Families and Children


We welcome children and families to the Boulder Shambhala Center as a vital aspect of community.

Our aspiration is to have a community in which families can gather and feel included and supported. We are committed to manifesting this aspiration, offering a path and curriculum for our children to deepen their experience of warriorship, basic goodness and the creation of enlightened society.

If you are interested in children and family programing, have questions or concerns, would like to volunteer, or just want to connect, please contact our families and children coordinator, Nicole Wolf, at [email protected].

The Boulder Shambhala Center offers the following events and resources:

Nyida Day Celebrations

Over the years our community has adopted a tradition of celebrating the changes of the seasons. These are called “nyida” days from the Tibetan words nyima (sun) and dawa (moon), and they occur on, or near, the days of the equinoxes and solstices. Nyida days are family-oriented celebrations and occasions for local Shambhala communities to gather socially. Midsummer Day observes the summer solstice; the Harvest of Peace, the autumn equinox; Children’s Day, the winter solstice. Shambhala Day is our annual celebration of “losar” or the new year according to the Tibetan calendar. Since it typically falls in February or March, it takes the place of observing the spring equinox

Winter Solstice Children’s Day

Children’s Day, which falls on the winter solstice, is an opportunity to express appreciation for and with our children. Children’s Day is a strong counter-experience to the materialism and chaos of the holiday season. It is hoped that everyone, especially the children, feel as if they are within the enlightened society of Shambhala for a night and truly experience the richness and magic of Shambhala culture.

Our community gathering includes entertainment and performances including song, storytelling, and theatrical productions with Shambhala themes, the presence of the “Queen and King of Shambhala” followed by celebration and a reception.

Additional Resources for Parents

Please visit the Families Hub website for a full exploration of the culture of families and children in Shambhala (click here).

Click the orange text above to see a full list of Shambhala families and children programs and events along the Front Range: Boulder, Denver, Ft. Collins and Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather, CO.

Shambhala Sun Summer Camp

Sun Camp is an outdoor, sleep-away summer camp for children ages 10–16. Campers sleep in tents and enjoy the simple experience of waking up every day to their own world. Sun Camp is a place to have fun, make friends and learn to take responsibility for oneself and one’s world in a gentle and playful environment.

Camp consists of three interconnected programs:

  • Sun Camp: The main week-long program for ages 10–16.
  • Cadet Command Workshop (CCW): A leadership training intensive for returning participants ages 14-16 that starts three days before Sun Camp and continues through the duration of the camp.
  • Rites of Warriorship (ROW): A Rites of Passage program for 16 year-olds for the two days following Sun Camp.

To learn more and to register your child, please visit the Shambhala Sun Camp website.

Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain Center

Looking to get away to nature with your family over the summer? Come nurture bonds 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 with meditation, yoga, workshops, or just relaxing in nature while your children participate in enriching group activities like Rites of Passage. Then come together as a family in the afternoons and evenings for fun activities like guided hiking, kite flying, calligraphy, dharma art, storytelling, and singing.

Stay in comfortable, platform tents among the fresh pine and fragrant summer breezes or enjoy indoor lodging with views of unspoiled wilderness. Childcare is available during the day for children age three and up.

Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage is a program offered at Family Camp and designed to help nine year-olds and ten year-olds transition from early childhood into early adulthood and the path of warriorship. Children are introduced to various meditative arts including Zen archery, calligraphy, flower arranging, and poetry coupled with brief sessions of sitting meditation focusing on the breath. These disciplines inspire bravery and compassion in the child by fostering confidence, fearless independence, and loving kindness toward oneself and others.

Most importantly, Rites of Passage offers indispensable tools to help children relate to their own minds, thus empowering them to engage in their world with an awakened heart and open mind. The program culminates in a ceremony that celebrates this important transition.