Celebrating Youth at The Mountain
It is a delight having youth CONs at The Mountain again after two years of limited youth programs due to COVID precautions.The Intermediate CON was March 4-6, the Elementary CON March 18-20 and we look forward to High School (March 25-27) CONs.

We are very appreciative of Ivy Breivogel, who has been the CON coordinator working with PALs (Peer Advocate Leaders) and Advisors to provide these important experiences for our youth. Ivy has many years of experience as a MountainCamper and MountainCamp leader.

The Youth CONference is a gathering of youth and advisors from congregations all over the southeast (and sometimes beyond!). The weekend program is filled with a variety of workshops, activities, good food, a safe environment and warm, cozy cabins. Youth build relationships with current and new friends as they contribute to times of fun, reflection and spiritual growth through worship.
The theme for Spring CONs is “Fairy Tales.” The workshops include storytelling through song with Ariel, a Chinquapin hike with Red Riding Hood and Granny, exercise and espionage (obstacle course and field games) with Peter Pan, vision boarding with Rapunzel, and campfire cooking with Hansel and Gretel!
We were delighted that so many participants spoke to what their CON experiences mean to them:
I really admire the way The Mountain teaches youth and children how to live sustainably and treat the earth with respect. I like talking about caring for the earth and seeing the effects of what we do. ~~Fiona A.

The youth program at The Mountain serves as a place for kids to learn about themselves in a safe community where we put a lot of focus on inclusion and acceptance. ~~Isa R.

Unitarian Universalists children and youth can be islands in a huge sea. It is easy to start thinking that our families are weird or something is wrong with me, because their friends are involved in other religions and believe something else. When the youth come to a CON, it is amazing to them. Every time I have brought new kids to a CON, on the way home they say, “I didn’t realize there are so many of us.” It is so important for being able to see this, it is exciting to know we are not an island.

For me, The Mountain Endowment represents hope and security. I feel secure and confident that one day the Endowment Fund will be strong enough to support programming, especially youth programming.

~~Joy Irwin, CON Advisor and Mountain Trustee

Youth Leadership and Ministry Programming
During the Intermediate CON, Advisors were invited to meet with Mountain leadership to discuss current initiatives and possibilities for the future. 

There was a strong consensus that The Mountain is an ideal environment for strengthening current programs and providing additional programs for youth leaders. 

We are exploring these possibilities and encourage input about how we move forward to realize this potential. 
An upcoming Mountain Matters will focus on all the details of MountainCamp. Until then stay up to date with The MountainCamp on our webpage, Facebook group to learn more.

MountainCamp is akin to an expanded CON experience. This year we will provide a variety of choices, including traditional camp experience, outdoor adventures, expanded Farm Camp, counselor training, ASCENDER and more. There's something for all ages and interests.

Camps are filling up quickly so consider registering soon.

Your donations to The Lee Knight Campership Fund can make MountainCamp & FarmCamp
possible for a child or youth to experience.

Each year we provide Camperships so more children can benefit from The MountainCamp experience.

The Mountain is passionate about inclusion and helping families navigate financial hardship in order to provide interested youth with the give the gift of MountainCamp. The amount of camperships may vary depending upon the needs of eligible families and the amount of funding available each year. 
Contributions for Mountain Camperships may be made by individuals as well as congregations.
Thanks to your support, the Mountain Campership 
Fund will bring smiles to the faces of many young campers and memories that will last a lifetime!
The Mountain Gift Shop
Check out the expanded gift shop when you are at The Mountain, or online. These items are great for personal use as well as gifts. 
Steph Anderson (Executive Director) & Beverly Cree (Mountain Advancement) modeling Mountain clothing and water bottles, as they work together for the future of The Mountain.
While the youth were at The Mountain for the recent CON, it was a fun opportunity to model some of the clothing, and to display other items.
As illustrated in the photos, there are various styles and colors of shirts, jackets, caps, scarves, and drink containers with The Mountain logo. These items can be great conversation starters.

In fact, in 2012, while wearing a Mountain t-shirt, a member was asked about The Mountain. This conversation resulted in twelve refugee immigrant and homeless teens being granted full scholarships to MountainCamp. 

That was ten years ago, and many youth still talk about the significance of that camp experience in their lives. We don’t know the potential impact of telling others our stories about The Mountain. Let's not keep secret how The Mountain has helped shape lives.
In addition to logo items, the gift shop stocks other things which reflect our values and what is produced at The Mountain. This includes solar-powered flashlights, head lamps, and lanterns which include USB charging ports; cards with photos of the ancient oak grove and other Mountain places; books of nature scenes and mushroom guide; and many farm products, including herbal teas or herbal salve, ginseng or mushroom tincture, and garlic granules. 
Scott (Guest Services), Linda (volunteer), and Tanner (Communications)
There is always so much happening at The Mountain.

Check it out in our archive of Mountain Matters.
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