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Reviews Written by Gibbons Burke  

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Experience of a lifetime May 28, 2008
reviewer: Gibbons Burke from Austin, TX
Having spent a total of 14 five-week sessions at Deep Woods over the course of nine summers, you might understand why I would give Deep Woods five stars. I loved attending camp, first as a camper, then as a Ranger (counselor-in-training), and two summers as a counselor. Deep Woods was the perfect antidote to hot, humid New Orleans summers - an escape into the air- conditioned mountains of Western North Carolina. * * * The first regular day of camp of my first session clinched it for me - the entire camp was loaded into the back of "Big Green" a modernized Army Deuce-and-a-half truck and we drove for 45 minutes and unloaded. We, ate a nutritious sack lunch, and hiked up the stream bed - a watery path through a narrow granite-walled gorge. At the end of the water hike was a waterfall cascading over a smooth rock face where we eagerly climbed to the top of the falls, sat down in the stream, and slid down the falls into the pool below. It was a great day of fun in the wilderness. The climb up the hill to my cabin that day was a tough one - I was so sore. But by the end of the five week session I was running up that hill barely breathing heavily, I was in such good shape. * * * I attended my first year at Deep Woods in 1974, second five- week session. I couldn't wait to go back. The next summer, I attended first session, and then when it got nearly time to go home, I called my parents and begged them to let me stay another session. I was so happy when they agreed. * * * Backpacking was a major activity at camp, and, like rock sliding, Camp took you on the trail less travelled. Hikes avoided heavily travelled trails when possible, and especially on weekends in favor of hikes along abandoned railroad grades and other unmarked trails. Cabin leaders often carried axes and machetes to clear a trail through forgotten and overgrown lumber railroad grades which course through the Pisgah mountains. Over the course of my time at Deep Woods I reckon I covered just about every section of the Appalacian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia as far north as Crandon, Virginia, except for the Smokies. * * * One of the best experiences at Deep Woods was getting to know Kells Hogan, the proprietor and director. Kells is gifted with an amazing array of talents perfectly suited to the running of a camp, not the least of which is a keen wit - one of the funniest people I have ever met. He built camp mostly single-handedly - the lake, the cabins, the dining hall the vehicles - I don't think there's anything Kells can't do from metalworking to engine rebuilding to fine carpentry. He is truly a jack of all trades. * * * Deep Woods Camp for Boys is a national treasure - a much- needed refuge from the sedentary world of electronic video games - a place where a boy can find adventure and challenge himself to achieve things he would have never thought possible.

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