It’s been just over a month since the 2021 session of Mountain Friends Camp ended, and now is an excellent time to look back on an exciting and rewarding summer!
This year marked our first time back at Collins Lake Ranch in nearly two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewing all the changes that occurred while we were gone (including a new yurt for our medic!) was almost as much fun as the plork we did to get everything ship-shape again. From hanging new doors for the yurts to solidifying the rock paths and bringing meal scraps to our (new) resident pig "Zia", we worked and played together each day.
One of the major changes this summer was our attention to COVID safety protocols. In addition to requiring pre-arrival testing for everyone who wasn't fully vaccinated, we took extra measures during camp to prevent transmission of COVID or other diseases. We divided the camp into five different groups called pods, and used them as a guideline for eating & time spent as a group indoors for maximum safety. Luckily, since much of our time was spent outdoors, we were able to mingle and be together in a more relaxed manner and are so glad to report that no one got COVID!
Our group of campers this year was excellent, with half of the 22 campers new to MFC at Collins Lake Ranch (though most had done MFC Family Camp or 2020 Community Camp at Home). We had a large number of first-time staff who were almost all former campers, and together everyone rose to the occasion admirably to make a great support group for a safe and fun summer camp experience. Many thanks to our campers for pitching in every day to build a friendly and resilant community! This summer the enthusiasm campers showed for singing, sharing friendly affirmations, and helping with chores and plork was stronger than ever, and we appreciated everyone's flexibility and cooperation with the changes and safety norms. In the words of one of our campers: “MFC is a family, we all care about each other. MFC is something I look forward to every summer.” This year our "camp family" was extra intergenerational, with six grandparents on staff or volunteering shorter term, lots of siblings in the campers and counselors, and our camp director's two year old son all at camp.
We’ve kept traditions going strong, and the campers loved activities like boating, the cross-lake swim, morning worship, campfire singing, sharing tasty meals, lots of arts and crafts, and sleeping under the stars on the wilderness backpacking trip to Serpent Lake. Thank you to everyone who came to camp, donated, held us in the Light and otherwise made this summer possible!
Theodore Bloyd, Beverley Weiler and Anastacia Ebi, 2021 staff