Flying Cloud is a place apart. Connected to the rest of the world only by a dirt track, Flying Cloud finds home in a mountainside clearing surrounded by hundreds of acres of wilderness. Here, campers learn to live simply, free from the trapping of modern living. Leaving watches and electricity behind, Flying Cloud comes alive with the enchanting sounds of nature and the hard play and hard work of boys and young men: bare feet running across the earth, rollicking laughter, a crackling fire, water gurgling as it tumbles into the stream from a nearby pond, voices chanting in harmony over a beating drum, an old water pump squeaking as it movies up and down. With the grass beneath their feet and nurtured by the care of supportive adults, campers are set to enter a program full of exciting choices:
Woods Skills: Campers learn to start a fire with a bow drill, build a shelter with natural materials, stalk through the woods without making a sound and gather wild edibles to prepare a tasty salad.
Crafts: Campers collect materials from the woods around them to make a dazzling set of crafts to take home, like clay pots, wooden spoons, gourd water bottles and birch baskets.
Games: Frisbee golf, Sticks, Zairi and Canball are just a few of the many active games played daily and enjoyed by all.
Simple Living: Knowing that each individual’s labor affects each 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 proceeding 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.
Traditions and Ceremonies: At the beginning of each summer, a returning camper-the fire keeper-uses a bow drill to spark the fire which stays lit throughout the summer. This fire becomes the center of FC’s Naming Ceremony. Here each camper receives a unique name that is inspired by the natural world, reflects his strengths and his potential.
Trips and Leadership Training: Many Flying Cloud campers find adventure in the 3,500 acres of Vermont woods and mountains in which we live. They also have the opportunity to explore the mountains, river and rocks of New England. FC also has a very active camper leader program in which older, returning campers earn significant opportunities for leadership within the community.
Equipped with greater self-confidence and leadership skills, a new found sense of belonging and a deeper spiritual awareness, campers leave Flying Cloud as vibrant young men with skills, stories and friendships that last a lifetime.