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