Flying Cloud is a primitive living skills camp for boys ages 11-14. Connected to the rest of the world only by a dirt track, Flying Cloud is in a mountainside clearing surrounded by hundreds of acres of wilderness. Living at Flying Cloud isn’t easy, but it is simple. Every day we work hard to build a strong, loving, joyous community; the time we put into honoring the spirit, both internally and in the world around us, makes Flying Cloud a place of amazing growth. We do activities based on the landscape around us, and our best games are the ones we develop ourselves. Through our daily actions, we discover what it is to work as a community and to lead a group forward from within. Our ceremonies and conversations create a space where we can learn from one another. When a boy or a man spends time at Flying Cloud, he learns that he himself is a sacred being, to be cared for and treated with respect.
Knowing that each individual’s labor affects every other individual, Flying Cloud campers work hard gathering and cutting fire wood needed for cooking and light, hand pumping water to drink, collecting ice (cut from the pond during the preceding winter) to keep our food cold and taking turns cooking delicious meals over an open fire or in a wood fired oven to feed the entire camp. Campers harvest saplings in the surrounding forest that become the bones of the round lodges that they sleep in.
Campers can learn to start a fire with bow drill, track animals through the woods, build a shelter with natural materials, stalk without making a sound, and gather wild edibles to prepare a tasty salad.
Campers collect materials from the woods to create dazzling crafts to take home, like clay pots, wooden spoons, gourd water bottles, birch bark baskets, and much more.
Frisbee golf, Sticks, Kingdoms and Battle Blanket are just a few of the many active games played and enjoyed by all. These games thrive on high energy and a non-competitive spirit.
Traditions and Ceremonies
Flying Cloud’s intentional focus on ceremonies is an important part of our camp. Returning campers play important roles holding the traditions (four roles are assigned to senior campers) and teaching the new campers. Fire is a special element – our Firekeeper lights one at the beginning of the year which feeds our special Naming Ceremony. Here each camper receives a unique name, inspired by the natural world, which reflects his strengths and potential.
Trips and Adventure
With a fleet of canoes on nearby Lake Ninevah and the Catamount, Appalachian, and Long Trail systems within easy reach, all campers have opportunities to go on day hikes as well as extended, overnight trips.