Our next stop after Flagstaff was the Durango area. On Wednesday afternoon we met up with Cortez Friend Linda R. for a tasty lunch, during which she shared some of the insights she has gained from several years of running a day camp in the area. Linda is hoping to free up her schedule to join us for a session this summer! We could tell what an asset she’ll be to Mountain Friends Camp from our long conversation about how to integrate more nature and ecology into our programming. Although plans for a potluck and MFC presentation at the Durango meetinghouse that night fell through, the Telep family welcomed us into their home outside of Durango for the night. We cooked a meal and enjoyed good conversation and great music (of course!) before heading to bed. Many thanks for a restful stop! We left some brochures with them to share with the Durango Friends that we missed. The next morning we got back on the road, as we were trying to get to Salt Lake City by that evening. We stopped at Moab Friend Cynthia S.’ house to scarf down the lunch we’d packed and to chat about camp. Though the visit was short, it was a very pleasant one. Cynthia updated us on Moab Meetings discussions about MFC and potential campers and staff from the community. Castle Valley, where Mountain Friends Camp was last year, is just outside of Moab– so of course we had to stop! The sight of the rusty canyon walls and the winding Colorado River brought back many happy memories as we made our way to the site of MFC ’11; so did the towering rock formations looming above the valley.
The first thing we saw upon arriving at the house was the sign that Ariel and a camper painted last year; the next things we noticed were the rows of baby fruit trees swaying happily in the wind. The trees were planted in holes that the staff and campers of MFC labored over last summer–cracking that hard, red dirt was no easy task! But we managed to, and can see the results of all that sweat and love just a short time later. We snapped a few pictures to share, picked up some camp supplies that were left over from last year, and continued on our way to Salt Lake City, where we were hosted by the Box-Viavant family.
Ana arose early Friday morning to attend a conference to which she won a full scholarship, the Utah Society of Fund Raisers “Fund Raising Day”. It was eyeopening and encouraging to interact with over a hundred professional fund raisers–and we’ve already started using some new outreach techniques for camp! The workshops and seminars lasted all day, and that evening we had dinner with our hosts and shared pictures of camp and ideas for the future of MFC. The next morning we had breakfast with Salt Lake Friend Charlene W., and then headed back home to Logan. The whirlwind three-week trip was over, with a grand total of 15 meetings visited, 8 potlucks held, 11 presentations given, over $3000 in pledged donations from four individuals and three Meetings, and many, many Friends reached. Thank you everyone for your hospitality and support of Mountain Friends Camp–we couldn’t have done it without you!