The Durham Warriors Survival Challenge (DWSC) evolved out of a poolside discussion between Bob Crowley and John Vataha while they attended a charity fundraising event in the summer of 2012. John had been considering putting together a Survivor-themed challenge but did not have a location to hold an event of that size. Bob had 100 acres of property in Maine and had already had founded the Durham Warriors Project, a non-profit whose mission is to provide an opportunity for veterans, active duty military and their families to stay at the Crowley’s Maine Forest Yurts free of charge. So putting together a challenge on Bob’s property that benefited that project was a natural fit.
And so after much planning and preparation the DWSC 2013 challenge sites took shape and the 18 participants were recruited. A dream team of volunteers gathered to test out the challenges that had been constructed. Much was learned and final changes were made. Finally on September 5th, 2013 after more than a year of planning and construction the 18 participants arrived to take part in the first Durham Warriors Survival Challenge! Feedback from both the participants and their families that came to watch was overwhelmingly positive.
DWSC 2014 took place August 21-24, 2014 and took the competition to another level. A small army of volunteers made it possible to construct and set up more elaborate challenges and tend to the logistics of the game. In addition, loved ones of the participants as well as the public were encouraged to come and watch the competition. More than 125 spectators were on hand to watch an exciting event.
On August 27-30, 2015 the third season of DWSC took place. More than 70 applicants vied to compete. For the first time 6 former Survivor contestants took part in the game instead of the 3 that participated in the first two seasons. Almost all of the challenges for DWSC 2015 were new thanks to the hard work of our amazing volunteers, particularly Kevin Thurber and Kathi Dubar. And the crowd that came to watch grew even larger!
DWSC 2016 was held June 23-26 and once again featured 6 former Survivor contestants. Evenly matched competition throughout the event led many to say it was the best of the DWSC seasons.
Casting for DWSC 2017 will open around the beginning of January. Check back around the end of the year as video from DWSC 2016 is posted and more information about DWSC 2017 becomes available. Until then, mark your calendar for June 22-25 of 2017!