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Posted by Rick Civelli | 08.22.2012 | Teen Camps, WB Surf Camp News

2012 Mountains to Surf Camp – Josh Youse (Part I)

This summer marked our first year offering the new Mountains to Surf Camp 2-week trip. What better way to spend 2 weeks of your summer whitewater rafting, mountain biking, zip-lining, and surfing, I can’t think a better way. Western North Carolina, The Great Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Parkway set the scene for our journey to the mountains. The crisp mountain air, cool water flowing in the river, and lush forests had me excited before we even departed. There is just a drawing force within nature that leads us to explore the wilderness.

Outdoor Adventure Education is a way of living, for me it is simply my lifestyle. It’s a great way to get outside and engage the environment, challenge yourself, learn and grow positively as a person. One cannot help to spread the stoke to others, it’s always more fun as a group. Get yourself together grab a friend or meet one in the water, get outside, and go play!

On arrival day of Mountains to Surf Camp that’s just what we did, we kicked it off right with our WB Surf Camp approach to learning the right way. After gathering our awesome campers and assembling our group we settled into the cabins at the KOA, took some time to play ping-pong, hoola-hoop, get to know other campers and, even take on a challenge to play Nuk’em. The next day, we awoke when the sun rose, packed our van tight with duffle bags, luggage, and even a giant metal trunk. After taking a head count it was time get some good old local southern breakfast and hit the open road off to Bryson City, NC. Needless to say the 8 hour drive to western North Carolina was long , but the campers made the drive a delight as we exchanged stories and got to know each other while embarking on our weeklong journey. The Blue Ridge Parkway and the hills of the Smoky Mountains are an incredible place to visit. The views are breathtaking and the local history and culture are interesting and fun to experience.

The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) is where we set up camp for the week. Our cabins were basic, but the river was right there calling our names. As soon as we arrived the place was surrounded by outdoor activities. People were mountain biking, kayaking the river, going zip-lining, fishing and playing corn-hole outside of Slow Joe’s Café. The Appalachian Trail passes through the heart of the Outdoor Center, which attracts a considerable about of hikers and backpackers. Our first day of rafting on the Nantahala was an excitingly fun experience despite the frigid temperature of the water. Our team bared the elements and went splashing through the Class III rapids. The last rapid on the river was a short section of a small waterfall. Let’s just say the photos of everyone will give you a great idea of what each of us was thinking. Ohhhhh crap!

After rafting we all had a delicious lunch spread provided for us by the NOC, handmade local hummus, cold cuts, local loaves of homemade bread, tons of fruit, and Oreos for desert.  Once we let all that food settle in our bellies we stepped up and took on the many challenges presented by the Alpine Tower – a towering structure made of giant logs high in the air with various elements to overcome and conquer. After 3 hours of scaling the enormous tower, everyone of the campers had faced challenges and overcame their fears. Each one of them accomplished a huge feat and were noticeably upbeat, energetic, and feeling very alive. To finish the Alpine Tower Challenge each member of the team got to participate in the Flying Squirrel. A cable attached to the top of the alpine tower where your team hoists you up 30ft in the air, as you let go of the rope holding you up, you fly away, and swing rushing from side to side. That’s what I call a quick thrill, we all had such a great time getting to assist each other and hoist one another up into the air and swing like monkeys from a tree.