Leaping Trout Chainsaw Carving
I want to tell you about a little-known place that is making a big difference. It’s called Camp Breac and is located in historical Bellefonte, PA along Spring Creek which is a popular trout fishing stream. It’s proprietor James Lanning, Jim for short, has a heart that is bigger than his body. Jim is a retired police officer from California whom has continued his public service by acting as an advocate for military veterans, public service members, and Clearwater Shed. Jim and his wife, Denise’s compassion, hospitality, and vision are contagious and all who meet them are quickly brought into the fold. That’s how it was for Ed and I. What started as favor for a friend to look at an old tree that had fallen down leaving a rather tall ugly stump standing in the center of the front yard, quickly turned into a lifelong relationship.
After a tour of Camp Breac and one of Jim’s famous Irish Coffees made with local spirits from Big Spring Spirits the place begins to feel like home. You quickly settle in and the many faces you meet are new family members that you share a common connection to. For Ed and I, we are children of veterans with many family members that were part of the armed forces. I particularly felt at home. As I sipped my coffee, surrounded by veterans listening to their stories, my mind drifted to images of my childhood surrounded by military and civil servants and the feelings of comfort and a sense of belonging came over me. Memories of my father, an Army veteran, came to mind as I sat chatting with and observing several more veterans. I wondered if they realized how simply being in their presence brought me joy. We left that day honored to be a part of Camp Breac’s mission and became part of the family.
Jim had a dream to turn that ugly stump into something special for everyone to enjoy. As family members do, we help each other out with time and talents, it was not different to Ed and I. We agreed to take on the project and understood why Ed was recommended for the task. Ed is known for his giant leaping fish carvings and this tree stump was perfect for one.
It was winter when Ed began cutting into massive stump with his chainsaw. It took him two weekends to carve the “Leaping Trout” that stands about 9 feet tall and faces Spring Creek. After the color was added to the base to resemble the creek, Jim and veterans painted on the clear sealant coat. Another avid fisherman tied the large fly that hangs above the trout.
Art in the outdoors is part of our mission and teaming up with Camp Breac is a natural fit. We look forward to meeting more of our community and working on projects together in the future.
You never know what can build a community, for Camp Breac, in Bellefonte PA, it’s fishing for trout. Jim and Denise Lanning had a vision to create a place for veterans and their families to enjoy the outdoors, fish, and most importantly connect with others veterans, families, and supportive community members. We are honored to be a part of this family and are happy to share our time and talents.
Many volunteers help out at Camp Breac. Kris Edson was tasked with taking out a large old Norway spruce had that had died. He thought the tree and location was perfect for a large trout carving and contacted Ed who is known for his large fish carvings. After Kris cut the large tree it to proper size, Ed carved this beautiful wild brown trout leaping from the water. And Janise added the finishing touches with a bit of color to the water at the base of the fish. The trout carving is finished with a protective clear coat. Lastly, Army vet Daniel Kerstetter created very large Light Cahill fly for the wild brown trout to chase and it now hangs above the carving.
It is our hope that many conversations and connections are made around the old spruce, now a brown trout that serves as welcome to everyone visiting Camp Breac.
When you meet Jim, tell him "The Crows sent you". :)
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Hi, I'm Janise Crow a jewelry designer and mixed-media artist. Here you will find our latest projects, experiments, and even how to's.