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March - Retired Volunteers, Glen and Janet Ellis

Glen and Janet Ellis
Glen and Janet, native to the Buffalo, NY area and members of the SOWERS with four years of service, worked on a variety of projects during the month of March. Doe River Gorge has benefitted greatly over the years from countless hours of generous and valuable help of retired couples volunteering their time and skills.

March - Awning Installation much-needed shelter for Crown Steam Locomotive Restoration

locomotive awning installation
locomotive awning installation

Zipline Maintenance

February - Exponential Interns to Costa Rica

wallace francis and interns

Exponential interns travel to serve in Costa Rica for ten days at Camp La Cumbre.They will assist in two programs at the mountain camp. one session is a ministry to children with terminal cancer, and the second session is with a German school where the team will facilitate activities similar to those of the summer Adventure Quest programs at Doe River Gorge.

Exponential is a one-year program with a focus on developing life and ministry skills, and includes classroom and on-the-job training.


wallace francis and interns wallace francis and interns

Nine year NFL veteran, Wallace Francis, returned to Doe River Gorge to conduct training for the EXPONENTIAL internship program, a one year resident leadership program for college-aged students.

Since his retirement from the Atlanta Falcons in 1982, Francis has devoted his life to disciple youth in their Christian faith and to equip leaders in local churches and ministries. Francis has been a popular speaker at our annual Father-Son retreat. His sessions with the EXPONENTIAL interns focused on biblical leadership principles using analogies from his football and life experiences.

DRG president, Terry Maughon, is excited to offer this caliber of training to the interns. "Wallace Francis is a man of God and an excellent bible teacher who desires to mentor young men and women. He has a wealth of knowledge and life lessons that he can pass on to our students. It is an honor to have him teach us."


September - Father-Son Retreat

Over 90 dads and sons gathered for a great, memory-making weekend of fun, football, good food, relaxing together and learning more of God's design for dad and sons. One theme was developed by guest speaker, Wallace Francis, veteran NFL wide receiver of the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills. This year's take-home project was a hardwood bench customized by wood-burning a design to mark the occasion and make a statement of the father-son bond.

father-son retreat group bench project father-son and bench father-son time together at river on bench bungee boat ride shooting skeet together together on the climbing tower former NFL Atlanta Falcons Wallace Francis football clinic

May - New Climbing Tower Installed

Nearby ETSU (East TN State Univ) had to sacrifice their state-of the-art climbing tower to make room for the new football stadium. The demolition company decided to look for someplace that could make use of the tower and connections were established with DRG to be the recipient. All we had to do was disassemble it, transport it, and reconstruct it. The process began in January. Final stages continued into May. It has already become a signature feature of the DRG landscape! CLICK HERE to watch time-lapse video.

tower sections on transport trailers foundation work begun tower foundation hole foundation forms construction crane placing center section sections in final position base platform construction what climbers see from the base