Joyful Learning &
Adventures at The Mountain
So much is happening at The Mountain! If you were not here over the summer, you missed some great events, as you see below. Dates for 2022-2023 youth camps, CONs, and other programs are posted. 

Please check out our upcoming events, join us to make connections, and immerse yourselves in learning and adventures! We look forward to seeing you at The Mountain soon. 
Youthful sounds – singing, laughter, cheering one another, many enthusiastic conversations, and joyful shouts from Meditation Rock – filled The Mountain throughout the summer.

MountainCampers learned about themselves and their world through adventures in our natural environment, the farm and the lake, hiking through the forest, science and technology projects, social justice sign making, and oh, so much more! 

On departure days, many campers make plans for reconnecting at The Mountain for future camps or CONs. The MountainCamp story is best told by the campers.
“It’s fun getting to know kids from other states. I’m not around a lot of people who care about nature….. I am feeling less afraid of doing things on my own.”

(Ellery C.)

“Workshops teach me new skills, like building a lean-to, learning about plants, animals, and bugs. It is a lot of environmental knowledge that I probably wouldn’t know if I hadn’t gone here.”

(Lily B.)
Outdoor Skill and Adventure

Imagine yourself putting on a harness and stepping over the side of a cliff – this act not only affects who a person is now, but impacts future self-confidence and trust in self and others.

High school youth had the experience of getting outside their comfort zone and developing new skills. Building community through constructive communication and creative problem-solving prepared them to challenge themselves and encourage one another in hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, swimming and canoeing. 

Many Hands Peace Farm Camps

Did you know that our farm now includes poultry, shiitake patch, hoop house, food forest, garden, apiary, and mountain meadow, and soon a greenhouse funded by a grant. 

As the farm has developed, so have the opportunities for youth farm camps. Campers not only learned about our on-site farm, they also participated in Farmer’s Market and field trips for sheep shearing and carding the wool. 

-- (All Summer Campers Exploring Nature's Delights and Experiencing Recreation)

A high school youth leadership program, participants in this six-week session spent a week working in each of six Mountain departments, learning what it means to be part of the overall Mountain team. This year’s special project was to spruce up the Rec Hall bathrooms by painting, decorating, and building shelves – an opportunity to use their newly acquired power tool skills. 

Intergenerational Camp

Imagine The Mountain buzzing with campers ranging in age from age 2 to 76. Many had been MountainCampers, now bringing their families and friends to this special place for a fun-filled event. 
Activities ranged from writing poetry, creating storyboards, building a cob oven near the Craft Barn, touring the farm, walking in the woods, to more adventurous rafting and tubing, or exploring local waterfalls. 

Days started with “morning circle” for singing camp songs, and often ended with s'mores and visiting around the campfire. Activities included hiking, tubing, whitewater rafting, exploring waterfalls, building a cob oven, farm projects, storyboards, and viewing the sun through a special telescope.

Something for all ages and interests! As this eventful week came to an end, several folks were on social media encouraging family and friends to save the date and gather at The Mountain for next years Intergenerational Camp July 23-28, 2023. 
MountainCamp - Lasting Impressions
Not only are youth camps fun and adventurous, they often have a lasting effect on the life direction of campers. The following statement was made in 2004 by Geoff Boyce, who was serving as a Counselor in Training Mentor, after years as a Mountain camper.

“I believe that The Mountain community offers us fleeting glimpses of what the world could be like, where all are valued, where people are empowered to participate, where the earth is held sacred and spirituality nurtured.”
In August, 2022, while participating in a Mountain event, Geoff stated, “Not only was The Mountain important in my youth, my MountainCamp experience has continued to make a difference in who I am as an adult.”
Music at The Mountain
John McCutcheon - Two Songwriting Sessions in May & July

An extraordinary opportunity as students learned from John, a master performer and master teacher. Through individual and small group classes, students learned techniques for songwriting music and lyrics. It was a special treat for staff to hear music wafting through the air as musicians practiced in many outdoor spaces and for staff to be invited to the evening jam sessions as amazing songs were shared around the campfire.

Aaron Shearer Classical Guitar Institute
Imagine an orchestra of thirty classical guitarists playing a Blues piece, Shenandoah, and more! For five days, students were mentored in individual and group classes, with staff and guests invited to final performances. What a treat! Because Aaron Shearer loved outdoor adventure, this program included morning outings of hiking, whitewater rafting, tubing, and exploring waterfalls – a multifaceted program.

Featured teacher and performer was Stephen Mattingly, known throughout the United States and Europe.

Musical Celebration of the Ancient Dwarfed Oak Trees

Our ancient oak trees, up to 600 years old and among the oldest dwarfed white oaks in the world, were the focus of an inspiring celebration. In 2021, The Mountain was inducted into the National Old Growth Forest Network due to our care of these trees.   

In honor of these oak trees, Terry Ashley commissioned a composition. The debut performance of Ode to the Grove, was performed by Amber Ferenz, composer and bassoonist, and Nancy Johnson, pianist. This composition included: Roots and Rain; Trees and Branches; The Trees and Owls Stargazing; Scherzo-Mycelium Music; and Tree Spirits and Wind: A Love Story.   

This event included a geological overview by Bill Jacobs, significance of these mountains for the Cherokee by Freeman Owle, a tour of the oak grove, and dinner including farm produce.

Message from the Director, Steph Anderson

MountainCamp was one of the main reasons I chose to come work for The Mountain. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to go to camp as a child, and then as an adult. 

My many years of summer camp with Girl Scouts truly made me who I am today. I wish that for every child and I will work diligently to expand our programs for youth. Stay tuned for a new and exciting MountainCamp 2023!
Thank you for your support!
There is always so much happening at The Mountain.

Check it out in our archive of Mountain Matters.
Take me to The Mountain!
At the bottom of The Mountain's Home page add your email to sign up for Mountain Matters!
Stay Connected: