Update on Flying Cloud and Red Spruce Grove
After extremely careful consideration, the Farm & Wilderness Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees came to unity with the difficult decision to pause operations of Flying Cloud (FC) and Red Spruce Grove (RSG) for Summer 2024. For more details, please continue reading.
Flying Cloud and Red Spruce Grove each have a distinct history at Farm & Wilderness.
For nearly 60 years Flying Cloud has provided an off-the-grid experience for boys, and more recently non-binary youth. At its peak, FC’s enrollment was over twice the size it is today.
Red Spruce Grove, for girls and non-binary campers, started as an outpost program of IB (now Firefly Song) several years ago, and was expected to operate sustainably at 15-20 campers per session. Unfortunately, we have been unable to meet that enrollment level. Additionally, the resources needed to operate RSG are far beyond what was originally envisioned.
Despite efforts to attract and engage more camp families and campers to FC and RSG over the past few years—both before and after the pandemic—our enrollments are still below what we need for program and financial sustainability.
The Great Flood of Summer 2023 had a profound impact in Plymouth and the surrounding communities. Our rural location sustained serious damage to public and private roadways, bodies of water, beaches, and trails. Local emergency services were stretched beyond capacity. This summer emphasized the increasing challenges associated with operating our network of camps in general, and supporting off-the-grid, remote camps specifically.
The vulnerability of our off-the-grid and remote camps, coupled with low enrollment in recent years call us to take a step back. We need to assess how we can sustainably operate these distinctive programs in ways that attract more families and campers.
Over the next 9-12 months, a dedicated group, including staff, Trustees and FC and RSG alums, will assess a variety of factors and craft recommendations to the Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees on what’s required to operate distinctive and more financially sustainable off-the-grid camps.
We are eager for your input in this process. You can provide your thoughts and ideas using the form below. All feedback will be carefully reviewed by the planning group.
We truly appreciate your understanding as we work through these challenges. We remain committed for F&W to be a place of Joyful Play, Purposeful Work, and Rugged Outdoor Living.
We welcome your questions, feedback, and suggestions at any time during this process in the form below.