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