Epistle 2012

To all Friends everywhere,

Thirty friends (week one) and twenty-eight friends (week two) gathered in the shadow of the Swatch Range in Tincup, Colorado from June 23 to July 7, 2012 for fun, community, and testimony of our Quaker values.Mountain Friends Camp week 1 group pic

As the sun rose each morning, friends were awakened by the joyous voices of singing counselors spreading inspiration. As everyone gathered in a quiet ring before each meal, lovingly made to suit every dietary need, the smells of the meal filled our hearts and prepared us for the coming activities.

The volleyball court was a place of gathering and free time activities every day. As sand flew up and screaming and shouting filled the air, the volleyball bounced back and forth and our ever-shifting “Quaker Rules,” made sure that everyone had a good time playing.

The collaboration of the group was truly remarkable. We worshipped every day, with each person’s silence illustrated by a doe walking in the woods during one memorable meeting. When we broke the silence with affirmations one could tell by the meeting of eyes across the circle that a powerful sense of unity existed among us.

Mother Nature challenged our spirits during both of our all-day outings. Pine trees blew in the wind and hail pelted the tarps that our groups huddled under. At times, it seemed as though the elements were relentless. But the rain was appreciated given the fires blazing in other parts of Colorado, and being cold was the least of our concerns because we had laughter and hugs to warm our hearts. The canoeing adventures were particularly memorable. When the sky cleared and boats were pushed into the water, everyone took a turn paddling around the placid lake. And at the end of the day we cuddled by a warm fire in the rustic lodge with hot cocoa and singing into the night.

Another particularly memorable activity was playing “predator and prey” in the woods behind camp. Carnivores stalked omnivores and herbivores who hid breathlessly behind young aspen trees and who cooperatively protected one another by darting out and distracting the outnumbered predators. Food and sustenance wandered the woods while human impact and natural disaster played their part too.

Hiking, plork (play+work) and arts and crafts were daily events, as was having a “secret friend” where we exchanged notes and trinkets. Of course plork, which followed morning meeting, never seemed like work as we cleaned, shoveled, hammered and chopped together, and hiking opportunities allowed us all to be carried away by the majestic beauty of the high Rocky Mountains.

In Tincup, Colorado, nestled at 10,186 feet warm hearts huddled around a fire that will blaze for many years to come.

Respectfully Submitted,

Mountain Friends Camp 2012 Epistle Committee
Maygen, Henry, Jonas, Ceryn, Tynan, Will and Julia

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