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June 10, 2020
Summer Camp at Home

Summer camp at homeYou've mastered being a teacher. Now it's time to pick up a different mantle – camp counselor. Whether you're “hosting” a day camp, overnight camp, or just a weekend experience camp, this blog has ideas for “programming” to keep your campers engaged and happy.

April 30, 2020
We Arrived on April 30, 1980

April 30, 1980On a cool spring day in 1980, April 30 to be exact, a young family arrived in the mountains of North Carolina. After a long drive from Florida in a UHaul and a pickup truck, they were about to begin their lives' work in an old general store. In this short video blog, you'll hear what their first impressions were ... in Faye's own words. 

April 22, 2020
Boredom Buster #3

Boredom Buster #3Who's ready for another diversion or two? By now, our new routines are, well, routine. Get up, make coffee, fix breakfast, send the students to school in one corner of the living room and set up the office on the kitchen table. We don't know about you, but it sure is hard to get the 250 steps per hour now because the coffee pot is a lot closer (and so is the restroom). This week's Boredom Busters will revisit a skill that many of us have let slip in the days of GPS (but it's still important), offer up a few podcasts for your enjoyment, and send a jigsaw puzzle or two your way.

April 14, 2020
Grab a Bite at the Store

Alfred Adams LunchBack 40 years ago, you couldn't grab a bite to eat in the Valle. It meant a drive to Boone or to Banner Elk or to Mountain City over in Tennessee. That is until John and Faye Cooper decided to open the Mast Store Deli. Sandwiches and soups were served in the back of the store. Here's a little of that story, including a bit of it in Faye's own words.

April 9, 2020
Mast Store Memories: A Look Back at 1980

Store for SaleWhat were you doing 40 years ago? The year was 1980, and the country was in the middle of the hostage crisis in Iran, facing a recession, and trying to solve the mystery of who shot J. R. Ewing. That’s the big picture, but what was happening in Valle Crucis, NC? Maybe it was a little magic. We’re stepping into our time machine and turning back the clock for a look at the rebirth of the Mast General Store. 

April 8, 2020
Boredom Buster #2

Boredom Buster #2We hope everyone enjoyed a little yoga, fixed a nice extra special meal one night, and then threw down at a big dance party. We are all wearing lots of hats these days – from small business CEO and the school's head master to the top chef and building custodian. That means its even more challenging to get everything done and to have a little spare time for fun. This week we have a few more suggestions to shake up your stay-at-home routine with activities and a movie night.

April 1, 2020
Boredom Buster #1

Boredom Buster #1If the situation was different, we would all be excited to spend time at home. We are all in this together, and we’ll make it through it with creativity and grace. We’ll be offering a few ideas to break up the boredom and routine while you’re spending more time at home for the next few weeks. Let’s get started! 

March 26, 2020
Gift Cards for Good

Introducing Gift Cards for GoodOne of the traditions John and Faye Cooper established as soon as they could afford to after re-opening the Original Mast Store in Valle Crucis was giving back to the community. Over the years, that tradition has grown and now includes organizations and causes in three major categories – human needs, arts and education, and conservation across all our home communities. That tradition is continuing, but this year, we need your help. That's where Gift Cards for Good comes in.

March 20, 2020
We're In This Together

We're All in This TogetherGeneral stores have always been there for their communities. Now, we need everyone to be there for all.

December 26, 2019
Therefore Be It Resolved, the New Year is Here

Happy New Year!Have you ever wondered where the practice of making New Year’s Resolutions started? According to History.com, it’s a practice that’s at least 4,000 years old. The Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts and to return items they had borrowed to curry favor. The Romans changed the calendar to start the New Year in January, named for the god Janus, who had two faces – one looking into the past and the other focused on the future. 


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