Camp Flying Cloud is a Quaker
summer camp in Vermont
. It is part of the Farm and Wilderness
group of summer camps. Clothing is optional; this is known as fifth freedom: Freedom from un-necessary clothing. You could also chose to wear a loincloth
, which was kinda neat.
Campers live in tipi
s. Each tipi has 4 campers and one counsellor. Chores are on a 11 day rotation, and include cooking, gardening, wood gathering, and showering. Showering is a chore
, because cold water is piped directly from the stream, through an old radiator
. A fire is built under the radiator to heat the water. Of course, no matches or lighter fluid
are used - one fire is created with a bowdrill at the beginning of the summer
, and it never goes out.
Every day, there's Quaker meeting for worship
, east-coast style (with lots of silence). Then there are chores, games, and other normal
summer camp activities.
Then, about once every week or two, there's a Wachipi
. This involves a really big fire - it takes a whole day to collect logs for the fire - before its lit, it's about 15 feet high. Campers dance around the fire, and sing, and stuff. And there is a naming ceremony
The naming ceremony is one of the most interesting parts of FC. Before each Wachipi, a few campers are called away by someone in a mask - they were on their Quest
. Unlike traditional Native American vision quest
s, these only last a day, but campers on quests do not eat or drink, or speak.
At the Wachipi , the campers who had returned from their Quest were given a Flying Cloud name, like "Thunder Brother Brings Peace
". Before the name was given out, the assembled campers and councelors were asked to describe good things about the person - the person in the mask
(who had some name I don't remember) acted as the MC
This sounds pretty corny, but it's actually pretty cool. The name represents the person's good qualities, so you never tell anyone your name - that would be bragging
. Other people can, of course, tell people your name. I guess I don't really mind tooting my own horn - my Flying Cloud Name was "Coyote Pack" - because I had trickster
-like qualities and was a good team player
I think Eric Raymond
would like Flying Cloud.