks to race director Jon Crowe of the FNCA Outreach Committee, and to the rest of the race committee: Lee Dyer, Dan Dyer, Adam Lane-Olsen, and Bob Perry.

There was also the hilarity of the annual Sales Table Auction, with our very entertaining auctioneer Dan Cook, assisted by runners Jillian Grams and Caleigh Crowe. Special items this year included a pair of New England Patriots tickets donated by Jason and Beki Greenwood; an old rocking chair rescued from certain doom in the dumpster, beautifully re-finished and re-caned by Lois Dole; original © Beki Greenwood 2014paintings by Mary Keating (Dave Keating's mom), Florence Whitehead, and an unknown artist, these latter donated by Rev. George & Lois Dole; two gorgeous hand-dyed silk scarves by renowned fabric artist Carol LeBaron (Emily Woofenden's mom); four homemade hot pads made by Lois Dole; a crocheted hair scrunchy made by Nancy Little; eight quilted place mats by a friend of Laura Grams; and four copies (one on disk) of Rev. Alison Longstaff's novel "Heaven Sent" donated by the author. Thank you, donors! We raised over $500 for the FNCA.

Other special events this year included felting classes led by Phoebe Crowe; an improv workshop by Miriam Lexie; screening of a 14-minute silent 1935 black and white film of the FNCA followed by a longer 1995 one with both sound and color; the Alice © Beki Greenwood 2014Vigerstad Old Lady Canoe Trip; the LALLA Searle Scrabble Tournament (I WON!); "Choosing Optimism: Leading Mindful Lives" presentations by Emily Woofenden; screenings of Curtis Child's "Swedenborg Minutes" videos hosted by Rev. Susannah Currie; Talent Night hosted by Miriam Lexie; an info session about Rev. Anna Woofenden's start-up Garden Church; a special storytime for the Sparks by Lois McCurdy; and my personal favorite: an all-camp game of Capture the Flag on the last night of camp. A big Special Events THANK YOU to all of the above people!

This year's Opening Weekend Program --- "Spiritual Practices Open Us to Divine Influx" by Rev. Jane Siebert --- had record attendance. We're pleased to report that it definitely achieved its intended purpose of upping the number of first week campers and beefing up the program opening weekend. Thank you, Jane!

Those of us on special diets (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut-free, etc.) were absolutely delighted that this year the assistant cook, our very own Sean Phinney, was specifically in charge of providing us with meals catering to our various diets. Sean did an excellent job and his work is greatly appreciated by those of us who have to (or choose to) be more picky about what we eat. So, from the bottom of our stomachs, we thank you, Sean!

This year also saw the debut of Frank Fitness!, a mini-gym located on the porch of Frank Hall. It includes an elliptical machine, glider/ab machine, weight bench with free weights, dumbbells, push-up/pull-up frame, and both large and small folding gym mats for doing sit ups and other floor exercises. Several people were regularly seen working out.

Several newcomers came to camp this year, greatly enhancing the program, conversation, and  comaraderie. We welcome these new campers into our extended FNCA family and sincerely hope they really mean it when they say, "We're definitely coming back next year."

2014 All-Camp Group Photo

© Jon Cousins 2014

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