Family Camp: Connecting with Self, Reconnecting with Others

Kelly Lindsey, Rachel Steele and Steve Sachs

July 14–21, 2021

7 nights
Adult Tuition $200, Child Tuition (3 years and up) $300

Kelly Lindsey

Steve Sachs

Steve Sachs

Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele

Nurture family connections while rejuvenating your spirit in the beautiful terrain of Shambhala 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 or yoga while your children participate in enriching group activities. The afternoons and evenings offer fun family activities like hiking, family yoga, dance, contemplative arts and crafts, games, storytelling, song night, and a talent show.

Stay in comfortable, platform tents among the fresh pine and fragrant summer breezes or enjoy indoor lodging with views of the unspoiled wilderness.

Children participate in a morning program from 9:15-12:00, grouped by age: Tigers (3-5), Lions (6-7), Garudas (8-10), Rites of Passage* (9-10), Dragons (11-12), Dharmic Warriors for ages 13-18. 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 instill confidence, bravery, and compassion— all while having fun and developing friendships!

The Tiger Cubs (0-2) program is not available this year due to COVID protocols and space limitations but will resume in future family camps.

* 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.

Attendance Requirements

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 call the Front Desk to register (970-881-2184).

Please see this article about Family Camp on our blog: Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain

Please note:  space for this program is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. 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: 

Public Health

Please read and understand SMC’s current COVID-19 policy at this link, thanks!


Housing rates are discounted. Adult meals and lodging, as well as the first adult’s tuition, are included in housing cost. Tuition for the 2nd Adult and Child(ren) are added to the total as each individual is added to the registration. Children’s meals and lodging are included in their tuition cost.  Click “Register Now” for housing options and pricing.


Adults $200

Children (3 years old and up) $300

Rites of Passage (additional fee) $110


Announcing The Heart Fee

For several years, many of the Family Camp teachers and program staff have been volunteering their expertise to create the magical container and experience of Family Camp.  This year, we want to be able to show our deep appreciation for all their hard work and dedication by instituting a HEART fee. This fee will be now be collected at the time of registration, prior to arrival at SMC, and will take the place of the heart gift, which was previously collected during the retreat.  One hundred percent of this fee will go towards both teaching and non-teaching program staff honorariums. We are dedicated to creating a supportable family camp, and this is our path towards reaching a sustainable program.

Each family will make two separate payments.

When you register here, you are paying the Program Tuition and Lodging fees:

This fee covers Shambhala Mountain Centers’ operational costs of facilities, lodging, food, supplies, SMC support staff, and direct program expenses, including a base honorarium for the Family Camp Directors.

In addition, each family will pay a Family Camp Heart fee:

This fee covers the costs of developing and running the Family Camp program itself, including teaching and non-teaching staff honorariums.

This is paid directly to Shambhala Families & Children (a 501c3 legal entity of Shambhala) and can be paid via PayPal at

Choose ONE payment (per family) at one of the three levels, you will need to type in the $ amount:

1) $100 – Jade

2) $150 – Gold

3) $200+ – Diamond

4) Other – you may also choose an amount that works for your family.  Please offer from a place of generosity regardless of the amount.

If you do not have a PayPal account, please contact Steve Sachs at to make payment arrangements. This MUST be done before June 14th or your family’s position at the camp will be given to the next person on the waiting list. Thank you.

PLEASE NOTE:  Shambhala Mountain Center does not process this fee. It must be paid directly to Shambhala Families & Children.



Financial Assistance and Scholarships

Click here to learn more about Financial Assistance and Scholarships. First, register, and select Personal Check for Payment – 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.


Kelly Lindsey

Kelly Lindsey is a meditation teacher, BodyMind therapist, and mother of three children. She has been serving children and families in the Shambhala Community for over 20 years.

Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele holds an MA in Contemplative Education from Naropa University and taught at Alaya Preschool for over 15 years. Supporting opportunities for children and families to connect with the Shambhala teachings is a passion for her and she has been involved in family programing in Shambhala since 2002. She lives in Boulder Co with her husband Brian and daughter Wini and is currently teaching at Alaya Preschool.

Steve Sachs

Steve Sachs has been an educator for the past 30 years. He co-founded Eastern Sun Academy and most recently was a Director at Alaya Preschool. Steve is currently writing a book on Basic Goodness Parenting.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2 – 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5:30 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. The final day of retreat is a departure day, there are no scheduled activities. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.