As the summer draws to a close, the Clearing is busy with the sounds of campers playing, crafting, and getting ready to take their own piece of Flying Cloud with them out into the rest of the world. The end of the summer is always bittersweet, but at FC, we’ve been almost too busy to see it coming!

After coming back from trips, we held our second honoring of the summer. Once again, the campers built up a huge fire, and this time we had plenty of guests, with all of Saltash Mountain Camp and Red Spruce Grove coming up to help us celebrate individuals in our community. After some singing and a story, eight members of our community got their turn to be appreciated in front of everyone and to receive their Flying Cloud Words, short poems that use nature imagery to describe their best qualities and challenge them to live up to this high bar. Next came more singing and dancing, and even the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits. The Words given at this ceremony are listed below.

Our oldest campers also just spent time out in the woods on Earthwalk, a capstone survival challenge where they do their best to use the skills they’ve learned throughout their time at Flying Cloud. Although the experience can be exhausting, it brings them together as a group and helps them start to think about how they will seek out and face challenges they will come across once they leave Flying Cloud for the last time as campers.

All of camp is now in full wrap-up mode, finishing crafts, making yearbook pages, and preparing for fair by smoking jerky and making hot sauce. We’re going out to catch crickets tomorrow, so be sure to come and see us on the big day!

This summer sure has had its ups and downs, but looking around our evening appreciation circle, it’s as stirring as ever to see young people speaking with gratitude and affection about their friends. There sure is plenty of magic up on the mountain, and soon it will be up to each one of us to carry that magic out into the other parts of our lives.

That’s all for now, the most recent Flying Cloud Words can be found below, see you at fair!

Still lake. At sunrise, loons
Dive and return, sharing song

Peregrine dives and dives again
For the joy and thrill of flight

Quiet stars gaze down upon
A moonlit dance to bring the dawn

Raven circles above the smoke
Of fire lit from a single ember

Constellations wheel and burn above,
Guiding our warm firelit dance

In the glistening pool the black bear
Following roots to the spring

Loon song and firefly sparks.
Summer’s fire in tomorrow’s hearth.

Into the circle the melody darts,
Sighing, we breathe sweet song

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