Leadership class makes a memory; 'Ivan' an uninvited guest at retreat

  From Staff Reports
  Each year the Carter County Leadership Class begins its ten month journey including an overnight retreat at the Doe River Gorge. The retreat is thought to be one of the most beneficial events that the class experiences.
  Leadership class members engage in team building and strategic skill development in addition to the "fun" of high adventure outdoor activities including hiking, climbing and ropes course events. At the conclusion of the two-day overnight session, members enjoy a train ride through the gorge.
  This year's rail excursion was cut short due to storm damage from Hurricane Ivan. A huge, copper-colored boulder was dislodged from the overhanging cliff by the storm activity on Thursday night. The boulder fell onto the tracks, preventing the train from passing further into the gorge. Undeterred, class members continued their way to Pardee Point by foot, navigating around the boulder and through downed limbs.
  The hike was one of the high points of the Doe River Gorge experience. Jeff Smythe, staff member, severed as retreat leader for this year's class. Class members were able to see first hand the power of the Doe River which rose due to heavy rains from Hurricane Ivan.
  "The weather on Thursday was overcast and cool, which made the hiking and high adventure activities very enjoyable; and although the rain from the storm shortened the activities on Friday, it was one of the most memorable leadership classes we've had," said Kathy Pierce coordinator.
  Doe River Gorge Ministries President Terry Mahon and his staff of well trained "adventurers" have created an amazing resource for our county. Several other regional leadership groups use the gorge as the site of their retreat, as the world has spread about the beauty of our county and the terrific facilities the gorge has to offer.
  "Carter County is so fortunate to have the Doe River Gorge Camp," Pierce said.