MFC 2020 Community Camp at Home: Registered Camp Family Information

Welcome to Mountain Friends Camp 2020: Community Camp at Home! We’re hard at work in staff orientation this week and are so excited to see what fun, community, and camp spirit we can make together this summer! If you missed it, see our “Meet the 2020 Staff” newsletter here.

Below you’ll find several important notes and instructions for your family to help everything go as smoothly as possible this summer.

  • Virtual camp via Zoom
    • Before the first day, take a little time to set up your camper for a smooth experience. If you have not already used Zoom for video chatting/meetings, read the instructions here: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-meeting?mobile_site=true. Please also take a look at Zoom’s privacy information here: https://zoom.us/privacy. We will not be recording or taking screenshots other than occasionally, with everyone’s awareness and consent, for promotional purposes.
    • Set up your camper’s hardware. We recommend a desktop/laptop if possible, so that each camper is able to see the group. If not, a tablet or a smartphone will work. If using a handheld device, please have a place to prop it up so it can be used hands-free with the screen remaining visible.
    • Choose a location with enough space for your camper to stand up and move a bit, and also consider location and privacy for other family members (we recommend having your camper’s backdrop be near a wall, rather than a view into shared rooms).
    • For the first 2 days, and ongoing as needed, please have an adult help get your camper connected and able provide ongoing support.
    • If any of this is challenging, please let me know before camp starts so I can help!
  • Buddy Boxes
    • For those registered for Session 1, Buddy Boxes will be mailed to your camper next week. The boxes should arrive by the Saturday before the camp session begins, so you’ll have time to open them ahead of time. We strongly suggest “unboxing” into a larger box/bin, and having an adult on hand with your camper to get started looking through the activities and materials.
    • We’ll be sending Buddy Boxes for Sessions 2 and/or 3 together, so if your camper is signed up for both weeks we’ll send an extra special box with more materials!
    • Siblings will receive shared boxes in most circumstances, with a mix of individual and shared items.
    • “Save for later” items, for those doing Zoom sessions, are labeled and include: Superhero theme day; positive traits wordsearch; electric candle; and pancake party supplies!
  • What to expect from zoom sessions
    • Zoom schedule:
      • Monday-Thursday 1-3 pm (Mountain Time) Zoom camp activities
      • Friday 1-2 pm plus a special 6-7:30 pm evening campfire/creativity night.
      • I will email the zoom session link the Saturday before each week, this link is for you family only and not to be shared with anyone.
    • In general, sessions will have a combination of “full camp” activities, “camper’s choice” elective activities, and time for sharing and games with your camper’s assigned small groups and counselors.
    • Supervision during camp sessions is still the responsibility of the parent/guardian. We will be engaging with campers and sharing activities, but don’t have the ability to provide physical supervision of safety and well-being over Zoom.
  • Camper Behavior expectations
    • We’ll be setting specific camp norms with campers, to help everyone have a good experience together, but in the meantime campers should be ready to:
      • Engage and share
      • Listen to the counselors
      • Respect everyone in the community
      • Have fun!
  • Camp Fees
    • Pay any remaining camper fees by mail: Mountain Friends Camp, 2455 N Race St, Denver, CO 80205
    • Or online at mountainfriendscamp.org/donate page, with a note of your camper’s name and week(s).

Please let me know if you have any remaining questions, or ideas for how we can best support your family this summer. Thank you for joining us in this new adventure!

Anastacia Ebi

Camp Director

435-232-1333 / director@mountainfriendscamp.org

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Sad news, cancelling all in-person summer sessions of Mountain Friends Camp

Dear Friends,

I have difficult news to share with you today. The Mountain Friends Camp Board met last weekend, (virtually, of course!) to discuss the upcoming camp plans. After much heart-felt discussion and discernment, the Board has decided to cancel plans for in-person camp programs this summer. We anticipate that there will be a variety of feelings and thoughts about these changes, and we will be reaching out in the next week to individual camper families who have registered, to review next steps. I will host a Q&A session live via Zoom, to answer your questions and give everyone a chance to share. This call is scheduled on Saturday, May 9th, at 5 pm Mountain Time, for anyone who wishes to participate and share. Click here to sign up for this and future events

In the next few weeks, the Board will be busy developing ideas and ways to build community and support for our campers this summer through other remote means. The options we’ve discussed include virtual camp programs and activities, and maybe even a “camp-in-a-box” mail subscription! We welcome your feedback and ideas about how we can continue to further the mission of MFC:

 

“To provide a camp experience, grounded in the Quaker values of peace, community, simplicity, equality, integrity, and stewardship, for a diverse community of young people and adults. At camp, we are inspired by the Quaker ideal of “letting our lives speak” by putting our values into practice. We seek to minimize our environmental footprint and maximize our engagement with nature.”

Our first priority is the health and well-being of our campers and their families, our staff, our host community at Collins Lake Ranch, and the larger regional community. The risks and uncertainties of this pandemic are beyond what our staff and the Ranch are equipped to prepare for and handle this summer. The regional and national situation is changing quickly, and while there is a chance that restrictions on gatherings and businesses will be lifted by mid-June, we feel the need to make the best decisions we can, with the information we have at the given moment. If the wider health situation improves substantially, there may be opportunities for small-scale, local, camp reunions or outdoor activities this summer or fall, and we will update you as the months proceed. Until our incredible camp community can gather in person again, we hope you take good care of yourself, your family, and those in your communities who need the most support.

In light of offering virtual and other media options for camp this summer, our aim is to extend our focus, resources, and plans to include preparing for the 2021 camp season. If at all possible, we’ll be back together at Collins Lake Ranch. The Board invites you to continue to hold Mountain Friends Camp in the light, as we discern our plans for the future, relying on the strength of our vibrant Quaker and wider community. We want you to know that we are in this time together, learning new ways to take good care of each other, and discovering our way forward, with gratitude, hope, and trust!

In the Light,

Anastacia Ebi

Mountain Friends Camp Director, on behalf of the Mountain Friends Camp Board

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Letter from the camp director: COVID-19

Dear Friends,

As we all follow the evolving COVID-19 crisis, I know we all share a lot of concerns and hopes for the well-being of our loved ones and communities.
With so much uncertainty and change, it is hard for any of us to plan, but we want to share current thinking with you about Mountain Friends Camp.

At this time, we plan to assess the possibilities for the summer season over the next month. We hope to have more clarity on our summer plans by May 1st, pending any national and local health updates. We are deeply hopeful that the public health crisis will have been addressed to the point where we are able to proceed with our plans for camp this summer, as always with much attention to safety and hygiene while at camp! It is also possible that COVID-19 will continue to advance in ways that make us change these plans, either due to the health department or travel restrictions or our own careful discernment about what is best for our campers and community.

If you are already registered for camp, or plan to do so soon, we are remaining open to registrations and proceeding with cautious hope. Please do not make final travel plans, purchase airline tickets or other non-refundable decisions at this time. I’ll continue to send updates as events progress. You can also consider buying the travel/camp tuition protection plan offered through CampDocs.com, our registration company (please read their terms carefully to understand what is and is not covered). If we do have to cancel sessions, we will of course provide a full refund of camper fees. I’m always more than happy to check-in with you individually about your plans and questions, understanding that information is updating on a rapid pace.

Camp Staff, thanks to all who have already applied for this summer! I so hope we all get to come together and make a wonderful experience for the campers. I’ll be in touch as we learn more and hear from you. We are continuing to welcome new applications as well.

We are not hosting any in-person camp events this spring, at least not until further notice. We are thinking of ways to connect virtually and provide some of the spirit and fun of camp at home, so check back and follow our facebook page (facebook.com/MountainFriendsSummerCamp/) for more information. I welcome your ideas too!

 A few resources you might find helpful:

Every year we rely on our wider community for support and gifts of many kinds, and I know this will be true more than ever this year. I am so grateful for each of you, and the community we have built and nurtured at MFC over the years and know that we will proceed through these challenging times with open hearts and careful attention to Spirit and science!

I am thinking of all of you, and sending virtual hugs and handshakes.
Ana Ebi
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Remembering Senta

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 director@mountainfriendscamp.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’…”

-Beverley Weiler

“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.”
-Eric Wright

“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.”

-Lucy Bauer

“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.”

-Ana Ebi

Senta at the ropes course, 2016

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Board Weekend in Denver

Mountain Friends Camp thanks the Mountain View Friends Meeting for your warm hospitality during our annual board board meetingweekend 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!board meeting
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

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