It has been a record-breaking half-season. Record-breaking amounts of rain! So much so in fact, that we at Flying Cloud have decided to give a nickname to what has truly been a historic session, so that it can live on in Flying Cloud history forever: We are calling it “The Deluge”   They say if you listen closely, you can still hear the squelching of water in our boots.

That said, in spite of all of the challenge that comes from living outside with this kind of weather, it has been an incredible session. We’ve been learning lessons from all the rain, like the importance of thermal layering, and proper rainproofing preparedness for our bunks. It’s also been a powerful experience for me personally, to see the ways that our community’s energy can change with the weather. A four-day stretch of nonstop rain can bring some pretty low spirits with it. But the afternoon on the 5th day when the sun comes out for a few hours? All of a sudden, everyone is having a fantastic day.

The rain also hit our Honoring evenings hard this summer. At Flying Cloud, the Honoring is the culmination and celebration of our three-day camp rite of passage; a powerful evening of group affirmation and merriment, including the burning of a massive camper-built bonfire in our honoring circle.It rained on our first honoring of the session. For our second, we almost made it – we were working on a full day of dry weather, only for it to absolutely pour on us in the evening as our camper leaders were lighting the fire. The Deluge strikes again! We finally caught a break this afternoon, picking up where we left off in the downpour, in what was far and away the most beautiful sunny day we’ve had yet this session.

In the two Honoring evenings, these community members received their Flying Cloud Words:

First Honoring:


In the stillness of his glade

Where the brook flows softly on

The raven offers peace


Where moonlight shines

In midnight’s hour

Our circles forged

By panther’s power


Through summer’s glow, when joy abounds

And winter storms, when spirits tire

All hearts are fed by elken fire


Tall amongst the rolling fields

The ash tree greets the first star’s light


Through hemlock’s gently bending boughs,

The swallow swoops from nested home

A joyous trail resounds in song


Reflected in a still, clear pool

The windborne crow takes flight

Black rainbow wings stir rippling waves

Of shimmering forest light


Where waters meet and all things grow

Deer bend to drink, so sure and slow

Roots hold the earth; the ripples glow


Robin, crow and butterfly

Tales create and ember’s warmth


Diving through its own reflection

With comet’s colors on its back

The turtle greets the pond


The peregrine dives from its warm nest

In tune with the flashing sky


Across the burned meadow, the jay calls at dawn

Through the tall grass, the fox finds its way


As sun touches earth and frost thaws

The bear, emerging, looks to the stars

Second Honoring:


From his streambed home where otters play

To the ocean’s vast unexplored depths

The salmon quests forth and returns


As chickadees rejoice amidst spring’s thaw

Hands come together, sowing seeds in song


Beneath canyon walls carved by the currents

The fox shares the river’s gift


Dancing on breezes

Wings glimmering with fire

The butterfly shares the hearth’s glow


Step by muddy step

the beaver finds its way

To turn the flowing waters

and greet the rising day


Through the patient canyon

The river trickles its way

Spinning the wheel round once more


Still pools from crashing waters

Held in the badger’s heart

Tend flowers of tomorrow


Watching the river shape the stone,

the otter at the cairn

Each day of sunshine is a gift

For all of you folks getting ready to pick up one of these excellent young Flying Clouders on departure day, don’t forget to bring a raincoat – I hear it’s supposed to rain!

See you then,


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