Domestic Confessions Department: 13-year-old Maya Cleaned My Fridge. WHY?

Maya Baird, one of my favorite young amazons, this 13-year-old who does vision quests by herself in the woods for days (and nights) alone, and for whom such initiations are no big deal, wants to go to Coyote Camp again. So she created a gofundme account last October, to raise the $1400 required for the two week camp in western Massachusetts. She’s got $700 so far. Camp is in August, so she’s only got two months to raise the rest of the money.

Here’s her appeal:


My name is Maya and I’m 13 ! This summer I would LOVE to go to Coyote Camp, which is a phenomenal 2-week overnight adventure experience.

Coyote Camp is a great place for kids to just be with nature to learn about themselves and how they function with other people. Coyote Camp is one of those places where you can push past your normal comfort edges!!!

My favorite primitive skills are gathering FOOD, making FIRE-by-friction, flint-knapping, stalking, tracking, and building shelters.I”m sooo EXCITED for all the fun games! Last year, we got to track black bears and river otters and birds through the wet meadows. I got my first bow-drill after a long time, And I want to learn hand-drill. I want to keep practicing my camouflage skills because it’s fun! Being hidden is really exciting–it tries your patience, but it’s amazing what you can see happen around you. It also gives you new eyes to see the world!

(mosquitos are eeevil) 🙂

Last year, coming back to my community it felt like I’m a hermit crab. I’ve been in one old shell, but now I need to keep growing and expanding and trying something new! (a new shell).

My family wants to be the most supportive people in the world, but it’s not been easy financially. Your contribution would mean a great deal to me.

You can find out more about Coyote Camp here.

Okay, well, so I didn’t want to fund her gratis. Somehow, with Maya, my Dad, dead nearly two years now, squirms inside me and says “Make her work for it!” just as he made me work for the horse he got me when I was nine years old after I agreed to do the dishes of our large family for a whole year without complaint or delay.

So. She’s got $700 already. I’ll make sure she goes, but she’ll have to work for me, at minimum wage: she said she’d do it for $3-5 per hour, but I thought minimum wage more appropriate, IF she’s a hard worker, and I was about to find out. Yesterday. First job? Cleaning out my disgusting, dreaded fridge. (It’s been years. How many years? More on that later.)

She came over for three hours. It took that entire time to do the job, and she did work hard, looking at every single jar to see the expiration date and smelling inside, if necessary, dumping what could be composted in a five gallon bucket, separating out plastic and glass for recycling, wiping off the greasy containers that remained.

I was in the next room, typing away. She’d ask me questions, and make remarks. Like this one, early on: “Okay, here’s JUST THE TOP SHELF AND THE DOOR!”

I got up to look at the table. Oh My God.


Another ten minutes go by. “Okay, she calls. That’s all of it!”

Now I’m getting downright embarrassed. Ye gods. How did all that stuff, most of which is no good anymore, crowd in there?


At one point, she remarked, in awe, “This one is from 2007 . . . I was six years old!

Okay. Time to cringe!

The upshot? Maya is an excellent worker, and we’ll make sure she gets to Coyote Camp. If you want to fund her do! I’ll continue hiring this 13-year-old wonder every week for three hours long after she returns from this year’s camp.

I’m not surprised that Maya is so amazing, given that her brother Caden is, too,


and that they are home-schooled by these two beautiful parents whom I very much admire.


Check out Rhonda’s website here:

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