Org of the Month: Caldera

Susan Fischer, our liason to Caldera, has sent this along for us all to see the amazing work they are doing.  I am going to space out the posts to be able to give space to each project.  Gorgeous!  Enjoy.

Caldera's Youth Program provides underserved Oregon children with year-round, long-term mentoring through arts and nature projects, beginning at age eleven and continuing through young adulthood. 
Caldera's adult program offers month-long residencies to professional artists: the gift of time & creative workspace at our blue lake facility in the Oregon cascade mountains.

Dream tree quilt 
These quilts were made over three summers at Caldera.  The kids took the photos which were printed on fabric for the Dream Tree Quilt.

The Dream Tree

The most magical tree at Caldera is our DREAM TREE. This is a 40 foot tree that the kids climb up while attached by ropes, & harness and tie a ribbon on it’s upper branch to signify their dreams..then they jump.

I noticed when our kids came back to class after the jump, they were calmer…and more thoughtful. I decided to find out why. Now, I’m a girl from New York, and jumping out of trees was unimaginable to me.

After class one day, I decided to try. Julie (Sister Jrey), Tureya (Good Sis), and some of the kids followed me over to tree. It was tall, and I was freaked out so I climbed as fast as I could (being a courageous New Yorker I wasn’t going to lose face) and I got to the platform. Scared is not a big enough word for how I felt…but at this point there was no way to get down but jump.

 I tied my ribbon on an upper branch…and made a dream. A dream for all our children… my own children and the children of Caldera. The jump was frightening, exhilarating and wonderful all at once. You could hear me scream all the way to Manhattan. Mid way it was like aerial ballet…surreal. Once my feet hit the ground I was sobbing and laughing all at once. It was cathartic.

I was a changed woman.

This quilt is about the magic of Caldera. The magic of the Dream Tree.

Julie Keefe’s Immersion photography class took magnificent  photos of the trees of Caldera and we printed them onto fabric to be sewn into the quilt.

Our closing ceremony at camp included our dreams to be sewn into forever. Each and every ribbon on this quilt contains a dream of our children…

Caldera serves & helps implement their dreams, and for that I am grateful. Our kids deserve this.

Susan Fischer



Close up dream tree The Dream Tree closeup: includes all the ribbons, that the kids pinned to this quilt while proclaiming their dream to be stitched into forever

The quilts were auctioned at our fundraiser, and Dan Wieden, our founder and "Papa bear" as we refer to him, has purchased them all.  But what was so especially lovely were the ceremonies and process incurred with the kids over each lesson of each quilt.  First one must have a dream, then set intention, then do the step can't be skipped over.  All children deserve to live their best life, to prosper in an environment of support. 

Caldera provides this for our children, and I am lucky to watch it's miracles, their hearts, unfold.

thank you for your support of this worthwhile organization.


You can help support Caldera through Bolt.  On Saturday, February 27th, all fabric on the tall tubes will be 25% off and 10% of the day's total sales will be donated to Caldera.