Registration Page: Family Camp: Connecting with our Families and the Earth
July 7–14, 2024
This program and the waitlist are full. 2025 Interest Form: https://www.dralamountain.org/program/fc725-family-camp-2025-interest-form/
Nurture family connections while rejuvenating your spirit in the beautiful terrain of Drala Mountain Center. Family Camp is a creative and contemplative retreat the whole family can enjoy. Take time for yourself in the mornings to practice meditation, yoga, and participate in Parenting as Path discussions, while your children participate in enriching activities with friends. The afternoon and evening hours include family visits to the Maitri rooms, hiking to the Stupa, contemplative arts and crafts, free play, song night, a talent show, and a dance party. Throughout the retreat, we will explore Buddhist teachings on the Five Wisdom Energies. Each energy emphasizes a particular element and aspect of wisdom that can assist us in cultivating loving kindness for ourselves while developing compassionate relationships within our families, our communities, and our world.
Stay in comfortable, platform tents among the fresh pine and fragrant summer breezes or enjoy indoor lodging with views of the unspoiled wilderness.
- Tigers 3 to 5
- Lions 6 to 7
- Garudas 8 to 10
- Rites of Passage 9 to 10
- Dragons 11 to 12
- Dharmic Warriors 13 to 18
Experiential activities include craft projects, time outdoors, stories, songs, hikes in the woods, and group games. Children are introduced to sitting meditation and meditative arts as ways to work with their hearts and minds. They are also introduced to the notion of basic goodness as a way to inspire intelligence, compassion, and confidence— all while having fun and developing friendships!
Please note: The Tiger Cubs program for children aged 2 and under is not available this year due to COVID protocols and space limitations.
* Rites of Passage (for children ages 9-10)
This special program marks the transition children begin to make from being dependent on their parents to take on greater responsibility within the family and the community. Through sitting meditation, kyudo (Zen archery), ikebana (flower arranging), haiku, calligraphy, and other meditative arts, Rites of Passage gives children powerful tools to help them care for their own mind and emotions. These tools also empower them to relate to their internal and external worlds with confidence and gentleness. At the week’s end, this transformative program is sealed with a powerful ceremony in which the children take a vow of kindness towards themselves and others. There is an additional fee of $110 Program Tuition per child for Rites of Passage. Rites of Passage will be led by Tessa Laddendorf.
All children and at least one adult must attend at least 5 days of the 6-day program. Additional adults may attend less than the required 6 days. Full attendance helps support the community building of Family Camp, and allows participants to experience the beginning-middle-end journey of the camp— which is part of its magic! Rites of Passage children and their families need to stay through the conclusion of the program to participate in the Rites of Passage Ceremony. If you need to attend only a portion of the retreat, please register using code Special108. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org all family members’ arrival and departure dates. We will adjust your dates and finances and contact you for payment.
Please see this article about Family Camp on our blog: Family Camp at Drala Mountain
The children’s programming is carefully created by the teachers to offer opportunities for contemplative activities at the developmental level of the children in each classroom. In order to support the success of the classrooms it is important for us to know if your child will require any special support to be able to attend to what is offered. Please reach out to Rachel Steele at email@example.com if your child has any special needs or attentional challenges that may need to be accommodated. Once registration has opened, we recommend registering first before reaching out to Rachel, as registrations fill up fast.
Early Registration Recommended
Registration Opens February 1, 2024 at 12pm MT
Space for this program is limited. If you have questions, we recommend you still register to the best of your ability to reserve your spot, and then we will sort out your questions. If you have questions after you register, email is the fastest way to receive a response: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 3 business days for a response. Questions are addressed in the order they are received.
A waitlist will be enlisted as soon as children’s age groups begin to reach their capacity. Waitlisted families will be invited into the program based on time of registration and children’s age group availability.
Our COVID-19 policy requires overnight guests to provide proof of a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival, and to bring sufficient tests to test daily during the stay. Please read and understand DMC’s current COVID-19 policy at this link.
Registration fees include the Program Tuition and Lodging fees. Our regular room rates are discounted to make Family Camp more affordable. Initial housing costs shown include adult meals and lodging, as well as the 1st Adult’s $200 tuition. Tuition for the 2nd Adult ($200) and Child(ren) ($300 each) are added to the total as each individual is added to the registration. Children’s meals and lodging are included in their tuition cost. An additional fee of $110 Program Tuition per child is charged for Rites of Passage. Registration fees cover Drala Mountain Center’s operational costs of facilities, lodging, food, supplies, DMC support staff, and direct program expenses, including a base honorarium for the Family Camp Directors. Lodging costs will be visible when registration opens.
The Heart Offering
Many Family Camp teachers and program staff volunteer their expertise to create the magical container and experience of Family Camp. To show our deep appreciation for all their hard work, we collect a Heart Offering. One hundred percent of this offering goes towards both teaching and non-teaching program staff honoraria. The Heart Offering is our path towards reaching a sustainable family program — we appreciate your support of these dedicated leaders.
Choose ONE payment per family.
- $100 – Jade
- $150 – Gold
- $200+ – Diamond
- Other – Choose an amount that works for your family
Please offer from a place of generosity regardless of the amount. Complete this payment via: Venmo @kelly-lindsey-9 or Paypal @kellyannlindsey.
If you do not have a PayPal or Venmo account, please contact email@example.com to make payment arrangements.
PLEASE NOTE: Drala Mountain Center does not process this payment.
Financial Assistance and Scholarships
Click here to learn more about Financial Assistance and Scholarships. First, register using code Special108 – this registers you without payment. If you receive a scholarship, you will receive your award via email, and we will connect with you for any remaining balance.
Family Camp Directors: Kelly Lindsey and Rachel Steele
Rites of Passage Director: Tessa Ladendorff
Senior Teachers: Judith Simmer-Brown and Richard Brown
Family Camp Leaders
Kelly Lindsey is a Meditation Teacher, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, and Safe and Sound Protocol Provider living in Austin, TX. Kelly’s meditative journey began more than 25 years ago and has woven together many different healing modalities and spiritual practices. Having received extensive training in Counseling Psychology, Somatic Experiencing, Tibetan Buddhism, and Classical Indian Yoga, Kelly […]
Rachel is a longtime educator, working as a teacher at Alaya Preschool the Shambhala inspired Preschool in Boulder Co. for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters Degree in Contemplative Education from Naropa University. She is currently director at Alaya Preschool. Supporting opportunities for children and families […]
Tessa Ladendorff was born into the Shambhala community and has been meditating since the age of 5. She attended her first month-long retreat at 20, which began her life-long love of Dharma practice and study. Tessa has a deep heart connection to the Rites of Passage program, having assisted her mother in teaching it in […]
Judith Simmer-Brown and Richard Brown were both longtime Naropa University professors now Emerita, and longtime Shambhala Buddhist practitioners. Richard founded the Contemplative Education MA program, and in Shambhala was one of the creators of the Rites of Passage curriculum. He has taught the Five Wisdom teachings for decades. Judith was co-founder of Buddhist Studies department, […]