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Grandfather Mountain’s New Campfire Stories Event to Ignite Guests’ Passion for Conservation

Grandfather Mountain Campfire Stories, which takes place 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19, is the first event of its kind to be held on the mountain and offers an experience similar to how researchers and scientists would share their own stories while out in the field. The event begins with guests watching the sunset from Cliffside Overlook, before heading down to outside the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery to enjoy s’mores around the campfire and hear stories from retired N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Gordon Warburton. (Photo Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation / Skip Sickler)

Grandfather Mountain, the Linville, N.C., nature preserve operated by the nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, is inviting guests to gather around the campfire on Friday, Aug. 19 with retired N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Gordon Warburton to hear stories and firsthand accounts from an expert in the field of conservation.

Grandfather Mountain Campfire Stories, which takes place 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., is the first event of its kind to be held on the mountain and offers an experience similar to how researchers and scientists would share their own stories while out in the field. 

“The purpose of Campfire Stories is to bring in experts from the conservation field to come and tell their stories and share the experiences they’ve accumulated throughout their careers,” said John Caveny, director of education and natural resources with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. “We want to show how fun the field of conservation is.”

Campfire Stories complements Grandfather Mountain’s Grandfather Presents speaker series but at a smaller scale and in a more intimate and informal setting. 

The event begins with guests watching the sunset from Cliffside Overlook, where interpretive park guides will be available to share their own knowledge about the natural wonders of the mountain. 

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The group then heads down to outside the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery to enjoy s’mores around the campfire and hear stories from Warburton. 

Warburton worked for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for 35 years and participated in the research and restoration efforts of several species, including deer, turkey, peregrine falcons and others. His career also involved the conservation of public lands in Western North Carolina, as well as conservation work in Peru. 

“Gordon has done a lot of work in the scientific community studying bears, turkeys and other creatures,” Caveny said. “He’ll be sharing some of the interesting things that have happened throughout his career with the hope of inspiring guests, fueling their passion for nature and letting them see how fun and exciting the field of conservation can be.”

In-park transportation is not provided – participants will use their own vehicles to drive up and down the mountain. Much of guests’ time will be spent outdoors, and the program is held rain or shine. Guests should be prepared for a variety of mountain weather conditions and temperatures. Appropriate clothing, equipment and footwear are important. Jackets are needed on many summer evenings.

This event costs $50 for general admission and $42 for members of Grandfather Mountain’s Bridge Club. Registration is now open. Grandfather Mountain Campfire Stories is limited to 20 participants.

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For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.grandfather.com/event/grandfather-mountain-campfire-stories

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.grandfather.com.

Courtesy of Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation.