A long-standing tradition has been revived here on the Nantahala River: the Camp Cup Challenge. This annual event was originally held to gather together all the regional summer camps spread throughout western North Carolina for a day of fun non-competitive whitewater competition on the Nantahala River.� The event fell to the wayside for a good long time, but the camps’ love for the Nantahala did not.
The Nantahala River is a memorable part of many campers’ summer fun–in solo/tandem canoes or kayaks–and has been for many many years.� Bunny Johns– outstanding whitewater community member and summer camp alum tells stories of being a camper (back before there was even such thing as hippies) and calling up the power plant and asking for a release because her summer camp was heading to the river. While calling up the power plant might have disappeared, summer camps’ presence on the Nantahala has not.
Last year the Camp Cup Challenge was revived thanks to the efforts of Sean and Kirsten Bierle–counselors at Mondamin/GreenCove and founders of the Alzar School.� Recognizing the benefit of bringing together the community of campers for a day of fun, Sean and Kirsten put their energy into reviving the event and turning it into a success.� Having a close relationship with many of the camps–ERA was happy to be part of the volunteer group that helped coach and support the event.�� At the end of the day last year, the first question we had was: can we do it again next year?!!?
And here it is next year and the event is even better.� Spread over two days instead of just one, today participants had an opportunity to practice the freestyle event at the Nantahala Falls and learn a bit about running a slalom course before tomorrow’s big day.
if you are coming through the Nantahala Gorge tomorrow, take time out to cheer on the campers as they race through the Falls and downstream in the gates. It is a fun time for everyone!