When you speak to any alum about FLC, you often hear them refer to FLC as their “second home”. It is this community that FLC has built and nourished over the past 90 years that makes FLC so unique and special to so many of us. To this effort, we have decided, with the help of Gary Confer, to reach out to some of our alumni to highlight their role at FLC and to learn what they are up to these days. This month we are featuring a camp “legend”
from the boys’ camp.
Phil Confer was often heard saying that the “golden years” at FLC under his direction began that day in 1973 when Mike “Coach” Pariseau and his family drove into camp in their yellow VW wagon. Coach Pariseau, at that time, was offensive coordinator for the Slippery Rock State University (PA) football team and was hired by Phil Confer to be waterfront director. To ensure that he had a cooperative and competent WF staff, Coach brought along two of his team’s stars – Kurt Kral and Terry Factor who would be both cabin counselors and waterfront instructors. And so began a long association with Terry Factor, Coach Pariseau, and Slippery Rock University all of which contributed to future summers with super camp spirit and a host of interesting stories and characters.
Terry grew up in Natrona, Pennsylvania and was a standout wrestler and football player. He had a distinguished football career at Slippery Rock when they were a division III national contender. Terry enjoyed All-American honors as a fierce linebacker and went on to play for the Philadelphia Bell in the short-lived World Football League. Coach Pariseau often said that, pound for pound, Terry was the toughest player he ever coached. Not only was Terry tough but he was also an all-around, talented athlete. He was adept at baseball, tennis, basketball along with his obvious football and wrestling skills. Interestingly, Terry’s abilities don’t end with sports. He is a musician (piano, guitar, voice), he has art (drawing ability) and is a spot on imitator. Terry was often a contributor to campfires at FLC both solo and in collaboration with other performers such as Jim Miller, Fred Shepard, and Dan Murphy.
Of course, a bio of Terry Factor would not be complete without mention of Becky (Smith) Factor whom Terry married following their time at Slippery Rock. Becky spent many summers at FLC working in the camp office when not chasing around their two sons – Noah and Jesse. And, not to be outclassed athletically by Terry’s accomplishments, Becky, too, was a championship athlete who held the Pennsylvania state 100 yard record for many years.
Terry and Becky amassed many summers at FLC in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Becky worked alongside Sally Confer in the office and Terry served as a counselor, waterfront instructor, waterfront director, and head counselor. Both Noah and Jesse logged many summers as “career” campers.
Terry and Becky both majored in education and have spent their entire careers in that field. They have led a fascinating life teaching in private and public schools both domestically and internationally. Their work has taken them to Minnesota and Hawaii; Quito, Ecuador; Doha, Qatar where they are currently located. Among his most memorable recollections of time at FLC, Terry cites campfires, sunrises and sunsets atop Lookout, the numerous camp characters and friends, life and times at the WF, endless games of Trivial Pursuit and sinking the camp motorboat within 72 hours of his arrival in 1973.
The motorboat debacle was quickly forgotten by the camp directors once they recognized the enormous impact Terry would have on FLC. He combined a serious commitment to excellence with the ability to inject humor whenever possible – he is truly a camp legend.