Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dates? How much does it cost? How do I register
Visit the Parent Page for details and registration.

What do campers, parents and staff have to say about Mountain Friends Camp?
Here are a few quotes from the many positive notes we get every year, on our Testimonial Page.

When is the right age to send my child to camp? What is the age cut off, what about summer birthdays etc?
The right age is when both parents and children feel ready. Many children are ready for overnight camp at 9 or 10, and some might need another year or two. Here’s our quiz to help determine if your child is ready. It’s normal for children to need some encouragement to take the big step of going to camp, and we’re here for you and your camper! Campers should generally be entering 5-10th grade in the fall, and 10-15 years old. If your child will be 9 or 16 and you’d like them to be a camper, please contact the director to discuss an exception.

 What programs and activities do you have? What makes Mountain Friends Camp special?
 Our “typical” activities depend upon the interests and creativity of our campers and counselors so change from week-to-week, but we always encourage fun, enthusiasm, friendship and respect. Campers have more responsibility and choice then at many camps, and staff always support them in making friends and developing creativity and leadership. See programs and activities for more

What does it mean to be a Quaker summer camp?
We are guided by the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship and try to put these ideals into practice at camp and encourage them in campers and staff. Quakers teach respect and tolerance of all faiths and peoples, following our belief in “that of God in everyone.” Read more about how our Quaker values and traditions are experienced at camp here: Quaker and Mountain Friends Camp and contact the director with any questions.

Do I have to be Quaker to come to camp?
We welcome campers and staff from any religious background, or no religion in particular. We ask that camp staff have familiarity and compatibility with Quaker values, and that everyone respects the Quaker elements of our camp program.

Is financial aid available?
Yes, we have a limited number of need-based partial “camperships” for campers who otherwise would not be able to afford camp. Many Quaker Meetings are happy to help, so please contact your Meeting or other possible sources first for financial assistance. In addition, parents or family members can volunteer at camp to earn credit towards camper fees–read more about Work Trades. We don’t want anyone to miss out on Mountain Friends Camp due to financial difficulties, so please don’t hesitate to contact us about campership, payment plans or other options.

Can you tell me more about your staff?
All of our counselors and kitchen staff are carefully screened through application questions, interviews, references, and criminal background checks. They come from different backgrounds but share an enthusiasm for our program and a commitment to making Mountain Friends Camp fun, safe and rewarding for every camper. Staff range in age from 17-60+, giving campers a unique opportunity to find role models in a multi-generational community. We have a high staff to camper ratio of 1:4. To read more and if you are interested in joining this awesome team, see the staff pages. Meet our 2014 staff here!

How are campers divided into groups? How many campers are there?
Every day there are times when campers are assigned to small groups, participate with the full group, and times when they can choose their activity. Campers sleep in yurts or tent groups with 5-7 campers and 1-2 counselors, we plan groups to mix ages, balancing new and returning campers. Campers and parents can choose during registration if they prefer a single-gender or gender-neutral/mixed-gender cabin. During morning plork times campers are free to volunteer for a project and choose to work together. Our “small groups” are mixed genders and ages, campers and staff who meet daily for supportive sharing and chores, read more about them here. As a small summer camp of up to 30 campers and CITs per session, we like that everyone gets to know everyone.

Where and when do we drop off and pick up campers? Can my camper carpool with another family?

Click for Location information and Driving Directions
Drop off is between 1-4pm and pick up is between 10am-12pm. We can help to arrange transportation from the nearest airport or train station in Las Vegas, Santa Fe or Albuquerque, New Mexico. Contact Ana to join the parent carpool email lists to facilitate sharing rides, but transportation is the responsibility of each family.

What if my child gets homesick? How should I contact my child?

The best way to keep in touch is an old fashioned letter! Send mail to (camper name) c/o MFC at Collins Lake Ranch, PO Box 472 Cleveland, NM 87502 Campers love to receive mail, we suggest one letter per week. “Care packages” can be fun, but please know that extra food and candy is not allowed and will be confiscated, and please only send one package per session as a constant stream of packages can be a distraction and create divisions between “haves and have-nots” at camp. Campers get a break from computers, cell phones or other electronics while at camp. Contact the director with questions.

We have limited and emergency use of a landline at camp, however camper phone contact with parents is limited to emergency situations. Like other camps, we see homesickness as a normal and healthy process for many kids, but that a phone call home tends to worsen homesickness. Our counselors, and friendly campers, do a great job helping new campers make friends and join in activities! If you get a “homesickness letter” or have other questions you can call to speak first with the director or your camper’s counselor, and we will always call you if there are important questions or concerns with your child, and you can speak with the director or cabin staff during camp. Due to the remote location and busy schedules, the director will probably not be able to speak with you right away but will return your message. Please let the director know ahead of time if you have any concerns about your camper’s behavior, needs, or potential adjustment to camp.

What is the food like?
Yummy! Our kitchen staff enjoy cooking wholesome tasty meals using as many local, organic, and made-from-scratch ingredients as possible. Many days campers will be able to volunteer for kitchen helpers. Some of our favorites are burritos, spring rolls, grilled burgers and veggies, spaghetti tacos, sesame veggie stir-fry, curried lentil stew, twice-baked potatoes, and frozen fruit smoothies! Most of our food is vegetarian, and we regularly accommodate vegan, gluten free and dairy free meals, but do not maintain an allergen free kitchen or have the capacity to meet all dietary needs and requests. It’s important to explain all dietary requests during or before registration.

What if my child needs to take medications at camp?
A trained (Wilderness First Responder or higher) staff member will store and distribute any medications. Please be aware that MFC can only administer prescription drugs in accordance with direction from licensed medical personnel (not parents or camper). MFC must have either a doctor’s written direction or the original labeled bottle of medicine. You must supply the camp medic with enough medicine for their full time at camp.Be sure to fill out the medical information form completely, and include details about any supplements or over the counter medications as well as prescription drugs. If the parent prefers and gives permission, the camper can keep emergency treatments like an Epipen or inhaler with them at camp. We may not be able to accommodate campers with every medical or behavioral challenge.

How do you keep campers safe and handle emergency situations?
During staff training and throughout camp the health and safety of our campers is our priority. We carefully assess activities beforehand, and include campers in setting “norms” to avoid risky behaviors. Of course, in an outdoor setting accidents might happen at anytime, so we prepare our staff in emergency protocols. Several of our staff have CPR, First Aid, Wilderness First Aid training, our camp medic is a certified Wilderness First Responder. For anything that we can’t handle at camp, Mora has a small health clinic and EMT service a few minutes away, and both Taos and Las Vegas NM have full medical services about 45 minutes drive from camp.

Will my lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer youth or child coming from a LGBTQ family feel welcome at camp?
We work hard to make Mountain Friends Camp a safe and welcoming space for every camper, and value participation of many youth, staff, parents and families with diverse sexual orientations and gender expressions. We do not tolerate bullying or any type of hate speech, and are open to talking about and dealing with issues of bias when they come up at camp.

What should I bring to camp?
See our Packing List for details. No drugs, alcohol, tobacco or weapons are permitted at camp. Campers, don’t forget to leave valuables and electronics at home or give them to camp staff for safe keeping, and keep in mind that anything you bring to camp may get dirty, damaged, or lost. Pack accordingly and consider adding labels to everything!

We would like to talk to parents who have sent their child to Mountain Friends Camp. Can you share some names and phone numbers with us?
We have a reference list we can mail or email to you– just contact the director to ask for references.

Any more questions? Ask us and we’ll and them to this list.