This summer our staff, with help from campers, wrote articles about our daily camp activities and special highlights of the summer. Read all about it!
This summer our staff, with help from campers, wrote articles about our daily camp activities and special highlights of the summer. Read all about it!
Read our winter update, sad news, and new connections from Mountain Friends Camp:
Winter News from Mountain Friends Camp, January 2017
(If link above does not work, copy and paste into browser bar: http://eepurl.com/cvGfq5)
We are sorry to have sad news to share in this holiday season. Senta Hoge, our host from 2014-2016 at the Santa Fe Tree House Camp, passed away December 9th. Please join our Mountain Friends Camp community in holding Senta and her loved ones in the Light. Senta passed on quickly and in her own home, leaving behind memories of joyful and peaceful times in nature in the minds of the thousands of children and adults who came through the Tree House Camp over the decades.
The Mountain Friends Camp board members prepared a few affirmations and memories of Senta to share with her loved ones. If you’d like to add yours, email Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I find it hard to actually believe that Senta has passed on ~ since she clearly didn’t age a day since i first met her as a small child to when my children first met her! Her advice to simplify life by just feeding the campers baked potatoes nightly might not have influenced menus at camp, but it influenced menus in my home. Senta’s indomitable presence and consistent, unapologetic strength as a woman will be remembered by myself and many other young girls and women who crossed her sphere of influence. You will be missed, Senta.”
-Bonny Moss, MFC Board President
“Today I am remembering Senta’s love for the animals…Because I had known her for 30+ years, I knew many of her animals and got to watch her care for and about each one of them!
She had two dogs named Uno and Etso that were her hearts delight for sure. For a while she took care of Boufka, Mieke’s dog and also Alec, Charles’s dog And of course Nanga… Besides Trigger, she had a horse named Martini that she rode. And adopted Pompeii two years ago. There were also donkeys and goats. She loved and fed the birds, all kinds..She protected the horny toads and the owls. Senta definitely was ‘one’ with the natural world and all it’s many inhabitants. Looking back, I find it curious that there were deer living on her property this summer after many years when we saw none. Maybe they were coming to give her a gift in her last summer? Once there was a woodpecker that lived near her house and we watched it all year into the next summer..She was really happy it kept returning.. (like the ravens) So Senta, I hope you are in a place where the animals are close in spirit and know that I will always remember your compassion and curiosity for all ‘God’s critters’…”
“Over and over when we were at the camp, Senta would stop to chat and share little suggestions about cool wooded areas on the property good for a hike or a nature activity, plays and programs they used to put on at the pavilion, the importance of clear safety rules at the archery area, how the barn could be used on a rainy day. I think at first I saw this as her having difficulty “letting go” of her leadership role. As I listened more carefully I heard her much more just wanting to give from her experience, to share her love of the place and of the outdoors especially. Quite a richness of years put into that dream.”
“When I first met Senta I was in my early 50s and feeling I was almost on the downhill side of life. I was so impressed and inspired to learn that Senta was already my age, and had a long and busy career behind her when she and Charles conceived the idea for Tree House Camp and then slowly but steadily worked to put flesh on the bones of their dream for the next several decades: a whole new life when many people in their phase of existence would be contemplating a future of week-earned rest and retirement.
Although Senta came across as a somewhat formidable presence at camp during the times she came down to survey our daily activities, yet there were a couple of times when I was with her neighbor Diane when Diane was checking in with Senta about necessary doctor visits and the like. Then I was privileged and humbled to see the vulnerable gentler side to this amazing woman, and the love and respect in which she was held by those who were closest to her. I am only sorry that I entered her life so late in the day, and could not learn more from this unique fellow being.”
“Senta lived and shared her deep love and connection to the animals at camp every year. Last summer in her introduction to Tree House Camp talk with the campers, I heard for the first time about the family of ravens who’d lived at the Tree House Camp since before the camp founding. She’d known them as individuals, talked to them, they watched her and respected her space, they wouldn’t come into the kitchen area but if she brought an apple down to the horses and left it for a moment it was fair game. With all the animals, her lesson for kids and adults was, “Oh, well they’ve been here longer than we have. This is their home you are visiting.”
In 2014 I was planning to travel in Jordan and Israel/Palestine in the fall, and loved her advice and excitement for me and Ari. Her stories about exploring with Charles, car camping with one other couple, driving for days across the desert and finding waterhole across Saudi Arabia were wonderful. I’d love to hear more, hopefully from those she had more time with to relax and share stories.”
Camper registration and staff applications are open online, MFC board weekend in Santa Fe, and our new cabin option. Read here and join our email list (see “subscribe” at right) to keep in touch with Mountain Friends Camp!
Are you on our email list? If not, sign up today for our occasional email newsletters!
Here are our two fall 2015 newsletters, thanks to everyone who made this a wonderful summer!
We still have plenty of room in our family camp session, July 26-29, so please help us spread the word!
Are you a single-parent who would like to bring your family to camp? A MFC donor has generously offered full camperships to help single-parent families. We also have partial camperships available for any family for whom cost would be a barrier, we want everyone to be able to attend Mountain Friends Camp!
See the Family Camp page for updated information and a new Frequently Asked Questions document. We’re looking forward to building community and lots of fun activities like nature hikes, creating art projects, story telling, music making, skits and cooperative games, Quaker worship, and time to relax and simply enjoy the beautiful outdoors and our camp community. Contact the camp director with any questions
Thanks to Brooke, Brad, Beverley and the Santa Fe Meeting for organizing a visit and photoshoot at the Tree House Camp this spring!
Mountain Friends Camp thanks the Mountain View Friends Meeting for your warm hospitality during our annual board weekend March 20-22. Board members were joined by campers, young adult staff and a few interested local Friends for a fun weekend of worship, discernment and plork (play+work) for our Quaker summer camp. Nine of us traveled from four states plus DC, and nine came from around Colorado. Our focus for the weekend was visioning and planning the next 5 years. We spent time considering the locations we’ve held camp at so far and what we need and want in a permanent location (and how to discern the difference between needs and wants!). Our recent 501(c)3 status, camp policies, staff orientation, support for grieving campers, 2015 plans, finances and outreach kept us busy. We divided up board tasks into three main committees for the next year, and invited campers and others join and participate in committee work. Of course since this was about camp we also had great food, singing, games, worship, fellowship and outdoor time in the beautiful Colorado sunshine.
Big thanks to Paula and to Ruth for hosting so many out of towners, and to Penny and Judy for bringing us delicious that gado gado dinner Saturday! Most everyone stayed for Meeting for Worship on First Day, with a few of our camp staff taking the First Day group to the park for some camp games. Afterwards we enjoyed a bountiful potluck spread, and showed some pictures for a MFC Q&A. We left with warm hearts and renewed resolve from the many reminders of what we love about Mountain Friends Camp!
REMINDER: We still have plenty of room for campers age 10-15, family campers, and are looking for 1-2 medics and a few male counselors. Learn more, sign up, refer a friend, contact Ana, or donate to support our camp mountainfriendscamp.org
Dear Friend of Mountain Friends Camp,
I hope this letter finds you well and surrounded by love, light and laughter, wherever you may be. As the land sleeps and the days begin to lengthen, the MFC board is busy planting the bulbs that will grow into next year’s camp. We are so grateful to all the campers, families, staff, volunteers and donors who share their light with us each year. If you have one of those in your family, give them a big hug from us!
In this cozy season of gratitude, my own little family gives thanks for many things ~ among them our far-flung Quaker community, and Mountain Friends Camp. Even now, my 10-year old son Orion is singing snatches of MFC songs, regaling me with stories of camp that I have heard a dozen times, and planning epic skits for next year. (Anybody else remember “Manhattan Friends Camp”? Or Ana and Ari’s anniversary? Or spaghetti tacos!!??) In preparation of the new year, his father and I are also thinking of next year’s camp ~ the saving, prioritizing, and late-night conversations are well underway. What will best serve his growth as a person?
Here’s what keeps coming up about MFC:
Fun. It’s fun. Like, really fun.
Plork. Plork is so cool!
Quaker Values. Nowhere else in his life encompasses the Quaker values of peace, community, simplicity, integrity, equality and stewardship all at once.
Inner Light. MFC nurtures the light within him and strengthens that quiet inner voice so essential to a meaningful life.
Staff. The staff is extraordinary ~ we want him to grow up to be like them!
Teenagers. The teens at MFC are as rare and precious as gold. Where else can he learn to navigate the coming waters of teenhood with graciousness, simplicity, playfulness and service? They are silly, kind, thoughtful, and hard workers. They love themselves, each other, and the littler ones. He may not know he is looking up to them, but we do, and we are so thankful.
Relationships. Orion is building long-term relationships at MFC with staff and other campers. Friendships based on Quaker values will help him keep a calm center in the storms of life, and give him friends all over the country who care about humanity, ecology, and service as much as he does.
So yes, Mountain Friends Camp is important to us.But here’s the thing:without scholarship help, MFC would not be a priority; it would be a pipe dream. Twice now, MFC has come through with scholarship assistance for us so that Orion could attend. Thanks to generous donors all over the region, (and some help from his grandparents) we have twice been able to say “Yes!” to Orion and watch him caper about the living room in delight. I am now honored to serve MFC in return by sitting on the board and working to make sure that every child who wants to can come to camp. I learned that Mountain Friends Camp has not turned away a request for financial assistance yet, and I hope we never have to ~ times have been hard and Orion might need assistance for another year as we get our feet under us. And there are far needier families than we, with children who have only dreamed of going to summer camp, for whom Mountain Friends Camp could be an island of peace and play in a year of hardship.
As lights of gratitude and celebration are sparkling within homes and hearts all over the world, please consider sharing some of your light with MFC in the form of a donation. Our financial needs are modest but substantial, as we work to insure that MFC can continue to welcome an increasingly diverse group of young people. In 2015, over 50% of campers received need-based financial aid, and we plan to increase our outreach to under-served communities in the region.
One of the testimonies we value at camp is stewardship~ of our precious environment and our own resources as a community. We envision a future in which my 3-year old will share his brother’s experience at camp, and their children will one day come home from Mountain Friends Camp with stories of their own. After four locations in three states in our first five years of camp, we dream of a home for MFC where we can settle in and focus on nurturing the light in each generation that comes our way.
Yes, those are some big, meaningful goals: Service and Sustainability. And with your help, we think we can do it. The board has been working very hard laying the groundwork, and is so grateful for all the support we have received. We have recently completed the process of acquiring our non-profit status, and your donations are tax-deductible just in time for the end of the year! If you are called to donate to us at this time, here are some ways you can do so:
-$56 will pay for one week of food for one hungry, hard working camper
-$125 will pay for enough tie-dye and silkscreen supplies to decorate t-shirts all summer
-$546 is the real cost for one week at camp. (We charge $400 for the week, and offer camperships as needed to families who need additional assistance)
-$800 will pay for Wilderness First Responder training for a medic at camp
-$5,800 will pay for our space for this summer!
Click here to visit our donations page, with options for donating by check or online via Paypal, as well as matching and other forms of donation.
Thank you all for sharing with us in all the ways that you do, and we hope to see many of you this summer!
Bonny Moss, MFC Board Member and Mother of a Camper
“Amazing aspects. 23 young Friends with some friends in the mix with lots of grown-up to
help; we were able to maintain relatively silence for an hour a day for the seven days I shared. I was impressed and the spirit-lead communication during meeting for worship felt inspired! After the hour of silence we had time for affirmations and conflict resolution. It was so effective to start with praise and frame conflict in solution focused communication. It worked and conflicts were resolved, while (F)friends were held in the light as afterthoughts and forethoughts when conflict emerged.
(F)friendships were forged and the entire time was both exhaustive and inspired in ways that will stay in my heart for years to come. I felt some irony as the continuing committee representative advocating for non-support, while I personally benefitted so greatly from camp. I have decided to ask Las Cruces Meeting for Worship (with the intention of business) to reconsider our choice and include this funding in our IMYM allotment. I think the way to raise Quaker kids is to support them- even if we don’t directly benefit from this support. Knowing that this is happening creates a sense of peace in my heart in ways that I cannot express. I would invite us all to have such an innocent and invaluable experience. Not exactly one paragraph but as close as I can get.
Love and Light,
Erica, adult volunteer”
“There are so many amazing aspects of camp it’s going to be hard to just pick a few. Though I’m sure we all missed Tin Cup, the site was beautiful. I loved all the hikes and getting to sleep several feet off the ground was quite enjoyable. And last but not least, it’s the people that make that wonderful place what it is. From the youngest camper to the oldest coordinator/visitor, each and every person contributes their own spark that makes the camp glow with an irresistible warmth.
For me what makes MFC a Quaker camp is the undeniable sense of equality. It’s amazing, a 5th grader can feel comfortable talking to a senior in high school, which definitely is not something that happens often in an everyday setting. MFC no doubt,has effected me as a person, and as a Quaker. When I get back from camp I seem to forget that not everybody out there has the same beliefs as I do. I see people saying awful things to each other and physically harm them as well. It’s hard to watch,but i try to keep up that never ending feeling of love at camp for even the people who were the ones harming others. With that said, since I got back from camp I have sometimes gotten strange looks for my numerous hugs.
And last a thanks to CO Regional Meeting for their support and donations. It’s so amazing for them to do so. I hope that the donations continue and that they know how much we appreciate their support.
Campers: “MFC will affect my life after camp , because I will take the Quaker testimonies every where I go.”
“I liked meeting people. I learned how to be a better person. I made friends.”
“It’s a lot of fun. They included everyone. They have awesome food. It will affect my life by using all of the SPICES. It’s the Most Amazing thing in the World. I love Mountain Friends Camp”
“I like the activities, the ice-cream, the soda, all the people here, all the meals, and my cabin and small group and the CIT alien day”
“Maybe I’ll do my dishes more when I get home from camp”
Staff: “The kids were amazing and embody Quaker ideals in ways that could inspire ANY meeting.”
“I really liked the Shaggy Peak hike & the overnight, as well as the tradition of all staff having an equal voice in program planning (instead of staff just showing up to director planned activities) I hope these traditions continue.”
Dave Wells is a Friend from Tempe Monthly Meeting, a parent of Mountain Friends Camp campers since our first 2010 pilot program, a fantastic vegan cook who brought solar ovens to our 2013 camp, and a marathon runner too. On April 19 Dave is running the Wenatche Marathon in memory of two beloved IMYM Friends who have recently passed away, Carl Wallen from Tempe Meeting and Rebecca Henderson from Santa Fe Meeting, and as a fundraiser for Mountain Friends Camp. Thanks to Dave and an anonymous donor, all donations up to the first $1500 will be matched dollar for dollar, so give now and mark “marathon fundraiser” in the memo line to double your impact! We rely on donations from our entire community to help Mountain Friends Camp grow sustainably, and remain affordable for lower income families. All donations and pledges received by the end of April are eligible for the matching grant; for more information or to make a pledge, contact our treasurer Eric Wright.