Falls Creek Conference Center https://www.fallscreek.org Thu, 17 Dec 2020 15:39:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.fallscreek.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2020-icon-150x150.png Falls Creek Conference Center https://www.fallscreek.org 32 32 Staff Spotlight: Jordan Anson, Guest Experience Leader https://www.fallscreek.org/staff-spotlight-jordan-anson/ Thu, 26 Nov 2020 13:00:23 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=2359 Jake and Jordan Anson by Harper + Grey Photo Co.

Jordan Anson has been working at Falls Creek since 2015. She has helped in many different areas of Falls Creek and knows the ins and outs, but her reach goes much further. Besides serving at Falls Creek, Jordan is also a youth pastor’s wife and serves diligently with her church. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about her time here.


Creek News: What was your experience with Falls Creek as a student?

Jordan Anson: I began attending Falls Creek as early as Young Musician’s Camp with my home church of FBC Midwest City. I remember visiting my older brothers one night during their week of youth camp and experiencing the evening service for the first time. Bill Green was leading the students in a song called “Saved!” and all I could think was, “what are they even talking about? Saved from what?” Visiting Falls Creek that night changed the trajectory of my life. I realized the importance of asking good questions, including that of my eternal salvation. I’d soon give my life to Christ as a result of what I’d experienced at camp that night. I was 9 years old at the time. I would attend Falls Creek as a camper or sponsor every summer beginning in 2003. 17 years and counting!


CN: How did you end up working at Falls Creek full-time?

JA: My husband and I were called to serve at First Baptist Church in Ardmore in the fall of 2014. I knew nothing of the area or what work would be available for me, but was trusting God’s timing. After six months of unemployment during that transition, a childhood friend of mine called with a job opportunity at Falls Creek. He knew we’d recently moved to the area and thought I’d be a good fit for the opening. I met with Dr. Swain, director of Conference Centers at the time, and interviewed for the job of Marketing Representative. I was hired in January 2015.


CN: What work areas have you served in?

JA: My position for Marketing Representative quickly evolved and was adapted to Guest Experience Leader within the first year of being here. My main job responsibilities include handling all booking events through the conference season.


CN: What is the dynamic like working for Falls Creek AND being a youth pastor’s wife?

JA: This is the best! Working for Oklahoma Baptists is the perfect match for me, while serving in student ministry at our local church. Same mission, same mindset, and it’s often a blessing when events overlap “at work” and with my local church.


CN: What is a highlight of your time here?

JA: Fun fact – my husband and I got married at Falls Creek in 2014! A small, intimate prayer garden is built behind the FBC Midwest City cabin and means so much to both our families! April 5, 2014 was one of the best days of our lives and that took place right here at camp. Related to work? Anytime I’m able to lead a student to Christ during the summer months – that is always the highlight!


CN: What has been the most difficult thing for you during the COVID-19 pandemic?

JA: Lack of travel, being pregnant, running out of [toilet paper…hmm.] NO. I’d say the absence of quality time with family and friends, including our student ministry kids, has been the biggest challenge to COVID-19. It’s also been quite a mental game of not always knowing what’s best to do!


CN: How can people best pray for you during this season in your life?

JA: My husband and I welcome prayers as we welcome our second child into the world near the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021! We have one daughter and are excited to welcome our son in the next month or two!


Jake, Charlie, and Jordan Anson (L to R) by Harper + Grey Photo Co.

We’re so thankful for Jordan and the work she does! Please join us in praying for Jordan and her family as she finishes out this pregnancy!





The Director’s Chair | December 2020 https://www.fallscreek.org/the-directors-chair-november-2020/ Tue, 17 Nov 2020 21:17:26 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=2346 By Andy Harrison, Director of Conference Centers


Running two campgrounds in the middle of a pandemic when no camp happens is quite an endeavor. I can imagine each of you would say the same thing about trying to figure out the constant logistics of holding church services with your congregations.

Though we had to lay off eight full-time employees because of financial concerns and lost another two for other reasons, we are grateful to still be operating and are looking forward to 2021. At the time of the writing of this article, everything is pretty much a “go” for 2021. Vaccines are on the way and some of the politics surrounding this pandemic might be quieting soon, hopefully creating a path to some level of normalcy.

Though it’s been a difficult season to navigate, it’s not been difficult to see God’s hand in the middle of it all. A fast-spreading virus causes us to deal with our mortality. Political upheavals cause us to find hope outside of elections. Societal unrest causes us to long for the heavenly home being prepared for us by our savior. C.S. Lewis said, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

In his sermon at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Oklahoma Baptists, Dr. Dilbeck said, “Meeting as a church in 2020 is difficult, but we need to realize, it has always been difficult.” The early New Testament churches all had problems; problematic people, problematic attitudes, and problematic situations. We overcome this, said Dr. Dilbeck, “by keeping the cross at the center of what we do.”

When I see cabin owners on grounds working on their cabins, I always smile. It means someone from that city and that congregation is preparing that cabin for guests. And those guests will come on grounds, participate in a camp or retreat, and be confronted with the message of the cross. If you don’t hear it anywhere else, hear it from me…Thank you for loving our Lord and cooperating with other churches to support the ministry of the cross that takes place on these hallowed grounds! Your investment in this campground and its commitment to the Gospel will echo through eternity.

May God richly bless you all!


Article for Creek News: The Falls Creek Cabin Owner Newsletter, Issue No. 3 | December 2020
COVID-19 Protocols https://www.fallscreek.org/covid-19-protocols/ Fri, 13 Nov 2020 21:33:57 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=2334 As we all adjust to the many protocols, rules, and suggested guidelines that COVID-19 has brought to us in our everyday life, Falls Creek has also adopted our own suggested guidelines. Our hope is that taking these precautions and encouraging our guests to do the same will prevent an outbreak, and allow us to continue with small events on grounds.

Fall Back was hosted by Falls Creek in October for youth groups on a Friday/Saturday. We had 50+ groups on grounds with no reported outbreaks within those groups in attendance. With preparations before and precautions after, these guidelines will be adopted for another youth ministry event in January: YEC. The Youth Evangelism Conference will be a Sunday/Monday event on MLK Jr. Day weekend.

Below you will find the suggested guidelines. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to develop COVID-19 protocols to implement anytime your cabin has guests.



  • All participants should be free of Covid-19 symptoms for at least 10 days previous to the event.
  • Group leaders should take the temperatures of all participants to ensure no one has a fever before departing for the event.
  • Masks should be worn during all indoor sessions and activities.
  • Masks are encouraged to be worn during transportation to and from the event.
  • Group participation should be limited to 50-75% of the group’s cabin capacity for distancing purposes.
  • Group leaders should ensure the cabin is disinfected before and after the event.
  • Groups will be seated together but distanced from other groups within the tabernacle.
  • All participants should wash their hands frequently throughout the day and social distance when possible.



  • All “indoors” Falls Creek personnel will be wearing masks during their duties.
  • We will provide a controlled entry to limit the possibility of large groups gathering for tabernacle entry. Groups should utilize the following guidelines:
    • All groups should approach the tabernacle in groups and enter together, maintaining distance from other groups.
    • The only entry points will be the north and south entries of the tabernacle.
    • Groups staying in cabin numbers: 100s, 200s, 300s, and 400s
      • Use the south entrance. That is the main entrance with the waterfall lobby.
    • Groups staying in cabin numbers: 600s
      • Use the north entrance.
    • Groups staying in cabin numbers: 500s and 700s
      • Use either entrance.
    • Signage and floor decals for social distancing will be present in the 1917 Café and Gift Shop. Please observe these distances for safety.
Winterizing Cabins: Be Proactive, Not Reactive https://www.fallscreek.org/winterizing-cabins-be-proactive-not-reactive/ Fri, 13 Nov 2020 20:25:10 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=2323 By Chad Fielding, Conference Centers Operations Manager


As cold weather approaches, we would like to offer some helpful information as cabin owners consider what to do with their cabins for the winter season.

If you wish to heat your cabin over the winter, Falls Creek strongly encourages you to turn the main water valve off to the cabin.  In the event of a power outage or lack of propane, having the main water valve turned off could help minimize any damage your cabin might experience due to frozen and burst pipes. Setting your thermostat to as low as 50°F will help keep your cabin from experiencing any freezing and help minimize energy costs.

If you do not wish to continue to heat your cabin throughout the winter, we would suggest you take the following steps to shut down and prepare your cabin for the winter months.

  • Turn off the main water valve to the cabin and open any drain back that might be present in the valve box to help drain as much water as possible from the water lines servicing the structure
  • Turn hot water tanks off at the breaker or unplug them and then drain them completely
  • Extinguish any pilot lights on stoves, hot water tanks, and heaters and turn off the main valve at the propane tank
  • Once the main valve is turned off to the cabin open up all faucets and shower handles to ensure water is not trapped in the fixture or mixing chamber and allow water to drain out of the lines that may be overhead
  • Flush all toilets and ensure the tank is empty. If water is still present in the bowl, pour anti-freeze in to keep it from freezing and busting the bowl
  • Pour anti-freeze in any drain, especially 2nd-floor drains (floor, shower, water fountains, sinks, etc.)
  • If low spots are present in the water supply lines, remove a stop valve and either utilize a shop vac or air compressor to help remove water from the lines
  • If you turn the power off throughout the cabin to help minimize energy costs, it would be advantageous to prop open any refrigerator or freezer doors in an attempt to avoid the potential for mold & mildew

Falls Creek maintenance staff are willing and able to provide winterization services for cabin owners.  Please contact the Falls Creek Welcome Center at (580)369-2101 to request the winterization of your cabin. Services provided will closely follow the steps listed above, with the fee being $20/hour (one-hour minimum charge) and an additional cost for use of anti-freeze at $12/gallon. Most cabins require one to two hours to complete. Larger multi-story cabins can take longer, but it is our desire to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you have any additional questions or would like information about how to prepare your cabin for the coming months, feel free to contact me at cfielding@oklahomabaptists.org; I’m happy to assist you and guide you through the process.


Original article “How To: Prepare cabins for winter weather” published in Creek News: The Falls Creek Cabin Owner Newsletter, Issue No. 1, November 2019
Falls Creek Meal Plan Options https://www.fallscreek.org/falls-creek-meal-plan-options/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 18:47:31 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1910 Need a cook for your next retreat?

The Conference Centers have a food service team dedicated to making meal planning and cooking easier on retreat leaders. Guests can choose between an economy, standard or deluxe option. All plans include a salad bar, tea and water, as well as optional dessert and coffee add-ons that best fit the needs of the group.

Choices range anywhere from hamburgers and chicken strips to pork carnitas and steak.

“If groups need assistance choosing their meals, we are happy to do that for them,” food services manager Geoff Hughes said.

One recommendation he gives is the jambalaya.

“It is one of the most underrated items on our menu but I’d really encourage people to try it,” Hughes said. “The jambalaya is one of our more difficult dishes as it has to be planned and crafted carefully because it is completed in multiple stages.”

The dish contains chicken, sausage, ham, jasmine rice, bell peppers, onions, celery and seasonings mixed in a tomato base sauce.

“The jambalaya smells so good when we are cooking it,” Hughes said. “Groups often pair it with one of our fish options such as fried catfish, tilapia or cod. The most popular side options for jambalaya are corn, coleslaw and hushpuppies.”

Another food services favorite is chicken enchiladas.

“Our enchiladas are made completely from scratch,” assistant food services manager Jan Shaffer said. “The enchiladas are not just something that we take out of a box and throw in the oven.”

She said the enchiladas are typically paired with refried beans and Mexican rice.
A full list of breakfast, lunch and dinner options and pricing are available on the Falls Creek Conference Center’s website at https://www.fallscreek.org/food/. Retreat organizers wishing to build a meal plan will complete a meal questionnaire and submit it online to booking.

“One of the most important thoughts to keep in mind while building your meal plan is to know the needs and preferences of your guests,” Shaffer said. “For instance, we gladly cater to food allergies. Just include that information on the questionnaire.”

During Falls Creek summer camp, a limited number of students and sponsors are welcome to eat in the cafeteria with the summer staff, but they are unable to choose their own menu.

The Director’s Chair | March 2020 https://www.fallscreek.org/the-directors-chair/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 14:14:00 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1925 We are in the midst of an unprecedented time in world history in dealing with the global pandemic of COVID-19. I know you are making decisions at your churches regarding events and attendance, as we are at the Conference Centers. We will have already sent out an email to you and posted on our social media sites by the time you receive this e-newsletter, but we wanted to do our best to communicate all of this information.

In light of the CDC’s recommendations concerning social distancing, and their strong encouragement to not gather in groups larger than 10 people, and with a heartfelt concern for the well-being of all of our potential guests, we will be closing the Falls Creek and Crosstimbers campuses through May 1st. We will be making and communicating decisions regarding the summer by that date.


Here is what this will mean for you:

  • We will not be allowing any groups to stay on grounds through May 1st.
    • This will include groups who have rented your cabin, so you will need to let any groups, with whom you have contracted to occupy your facility between now and May 1st that they will not be allowed to stay on grounds.
  • We will not host any overnight guests in our lodging facilities.
  • You CAN have an individual or a workgroup smaller than 10 people come and work on your cabin, as we will allow you access to your facility, but we are requesting that individuals and/or groups not stay overnight to accomplish any work tasks that need to be done. If you think this will be an issue, you can call me to discuss your particular situation.
    • The Falls Creek office will be open Monday-Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm.
    • If you do have individuals to come to work on your cabin, you should note that we are locking down all our facilities and restroom access will be limited to your cabin.
    • Also, all people will need to access Falls Creek via the high road. We will be closing the black metal gate at Prices Falls in order to limit the access on campus to just the main gate.

We are expecting and hopeful to host summer camps as usual. Outside of the CDC’s recommendations and our desire to protect you as individuals, we feel it is vitally important to do all we can to insure our campus is as unaffected by this virus as possible, so that our summer events can be successfully carried out.

On a completely different note, Falls Creek has become aware of a risk of electrical fires that could potentially result from the failure of FPE (Federal Pacific Electric) breakers and switch boxes. These breakers were manufactured between the 1950s and the 1990s and have been known during power surges, to fail to trip. We have taken inventory of all of our facilities and are currently in the process of replacing any and all FPE breakers in buildings owned by the Conference Centers. You might consider examining your cabin and replacing any FPE breakers it might contain. Our insurance company was very straightforward about making us aware of the coverage issues associated with having any FPE breakers. I am sharing this information with you as a matter of safety and ethical responsibility.

Thank you for your understanding in these matters. We will continue in prayer with you for our people, our camp, and our nation.


Andy Harrison


5 Reasons to Greet Cabin Guests Face-to-Face https://www.fallscreek.org/5-reasons-to-greet-cabin-guests-face-to-face/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 13:15:24 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1912 Modern-day technology has changed the way the world communicates and connects. While social media, text messages and email have become some of the most convenient and popular choices to relay information, it is important not to downplay the value of a face-to-face greeting.

In 2 John verse 12, John writes to “the lady and her children,” “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

John knew his words of encouragement for the believers were limited by his pen and he desired to meet with them directly. Like John, you may be in a situation that prevents you from being able to greet your guests in person but here are five reasons you should make face-to-face greetings a priority if you are able to so.

1. Confirm instructions

It is easy to misunderstand or misread a text message, email, and sometimes even a phone call. Feelings can be misconstrued or twisted due to lack of eye contact, body language, gesture, or tone of voice. A face-to-face greeting allows cabin owners and church leaders the opportunity to confirm their procedures with guests and clarify any contention points or embarrassing “voice to text” disasters.

2. Offer Encouragement

Greeting guests face-to-face helps cabin owners familiarize themselves with the needs and dynamic of the group staying in their cabin. Does the group have specific goals they want to accomplish during their time at camp? Knowing the purpose of the guests’ stay gives cabin owners the opportunity to encourage and pray over the group in person, which can set the entire tone of their stay. Christ followers should always be looking for ways to encourage fellow believers. In fact, Hebrews 10:24 states, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

3. Check Details

Arriving early to greet guests gives cabin owners time to complete a final walkthrough of their space. Is there trash that needs to be picked up? Are the toilets flushed? Nothing says “Welcome to our cabin” like a can of old trash or pile of dead bugs. If you know your group is checking in late, you may turn the lights on for them so they are not fumbling around in the dark. If it’s a typical Oklahoma summer day with a humidity index of what feels like a million, you may want to cool the cabin before a group’s arrival. Ensuring the little details are taken care of before guests arrive lets them focus on the purpose of their visit rather than being distracted by uncleanliness or dysfunctional equipment.

4. Share smiles

A smile can be so refreshing after a long day. There are hours of work that go into planning a retreat, so the chances are the group leader is already exhausted before they arrive at camp. Welcoming eyes and a genuine smile say, “I respect you and I am glad that you are here.” A simple gesture speaks louder than a general welcome or thank you email. In fact, a friendly facial expression can go so far as to “make the heart rejoice.” Proverbs 15:30 says, “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.”

5. Grow your network

When guests and cabin owners are able to put a name with a face, they are more likely to remember each other. You never know who you’ll meet through networking in person. Need a volunteer plumber or electrician to finish some work on the cabin? Searching for a summer youth intern? You may just find one or gain vital connections through your cabin guests. God has a way of bringing people together to accomplish His kingdom work and unplanned introductions are often the best ones.

No matter what form of communication is used to connect with guests, God gives pretty clear guidelines for our interactions: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:16).”

Local Vendors Contact List https://www.fallscreek.org/local-vendors-contact-list-2020/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:38:20 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1937 Glass

Pauls Valley Glass                             800-238-2756

Heat & A/C

John Thomas                                    580-272-7298


Crowe HVAC & Refrigeration            580-369-3939

King Heating &Air                              580-369-5464

Hunter Heat & Air                              580-223-9090

Swink                                                580-226-3544


Royal Flush                                     580-369-8265

South Central Building Supply        580-788-2907


P&M Wrecker Repair                      580-369-3811

Tire Doctor                                      580-369-9038

AAA (Ardmore)                               580-223-5170

Big Dump Construction                  580-369-3868

C & C Backhoe Service                  580-247-8957

Oil & Gas

Pitmon Oil and Gas                          580-369-3135


Pan-American Electric                     580-369-3336

Trinity Electric                                  580-788-4768

OG&E                                              800-522-6870


J&S Roofing                                      580-369-8202

Pest Control

Allstate Pest Control                        580-226-5555

Fire Alarms & Extinguishers

Noble Fire and Safety                     405-201-0018

Paris Fire Extinguisher Co.             903-577-4391

Sheetrock Repair

Arbuckle Acoustics                           580-622-6822

Vent Hood Cleaning

Estes Cleaning                                  405-875-1582

Lighting for Cabins

AES Lightening                                 405-238-0065

Construction Companies

Johnson Construction                    580-369-2224

Carpet Cleaning                             580-622-5303

Local Restaurants

Bistro                                       580-247-9221

Boom-A-Rang                          580-247-9703

Burgerland                              580-369-3379

Fried Pies                                580-369-7830

Las Cascadas                          580-369-2031

Pizza Hut                                 580-369-2302

Smokin’ Joe’s                           580-369-2818

Sonic                                        580-369-2367

Subway                                    580-369-3024

77 Grill (B/L)                            580-369-9012


Using COVID-19 to Share the Gospel https://www.fallscreek.org/using-covid-19-to-share-the-gospel/ Thu, 12 Mar 2020 16:38:08 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1927 It is no surprise that the world is starting to panic about the sudden spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). While it is important to remain proactive in preventing the transmission of the virus, panic and anxiety won’t help lower the chances of infection. Instead, it should drive believers into action.

Where does fear come from?

2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Scripture clearly reminds us that fear comes from Satan, our enemy. The enemy will do everything he can to distract Christ-followers from spreading the message of God’s love.

Satan tried this tactic on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. There is no doubt that Jesus knew what was about to take place. He would go through unmeasurable suffering on the cross and die a gruesome death. I imagine he was feeling a great weight of anxiety as he stated, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” in Matthew 26. He wanted nothing more than the cup to be passed from him. In his great distress, Jesus cried out to his Father in prayer.

Our own worries about COVID-19 and the ill effects on the economy should move us to pray. Pray for God to intervene. Pray for a vaccine or a cure. Pray for families who have lost loved ones. Pray for lives to be changed and for the world to come to know Jesus as its personal Lord and Savior.

How do Christians respond?

Submit to God. James 4:7 instructs believers to “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” The only way to combat fear and relieve anxiety is through shifting our focus and thoughts on God. Focus on His attributes and spend time worshipping Him and thanking Him for the gift of the cross. Meditate on His promises:

1. He is a God of peace, not chaos: John 14:27
2. He is with us through the darkest valley: Psalm 23:4
3. He cares for us: 1 Peter 5:6-7
4. He is our shield: Psalm 115:11
5. He knows what He is doing: Romans 11:33-36

Be prepared to share the Gospel.

Anytime a life-threatening virus or event occurs, non-believers have questions. Those at highest risk begin questioning their relationship with God and what happens after death. As believers, we need to be prepared to address these questions and offer hope to a sinful world. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

The future may seem uncertain but we can rest on the promise that Jesus will return again and there is a hurting and questioning world waiting for someone to share Christ’s message of hope.

See how Oklahoma Baptists are responding to Coronavirus at https://www.oklahomabaptists.org/coronavirus-response/.

Behind the Grill: Food Services Team Spotlight https://www.fallscreek.org/behind-the-grill/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 21:23:12 +0000 https://www.fallscreek.org/?p=1917 Meet our Falls Creek Conference Centers Food Services Team! They have a passion for food and a willingness to serve. Call today to ask about a meal plan for your group! (580)369-2101

Geoff Hughes, Food Services Manager

Falls Creek made a major impact on Geoff Hughes’ life during his teenage years. When camp recruiters visited him at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) his freshman year, he said he felt a calling to apply for summer staff.

“I spent a summer working in concessions at Falls Creek and had a good time,” Geoff said. “The former food services manager, Don Brown, invited me to help out in the kitchen during conference season and I learned that I really enjoyed working in food services.”

Geoff did not have much cooking experience prior to his job at Falls Creek.

“I had no interest in food and was only able to cook basic meals, but I soon became interested in learning how to cook more advanced dishes,” he said. “I was attending OBU at the time for youth or pastoral ministry and God said, ‘I have something else planned for you.’”

Two years later, Geoff discovered that plan was to serve at Falls Creek and CrossTimbers full-time. He worked in the kitchen as a food services associate for five years until transitioning into his current role as Food Services Manager. Geoff has contributed to adding new menu items during his time at camp, including chicken bacon pasta. The dish includes penne pasta, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasonings, and Tuscan garlic, all smothered in a white cream sauce.

“My hope is that when people eat in our dining area, they are refueled and ready to listen to what God has to tell them while they are at camp. I never want them to be distracted by their hunger.”

When Hughes isn’t working he enjoys reading, playing video games, and eating a properly made lasagna.


Jan Shaffer, Food Services Assistant Manager

Jan Shaffer’s love for cooking began at an early age. She cooked her first meal, a southern classic chicken fried steak with okra, at 10 years old. During that time, her mother had her plan and cook one dinner per week under close supervision. She learned how to prepare various recipes and experiment in the kitchen. It wasn’t until 2006 that Jan’s culinary background merged with her career.

“I was the assistant manager at Camp Canyon when our food services director had to leave on worker’s compensation,” she said. “It was then that I was asked to take over in the kitchen and it was trial by fire but I had a good time.”

Four months later, Jan left Canyon and accepted a full-time food service position at her local church. It was there that she was told about Falls Creek and an opportunity to serve on the camp’s food services team.

“In November of 2017 I came to do hands-on observation in the Falls Creek kitchen, and two months later I was hired. My favorite part about working in the kitchen has been baking.”

Since her hire date, Jan has contributed to adding new dessert ideas to the menu, including her lemon blueberry cake recipe (a staff favorite) and caramel apple crumble cake recipe. During her free time, she experiments with other recipes to find crowd-pleasers.

“There is a common misconception that camp food is not high-quality food, but Falls Creek’s food is,” Jan said. “I hope guests are pleasantly surprised with the food they have consumed when they visit, and that it is above typical ‘camp food’ quality.”

When Shaffer isn’t working she enjoys antique shopping, reading, crafts, and discovering walking trails with her two dogs, Scout and Lucy.