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Looking back on
FNCA 2018

by Trevor

Camper favorites 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.

© Trevor 2018But first, a few words about the first week Sparks and the second week Flames: there were a LOT of them! There were 16 Sparks during Week 1, with some townies stopping in regularly for class and/or Sparks Games. And there were 18 Flames during Week 2, mostly due to the large influx of Midwest teens. Both groups added a lot to camp and were very much appreciated.

© Florian Mania 2018One returing blast-from-the-past camper was Florian Mania, who came all the way from Germany with his young family and returned to camp on Final Weekend after an absence of 38 years! It was an emotional return, not only for him, but also for his father, Rev. Christian Mania, back home in Germany, to whom Florian spoke with on the phone several times while at the Assembly. Both were brought to tears more than once during Florian's brief visit.

Another blast-from-the-past camper was Rev. Paul Martin. We heard he was going to be in the area during camp (his extended family has a vacation cabin nearby) and we were thrilled when he accepted an invitation to join us and give a lecture during Week 2, which was very well received, by the way. Paul himself was welcomed back by many, all of whom enjoyed catching up 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 thrilled to have Dr. Soni Werner, both as this year's Rev. Everett K. Bray 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: Sincerity and Severity; The Search for Mary Magdalene: Her Story of Awareness, Acceptance, and Action; and Altruism: Many Kinds of Kindness. Our First 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 the first week.

Memorable outings this year include:

  • a Group Outing by about a third of the camp to the ocean at Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth ME (Several of the Midwest teens had never seen the ocean before.)
  • an Outing Day canoe trip by the Flames down the river to Swan's Falls
  • an afternoon trip by the Flames to Diana's Baths and Cathedral Ledge.
© FNCA 2018

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 the dock down at the river. 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.

We were also amazed and amused to see another crew hard at work down at the waterfront: Ken Woofenden, Martin Vojtko, Troy Grams, and Dan Dyer, plus Ian Woofenden when he arrived later. They removed a large tree that had fallen across our swimming area over the winter. This project took most of 5 days during Week 1. First, they lopped off and removed the branches. Then, they cut the trunk off in several large pieces. It then took a few more days to remove the thickest part of the trunk that was still attached to the bank. A big THANK YOU to this crew, also, for a difficult job done well.

© Dan Dyer 2018

So what's the "amused" part mentioned above? Ian Woofenden, a professional tree worker in his former career, was seen 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 logrolling once they finally got it loose!

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

  • Amy Blackman's delightful cardholder art project
  • Deane Currie's occasional creative and gentle announcements at meals
  • © Sarah May Grams 2016watching Colgate Searle "put some finishing touches" on his architechtural wonder: that on-going camp project of his that we call Colgateville
  • 5-year-old Margaret Woofenden participating in the Dole 3 Miler
  • Rest Hour (yes!)
  • © Nancy S. Hinson 2018the surprise Polar Bear painting by Nancy S. Hinson which nows hangs above the Polar Bear Quotient chalkboard in the Dining Hall
  • 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 finished in 7th place, shaving nearly a minute off his last year's time. And, for the 4th time since he was 9 years old, he was the first FNCA person to cross the finish line. Go, go, Zed!

Second, 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 the Rev. Dr. George F. Dole's new book, The Universe and I: Where Science and Spirituality Meet. They read the book through from cover to cover, meeting 3 or 4 times each week.

© Beki Greenwood 2018Fourth, the terrific new waterfront ramp that Colgate built for us. He took measurements during Work Weekend in May 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 in the dock at the beginning of camp. Thanks, Colgate!

© Jason Greenwood 2018

And last but not least, 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.

© Beki Greenwood 2018


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