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 firstname.lastname@example.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’…”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”