Mountain Mamas!

Wednesdays, 9 am – 12 pm.

May 1-29, 2019. Various Trailheads

Month of May (5 sessions) $99 | Four Session Punch Pass (never expires) $79 | Drop-In $25 | + tax

Mountain Mamas meets each week to hike, connect, and share. Through exercise, reflection, mindfulness, and nature-connection, you will find time for self-care and for creating community, while getting a good dose of nature and exercise endorphins.

Our Practices:

  1. Fitness and Nature-Connection –Regular exercise alone is a tonic for health and wellness, by combining exercise with nature we experience benefits for the body, mind and the soul.
  2. Sit Spots – A form of mindfulness in nature where one can slow-down to see, hear and experience nature, while practicing mindfulness or journaling.
  3. Reflection and Gratitude – Weekly discussion and journaling topics provide an opportunity to reflect on various aspects of motherhood and life.
  4. Connection with other Mamas – Share the joys and challenges of motherhood and life with other women.

Our Fitness Goal: Summit Santa Fe Baldy!

Need childcare? Please inquire: katie@sfmountainkids.com

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Secret Language of Birds and Bugs! – July 2018

Our campers LOVED “The Secret Language of Birds and Bugs” week! What a natural theme to enjoy at our favorite Mountain Kids! locations.

5 to 7-year-olds

On Monday we adventured to the Beaver Ponds, where we had Wade Harrell from The Harrell House Bug Museum identify all the bugs we found during our hours of bug hunting! We split downed tree trunks, looked under dead bark, meandered through tall grass, and still never ceased to see new, exciting creatures!

On Tuesday we hiked up Deer Creek, where our campers would sum up our day with one word: MUD! A beautiful hike through mud, a nice picnic in mud, games in mud – nothing but mud! Tuesday called for some great photos and tons of dirty fun.

Wednesday and Thursday were also great! We paired a lot of active games with education and opportunities to see some extraordinary creatures. We began Wednesday with some rejuvenating swimming and courageous rock jumping for the daring at Abiquiu Lake and ended with a trip to the Santa Fe Raptor Center. Here we saw such beautiful birds all up close! Some of our favorites were the Bald and Golden Eagles, and Barn Owls – so pretty.

Thursday, we played hours of Capture the Flag down the Little Tesuque trail! Such fantastic teamwork and equally impressive strategies were on display from both groups. By the time we were all covered in sweat and fishing twigs our of our hair, it was time to head over to the Harrell House Bug Museum to see their widely impressive 4000+ bugs on display! Our bravest campers even held a furry tarantula, a colossal millipede and more!

8 to 12-year-olds

This was a week and a half at Mountain Kids! Our week was filled with (unsurprisingly) bugs and birds, as well as an insane amount of water play! On Monday, a local entomologist helped us hunt unusual insects at the beaver ponds, and we managed to get our kids home with a thousand-year storm at our heels. Fueled by that rain, we went to our favorite swimming holes at Deer Creek on Tuesday. We got wet and muddy exploring the recently flooded wash and the waterfalls that had come to life with the excess of rainwater.

On Wednesday, we did even MORE swimming in Abiquiu Lake and went to the Santa Fe Raptor Center. This was a new location for Mountain Kids!, and it rocked! None of us (as far as I know) had ever been so close to owls and eagles before. On Friday, we had a leisurely day of capture the flag and dam building at Little Tesuque and rounded out the week at the Harrell House Bug Museum.

Whew! What a week. See you next time!

Thanks to everyone that participated in our Secret Language of Birds and Bugs week. The counselors had just as much fun as we hope all of our campers did. Until next week Mountain Kids!

July 3, 2017: Digging into the Past, Week 1, Galisteo Basin

Today was an adventurous, hot and muddy day, and boy did we have fun! The morning was mellow with all the new campers shuffling in. Some decided to make the art project which was nature journals and some decided to play Park Ranger.

We circled up afterwards and had a great time playing a name game, and learning how to stay safe and have fun at camp. Next up was eating our snack while hearing an incredible story about archeology. We talked about how to be archeologists, and our plans for the week ahead. We then got ready to load into Steve, our adventure van. After water bottle re-fills, bathroom breaks and buckling, we were ready to hit the road!

The day began with some good clean fun, and ended with the joyful abandon of bug catching, mud slides and mud balls!

We arrived at the Galisteo Basin excited to see what we could find. Specifically we were looking for colorful rocks to make paint with, clay, and other clues to the past.

First off on the trail we found an old still working windmill! It was so neat to see it pump water up from the ground with wind power right before our very eyes. Back on the trail, we soon found an entire old ruin, a perfect find to practice being archeologists! We looked for clues about what this old ruin might have been and made some educated guesses. We also found what we thought were bells from a distance, and turned out to be a complete mystery when examined up close. (See photo, ideas about what this is are welcome!)

Afterwards, we happily trotted down the trail until we began to descend into a tiny canyon that had really unique and interesting rock formations. The colors kept changing from pure white to dark burgundy, to yellow ochre and varying shades of browns, greens and blacks. After finding many specimens of different colors, we ate our lunches and chatted about fun things.

Then off to the river, which was a short drive down the road to Galisteo, a tiny cute town with a beautiful river running through it. In this spot we found an excellent area of deep clay for making things and playing. The kids mostly enjoyed playing in the river, collecting bugs and tadpoles, making mudslides and mud balls and other imaginative and joyful activities!

After such wet, muddy fun there were lots of clothes to change! After putting on dry clothes, we drove home, laughing and smiling the whole way. What a fun day and an awesome group of kids.  We are looking forward to more historical and playful adventures in the week ahead!

Enjoy some photos of the day below.  More to come! 🙂

Three-Day Backpacking Trip: May 30-June 2, 2017

This week was one of impressive maturity from our campers. A particular before/after moment encapsulated this for me: a quarter of a mile up the Rio en Medio parking area, the trail crosses the river for the first time. On our first day, I was walking in the back with Sofia, our only ten year old, who had never seen a tent before this trip. I told her we needed to cross the river, and she stopped dead. “I can’t!” she exclaimed.

She found out she could, and this trepidation was in stark contrast to our return trip. On Friday, I was walking behind Sofia, who was leading us out to the vehicles. She was one of our Leaders of the Day on Friday (which I will explain momentarily), and had just taken us down the last two miles of trail, setting a steady pace and stopping at appropriate times to make sure everyone was hydrated. We approached the first river crossing, and I delightedly watched her scamper across: without hesitation, declaration of inability, or even really noticing that it could be considered a challenge.

Some stats about this trip: There were two leaders, and six campers (although our roles were occasionally reversed!). Most campers had been backpacking before, although none had done a trip this long. We went 14 miles in three days, climbing and and descending 2000 feet. Each day we had two campers each on tent crew and cook crew: those responsible for housing and feeding the rest of us. We also had two LODs. These were our Leader of the Day: responsible for our maps, telling us when we were leaving, setting the pace, checking in with the rest of us to see if anyone was in need, deciding where we would camp, and myriad other things. It takes a while to get into systems of duties and responsibilities such as this, but our campers did so admirably. After Lucio turned his ankle, it was awesome to see Oliver, as LOD, continually check in with him and make sure that he could keep up with the rest of the group. Or to listen to Max, who was brave enough to be a LOD on our first day, encourage everyone up our steepest sections of trail.

When Ezra and I awoke on Friday, Lucio was warming his hands over a crackling fire, which he had woken up early to prepare for the group. As I was eating breakfast, I told Owen and Felix to pack their bags and take down the tents: they half-exasperatedly told me that they had already done both of those things, and returned to their oatmeal.

The trip was not only laden with responsibility: there were games, songs, and the occasional backcountry-themed rap. However, what stuck out to me about this week was the way in which our group rose to the occasion of taking the trip into their own hands. From helping us choose our route to practicing stove safety, it was a week of proto-adulthood: in two or three years, I hope they are taking themselves on similar trips.

Cheers!

-Max

Photo Safari! June 8-11, 2015 – Eagles (9-12 Year Olds)

This Week the Eagles used their Eagle eyes peering through camera lenses to capture and share the beauty they found all over New Mexico.  On Monday we hiked through an Aspen Grove and played games along the way.  On Tuesday we mustered heroic persistence for a long but beautiful hike .  The magical, misty, wide open view was worth all the complaining on the way up and hail/rainstorm on the way down.  On Wednesday we donned our camping gear and headed out to Abiquiu Lake for a camping trip.  As the rain clouds cleared we spent the day working on out photo transfers, swimming in the lake, and learning about its history from the park rangers.  Once night fell, we shared stories, songs and s’mores by grandfather fire.  The next day we had the opportunity to hike Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch and cool off in the lake, before heading back to Fort Marcy filled with vitamin nature, cameras of artfully composed photos, and lots of great memories.

(Advanced) Wilderness Skills! June 1-4, 2015

“Focus, Patience and Practice,”  this was our mantra as we learned some of the skills our ancestors used to survive 75,000 years ago.  These “Ancient Lifeways” were taught to us by Matt Brummett, a skilled expert in the field.  All of the older campers made their own hand drill, a tool used to make fire.  We practiced a lot, some campers getting close to making a coal–a very difficult skill!  We also made gourd canteens, a container our ancestors carried water in before the age of Nalgene and stainless steel!  Our youngest campers each made a gourd bowl to eat out of, as our ancestors did.  Everyone had the chance to learn how to make cordage (rope) out of cattails.  We talked about how to make shelters to keep you warm and dry and then made shelters to sleep in on our campout.  It was awesome to witness the TEAMWORK of the group as they made a coal together with a hand drill for our campfire (see photos below). We talked about the 5 Ws of preparing for a hike, and what to do if you get lost.  We found some edible and medicinal plants on our hikes (Mmmm… dandelions!), and played lots of games to get us up close and personal with nature (Eagle Eye, Sardines, Capture the Flag and Meet-a-Tree, to name a few). We asked the Eagles how this week changed them.  Here are a few responses: “I learned survival skills, and I am more confident in my ability to survive.” – Keifer “I got AWESOME!” – Joaquin “I got more creative.” – Jack J. “I got more peaceful.” – Merrick “I feel sorry for ancient people, and I am happy and thankful to have a house. I had fun!” -Jack D. All of the campers concurred with this last thought shared by Keifer, and agreed that PERSEVERANCE was needed for many of the skills and activities this week.  Great life lessons! Thank you to all of the campers for all of your focus, patience, practice and fun this week! Photos of Eagles and Owls (See Hummingbirds below!):

Hummingbird Adventures!

Photo Safari! June 8-11, 2015—Owls (7-8 Year Olds)

On their photo safari, the Owls fearlessly captured many pictures of their natural surroundings. Among the birds chirping and the wind rustling the trees, the cameras shuttered harmoniously. The Owls played with light and dark, macro and micro shots, and portraits, taking photos of rivers, flowers, trees, moss, and campers. Choosing one original photo, they also created photo transfers, which required diligent work. The memories of playing and observing are held within the owls’ photos.

Backpacking the Sangres! May 26-29

This was Mountain Kids first ever backpacking trip and an amazing start to the summer! On Day One we checked and learned how to pack our gear – going light is the key!  We made survival bracelets and survival kits so we would be ready for anything on our adventure.  The very next day, a small group of (mountain) kids and adults backpacked along the Rio en Medio Trail for a fun-filled overnight in the forest. We worked together to get there, wading through the watery trail and navigating new stretches of trail due to the high water.  We were happy to arrive and then worked to set up our camp.  We played capture the flag and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows over the fire. We learned how to purify our own water and how good food tastes on a backpacking trip! A small group went on an adventurous night hike with Jim, while the rest of us sung camp songs by the fire before tucking in and sleeping like logs for the night. The next day we hiked to waterfalls #2- #4 on the Rio en Medio for a change of scenery.

We were all exhausted, dirty and happy by the end. Everyone left with new friends and newfound confidence in their strength and abilities! Thanks to a great group of kids for an amazing, adventurous and fun first week of Mountain Kids 2015!  Many thanks also to our wonderful staff: Magnificent Max, Fearless (French Fry) Fran, Crunchy Katie, and Jumping Jim for keeping everyone safe and happy!

This says it all: A journal entry by a camper!
This says it all: A journal entry by a camper!