News & Events

Remembering Diana H. King, 1927-2018

It would be hard to overstate how important Diana H. King was to the field of dyslexia education. As a passionate advocate for children with dyslexia and committed educator of teachers, Diana made an impact that will continue for generations. Diana wasn't just a hero for those in dyslexia education: she was a beloved friend and mentor to many, including our co-founders Susie and Steve. An unfailing supporter of Camp Spring Creek, Diana had a tireless dedication to children with dyslexia, a quality we strive to emulate here at camp. Below is a rememberance of Diana written by her long-time friend and colleague, William Van Cleave. 

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Diana Hanbury King (1927-2018), pioneer and legend in the field of dyslexia, passed away at her home on June 15 after a short illness.

Under the aegis of mentor Helene Durbrow, Diana began her nearly seventy-year career in the field of dyslexia at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., where Anna Gillingham visited regularly to supervise teachers. Prior to that, she had spent time in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) on her uncle’s farm, Kildonan; both her uncle and his daughters had what she later realized was dyslexia. Her first teaching job--at Ruzawi--came about by pure chance while she lived there, and thus began a lifelong passion.

In 1955 Diana established Dunnabeck, a summer camp in Pennsylvania, designed to meet the needs of dyslexic students. She served as the camp’s director for 35 summers. In 1969, with the help of Kurt Goldman, she established The Kildonan School, first in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, then in Amenia, New York. Both programs continue to flourish. Schools, camps,and training programs around the world, including Fraser Academy (Canada) and Camp Spring Creek (North Carolina), have been established with her vision and guidance. Durango Mountain Camp was also inspired by Camp Dunnabeck, and The Diana Hanbury King Academy for training teachers opened recently in Australia.

Diana mentored dozens of leaders in the field of learning difficulties--authors, school administrators, dyslexia rights advocates, and international presenters who acknowledge her as a driving force behind their work. She authored some fifteen important teaching books and continued to write up until a few weeks before her death.

A gifted presenter, Diana trained thousands of teachers in both public and independent schools. Never one to suffer fools gladly, she expected only the best of teachers--because, as she often said, our students “do not have any time to waste.” It was rare to win an argument with Diana. You needed to come prepared, and sometimes with research done, usually to find that she was correct in her initial position. Even so, she gave of herself selflessly to her students and her trainees, never unwilling to share her time and advice, her suggestions, and her passion for teaching.

A Founding Fellow of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners & Educators and a member of the International Dyslexia Association (formerly known as the Orton Dyslexia Society) since 1951, Diana received the New York Branch Annual Award (1985), the Samuel T. Orton Award (1990), and the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award (2013) for her work on the national level. In 2016, she received the National Teachers Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second time in 25 years that they have bestowed this honor.

When asked, Diana was always quite clear that her first passion and best skill was tutoring students with dyslexia. At her passing, a former student wrote, “Mrs. King was the best teacher I ever had. She was always hard but gentle with me because she knew the potential of her students.” She was a gifted instructor who understood deeply the notion of diagnostic-prescriptive teaching and used her almost limitless knowledge to inform her instruction in each session with her students, who ranged in age from five to adult. She taught at schools and camps, in public and private school settings, and even for a time at a prison.

Diana was born in England and was a naturalized American citizen. She held a B.A. Honors degree from the University of London, an M.A. from George Washington University, and an honorary doctorate from New England College. She knew to some degree five languages, including French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. She was a passionate gardener, a vodka drinker, a world traveler, and a lover of words and their origins. She read extensively across a wide variety of disciplines. She was an avid horseback rider and downhill skied well into her sixties. By the age of 80, she had two tattoos, including a full color dragon, which adorned her shoulder.

Diana was devoted to her extensive family as well. She is survived by her son, Christopher King; grandchildren Ian Michaels, Sol Michaels, and Eliana Ballen; sisters Jillian Poole, Anna Larkin, and Josephine Coatsworth; ex-husband and lifelong friend James Cecil King; nephews Tony Poole (Elizabeth) and Colin Poole (Kristine); two grandnieces, Natalie and Alison; and first cousin, Ashley Hanbury, in South Africa. She was predeceased by her parents, Una and Anthony Hanbury; her daughter, Sheila King; and her son-in-law, Murray Michaels.

A lifelong teacher and learner and a force to be reckoned with, Diana leaves behind an enormous legacy in the programs she built, the teachers she inspired, and the students she taught. Those who work in the field of dyslexia have benefited from her wealth of knowledge and her passion for teaching. Her legacy lives on through them.

In lieu of flowers, Diana’s family asks that donations be made to The Kildonan School Pool Fund (, the International Dyslexia Association (, or the Academy of Orton- Gillingham Practitioners & Educators (

Don't Miss Out on Dyslexia Awareness Month Activities with Diana Hanbury King

unnamed[1] (4)Next week is rapidly approaching and we're looking forward to our weeklong visit with Diana Hanbury King. If you look at the attached flyer, you'll see we've got some amazing options for teachers who are becoming O-G certified, teachers who want to learn more about what O-G looks like in the classroom, community members who want to learn more about dyslexia and its impact, and homeschool parents who want to be able to better assist their children who struggle with reading and writing.

A few spaces remain for the Certified Level Training on October 5th and 6th at Camp Spring Creek. This will be a rare opportunity to work with the renowned Ms. King who has transformed the lives of countless young people with dyslexia.

Please contact the office with any questions or for more information at or 828-766-5032.

We look forward to seeing you next week!

Celebrating Dyslexia Awareness Month With Diana King

While our Camp Spring Creek schedules traditionally cool down in October, this year they're heating up 11836790_10152903791125448_4283862420779050674_n[1]thanks to what's certain to be a memorable trip from Diana King, internationally renowned for her work with dyslexic children. For those of you who may not be aware, Diana founded Camp Dunnabeck for children with dyslexia in 1955 and the Kildonan School in 1969.  She has published numerous articles and books. Her newest book, a guide to homeschooling, may be available while she's here. Diana had so much fun during her stay with us this past summer, she asked if she could come back to offer more training. If you're pursuing Certified Level training and are currently at the Associate Level, you need to head to Camp Spring Creek on October 5 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and October 6 (9 a.m. - noon). Cost for the day and half-long session, which includes a tour of our summer camp facilities, is $150. You pack your lunch and we'll provide light refreshments.  Let us know if you need accommodations. We can offer several area options.

The Yancey Library is the place to be on October 6, from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. when we screen a movie about dyslexia that is both humorous and touching. It's perfect for anyone who wants to understand dyslexia and all its implications. We'll offer light refreshments before starting the movie at 7 p.m.

Parents who homeschool their children with dyslexia will want to join us in our Spruce Pine office from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on October 7. Diana will share strategies to use with struggling readers and help parents develop a greater understanding of multi-sensory learning modalities.

An after-school outing from 3:30 p.m - 5 p.m. on October 8 in the library at Greenlee Primary is ideal for curious teachers who have heard of O-G training but want to know what it looks like in the classroom.  Teachers who have used O-G in the classroom will also be on hand to share their experiences.

Diana has set aside October 9 from 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. in our Spruce Pine Outreach Center for anyone who has taken the classroom educator or Associate Level course and has questions on how to better individualize their efforts. This session will be followed by a meet and greet with Diana at Spoon, which is located just around the corner on Upper Street.

If you can, please RSVP by October 1 for the October 5, 6 and 7 training at We look forward to seeing you.

End of Summer Exhale

Wow. It was another amazing summer! Steve, Susie, Marguerite, Nina, Olson, Mimi, and all the counselors, tutors, and staff thank YOU for entrusting us with your children and helping us thrive as a camp, grow as a business, expand as a family, and love like there's no tomorrow!

We're taking the rest of August off from the blog to catch our breath. We'll be back this fall with twice weekly posts, including everything from artist interviews to book recs to training videos and more. Stay tuned!

Summer Scholarships & the Big Heart Ben Update

We're pleased to share with you that we were able to award 11 scholarships to campers this summer. Six of those scholarships went to OpenDoors children through our partnership with this fantastic organization. Of those 6, one is for a full 8 weeks of camp. All of the OpenDoors scholarships were offered at 50% to Buncombe County children living in multi-generational poverty.
Three of our eleven scholarships this summer were awarded to local Avery/Mitchell/Yancey County children. One of those scholarships is at 100%, another is at 70%, and the final is at 35% and all are for day campers. The remaining two scholarships went to campers from out of state. One camper received an 83% scholarship for 6 weeks of boarding at camp and the other camper received a 50% scholarship for 4 weeks of boarding at camp.
As of the start of our 2015 Camp Season, we're pleased to share that we have raised $30,198 for the Carl D. North Scholarship Fund, $1391 of which came from Camp Store proceeds from last summer. Of this $30,198 in scholarship funds, it's worth noting that $3,966 came as a result of the Big Heart Ben campaign organized and sponsored by Ben, a day camper from Mitchell County who experienced Camp Spring Creek for the first time last summer. You can read Ben's heart-warming story in full right here. In short, he set about to raise 50% of the funds needed to send one of his friends (who also has dyslexia) to camp as a day camper for 4 weeks. Ben did this with the understanding that he would be unlikely to attend camp himself this summer. He simply wanted to "pay it forward" after his life-changing experience last year.
The happy news is that Ben raised the 50% and Camp Spring Creek provided matching funds, resulting in a scholarship for a local child. Even more exciting, camp offered Ben a 35% scholarship for his efforts and he will be able to return to camp again this summer. We're thrilled to have him back, to welcome another local scholarship camper, and to see such a generous young man making a positive difference in the world.

Congrats to our new Associates!

Last month, Susie led 5 women through the Orton-Gillingham Associate Level Training program out at Camp Spring Creek. After many hours of work, many tests, many flashcards, and even more observations to come, these women finished strong. We want to acknowledge their efforts in the course, as well as the support from their families who were without them for 10 days. Traveling from Pennsylvania, Alabama, and South Carolina, they gave up a lot to be here...and chose to work hard for the betterment of children with dyslexia. THREE CHEERS! IMG_2557

For those of you who use our YouTube channel and this blog as an educational resource, we've sorted the categories on our site (on the right sidebar) to make it easier for you to find the videos you're looking for. Camp videos and educational/training videos are separated into their own tags under Resources--please explore, and enjoy!

Gearing up for Summer 2015

Summer 2015 launches in just 6 short weeks. We're busy getting ready--finalizing hiring, planning training, dreaming of weekend dances... Meantime, we just finished up a Classroom Educator Course in April and have an Associate Level OG Training scheduled for May.

Oh, and our Press Manager who manages our blog, Katey, is getting married next week!

All of which is to say: We'll be pausing the blog until early June. It's for a good cause--we're getting ready for YOU!

Thanks for your support from near and far. We value your readership and our online community. Stick with us!


OpenDoors of Asheville & OG Training Snapshots

One of our most coveted partnerships is with OpenDoors of Asheville in Buncombe County, NC. This organization connects local children living in multi-generational poverty with an active, individualized network of support, enrichment, and education opportunities. Last spring, we launched a Classroom Educator training with them. For the past two summers, OpenDoors teamed up with Camp Spring Creek to provide scholarships for camp. We also got to feature their Executive Director, Jen R., in this article about summer slide and highlight her amazing contributions to OpenDoors in this interview. To celebrate this ongoing partnership and to recognize the teachers and administrators who participated in our most recent Classroom Educator Course, here are a few snapshots of them, hard at work with Susie.

Susie Presents at TN IDA

This month, Susie will travel to Brentwood (near Nashville) to present at the Tennessee International Dyslexia Association Regional Conference. The conference is still open for registration, and takes place April 17-18 at Curry Ingram Academy. Susie will have a booth set up for Camp Spring Creek and will lead several break out sessions between keynote presentations at the conference. The topics for this year's keynote presentations sound spot on:

  • "Elephant in the Room: What We Overlook Regarding Dyslexia" presented by Nancy Mather, PhD.
  • "Lessons from an Evolving Reading Brain for Dyslexia, Intervention, & Global Literacy" presented by Maryanne Wolf, Ed.D.
  • "A New Look at Learning Disabilities" presented by G. Emerson Dickman, III, Esq.

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Big Heart Ben Update: 6 Days to Go!

There are only 6 days left to help Ben reach his goal! The Big Heart Ben scholarship initiative begins with a single camper. Ben has dyslexia and struggled academically. Awarded a scholarship for 4 weeks at Camp Spring Creek, he received one-on-one attention from trained Orton Gillingham tutors, improving his reading abilities by two grade levels. The next fall, Ben made the A-B Honor Roll. Now, Ben wants to pay it forward by sending a friend, who is also dyslexic, to camp. He's raising funds, despite the fact that returning to camp himself is beyond his family's reach. Camp Spring Creek's goal is to compliment Ben's local efforts by casting a wider net online, reaching generous donors like you. Camp is also matching dollars that are donated, so only half the tuition is needed to send just 1 child. Can you help? Donate online and share the post right here.


Summer 2015 Registration Updates

We're thrilled that we already have 25 campers registered for the first session of camp, and 28 campers registered for the second session. The way the bunks, staffing, and numbers all work out, this translates to 5 open spaces for first session, and 2 open spaces for the second session (just about). If you or someone you know is a good match for Camp Spring Creek, please visit our admissions page, which will inform you about the application and tuition process. Meantime, feel free to reminisce with us by viewing this "opening day" video from a few summers ago:


5th Grader Fundraises for Camp Spring Creek

We made the front page! This feature article was originally published on the front page of the Mitchell County News. We've omitted the camper's last name and for this online version, but are delighted to share Ben's exciting news and support him in his selfless donation campaign to help send a friend to Camp Spring Creek. Please read this touching story, and spread the word if you feel inspired. Our campers never cease to amaze us and Ben's hard work might just pay off!

Spruce Pine, North Carolina – January 30, 2015 – Ben, a 5th grade student at Bowman Middle School, launches a county-wide campaign to raise $3,350 to send a fellow student with dyslexia to Camp Spring Creek in Bakersville, NC.

At the end of Ben’s 4th grade school year, his tutor and co-founder of Camp Spring Creek, Susie van der Vorst rewarded him with the opportunity of a lifetime: In recognition of Ben’s hard work as a dyslexic student struggling with reading, the Camp Spring Creek Board of Directors agreed to send Ben to camp for 4 weeks as a day student, completely free of cost. The gift was valued at a little over $6,700—a financial impossibility for Ben’s family. He graciously accepted the gift.

Recently, Ben decided to pay that gift forward by raising funds to help a fellow student with dyslexia attend camp. “I’m dyslexic and there are other kids like me at school. I went from the C list to the A/B honor roll this year,” says Ben. “At camp, I learned that I could achieve things. I didn’t even think I could start typing. I could barely read. I thought that I was stupid. I want to help raise money for kids at my school or other schools around Mitchell County to help them so they can go to camp and experience what I experienced.”

Susie and Steve van der Vorst, co-directors of the camp, have agreed that the camp will supply matching funds to cover half the tuition for up to two local children. If Ben’s fundraising efforts raise $3,350, one child can attend Camp Spring Creek as a day student for 4 weeks. Double that, and two Mitchell County children with dyslexia could receive guidance, tutoring, confidence-building, and outdoor experiences specifically catered to meet the unique needs of children with dyslexia—a learning difference that affects 1 in 5 children worldwide. Although the cost of day camp did not increase this year, it remains high because of the level of training the staff and tutors attain, in addition to one-on-one programming.

This school year, Ben is excelling, in no small part because of his team of 5th grade teachers at Bowman and the tangible gains he made at camp. Camp Spring Creek is one of only three certified camps in the United States that offers Orton-Gillingham tutoring, a specialized approach that teaches the structure of language using multi-sensory learning experiences. Ben’s reading abilities leapt two grade levels in just 4 weeks of camp, and now he enjoys books at the 5th and 6th grade mark. “What blows me away is that now I’m reading these sports books about people who didn’t believe in themselves but ended up growing up to be All Stars. Also, one of my favorite books is Summer of the Monkeys.” In addition to an academic and outdoor curriculum, the camp emphasizes community, social skills, and building self-confidence by teaching children to advocate for themselves. “It felt really good to see that there were other kids like me at camp,” says Ben. “I got to meet people from all over the world—Janusz was from South Africa and one person was Danish and there was a girl there from Turkey…”

To date, Mike Brown Subaru Dealership has donated $200 to the cause and also posted a video on Facebook that went viral—yielding thousands of hits. Arts Centered of Bakersville has joined the pledge, with several other promises for support coming in via email. Melisa Cadell, Ben’s mother, has been helping Ben learn about how to approach businesses. “Ben told me he thought he could write a letter talking about some of his struggles,” says Cadell. “We worked on the letter and I wrote one as well. I wanted the experience to be powerful for Ben, but I also wanted it to be powerful for people who received the letters. We knew that meant the letters should be hand-delivered.”

Together, Ben and his mother have been driving around town. Ben enters the business and presents his best introduction, then share his letter. The accompanying letter from Cadell emphasizes that Ben is not only asking for funds, but also offering to present to local business or organizations, such as the Rotary Club, so that more people become informed about dyslexia. “The stigma that my son and other dyslexic students are finding the most difficult to maneuver is that they are often categorized as unable to learn at the normal classroom pace,” says Cadell. “Reading is such an important component in testing and because of this, dyslexic students are often retained and or placed in classes that do not expect much from them. The students are aware that the classes are leveled and they know when they are being moved around because of something ‘different.’ We are fortunate that Ben has amazing an amazing team of teachers that have really gone out of their way.”

Still, Ben will likely spend much, if not all, of his education years working many times harder than children without learning differences simply to “keep up” in an education system that lacks proper funding to access to the best learning models. Although equal education for children with dyslexia has been federally mandated since 1975, in poorer districts of the country, progress is slow. “There are limited opportunities for the public schools in our area to assist these students due to the lack of public funding and properly trained tutors,” says Cadell. “Dyslexia is neurologically based and creates difficulties in processing of information. I’ve been on both sides, as a parent and as a former teacher, and I know that when each child requires a different method of learning, things in the classroom can get really complicated, really quickly.”

With a little more luck, effort, and compassionate giving, Ben might just reach his goal to send a fellow dyslexic child to Camp Spring Creek for one month. When asked if the second scholarship might be given to him, both Ben and his mother fervently declined. While they can’t afford to send Ben back to camp, their motivation remains focused on helping others. For information about the camp, to invite Ben to your business for a free dyslexia awareness presentation, or to make a donation toward the local scholarship, please call 766-5032 or visit this page.


OG Associate Level Training in May

Come visit us this spring, and enjoy beautiful Roan Mountain, with alpine meadows in bloom. Interested in Associate Level Orton-Gillingham training? We currently have a training scheduled for May 15th through the 25th. The Associate Level Course is an intensive week-long course for individuals holding a bachelor‘s degree. It is the basic course in the Orton-Gillingham approach, enabling instruction with better understanding of the structure of language and multisensory teaching. The course comprises an in-depth introduction to phonology, structure of English, characteristics of dyslexia, multisensory teaching, assessment tools, grammar and written expression. It includes interactive demonstrations and activities using the OG method. A practicum is available upon request (additional cost), which includes observations and mentoring.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving training, contact us today to begin the registration process or you can download the program details and registration form right here.

Curious about how it all plays out? Check out some of our training videos on our YouTube Channel.

We're Headed to Connecticut!

CampersOnHikeLOW We're taking our show on the road this week with an exciting presentation and Camp Show in the Farmington Valley near Hartford, Connecticut. One of the greatest things about Camp Shows is the opportunity to provide "on the ground," free public instruction to a new, diverse audience. Why Connecticut? The parent of a beloved camper invited us, that's why! Read about this parent's observations of her son after Camp Spring Creek in the following press release. If you'd like to host a Camp Show in your area (and see Susie!), just call our office and let us know.

Dyslexia Awareness & Camp Show

West Hartford, Connecticut – January 21, 2015 – Nationally known dyslexia advocate and camp director Susie van der Vorst presents on early intervention, signs, and solutions.

Camp Spring Creek, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, is an academic and recreational camp supporting dyslexic children ages 7 to 14. Invited by a local West Hartford family whose child attended the camp, co-founder and director Susie van der Vorst will discuss early intervention practices, signs, and solutions for parents, teachers, and administrators. van der Vorst will also facilitate a brief discussion of Camp Spring Creek and take questions from the audience. The event is free, open to the public, and welcomes children.

According to van der Vorst, with support, people with dyslexia often lead lives of accomplishment. Some of the most successful people in history had dyslexia, including Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison and Walt Disney. “So many people with dyslexia are misunderstood,” said van der Vorst. “But just look at the wonderful role models we have! Many succeed in spite of their education. Imagine how they’d be if they had been instructed in the ways that they learn best.”

One of the most highly effective methods for such instruction is the Orton-Gillingham approach. It teaches the structure of language using multisensory techniques that lead students to see, hear, and write a concept at the same time. Processing a single concept in many different ways allows dyslexic kids to grasp skills they cannot learn using traditional methods. It’s that approach that drew West Hartford’s Toutain family to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Winston could attend 1 of only 3 residential camps in the United States accredited by the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

“We knew dyslexia was a possibility for our son Winston because his father and paternal grandfather have dyslexia. It was important to ius to try and find something that could help, that would also be accredited,” said mother and West Hartford resident, Lesley Toutain. “My husband and I talked with Winston about how being dyslexic doesn’t mean he isn’t smart, simply that he has to find learning strategies that work for him. But I don’t think that really took hold until he was in an environment where all the kids were in the same boat. Camp Spring Creek was an extremely positive experience for him.”

The academic program at Camp Spring Creek includes one-on-one tutoring using the Orton-Gillingham approach, keyboarding and writing classes, one hour of reading aloud each day to camp staff, and one hour of study skills. Optional math remediation or enrichment is available. The activities offered by the program include wood shop, art, swimming, orienteering, and waterskiing. There are also field trips to explore the surrounding Blue Ridge landscape and culture. “We often see students make two to three years worth of progress during a six to eight week session at camp,” said van der Vorst. “Our approach is designed to target a child’s individual strengths and weaknesses and help them excel. But we also recognize the value of keeping kids active throughout the day. These kids can’t learn as well if they’re stuck behind a desk. The learning needs to be hands-on so that they can get multiple senses involved.”

The info session will be held Wednesday, January 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Saint James’s Episcopal Church, 1018 Farmington Avenue, in West Hartford. For more information, call (828) 766-5032 or visit

Year End Round of Applause

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We'd like to offer a round of applause and public note of appreciation to all our grant-funding organizations, partner organizations, trainees, tutors, counselors, staff, parents, and of course--our CAMPERS! Without the team effort from everyone on this list, we could not be where we are today. Where are we? We're in a position to offer slightly more scholarships each year, we're in a position to train local teachers without cost to the teachers themselves, we're in a position to observe and celebrate the accomplishments of our "extended family," we're in a position to expand year-round programming and improve our physical campus, and we're in a position of sincere gratitude to all of you as we look to the future and realize our fullest capabilities are within reach. Slow and steady, we're growing the best ways we know how. Thank YOU for making it possible!

For substantial funding and grants:

Ms. Robyn Oskuie (Endowment)

Dr. Louis Harris (Endowment)

CFWNC (People in Need Grant)

Mitchell Fund (People in Need Grant)

For partner organizations:

OpenDoors of Asheville

Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators

Bald Creek Elementary School

Mitchell County Schools

Arden Reading Clinic

Augustine Project Winston-Salem

For individual donors:

Philanthropists: Mr. & Mrs. Bill Shattuck, Rainbow Fund, and The True North Foundation.

Benefactors: Triangle Community Foundation

Sponsors: Mr. & Mrs. Tom Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Duane Connell, Mr. & Mrs. Walter Daniels, Mrs. Lori Ferrell, Dr. & Mrs. Bill Sears, Longleaf Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel S. Polk, Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Teaford,

Supporters: Mr. Edward Banta, Mr. & Mrs. Charles McClain, Mr. Andrew Oliphant, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Oliphant, Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Schoolar, Dr. & Mrs. Brian Shaw, Mr. & Mrs. Mike Warren.

Contributors: Mr. Brown & Ms. Rosasco, Ms. Marobeth Ruegg, Mrs. Geradts Cutrone, Ms. Amanda Kyle Williams, Mr. C. Wilson Anderson, Jr., Mr. & Mrs. Dan Blanch, Mr. & Dr. Christy, Mr. Jon Ellenbogen & Ms. Becky Plummer, Mr. & Mrs. Jeff Greene, Dr. & Mrs. David Hoeppner, Mr. & Mrs. Morgen Houchard, Ms. Valerie Imbleau, Mrs. Karen Leopold, Mrs. Theresa Krug, Mr. Thomas Loring, Mr. & Mrs. Brannon Morris, Mr. & Mrs. Joel Plotkin, Ms. Rebecca Morgan, Dr. & Mrs. Anthony Shaw, Mr. & Mrs. Jason Smith, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Tucker, Dr. & Mrs. William Chambers, Dr. & Mrs. Taylor Townsend, Ms. Juanita Greene, Mr. & Mrs. Kevin Schulte, Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Baker, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Anderson, Mr. & Mrs. Roger Burleson, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Tappan, Mr. & Mrs. Scott Ramming, Mr. & Mrs. A D Dreibholz, Mr. Thomas Gilchrist, Mr. & Mrs. Phillip Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. Steve van der Vorst, Mr. & Mrs. Alton Robinson, Mr. & Mrs. Michael Wollam, Mr. and Mrs. Royall Brown.

Friends: Mr. R. Patterson Warlick, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Street, Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Pownall, Mr. & Mrs. Clinton North, Mrs. Nancy Coleman, Mr. & Mrs. David Broshar, E & J Gallo Winery, Ms. Gina Phillips, Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Humphrey, Mr. Paul Eke & Ms. Sonja Hutchins, Mr. & Mrs. James Butts, Mr. Eugene Morris, Mr. & Mrs. Jim O'Donnell, Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Cox, Mr. & Mrs. Roger Vorraber, Mr. John Littleton & Ms. Kate Vogel, Mr. & Mrs. Thor Bueno, Mr. Osaretin Eke.

First Time for Everything

Award-winning smile! Last month, we received a very special phone call. Cynia, one of our campers, had exciting news to share. She'd just gotten her report card and saw that she earned straight A's for the first time. What a joy! Cynia called Susie, who says, "I could just hear the excitement in Cynia's voice. She wanted to share her news." We always love hearing from our campers, whether it is to share good news, ask a question, seek advice, or talk about coming back next year.

"More important than the grades Cynia made is the boost the grades gave her self-confidence," says Susie. "We must remember that grades are really extrinsic rewards, but, often they can boost the intrinsic value when you know you have worked hard to achieve something. We are so proud of Cynia and her ability to stick with something until she reaches her goal."

Cynia reading Hour

That perseverance is a lifelong skill, and whether the goal is straight A's, learning to rock climb, keeping a promise, or winning a science fair, it takes focus and determination. In celebration of Cynia's achievement, we took a few moments to call Nicole Baker (another inspiring individual interviewed on our blog). “I’ve known Cynia for a number of years and I’ve had the chance most recently to spend time with her on a weekly basis," says Nicole. "She’s always struggled with grades. But when she got her straight A’s report card last month, the first thing she wanted to do was call Susie.”

“Cynia is a firecracker, a spunky spirit for sure," adds Nicole. "She’s one of those kids that has an amazing spark and trajectory. Camp Spring Creek has harnessed that trajectory and guided all Cynia's energy in the best ways. She does have her moments of frustration and getting down on herself. She wants it to come easily. She wants to please everyone and get positive feedback—who doesn’t? All the work she did at Camp Spring Creek gave her the chance to get that and now she’s getting that outside the realm of camp. For example, these recent grades, or when we go to the bookstore now…she can pick out whatever book interests her. She doesn’t have to choose something for an early reader. It’s an exciting time."

Way to go, Cynia! THREE CHEERS!

Giving Thanks and Giving Feedback

We're thankful to all our Camp Spring Creek blog readers out there--and that includes tutors, parents, entrepreneurs, education advocates, administrators, campers, counselors, OG enthusiasts, and lovers of all-things-North-Carolina. Since we began actively posting on our blog a year and a half ago, our readership has skyrocketed and we've been able to share interviews with some of today's most creative, successful dyslexics and top educational advocates. We're also increasing our video database, slow and steady (and working on our camera and video editing skills!). We hope you'll spend this weekend with family or friends, or out and about in your community giving thanks for the time we're lucky to have to dedicate to thinking positively about best practices as parents, teachers, and tutors. Whether that means volunteering your tutoring skills for a session, taking extra time to read with your child, or carving out time to research a skill or learning activity you'd like to teach others, we hope it is a restful, meaningful time for all.

We'll be back in December with twice-weekly posts, including more videos in our Homeschool Retreat series. Meantime, if you have feedback to share with us about videos or topics you would like us to address on this blog, please leave your comments here. We'll thank you for it!

Congrats to Our Local Teachers & Administators

Last year's Classroom Educator Course participants, supported by the People in Need grant we received, have officially completed all their classroom and observations hours, meeting all course requirements. Congrats to our local teachers and administrators, who go above and beyond to incorporate OG-principles into their daily work. We appreciate and applaud you! Janice Robinson, Bald Creek Elementary

Homeschool Tutoring Retreat

We're excited to announce that we're hosting our first-ever Homeschool Tutoring Retreat this weekend, October 10-12. A few homeschool moms and their children will attend, helping us start small as we venture into more sustainable ways to make use of our camp facilities throughout the year. Parents will have their own rooms at the retreat, while students will be housed together upstairs. The fun begins at 6:30 on Thursday evening with a family style dinner at camp. On Friday morning, tutoring and observations will begin, working with one child at a time. While one student is in his/her tutoring session (with Susie observing and coaching the homeschool moms along the way), the others will be outside picking apples, hiking, or baking pies. We'll spend Saturday on an all-day outing, possibly checking out the local Spruce Pine Potters Market annual exhibition or heading to the lake with bag lunches. We'll return to camp in time for dinner and continue tutoring and observations on Sunday.

If you'd like to be involved in future weekend retreats or have ideas for themes you'd like to share with us, please don't hesitate to reach out. This is an exciting time of expansion and outreach for Camp Spring Creek and we welcome your input.

On the Road

ncycalogo2Yesterday, Susie and Wendy headed to Arapahoe, North Carolina to attend the North Carolina Youth Camp Association Fall Meeting, hosted this year at Camp Sea Gull. They will be networking, talking with other directors to learn how their camps operate, and brainstorming ideas for year-round programming to support the larger mission of Camp Spring Creek and its Outreach Center. Of course, we love your feedback and ideas as well, so please reach out to us if you have thoughts on expanding our programming. According to their website, NCYCA's mission is to strengthen and expand the educational, environmental, and recreational opportunities provided by all organized camps in North Carolina by encouraging cooperation among camps, sponsoring camp-specific research, communicating camp industry information, and building relationships with various private, non-profit, public and governmental interests and agencies. We're excited to check things out and will report back soon!