Family Camp News-Single Parent Camperships and More!

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!FamCamp3sm

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!

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Letter from a Camp Mom

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:best reduced size (6)

  1. Fun. It’s fun. Like, really fun.

  2. Plork. Plork is so cool!

  3. Quaker Values. Nowhere else in his life encompasses the Quaker values of peace, community, simplicity, integrity, equality and stewardship all at once.

  4. Inner Light. MFC nurtures the light within him and strengthens that quiet inner voice so essential to a meaningful life.

  5. Staff. The staff is extraordinary ~ we want him to grow up to be like them!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!
Campfire
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!

Yours,
Bonny Moss, MFC Board Member and Mother of a Camper

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Reflections from Campers and Staff 2014

Mountain Friends Camp 2014, reflections from campers and staff.

“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.

-Nicola, camper”

Quotes from Evaluations

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.”

Beverley (68)

Beverley (255)

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Friends in the Sunny (and Snowy) Southwest

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Tuesday April 3: We woke up to a snowy Albuquerque, said goodbye to Karen and headed down south to Las Cruces. Several Friends were out of town, so our potluck was down to three people, but we were very glad for the chance to connect with Micki W and learn from her years of experience with Farm and Wilderness Quaker camps in Vermont. Micki encouraged Mountain Friends Camp to continue and reach out to more non-Quakers, and generously invited us to visit her at Farm and Wilderness in the future! Genevieve and Paul were excellent hosts that evening; we were glad to share their home and pecans from their own trees. Next up was Silver City, where Gila Friends Meeting had arranged an informal lunch meeting to share ideas about Mountain Friends Camp. We enjoyed a long conversation with Marion and Jamie N, and Harold J about our plans for camp, the support from Gila Friends, and how MFC and Monthly Meetings can protect the young people in our care. Harold shared insights gained from five summers working for the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Quaker summer camps; one particularly salient concept he shared concerned how, through mindful discussions and community bonding, the staff “recreate” the program and prepare to nurture and guide campers each summer. We look forward to further discussion with Harold and other Friends from other Quaker summer camps. Wednesday evening we stayed with Nancy, Jim and Milagre C and their sweet dog Coco. The fresh green salsa and tortilla chips were outstanding, as was the conversation and hospitality! We were pleasantly surprised when Milagre asked about coming to camp, as her summer was already fully booked, but we’ll be happy to have her as a counselor in training should she find a way to join us.
Our visit in New Mexico drew to a close, and we pressed onward to Arizona. Tucson was alive with birds, blooming cacti, and of course more wonderful Quakers. Eileen H hosted us and is encouraging the Young Friends in Pima Meeting to consider coming to camp. On Friday evening we met with Pima Friends Jane K and Meredith for discussion and early dinner; later in the evening we shared slides and conversation with three Pima Friends at the Meetinghouse, one who took a brochure for her grandkids and one who felt led to give us a very generous donation. Thanks Pima Meeting! As at so many of our mid-week stops, we regretted not being able to join Friends at Meeting for Worship, but were glad to connect with a few and plant seeds of interest and involvement with our mission. April 7: Saturday saw us in Tempe dyeing Easter Eggs with two families from Tempe Meeting whose kids have been MFC campers since the very beginning. These same great campers and their friends at Tempe Meeting made plans to accompany Ana to Phoenix Friends Meeting on Sunday to share with their (much younger) youth group the Quaker fun that is Mountain Friends Camp. We enjoyed a great breakfast potluck, then joined the First Day group for an Easter story and discussion followed by our Mountain Friends Camp presentation. Thanks to Kim, Adrianna and Brianna for leading the discussion! After our talk the patient Phoenix kids (finally) got to search for eggs. After meeting some stayed to spray paint “MFC” on t-shirts. Look for more opportunities to make or buy a MFC shirt at IMYM this June!

Tempe Young Friends visited Phoenix Meeting with Ana to share their enthusiasm for MFC

Making MFC T-Shirts in Phoenix

Meanwhile, Ariel drove to Flagstaff on Saturday afternoon and arrived just in time to join hosts Kay and Ted B for a wonderful dinner and a trip to the annual Recycled Art Festival! The next morning she joined Flagstaff Friends for Meeting for Worship and a potluck; after the potluck, Flagstaff Meeting was treated to the MFC slideshow. Flagstaff Friends had decided to give a substantial donation to Mountain Friends Camp, and after the slideshow Clerk Steve F took the opportunity to present Ariel with the donation. It was quite the photo op—too bad no one had a camera! Ana caught a ride with Vickey F to Flagstaff later that afternoon, and we went on a hike with Steve, and more Flagstaff Friends Pam and Jim. Vickey and Steve hosted us that night and showered us in warmth and hospitality and pro golf on tv!

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Colorado Springs, Santa Fe and Albuquerque

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Mar 27-April 1
Even though it was technically a day off, with no formal camp events
scheduled, we still had a Quaker-iffic Tuesday! We headed to Boulder to return the projection equipment that we’d used the night before, and the Chataqua wilderness beckoned so we decided to go on a hike as well. Tromping down the trail, we exchanged “hellos” with a few passersby, only to realize that we’d run into IMYM YAF Patricia M! We stopped to chat and catch up, then hurried on our way as we had a few stops to make. We swung by Julia H.’s house in Boulder to talk MFC for a while, then hurried back to the Ireland’s abode where IMYM SYF Damon M-S was meeting us for dinner. We quickly readied a great meal, ate, and talked long into the night.

Wednesday morning we headed into Denver to visit with YAF Sarah T. before continuing on our way to Colorado Springs. A local camper and his family had arranged for a dinner and MFC presentation that evening to be hosted by a potential new camper and her family! The cozy event was fun and informative for all; after a tasty dinner, we showed the slideshow and answered questions about camp. Many thanks to Quetzal and John G. for putting the event together, and for hosting us in Pueblo!

Thursday was a slow day, which Ana used to catch up on a plethora of camp emails, but on Friday we started back out on the road with engines roaring. Our first stop was the Pueblo Nature and Raptor Center, where all three of our hosts were spending the day. We caught most of an up-close and personal presentation featuring several of the birds, and then received a behind the scenes tour of the grounds and facilities led by Quetzal himself. Brimming with new found ornithological knowledge, we said goodbye to the birds and Pueblo and started off for Santa Fe. We arrived later than we meant to, due to a “shortcut” that ended up adding hours to the drive, but were nonetheless right on time for supper with Beverly and Heather, two potential staffers for MFC ’12. We had a great conversation about camp, and hope that they choose to share their talents and skills with us this summer! It was dark when we finally found our home in Santa Fe, Anna and MFC camper Ceryn’s house, but even so they welcomed us with bright smiles. Anna and Ceryn showed us around the next day, and we spent some time preparing for our next visits.

On Sunday Ana headed to Albuquerque while Ariel returned to Santa Fe Meeting for worship, followed by a potluck and MFC presentation. After chowing down on a variety of dishes, Ariel and Ceryn set up the slideshow and made the presentation to a group of about a dozen people. Santa Fe Friends were curious about camp and very supportive. It was nice for Ariel to catch up with the meeting after a year, too, and to report good things about camp last summer and the progress we’re making towards this summer. Although no other younger friends were in attendance at the presentation, it was received very well and we hope to see more Santa Fe Friends at camp this summer!

Mountain Friends Camp presentation in Albuquerque

Albuquerque Mountain Friends Camp Potluck Presentation

Meanwhile, Ana enjoyed worship and fellowship with a large gathering of Friends, including many who were visiting Albuquerque for the White Privilege Conference. The number and spirit of young children in the Albuquerque First Day program was wonderful to see, and Ana was happy to hear from several parents that they hope Mountain Friends Camp is available for their children 5-10 years from now! Kara R, the clerk and our gracious host in Albuquerque, invited Ana to give a brief report during Meeting for Worship for Business, and encouraged Friends to join our MFC potluck Monday evening and the Albuquerque discussion of MFC queries on April 27th. After business meeting, and more fellowship, Ana and Karen hiked at a lovely nature park. That evening Ana joined a dinner party and concert at the home of another new Albuquerque Friend and MFC liaison, Hamish T, joined the April MFC committee conference call and met Ariel at the Rail Runner Station.

Although we received notice from several Friends who were regretfully unable to attend, the Monday evening potluck brought together six adults and two potential campers for a great meal, conversation, slideshow and a few games. Questions ranged from what “plork” projects we’d do this summer, to our Quaker identity as we welcome non-Quakers to participate, to our budget and plans for future IMYM support and fund raising.

Thank you Colorado Springs, Santa Fe and Albuquerque for your friendship and support! Next up on the Quaker Road: Las Cruces, Gila and Pima Meetings . . .

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