Posted by Jeff on Dec 12, 2020 at 8:08 am in Conservation | 0 comments | Last change: December 11, 2020
Frank “Chief” Bell, Sr. was the founder of Camp Mondamin in Tuexedo, NC, one of the first summer camps in western North Carolina. The camp, which is still run by the Bell family, will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021. Camp Mondamin not only helped four generations of children find their place in nature, but also paved the way for the numerous summer camps in the region that connect children with nature, strengthen our local economy and keep land in a natural state.
Frank Bell was an intrepid adventurer who paddled the famous Green River Narrows first. It is remembered to this day by whitewater paddlers who ride over Frank Bell’s Rapid on the French Broad River. Here, Bell and some campers brave the raging water and destroyed their canoe.
The Bells established Camp Mondamin for boys in 1921 and Camp Green Cove for girls in 1945. Over the years, they also took campers on adventures far away, including a canoe trip from western North Carolina to the Mississippi.
Carolina Conservation is about to open a new county park in southern Henderson County. The new park was named in honor of the summer camp pioneers Frank and Calla Bell and covers around 70 hectares with beautiful waterfalls and rocky outcrops. Just as the bells introduced generations of children to the wonders of nature, this new park creates a place where we can all connect with nature.
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