DAR Schools Tour: Crossnore School

October 15, 2013

On Thursday evening we traveled to the Linville Country Club near Crossnore for dinner in an incredibly beautiful setting overlooking Grandfather Mountain.  Welcoming us to the area was Brett Loftis, CEO of Crossnore School, and other staff and Board members.  Crossnore is well known for the Weaving Room in which elegant stoles, afghans, shawls and linens are created.  Several of us had the opportunity to model some of the items following a delicious dinner.

Friday morning we participated in the rededication of one of Daniel Boone’s Trail markers in Boone, NC.  One hundred years ago this month the Edward Buncombe Chapter in North Carolina placed this marker in Boone, NC.  Mrs. Lindsay Patterson, a North Carolina DAR member, chaired the effort and worked for years to encourage DAR state societies in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky to place 45 tablets along the 400 miles which Daniel Boone traveled while exploring the western wilderness. This story inspired a book titled, Trailing Daniel Boone, and the author of this book, Randell Jones, was also present for the rededication.  To our surprise, a Daniel Boone re-enactor joined us as well as the mayor of Boone, along with North Carolina State Regent Peggy Troxell and many North Carolina Daughters. The rededication took place at the Watauga County Court House in Boone, NC and it was a wonderful ceremony.

Our next stop was Crossnore School in Crossnore, NC which celebrates its 100th anniversary of its founding this year. This school was founded in 1913 by Dr. Mary Martin Sloop, a DAR member and her husband.  Today it provides a residential education for children in need, offering hope and healing while providing experiential learning initiatives and highly focused, individualized care. The Crossnore School operates the Crossnore Academy, a K-12 charter school in the center of Crossnore’s mountain  campus.  About half the children at Crossnore have been abused, abandoned or neglected and the school offers a safe place to heal.

We began our visit in the Sloop Chapel which features a spectacular fresco by Ben Long with a biblical passage which begins, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not.”  We had the opportunity to wander the campus, visit cottages, the Weaving Room, art gallery and Academy. Many of the 87 children in residence came from difficult family situations and Crossnore offers them sanctuary while healing. One of my favorite places is the Equine Therapy Center at which children not only relate to the rescue horses kept on campus but also to gain insights into their own feelings, patterns and boundaries by sensing how the horse is responding to their behavior.

The students joined us for lunch and we enjoyed visiting with them very much.  I was seated next to an engaging senior who told me he had been there 6 years and continued, “I have an amazing testimony and I want to go into the ministry to serve youth.” The high school choir sang Happy Birthday to DAR and presented a beautiful birthday cake in celebration of DAR’s founding 123 years ago. Crossnore was our last stop on the DAR Schools Tour and we reluctantly bid goodbye and headed back to Roanoke for our last evening and dinner at Hotel Roanoke.

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