The clearing is once again alive with the laughter and screams of campers. After meeting new friends and catching up with old ones over dinner, we held the first Friendship Fire of the summer. During Friendship Fire, we use bow-drills and other friction fire tools to create the first fire of the summer. This fire will burn all summer – we’ll use it to cook our food, light our lodges, and all other kinds of things. After the fire was lit, we all went around one by one to add a stick to the fire and share what we hoped to bring to the Flying Cloud community, what we hoped to learn from Flying Cloud, and what we hoped to leave behind us at home. Here are a few things that were spoken:

“I want to leave electronics behind.”

“I want to bring fun and friendship to Flying Cloud.”

“I want to learn to be in nature.”

“I want to leave behind bullying and meanness at home.”

“I want to work hard and to make friends that I’ll have forever.”

“I want to carve a spoon.”

After that, we sung our closing song and headed off to bed. The next day, we spent the morning learning how to use tools safely, playing name games, learning how to make fires, and finding out about all the chores we do to keep Flying Cloud running. After lunch, the campers and I made an “In and Out” list – values we want in our community, and the things we want out. Here are some things that campers think should be a part of Flying Cloud:




Treat others the way they want to be treated

Hard work



Assuming best intent

On the out list, campers identified behaviors and attitudes that would put rifts in the community, like holding grudges or prejudices. I’m very happy with the values these campers shared and look forward to working together to manifest and uphold them over the summer. We’ll revisit the list to add new entries and talk about what the old ones mean to us.

It’s shaping up to be a great summer at Flying Cloud and I couldn’t be happier to be along for the ride!

Til next time,


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