We have had another great week at camp! Our Fourth of July celebration yesterday was especially festive because we were able to have fireworks for the first time in several years due to the welcome moisture we have had during the past two months. The day began with flag raising ceremonies in both camps, followed by Saturday Specials and our traditional “Hike the Pike”. Many campers and staff chose to walk up to six miles to raise money for charity. We then continued the 4th of July theme with a Patriotic Dance, followed by the fabulous fireworks.
We climbed our first mountains of the season last week! Groups from Big Spring reached the summits of Mt. Elbert and Quandary Peak on Tuesday morning. A High Trails trip successfully climbed Quandary Peak on Friday; and two different coed SOLE Mountain groups climbed Mt. Ouray on Tuesday and Friday mornings. Our third SOLE Mountain group conquered Mt. Huron on Friday. Considering the difficult conditions posed by the high snowpack and full streams in the high mountains, all of these successful summits are a tribute to excellent staff leadership and enthusiastic, persistent campers.
In addition to the climbs, we enjoyed many other amazing trips last week— fishing adventures, canoeing trips, horseback rides, fossil digging, wonderful hikes, rock climbing, bike riding, and much more. Everyone returned to camp Friday night excited by their adventures and happy to be back with friends at camp for the weekend.
We have had a busy weekend. Yesterday’s Saturday Special Activities were fun in the morning; in the afternoon, we had an extremely exciting coed carnival that included cotton candy, sno cones, and popcorn in addition to many games and carnival events. It was so warm that Mike even started up the fire truck in order to let everyone cool off in the spray. The dance had a Rainbow theme, which created a very colorful event. Today, we prepared for next week’s trips, and both camps will end the day with our traditional vespers services. The boys climb to the top of Little Blue for this special celebration and the girls go to “Sunday Rocks” on B-Bluff.
We were sad to see our First Term Juniors depart today—they have been a wonderful group, and we are grateful for our time together. We look forward to greeting our Second Session Junior campers on Tuesday.
Next week the girls will leave camp for three-, four- and five-day trips. Some will head out on horse pack trips; others have chosen four- and five-day high mountain backpacks into some of Colorado’s most pristine wilderness. Other trips will be based in spectacular alpine areas like Silver Heels and Kite Lake near Alma. Many groups will have the opportunity to climb mountains, and we know that our summit count will grow.
Big Spring has planned an exciting program of overnights and all-day trips including mountain climbing trips to Quandary Peak, La Plata Peak, Mt. Princeton and Mts. Shavano and Tabeguache. The boys will also be horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping on the ranch and visiting Cripple Creek. Their “long trips” are scheduled for the week of July 6.
What a great week! As always, we feel so fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of young people, and enthusiasm has been high for all of our trips and activities.
Following our busy week of campouts and activities, we were happy to once again be all together on Friday evening for dinner, and the Lodges were exciting (and noisy) places to be. On Saturday mornings we offer Saturday Specials—these are activities which continue every Saturday morning during the camp term. Campers may choose to work on the coed Drama which they will present at the end of camp, take riding lessons, learn technical rock climbing, hike to different parts of the ranch, learn how to throw pots on the wheel in ceramics, and many other fun activities. On Saturday evening, the camps came together at Big Spring for an ice cream social and dance.
Campers in both camps have been offered a wide variety of all-day and overnight trips and a number of these are scheduled for next week. Horseback overnights, fishing all-days, mountain climbs and hikes to several spectacular locations are only some of the adventures that await. There will also be a busy in-camp program and some of our favorite special events. Juniors at both camps will experience another campout, more horseback riding, swimming, rock-scrambling, and a number of fun, creative in-camp activities. High Trails Juniors are looking forward to a special fishing trip while Junior Campers at Big Spring will enjoy the Bat Caves/Fossil Beds All Day.
Many of our older campers have signed up for SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Leadership Experience) or CORE (Community Outreach Experience) next week—these 5-day adventures include service projects as well as challenging activities. One group will work with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative to build trails on Mt. Elbert, while two other groups will work with CFI in Missouri Gulch. All three groups then plan to climb a Fourteener to complete their week. Two separate trip groups have chosen a rock climbing focus. During the week they will learn climbing skills at our climbing site on Wild Goat Mountain and then venture off our property to climb at Turkey Rocks. These groups will come together on Thursday to work with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte to complete service projects at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Both the CORE and SOLE programs are also offering 5-day Horsemanship experiences–these will emphasize improving horseback riding skills as well as community service. We also have a CORE mountain biking trip which will bike around the ranch, work on our biking trails, and then complete the Salida Downhill bike ride.
The Junior Counselors at High Trails and Outbackers at Big Spring are also looking forward to their special 3-day trips this week. The girls leave tomorrow for Great Sand Dunes National Monument; on Wednesday they will meet the Outbackers in Buena Vista for an exciting day of rafting on the Arkansas River. The girls will then return to camp while the boys head to the Sand Dunes for two-days of sand surfing and exploration.
Although we are high and dry here at camp, some of our usual activities have been impacted by the extreme amount of moisture Colorado received during the spring and early summer. The South Platte River, where we usually tube and raft, has been at flood stage for over a week now, and the part of the river we use is closed. We hope to be able to take some River Trips later this term when the water flow has decreased. The good news related to water sports is that the High Trails Lake, which has barely been a puddle for several years, is now an impressive body of water and we are having a great time canoeing and paddle boarding there.
We also are watching the high mountains closely due to extremely high snowpack in some areas. However, the snow at high elevations is melting rapidly now, and we are fortunate enough to have Forest Service permits for many different mountains, so we have been able to shift some of our permits to climb those mountains with less snow next week. And, we are confident that most of the mountains we climb will be in good shape by June 29 when the High Trails long trips head out.
If you haven’t already done so, check out the living unit photos taken early last week by visiting our Camp-in-Touch portal. Our photographers are also hard at work posting new photos taken at camp last week. They will be available for viewing early tomorrow morning.
Beyond reading these news updates and our Sanborn blog online, you can follow Sanborn Western Camps on Facebook. We would love to have parents, friends, and family follow our updates about camp events, trips and activities.
This helped me recognize something special about this summer for me. Many of my junior campers from my first summer on staff are now the Junior Counselors (JCs) at High Trails. In fact, a great many of our staff members were also former campers on trips of mine. Over the past ten days, I’ve realized that some of my favorite people in the world are on the staff this summer – it’s because they are the people that made a huge impact on my life!
These are the ladies that impacted my life in so many positive and most important ways.
The Opening Day of camp is the most exciting day of our year and we enjoyed sun and a brilliant blue sky most of the day. We have had more moisture over the winter and spring than we have had in many years, and our green grass and abundant wildflowers are thriving. After almost two weeks of staff training, we are excited to have campers running down the paths and filling the lodges with laughter. They seem as happy to be here as we are to have them.
Luggage was barely unpacked before camp activities began. The stables were busy with Ride-Out and Basic Preparation, and shouts came from the volleyball courts, the Gaga Pits, and all the camp trails. The sounds of old friends reconnecting and new friendships forming were everywhere. Tonight, tent and cabin groups are playing “Getting Acquainted” and “Team Building” games to facilitate the formation of these important living unit communities. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious.
Tomorrow, our program will begin in earnest and we will have half-day hikes heading out to A-Bluff, Top of the World, the Crystal Beds and other favorite destinations. Basic Preparation will continue at both stables, and we will have introductory sessions in rock climbing and camping skills. We’ll also begin crafts projects, activities at the Interbarn science center, tennis, fishing, and sports. Junior campers will be hiking, riding, swimming, and learning camping skills at the Mountain Odyssey program during their first two days.
On Wednesday morning the girls will backpack out for their Cabinside Overnights at campsites on our property. The boys will camp-out on Thursday night. These first overnights with the living unit accomplish some important goals. They introduce everyone to the fun of camping out; outdoor skills are learned or reviewed; and close bonds are created among the members of each living community. Sanborn Junior campers will also experience their first overnight on Wednesday or Thursday.
Tomorrow night, Opening Campfires will be held at both Big Spring and High Trails, and this year we can have “real” campfires! These are always lots of fun and include great singing and Broadway quality skits. Other special events planned this week include the All Camp Adventure Race, the Counselor Hunt and Cabinside Skit Night at High Trails. At Big Spring the boys will enjoy the Bomber Relay and Unit Skits. Later in the week, we will all get together for a coed ice cream social on Saturday night.
Early in the week, we will be signing up for trips throughout the term. High Trails and Big Spring campers will choose from many exciting possibilities including mountain climbs, horseback trips, tubing/rafting on the South Platte River and wilderness backpacking trips. Counselors and senior staff members will be on hand to help campers select those trips which best fit individual interests. Sanborn Junior campers do not sign up for trips; their program includes two exciting all-day trips in addition to their overnight camping trips.
We will be taking group photos early in the week and will post them on our website—so check us out again late in the week! We’ll also be mailing you a copy of your camper’s group photo with the counselor letter next Sunday. Each Sunday evening, we will send an e-mail to camp families about our activities and we will post photos of activities taken during the previous week in our online community under the “Photos” tab. You will be able to purchase, share, and download photos simply by logging into your online account. Although we can’t promise to show every camper or every activity, we hope these photos will provide a glimpse into life at camp for families and friends.
We are so excited to introduce our summer staff! Enjoy reading and getting to know a little bit about our counselors before you meet them on opening day!
My name is Megan and I am writing to you from Kansas! I am from a tiny rural town called Solomon, but have been living in the Little Apple (Manhattan, KS) for about 4 years. This summer will be my first at any summer camp, anywhere! I just graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I have worked as a Para educator for almost a year now, and will continue to do so while I apply to Educational Psychology graduate programs. I like being outside more than I like being inside, whether I am reading, fishing, or just walking! My favorite things to do are reading, stargazing, and bike-riding. A couple of my favorite things are rain and campfires. I most look forward to meeting all of the campers and staff of High Trails (that I have heard so many awesome things about) and sharing many outdoor adventures!
My name is Brittany Waunsch. I live on Long Island New York, about 40 minutes (with traffic) from NYC. I study music merchandising and business at Hofstra University here on the Island. My two biggest passions are music and martial arts. With music my main instrument in trumpet (I’ve been playing for 12 years), but I also play guitar, piano, sax, clarinet, and flute. I love listening to all kinds of music but i especially enjoy anything that has a brass section (I love trumpets). With martial arts I’ve been training for 14 years. I have a black belt in one style and other high ranks in different styles. I’ve been a martial arts instructor ever since I turned 13 years old. I’m very excited for camp this summer. I’ve never been to Colorado before so I’m very excited to go exploring and hiking and camping out under the stars. I also can’t wait to ride horses again because as much as I love doing so it’s hard to find a place to on Long Island. I can’t wait to meet all the amazing people I get to share my summer with!
My name is Susie Carr, and this is my first time at High Trails! I went to California State University Sacramento as a kinesiology major for two years, but am hopefully transferring to an EMT school in the fall. I work for Starbucks and I am a yoga instructor on the weekends. I love to dance, and will be coaching a competitive dance team when I get back from camp! I get paid to take care of and play with puppies at least twice a month when families go out of town, and I love going on sporadic adventures to the beach or the mountains whenever I can. I’m super excited to go horseback riding and to have camp fires and to look out at all the beautiful stars at night! BUT I’m most excited to meet all my little campers!
Hello! My name is Claire Foster and I am a rising senior at NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am a Parks and Recreation Major with a minor in business administration. I suffer from chronic cabin fever and am pumped to spend this summer in the great outdoors! I love hanging in my Eno, long hikes, live music, and strong coffee. I bake large quantities of baked goods when I am stressed, I tend to laugh until I cry, and I wear Chacos 360 days out of the year. This will be my first summer at Sanborn and I am excited to camp, explore, and grow alongside the campers! I cannot wait for a summer of challenge and adventure! See you all soon!
Hey campers! My name is Anna and I’m super excited to return to High Trails after being a camper for 2 years. I just finished up my sophomore year at Texas Tech where I am majoring in Accounting and Finance. I absolutely love horses and have been riding since I was little. I can’t wait to climb some 14ers, make some awesome crafts, and camp under the stars. This summer is going to be so much fun, I can’t wait to get outdoors and meet all of you!
Hi everyone! My name is Liz Flesher. My home state is Michigan but I go to school at Western Illinois University (WIU) where I study Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration. This is my first summer at camp and I am extremely excited to meet everyone and partake in all the camp festivities. An interesting fact about me is that in 2013 I went on a 4 month expedition (with WIU) as part of my classroom studies. We spent 30 days backcountry canoeing in Manitoba, Canada, ventured the Western United States and mountaineered for 2 weeks in California, and sea kayaked in Baja California. This was the most amazing experience of my life and I have learned a lot about outdoor education, interpretation, group dynamics, team building, and adventure recreation. I am ready to have another unforgettable time at Sanborn Western Camps!
Hi! My name is Blair Sisk! I am nineteen years old and attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. I have not yet declared a major, but I am leaning towards either Speech Language and Hearing Science or Integrative Physiology. I also play Lacrosse for CU. I am a member of the 3rd year Division I program! My favorite part of college has been being a student athlete, it is a lot to handle but managing it all is fun and keeps me busy. This is my first summer as a staff member at Sanborn, however; I was a camper for seven years! Not everyone can say they have actually seen it raining fire in the sky, felt the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake or experienced a true Colorado Rocky Mountain High, but I can!! I am SO excited to be back in the Rockies with this beautiful community to share these wonderful experiences with the ladies of High Trails. Throughout the summer you can find me hiking, canoeing, playing sports and having loads of fun with everyone!
Hi everyone, I’m Becca! This will be my first summer at camp, and I am so excited for this new adventure! I am from Colorado, and I go to Colorado State University where I study Business and Economics. I have a passion for traveling, exploring, spending time in new places, and adventures. This is why I am so excited for camp, and meeting all you beautiful people who love doing the same things as me! I am counting down the days until I head out for camp. I am so looking forward to fresh mountain air, sunshine, campfires, and all of the outdoor activities! I can?t wait to meet you all!
Hey future campers!! My name is Christina, I’m 24 years old, and I am part of the loud and proud Fightin’-Texas-Aggie-Class-Of-2016! WHOOP! Down here at Texas A&M University, I am a recreation, parks, and tourism sciences major (I know-it’s a mouthful). My area of focus in this major is in youth development, in hopes of someday becoming a camp director (that’s how much I love camp!) This is my first summer working at Sanborn and I absolutely cannot wait to start. What I am most looking forward most is just about everything, but if I HAD to choose it would be backpacking with my campers and trying new activities –it’s been years since I’ve ridden a horse, so bring popcorn because this will be a good show. Some fun facts about me: I would eat grilled cheese everyday if I could, I am the master at catching popcorn in my mouth, I’m in my school’s wakeboarding club, I love sea turtles, and my Specialized mountain bike is like my child.
This is my first summer at Sanborn but I worked at Cape Cod Sea Camps last summer. I’m a freshman at Middlebury College. I’m probably going to major in Geology, but I haven’t officially declared. I firmly believe that there is no better place in the world but Vermont, but I’m excited to spend the summer with some bigger mountains. When I was 16 I was asked to leave an IHOP because I brought my own maple syrup. I am a fiercely loyal Boston Red Sox fan. Fingers crossed for another worst to first season! I’m super excited to do some hiking in Colorado and hopefully catch some western sunsets.
Silver Spruce West
Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Ammondson and this will be my first summer working at Sanborn. I just graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Art. I have traveled worldwide, so I absolutely love learning about new cultures and going on adventures (especially if they are outside in the woods or mountains). Some of my recent adventures include seeing the Aurora in Greenland and skydiving in New Zealand. My friends call me a bird or vegetable because I eat so many seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies, although I can’t live without dark chocolate and coffee. I love wild animals, particularly big cats, and on rainy days I’ll be dancing in puddles to my favorite songs. If I’m not outside, you can usually find me in the kitchen (cooking or eating!), playing games with my twin brother, friends and family, reading a good book, or doing something crafty. I’m super excited to meet all of you and go on incredible mountain adventures together!
Hey! My name is Shannon Gardner. I am from Rochester, New York and I will be a senior next year at The Ohio State University! I am studying psychology and education, with aspirations of teaching, traveling and working with kids after graduation. I am a huge Buckeye fan (both the football team and peanut butter chocolate). I am also passionate about photography, writing and spending time outdoors. I love running, hiking and yoga. I love meeting new people and seeing new places! This will be my second summer as a counselor at High Trails and I am so excited for the adventures that lie ahead. I can?t wait to get to know my wonderful campers and spend a second summer here in Florissant!
Hi! My name is Madeline Ohaus, but you can call me Maddie, Mohaus or really anything you want, I’m not picky. I have been going to Sanborn ever since I was seven years old! I spend nine of my summers at High Trails and am eager to work there and give back to the camp that made me who I am today. I just finished up my freshman year at The University of Colorado in Boulder (which Sanborn had a huge influence on me choosing). I study Archeology which is basically looking at old rocks and determining whether they were used by old humans. Pretty neat stuff! The coolest thing I’ve learned all semester is how to make a stone tool and prepare a meal with it. I am part of the hiking club at CU and I volunteer the radio station. Some fun facts about me are I have climbed 14 14,000 foot mountains, my favorite color is purple and I own 5 polaroid cameras and am almost never without at least one of them. I also can play the ukulele the banjo and the bass (not the electric one though, the big giant one you see in orchestras). This summer I am most excited to get to sleep under the stars and make crafts at the art barn, oh and I guess I am a little excited for chippy dippy bars!
Silver Spruce East
“Oh Hello!” (in a minion voice) My name is Alicia Thompson and this will be my first summer at camp. I could not be more excited to spend my summer in beautiful Colorado with all of the wonderful staff and campers! I am currently studying Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and will be graduating this coming December (2015). When I am not in class or doing homework I enjoy staying active indoors and outdoors. My favorite indoor and outdoor activities include kickboxing, working out, fishing, hunting, camping, spending time with family/friends, playing with my dog and cat, watching movies (especially Disney and Pixar movies), going for walks, swimming, and so much more! I love adventure and enjoy trying new activities. I am looking forward to meeting everyone at camp and making lots of memories. There is so much to look forward to this summer, but I am extremely excited to go horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing and eating lots of S’mores. See all you campers soon!
Hello! My name is Laura Klapheke. I am from Louisville Kentucky and I am finishing up my last year at Eastern Kentucky University. I am graduating with a Bachelor?s degree in recreation and parks administration. This will be my first summer working for Sanborn Summer Camp. I am so excited to make new friends this summer and be outdoors! I’m also excited about meeting the campers and teaching them about the outdoors. I love nature, animals, music, art, food, and staying active. Some of the activities I enjoy doing are hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, dancing, yoga and backpacking. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite food because I pretty much love all food and am not a picky eater, but if I had to choose I would say I’m always up for sushi or pizza. Oh, and the best snack ever is dark chocolate covered almonds, mmmmm. I just can’t wait to be in Colorado this summer; I know that it is going to be an amazing experience!
Hello there! My name is Maddy Brandvold and I was a camper at Sanborn for 6 years, so that makes this my seventh year. I always dreamed of being a counselor at High Trails, and it makes me so happy to finally have that dream come true. After high school, Instead of going straight to college I took a year off to learn in some nontraditional ways. I completed a 72 day Outward Bound wilderness course where I fell in love with nature all over again! I am now eager to pursue a career with nature, people, and fun. After my Outward Bound course I spent 2 months working on organic farms in New Zealand, and 1 working in Hawaii. Through this work exchange program I learned all about the importance of organic farming and sustainability. This fall I will start my freshmen year of college at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. I love to explore, ski, rock climb, backpack and most of all laugh and be silly! I can’t wait to take young kids on amazing adventures this summer and teach them how to love and cherish this beautiful planet. Some of my goals for the summer are to help build confidence in my campers and to have carefree fun. There are so many fun times waiting to be had for the summer of 2015 and I am more than excited for it all!
Cedar Lodge West
My name’s Brianna and I’m excited to announce myself as a camp newbie this year! Right now I’m studying Exercise Science at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. From what I’ve heard thus far, this summer is going to be one to remember for a lifetime! I’m personally very excited to hang around the barn with all you camper’s as well as explore everything the magnificent outdoors has to offer! I can’t wait to meet everyone, the summer months could not arrive any sooner. Colorado here we come!
Hello! My name is Zoe Kurtz, and this is my first year on staff; but I was a camper here for 10 years before that! I am from Littleton, CO, and I am currently a sophomore at Vassar College, studying Economics and Geography. Outside of school, I am on the varsity swim team and enjoy hiking/living in the beautiful Hudson Valley (an enjoyable substitute for the Rockies). This summer I am excited to further explore the Rockies with all my amazing campers to find the greatest views the mountains have to offer.
Hey guys! My name is Hailey Gelzer, I went to camp a couple years back and am very excited to be spending my third summer at Sanborn. I currently attend Montana State University in Bozeman and I love it. I moved to Bozeman this past year for school from my home in Colorado Springs. I am majoring in environmental biology and possibly minoring in water resources. I absolutely love the outdoors. I spend my free time doing just about anything outdoors especially hiking/backpacking, rock climbing and biking. I?m excited to make more memories with everyone at camp and experience more time in one of the coolest places ever!!
Cedar Lodge East
Hi! This is my first year as a counselor at camp, but I was a camper here for 6 years and loved every minute of it! I am a sophomore at OU, BOOMER SOONER! I am studying Information Systems, so I’m really into IT things! During the school year I go down to the homeless shelter every week and help the kids with their homework, play games, color, through this I’ve really developed a passion for these kids and serving others. I am so excited to come back to camp to climb some more 14ers, ride horses, have some delicious camp food and get to meet all my great campers and co-counselors!
Why hello. My name is Hannah Deardorff. I am 20 years old, however those joining us first session will be able to help me celebrate my 21st! I am a born and bred Kansan who will be spending her sixth summer out at Sanborn. I attend Kansas State University (EMAW!) and I am majoring in Family Studies and Human Services while double minoring in Spanish and Leadership Studies. Three fun facts about myself are 1) I do not have any cartilage in my nose. Yes, you heard right. You can squish my nose flat on my face and I will not feel a thing. Feel free to come test it out this summer! 2) I am addicted to Nike shorts. If I could wear them every day of my life, I most definitely would. And finally, 3) I am quite the geek at heart.
I am counting down the days until I get to meet all the amazing campers and fellow staffers! I cannot wait to eat messy s’mores, float down a river, engage in random dance parties and experience mutual awe on a mountain top.
Hello beautiful people! My name is Truman Sherwood, I’m 18, and I cannot wait to spend my summer wondering and wandering through the magical mountains of Colorado with my friends and loved ones. I am from Los Angeles and I always find so much peace leaving this concrete jungle, although I do love it dearly, and living in a community that learns and grows in nature. I have been going to Sanborn since 2007 and after that summer I fell in LOVE with camp and never wanted to leave…which explains my excitement to come back as an AC! I just finished my freshman year at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I absolutely love it because it reminds me so much of Sanborn. I spend my days outside, by the lake, or walking in the woods with my friends because there is endless beauty and so much to learn from nature. Spring time on the east coast was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, much like summiting my first mountain at camp! I am studying philosophy and peace and conflict studies, and I am about to go abroad to Germany in the fall and study art history. I love going on adventures, exploring, growing, learning and loving, and I can’t wait to do all of those things with the people closest to my heart at the place that made me who I am today!
Crystal Palace East
Hey guys! My name is Haylee Vieregg. I have been a camper for five years and this is my first year as a counselor! I am from Charlotte, North Carolina but somehow found myself in Fort Worth, Texas for school. I will be a junior at Texas Christian University- Go Frogs- and I am a strategic communications major studying public relations with a minor in energy management and technology. When I’m not studying for exams I am planning events for my club, Nourish International, where we raise money to help eradicate global poverty. I love traveling to different cities for concerts and festivals to satisfy my love for live music. Of my many talents, baking chocolate chip cookies is definitely the most notable. I am so excited to return to Sanborn to be with my best friends and to make so many new ones. I especially can’t wait to embrace the beautiful Colorado Mountains and meet all of the campers!
Hey all! My name is Abby Johnson! This is going to be my first summer (and first time) in Colorado! I spent last summer in Vermont at a camp there and I’m so excited to meet my new camp family from the west! I live in New Hampshire going to New England College majoring in Outdoor Leadership with minors in environmental studies and psychology which is A LOT of fun! Speaking of fun, some other things I do for fun are snowboarding, xc skiing, hiking, definitely star gazing, laying in my hammock reading a book and going on spontaneous adventures to great places! I’m so excited to hangout in Colorado for the summer and hike some fun stuff out there. Also, I’m wicked excited about the horses, one of my favorite animals! Until camp, Adios Amigos!
Hello all you wonderful people! I’m Gwen and this will be my 7th Sanborn summer and I could not be more excited to spend it will you all! Currently I’m studying foreign languages (French and Spanish) at Lewis & Clark College in rainy Portland, so I’m super jazzed about spending all summer in the Colorado sunshine (with plenty of sunscreen of course!). I grew up in Colorado and I can’t wait to get back. Other than waiting eagerly to return to camp, these past few summers I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Spain, Portugal, and Iceland and had some life-changing experiences. Some of my favorite things to do at camp are climbing mountains, rock climbing, backpacking and hiking, and watching the sunrise/sunset. I am SO SO excited to meet all of you and have an amazing summer together!!
Crystal Palace West
Hi everyone! I’m Isabelle from British Columbia, Canada. I was a camper at Sanborn for JC year, and I am very excited to be back! I’m a junior at the University of Victoria where I study Civil and Environmental Engineering. I love camping, surfing, running and soccer. I also like to read, see live music and find any excuse to dress up in costumes. I’m looking forward to climbing Colorado’s fourteeners, cooking outside, working on my Chaco tan and meeting great people! Cheers to the summer!
Hola, hola! My name is Hanna and I?m so excited to be back at Sanborn after 3 summers as a camper! I’m from Kansas City but am currently attending Colorado College in Colorado Springs, where I study English and Spanish. I absolutely love hiking, traveling, speaking Spanish (I spent last summer working in Ecuador), and soaking up Colorado sun. Also, I am obsessed with anything in the orange squash/root family, including butternut squash, pumpkin, and sweet potato. I can’t wait for an incredible summer filled with s’mores, dance parties, awesome campers, and 14er summits!
Hey y’all! I am stoked to spend my first summer at High Trails soaking up the beautiful Colorado sun and making some new friends! I am currently studying social work and studio art at Baylor University in Waco, Tejas – sic ‘em bears. I have been a nomad all my life and to date I’ve lived in six countries (and four states). I love pottery, hanging out with my dog, and singing loudly. I’m super pumped to roast some marshmallows, do some sweet crafts, and ride some horses while making awesome memories this summer!
Hi, my name is Emma Sayner and I am very excited for my very first summer at High Trails. I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and now attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Go Badgers!) I am studying history and political science and hope one day to be a teacher. In my free time, I love cross country running, listening to music, and spontaneous adventures. I look forward to spending my summer exploring Colorado back country, and more importantly, getting to know all the amazing campers at Sanborn!
Hi! I’m Cori and I am beyond excited to be working at Sanborn this summer! I am from Denver, Colorado, but I currently go to school in Nashville, Tennessee at Belmont University where I study Music Business. I love music and I’m so excited that I get to study it in school. I play guitar, piano, ukulele, and mandolin, and I love to write songs. I’ve recently gotten into acting as well! I was a camper at High Trails for 8 years and I’m thrilled to be back for my first year on staff. Sanborn is like home to me and I can’t wait to climb mountains, ride horses, and sleep under the stars!
Greetings! I’m Jocelyn Smith and this will be my first summer at High Trails and I don’t think I have ever been more excited about something! I just graduated from The Ohio State University with a Human Development and Family Science degree. I love working with people especially kids of all ages. I enjoy trying new things and going on adventures as I am always down for whatever! Being optimistic is a big thing for me! I am so excited to get to know and build relationships with all the wonderful girls at High Trails. Here’s to a summer full of adventure, lots of laughs and memories never forgotten!
Hey friends! My name is Meghan Rixey and I’m super pumped to be coming back to Sanborn for my second summer on staff! After coming to camp for years there was no way I could resist coming back to the greatest place on Earth and share all the awesome things that Sanborn offers with all of you. I grew up in Maryland and I am currently studying Economics in a busy city at the University of Pittsburgh. However I’m ready to bid the east coast goodbye and be back in my favorite state for the summer, and hopefully back again for good after graduation! I have a weak spot for Friends on Netflix, chips and salsa and any/ all early 2000′s music. I’m most excited to get back to the view from Sunday Rocks, runs to Top o’ the World and getting a couple more 14er’s under my belt, but most of all for some late night puppy chow and dance parties in the lodge. Cannot wait to meet you all soon!
Hey Hey! I’m Harper and I’m insanely excited to be headed back to Sanborn for my seventh summer and my first on staff! I’m looking forward to adventuring and wandering and exploring in my favorite home state because I apparently can’t get enough of looking at Pikes Peak. I currently spend a lot of time looking at the mountains from the other side at Colorado College, where I think I’m studying something literature-related with a minor in Environmental Studies (I haven’t quite decided yet). I really love books but I’m also really excited about hiking, making friends with horses, looking at flowers, writing silly poems, standing in creeks, climbing mountains, singing too loudly, and dancing like crazy, among all the other fabulous things to do outside. I can’t wait to spend my summer doing all my favorite things in one of my all-time favorite places!
Hello party people! My name is Grace Barrett, and I am beyond excited to be coming back to camp for my second summer as a staff member! I am currently a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, but I’m planning on taking a year off and doing some fun exploring with NOLS (the National Outdoor Leadership School!). I am a sandals-with-socks- wearing, watch tan, and backwards hat enthusiast looking forward to summitting 14ers with wonderful campers and friends. I am a yoga teacher on paper and a child at heart. My family has been part of Sanborn Western Camps since the 1970s! I love mountain biking and rock climbing, and hope everyone will at least give each of them a shot with me. I can’t wait to make Summer 2015 one for the books!
Hey everyone! My name is Annaliese Danckers and this is my first year at Sanborn, and there is no way to explain just how excited I am about it! I go to school in Nashville, TN at Vanderbilt University, but I was born and raised in Cleveland, OH. I study all things outdoors (aka Environmental Sociology and Sustainability) but I also am a nanny and a member of ZTA, which is a sorority. When I’m not at school I’m searching for the best cup of coffee in Nashville, napping in the sun, or rock climbing. Which is what I am most excited for this summer! I love the feeling of taking on the first climb of the morning where the rock is still cold but you’re too pumped to care. Any chance I’ll be able to see this again before it’s sent? Haha I’m so excited I can’t think words so well.
Heyoooo! My name is Luna, but I also go by Lunatic, Looney-toons, Luna Bar, and a variety of other snazzy nicknames. I?m so excited to come back for my sixth summer at camp, and my first as a part of the amazing High Trails staff!! I am currently studying Environment Science and Sustainability in the beautiful mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona at Northern Arizona University. If you don?t know where Flagstaff is, you?ve probably driven through it on your way to the Grand Canyon My favorite things include avocados, rock climbing, shooting stars and chaco tans. I?m so stoked to climb mountains, make pita pizzas, go fishing at Lost Lake, and enjoy sunset poetry every Sunday at Vespers. This summer is going to be rad, I can?t wait to see everyones’ beautiful faces!
Hi! I’m Avery Katz and I am a proud University of Michigan sophomore student intending to declare a degree in Psychology and a minor in Community Action and Social Change. My school interests have introduced me to all sorts of interesting programs throughout the school year. I’ve worked with kids across the board – everything from preschool students to teenagers in the juvenile justice system. All experiences have been incredibly rewarding and exciting. Beyond that, I love jamming to music with whoever will let me use their keyboard, as well as listening and discovering new musical artists. I’ve recently discovered my hidden passion for teaching myself music by ear and experimenting with all sorts of instruments, no matter how silly the notes sound when I play them. Among other things, I like to knit scarves in the winter, drink tea with every meal possible, and enjoy the outdoors when the weather permits (you never know in the midwest). Thankfully, I can look forward to countless sunny Colorado days ahead! I’m beyond excited to begin my second summer as a counselor at Sanborn Western Camps. After coming here as a camper for 7 years, I’ve found that the experiences only continue to get better the more years I devote to this amazing place. Coming from the flat lands of Minnesota, I appreciate the mountains and their endless breathtaking views, which of course are even more beautiful when surrounded by wonderful people. Oh, and of course no mountain trip is complete without wearing some outrageous costumes. In short, I can’t wait to start another unforgettable summer.
I was a camper for four years, and am excited to be returning to camp this summer as a counselor. During the school year, I attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, working towards a degree in English Education. I am a certified EMT and Wilderness First Responder, and use my skills as a ski patroller at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort. When forced to accept the end of ski season, I turn my full attention to rock climbing. Always ready to immerse myself in the outdoors, I go on climbing and backpacking trips as often as civilized life permits. I also do volunteer work with Black Mesa Indigenous Support, which involves herding sheep, chopping wood, and building Hogans for families on the Navajo reservation. In the face of coal mining and pollution, these small acts support the traditional indigenous way of life, valuing sustainability and connection with nature. I completed the National Outdoor Leadership School?s Semester in Patagonia, an eighty-day expedition including one month of sea kayaking and one month of technical mountaineering. My Semester in Patagonia culminated in a student-led backpacking expedition, allowing Allie to apply her skills independent of instructors. Without High Trails, I would never have gained the courage or ability to tackle an eighty-day expedition. I am looking forward to bringing my outdoor skills, compassion, and dry sense of humor to the High Trails community.
Hey everyone, my name is Meredith Glenning!! I’ve loved being a camper at High Trails, and now I’m excited to be back as a counselor for the first time! By the time you read this, I would have just finished my freshmen year at Cornell University studying Biological Engineering. At Cornell, I’m on the Varsity Rowing team and before school started I went on a week-long hiking and tree climbing camping trip through Cornell. That being said, I always love to be active, outdoors, and trying new things. I look forward to hiking, rock scrambling, running around, mountain biking, summiting mountains, blasting music and singing along, getting dressed up in crazy themed outfits, and way more with everyone very soon! I love cutting pictures out of magazines to make fun collages, I believe it’s always a good time for some cookies (not just one) and chocolate milk, and there’s a good chance I’m laughing every time you see me! So come find me anytime you have or want to hear a good joke or you want a buddy to join you to go on a hunt for cookies. If you’re looking for me, I’m probably the one wearing head to toe red, white and blue (if not, then pink) and applying sunblock (if you have fair skin like me, then we will be instant friends). Anyways, I can’t wait to see everyone this summer and start thinking of some good jokes or riddles to share!
Gold Hut East
This is my first summer at Sanborn but I worked at Cape Cod Sea Camps last summer. I’m a freshman at Middlebury College. I’m probably going to major in Geology but I haven’t officially declared. I firmly believe that there is no better place in the world but Vermont, but I’m excited to spend the summer with some bigger mountains. When I was 16 I was asked to leave an IHOP because I brought my own maple syrup. I am a fiercely loyal Boston Red Sox fan. Fingers crossed for another worst to first season! I’m super excited to do some hiking in Colorado and hopefully catch some western sunsets.
As an accidental model in a German Coca-Cola ad, I think I have found my passion in life–appearing in obscure ads in other countries. Actually, it’s just a picture of me cliff jumping in Yellow National Park and my true passion is really adventure (and pizza). Therefore, I cannot wait to begin my new adventure at Sanborn. From Idaho, to Oregon, to Colorado, I think it’s safe to say I’m very excited for my second summer in Colorado, and at camp! I am currently a Senior at Colorado State University, studying Food Science & Nutrition. I thoroughly enjoy cooking, running, hiking, and laughing at my own jokes. Get ready for a great summer!!
Hello all! I am Molly Malone and am currently a wanderer of the Colorado mountains as a take a year off from school. I will attending school this fall and plan to study media production. I am beyond excited to return to Sanborn for my eighth summer, it is like a returning home after being away. Even though I have lived in Colorado all my life, nothing feels like being at camp, eating at lodge and working hard on your Chaco tan! I am a true mountain mama at heart and can’t wait to climb mountains, take hikes, and enjoy good times at Sanborn this summer.
Gold Hut West
Hey there! The anticipation of returning to camp for my third year on staff has got my feet itching for more mountain adventures and my stoke-level off the charts! Visions of aspens, sunrise peaks, and the barn have been infiltrating my dreams…not the most conducive to paper writing back here at school, but I honestly cannot think of a better place than camp (where the air really is the freshest) to spend the summer before my fourth and final year at Whitman College. Seriously though, always keen for an adventure, I want to put on my sun cream, grab my lip chap and boots, and head out! By now, most people at camp know my philosophy: you can always tell how much fun you?ve had in a day by how much dirt you rinse off in the shower and how hungry you are! So, here’s to the summer and letting the adventures begin! Yip yip yip!
Hello! After six amazing years as a camper, I am extremely excited to return to High Trails this summer as staff! I just finished up my first year studying theater ad cinematic arts at the University of Southern California. When I’m not in the theater or behind the camera, I love to hike, camp, drive along Pacific Coast Highway, knit, learn to play new songs on the ukulele, and travel. At camp, I can’t wait to climb mountains, watch the sky for shooting stars, hike the ranch, and make some delicious food around a campfire. Looking forward to an awesome summer!
Hey there, hi there…my name is Anne Ulizio and I’m so proud and excited to say that this will be my first summer working at High Trails. I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, moved to the small town of Newark, Delaware to attend the University of Delaware, relocated to the city of brotherly love to work for the past three years as a barista/writer/projects director for a nonprofit company/fitness instructor…and am currently counting down the seconds until I wake up every morning to a 360-degree view of Colorado’s breathtaking mountains and aspens (I really can’t wait to see those aspens.) On any given day you would most likely find me biking and running through the city, trying new recipes, laughing until I cry/trying to get others to laugh with me and surrounding myself with people who inspire me to be my best. I’m looking forward to challenging anyone/everyone to handstand contests and laughing contests (I’ll certainly lose the latter), exploring all that Colorado has to offer with a group of awesome high school ladies and learning all that I can from the entire High Trails family.
Well hello there!! ! I am incredibly excited to be returning for my second summer at High Trails! Although I am from Wisconsin, Colorado has officially become my new favorite state after one amazing summer at Sanborn. I am so looking forward to hanging in hammocks, sleeping under stars, and canoeing with a crazy, cool crew of campers. When I?m not in Colorado you can find me at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse studying Recreation Management and Spanish, or attempting to travel the world. When it?s not snowing in Wisconsin I?m a big fan of climbing the bluffs near campus, going for long runs, spending time in the sun, jamming to One Direction, playing my ukulele, or goofing around with friends. Can?t wait to climb as many mountains as possible, create unforgettable memories, and for all of the adventures I know this summer will bring!
Hi everyone! I am super excited for my first summer at High Trails, and look forward to adventuring with this wonderful group of ladies. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and my biggest passions are exploring the outdoors, thinking abstractly, playing piano, traveling, reading books, and sharing stories with different types of people. I recently graduated Ithaca College with a B.A in Environmental Studies and minors in Outdoor Pursuits and Communication Studies. A few cool things I have done over the past few years: helped shoot a documentary film in the old-growth forests of Vancouver Island, solo traveled in Puerto Rico, worked as a Forest Preschool teacher during one of Ithaca’s coldest winters ever, and completed a 31-day backpacking trip in the Cascades. This summer I am most excited to stargaze, explore the Rockies, learn how to ride a horse, play in the rain, make cool art projects, and get re-rooted in the “real world” with a bunch of new friends. Cheers!
Hi! My name is cade beck, and my first fun fact is that I don’t capitalize my name! I hail from Golden, CO, but I’ve spent the last four years in Walla Walla, WA for school. By the time I’m at camp, I will have just graduated from Whitman College, studying history and theatre. I was a camper at Sanborn for four years along the whole South Ridge, and returned as an AC three summers ago. I love working backstage in theatre, reading, and being outside. I especially love doing cartwheels in the grass; I was a gymnast for 16 years, and miss it! At camp this summer I am super excited to go peak bagging, get back on a horse, and dress up in the most ridiculous costumes to date. In other words, finding out what life is really all about! See you this summer!
Hey yall! It’s Sarah here, ready to spend another amazing summer with the little kiddos at Sanborn! I just graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in Public Health and I am excited to see where this wonderful life takes me. I love everything outdoorsy, holistic health, yoga, soccer and being weird. I CANNOT wait to be back in the amazing mountain air, smelling like campfire, with flannels and Chaco tans, while we create amazing memories with campers and counselors in nature. Can’t wait to meet everyone!
Hey ya’ll! I’m Zena, I’m from Atlanta, Georgia and currently am studying psychology at Georgia State University. This will be my second summer at High Trails and I cannot wait to be back! I’m so excited to chase ground squirrels, climb some more 14ers, and sit around the campfire making s’mores. Can’t wait to meet and learn about all of you!
Hello Hello!! My name is Melody, and this is my third summer in heaven, ahem, I mean High Trails! This past year I moved cross country from Tennessee to Crested Butte, Colorado, became a Colorado resident, learned to ski, taught kids how to ski and made several runs to the desert to climb, mountain bike and see the wonders of nature that are made of red dirt. I fell in love with the outdoors in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee at a young age and the love affair has yet to end. My favorite outdoor endeavors are climbing, biking and skiing, and I cannot wait for this summer to hike, bike, climb and backpack with the ladies at Sanborn! See you oh so soon!!
My name is Valerie and this is my fourth summer at Sanborn. I recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a double major in History and Sociology and have spent the past year working at a high school where I live in Lawrence, KS. I love reading, hiking, and meeting new people. This past spring break I visited Alaska and I hope to keep traveling throughout the rest of my days (while jamming to David Bowie and all 90s/00s tunes). I can’t wait for another adventurous summer here at High Trails and I hope to add a few more 14ers to my summit list!
Hello! My name is Jenny Hartman and I will be wrangling for the Juniors at High Trails this summer! This will be summer #8 for me and I simply cannot wait! We will have tons of fun meandering through the woods on our trusty steeds! Aspen and I are ready to lead rides along the Tic-Track, out to Tipi Village, over to Quick?s Homestead, and on the famous Tree House route! When I am not at camp, I am loving life as a teacher in the nearby town of Guffey, Colorado. I teach kindergarten, first, and second grade?yes, all in one classroom! I have Sanborn to thank for teaching me how to be creative and give my students a love for nature and the outdoors!
My name is Annie and this will be my 6th Sanborn summer! I was a camper for 4 years, a counselor last year and now I’m a wrangler! I am a rising senior at St. Lawrence University and I am a Psychology major and Education minor. I love to sing, dance, and take long walks on the beach. I am SO excited for this summer! I can’t wait to climb to the top of the 4-story tree house, eat s’mores over an open fire and go stargazing on Sunday Rocks!
I am a Taurus (mostly) vegetarian. I am completing my bachelor’s degree in English at Penn State this year and a proud member of Phi Mu. Two weeks ago I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal and talked her out of buying a truly heinous angora sweater. Whoever said orange was the new pink is seriously disturbed. I hope to go to law school after graduating. My favorite things are the color pink, themed events, and my mini beagle Martha. When not at the barn, Maddie enjoys running, hiking, yoga, going to the beach and binge watching shows on Netflix. This is her first summer as a wrangler and she can’t wait to meet everyone!
Hello! My name is Kendra Shehy; I recently graduated from the College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio) with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Early Childhood Education. I am beyond excited to return to Sanborn for my second summer on staff! I was a Ponderosa counselor during my first summer (2013) and this summer I am excited to live out my cowgirl dreams as a wrangler.
Hi! My name is Stephanie and this is my first summer at Sanborn. I’ll be working as a wrangler and could not more excited!! I’ve had my own horse for 10 years now and he has been the light of my life. I’m excited to share my passion and appreciation for horses with campers, as well as my many other hobbies! I went to the University of Kansas, and believe it or not, I began rock climbing there! Not only do I love horses and climbing, but I also love mountain biking, reading, gardening, and basically anything else that is outdoors. I studied French at KU and spent last year teaching English in France! It was an amazing experience and I am hoping to be able to teach French someday. I am excited for what this summer will entail and cannot wait to meet everyone!
Hey, everyone! My name is Jenna and I am super excited for my ninth summer at High Trails, this time as a wrangler! I am originally from Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin (the name is funny I know), but now I live in Colorado– studying civil engineering and Spanish at Colorado State University! So, if you’re looking to talk about physics or horses in Spanish, I’m your girl! I absolutely cannot wait to get back in the saddle this summer and hang out will all the kiddos, sing songs, wear silly costumes, roast s’mores, and, of course, practice our gymkhana skills. This summer is going to be a blast– I can’t wait to get started!
Erin Dvorak – Art Barn Kahuna
My name is Erin Dvorak and I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014 with a Photo Media degree. For the past year I have been a full time nanny for two kiddos under the age of 5. I have never spent a summer at Sanborn Western Camps so I am excited for experiencing the outdoors through art projects and hiking excursions, as well as meeting staff members and campers from all over the country!
Anne Shingler – Outcamp Kahuna
Howdy Y’all! My name is Anne Shingler, and I am STOKED for my first summer at Sanborn. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Recreation Management focused on Youth Development because I won’t to work in camps forever! I am super lucky to spend my winters in Breckenridge, CO, but I am definitely looking forward to hiking weather. I love to do puzzles, play guitar, and laugh a lot. I CANNOT wait to meet everyone and start making a positive impact!
Tully Sandbom – Kitchen Coordinator
My name is Tully Sandbom and this is my fourth summer on staff at High Trails! I’m from Anchorage, Alaska and I am in the process of earning a degree in elementary education at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I love going for long drives and jumping in lakes. I also love backpacking/climbing mountains and I’m hoping to check off a few more 14′ers this summer while at camp. If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life it would be Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
Hi All! Nurse Molly here! This will be my second summer at Sanborn and I’m SO PSYCHED to be coming back!!!! Living and working in Penicillin Palace last summer was a blast. I went to undergrad at Bates College in Maine and I’m about to graduate from Yale with my Master’s as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I love climbing 14ers, wearing costumes, playing soccer, cuttin’ a rug on the dance floor, and being outside! This summer, I’m excited to help campers feel better in the health center, come up with some epic “call and responses” in the main lodge, and spend time with old and new lovely ladies at High Trails! xoxo -Molly
Hi campers! My name is Lauren Lorenzi ( known by most of my friends as Loo) and I will be one of the nurses at High Trails this summer. This will be my first summer at camp, and I couldn’t be more excited! I am currently a second year master?s student at Yale University where I am studying to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I went to UCSB as an undergraduate, and aside from spending most of my time at the beach, I received my BS in Biopsychology. Fun facts about me include that I tap danced for 14 years of my life, I rarely ever wear matching socks, and I love to sing (although I can’t carry a tune), dance, and be outside! This summer I can’t wait to sing camp songs, eat S?MOREs, sleep under the stars and explore the BEAUTIFUL outdoors. After a winter on the East, I couldn’t be more pumped for summer in Colorado!
Hey everyone! I’m Tina, and I am incredibly excited for my first ever summer at Sanborn! I graduated from Bates College in 2012 and I’m now in a Nurse Practitioner program at Mass General Hospital in Boston, finishing up my second year. I am super excited to be your nurse this summer and ensure you all stay safe and healthy! I love running, playing soccer, goofing around with my nieces and nephews, cooking, and being outside. I can’t wait to live in beautiful Colorado and meet you all!!
We are all so excited for the summer to begin in earnest! Please see the SWC Leadership Team for our bios.
Ariella Rogge and Elizabeth Rundle – High Trails Co-Directors
Janie Cole – Program Director
Carlotta Avery – Trip Logistics Coordinator
Maren MacDonald – Riding Program Director
Jessie Spehar – High Trails Photographer & Camper Travel Coordinator
Sarah Ulizio – Educational Resource Director
June is finally here and we are excited for the arrival of campers in two weeks. We had a significant amount of moisture in May, which has made the Ranch more beautiful than ever. The grass is green, the Aspens are leafing out, and the wildflowers are beginning to appear. We see deer every day in the immediate camp area, the Mountain Bluebirds are settled in for the summer, the hummingbirds are back, and the Abert’s Squirrels are exceptionally fat and sassy.
We have been preparing the facility and are almost ready for everyone’s arrival. The Big Spring tents are up, the BS Lodge is open for business, and fresh paint is being applied in many places. The flowers are planted, the horses have new shoes, and the swimming pools are full and heating. We think you will be pleased by the facility improvements we have made over the winter: a new floor in the HT Lodge, renovations at the Real Estate Office at Big Spring, a new bathroom in Crystal Palace, and new tent frames for the Outbackers at Big Spring are just a few of these. Although we are still finishing a few last minute facility projects, we have now turned our attention to staff training.
The leadership staff arrived last week and we are conducting a special training for our Senior staff team over the weekend. Several staff are also taking a lifeguard training course over the weekend. On Thursday and Friday last week, our rock climbing staff enjoyed a two-day training at our Wild Goat Mountain climbing site, while several staff completed a riflery instructor course. Our wranglers have been here for two weeks now and have been busy getting our horses ready for the summer and completing their specialized training.
On Monday and Tuesday, many of our trip leading staff will complete a two-day Wilderness First Aid course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute. Also on Monday, several staff will complete a course in archery instruction. On Wednesday, we will hold an all-day driver training course and also will conduct First Aid and CPR courses. Our entire staff of more than 100 will arrive on Thursday. For the following nine days, we will hold sessions on youth development, outdoor skills, our mission and core values, leadership tools, and health and safety, as well as trainings in our many program areas.
It is always special when our wonderful summer community comes together. We are looking forward to the mountains we will climb, the horseback trips we will enjoy, the sunsets we will share and the friendships we will make. We especially anticipate the opportunities we will have to learn more about ourselves, our companions and the natural world.
We again plan to post weekly updates and photos on the website once camp begins. Although we cannot promise to show every camper or every activity, we think these photos will help parents, friends, and family members to get a peek into life at Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior. So visit us again on June 14!
At High Trails, the cabins and Lodge are already open, but everything will be cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint. In addition we will put up tennis nets, order crafts supplies, organize the backpack tents, and put the final touches on all of our facilities and programs. The Lodge has a new floor and Crystal Palace has a new bathroom.
Maren, Jaime, and Martie will bring in the horses from the pastures at Fish Creek and get them fixed up with new shoes for all the great rides this summer. There are plenty of things to keep us busy, and everyone is excited about these projects because they mean that a new season of camp is almost here!
The Aspen are showing catkins now and we’ll begin to see the first leaves later in the month; the bluebirds and robins are back, and a herd of deer has been hanging around Big Spring and High Trails. We have had a wonderful amount of moisture during the past two months so our grass is green and we anticipate spectacular wildflowers as we move into summer. The Pasque Flowers have already bloomed; it won’t be long before we begin to see Indian Paintbrush and the spectacular wild Iris in the field in front of the Witcher house. The first hummingbird has been sighted and a couple of porcupines have been seen lumbering along the road at night.
Late this month, we will begin staff training for our ridge leaders and trip leaders. During the weekend after Memorial Day (not a holiday here) we will do a leadership training session with our Ridge Leaders and Wranglers. On Monday and Tuesday, any members of our leadership staff who do not have current certification in Wilderness First Aid will take that class taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute. On Wednesday, we’ll be providing more first aid instruction and a full day of driver training. On Thursday, June 4, our entire staff will arrive for a 10-day training period before the first campers arrive. And on June 14, first term campers arrive and we’ll be off…
We are still accepting enrollments in some age groups in the Second Term so let us know if you are interested in receiving our brochure and DVD. Summer—2015 promises to be a fantastic experience for everyone!
Unpacking and organizing at camp tends to be a very different experience from your room at home with a full sized closet, dresser, major floor space. To that end, we figured we’d consult with the leading experts and find out exactly what are some of the tips and tricks that make living at camp, with all your gear, as organized as possible. Depending on which type of dwelling you live in at camp, the process will also change a bit! So you will see this blog divided into High Trails and Big Spring, with Big Spring divided into each type of dwelling.
Every High Trails lady will have her very own locker (approximately 21”w x 22”d x 34”H to the hanging bar and each shelf is 11”H), a cubby in the bathroom, and access to the shared space under the bathroom sinks. Keep in mind that by no means is the following advice mandatory to be followed, nor is it impossible to live an organized life at camp without doing these things. We just figured we’d hit on some of those, “Oh! That’s a great idea!” moments.
Each locker includes two shelves and a bar for hangers. One great idea is to bring the skinny size plastic drawers to create more containment spaces, for stationary and accessories, hats, gloves, or undergarments. If plan on driving to camp, this is an easy thing to even pack those items in while at home and then deposit straight in your locker upon arrival. Many campers ship luggage to camp and these can pack up easily in a box. (I wouldn’t recommend carrying one on an airplane. Yikes!)
Something easy to pack into airplane luggage would be a hanging shelf apparatus, usually intended for sweaters or shoes, but can hold many things. The one shown happens to be much longer than you can see, but all that excess just bunches up quite nicely on the locker floor and stays out of the way underneath. This way you have lots of compartments and they are easy to see. Shoe boxes can also be easily packed into suitcases and used to store
undergarments and things.
The top shelf of the locker is quite deep, with room to stack extra sheets
behind pants and sweatshirts where they stay out of the way and clean and folded until they are needed. Above the lockers is ample room for hiking packs, sleeping bags, and other overnight paraphernalia.
When it comes to life in the bathroom, think awesome learning experience for college dorm life! We have hanging cubbies provided in each bathroom with room in them for toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair accessories. Having a plastic caddy to hold all those other hygiene items under the sinks makes finding your stuff really easy.
So now that you’re unpacked and organized what about making it feel like home. Pictures from home and small posters and everyone’s colorful pillowcases quickly make the cabins look like they belong to each group of girls living there.
At Big Spring the type of living unit you live in depends on your age. The Junior Boys (ages 7-9 years) live in one of 2 cabins, Massive or Red Cloud. The youngest month long campers (ages 9-11 years) live in the Yurts. The rest of the guys (ages 12-16 years) live in the big green tents! This means that the best unpacking strategies are different for each type of summer home!
CABINS (Junior Boys)
Each guy in the cabins will have his own locker that can hold all your things. The lockers are 21”W, 22”D, three shelves 11”H each and lots of floor space for shoes and backpacks. Shoe box sized Rubbermaid totes can be great to keep socks and other small items in. You can also store sleeping bags and daypacks on top of your locker. There are cubbies in the bathroom for all your toiletry items.
YURTS (month long campers ages 9-11)
In the Yurts using your luggage as a “closet” works best. There is room at the end of your bunkbed to sit your trunk or duffle. The yurts also have lattice work around the walls that jackets and other items can be hung from and tucked into, so if you have a couple of those hangers that fit over the door at home – these work really well.
Things can also be hung from the beams in the ceiling. Hanging shoe organizers can make good cubbies when hung from the bunkbed or the ceiling. In the washhouse, you’ll have a cubby for all your toiletries and other smelly items.
TENTS (month long campers ages 12-16)
In a tent using the space under your bed is ideal! Store your backpack, shoes, sports gear under there. Using your trunk or duffel for your other clothes keeps them all in your space.
The tops of trunks can also be used as table tops for games and your waterbottle. Each tent is held to the frame with straps and clips – you can hang your calendar and mail in the clips next to your bed. In the washhouse you’ll have your own cubby for all your toiletry items.
We are excited for opening day and everyone to move in, we hope this this helps give some quick ideas that will make it easier to keep track of every sock you bring to camp! If you have any other questions about unpacking at camp please send us an email or give us a call: Contact us
or call (719) 748-3341 We can’t wait to see you and all your stuff soon!
Last year, High Trails campers participated in research on the development of resiliency in girls through the camp experience. COEC Director of Research, Heather Huffman, Ed.M. Harvard, Ph.D. UCLA, worked in concert with researcher Anja Whittington, Ph.D. of Radford University to test her newly designed measurement tool, the “Adolescent Girls’ Resilience Scale.” Surveys were administered to a specific population at camp at both the beginning and end of each term and we wanted to share our results with you.
Overall, High Trails campers showed a positive and significant change in their resiliency scores by the end of camp. Specifically, the girls’ scores increased in the areas of Positive Approach to Challenge, Self-Efficacy, Relationship-Building, and Confidence. Their scores did not change significantly in the area of Positive Peer Relationships. Scores did not decrease in any area. What does this mean, you ask? Read on to learn more about the AGRS scale and how resilience can be defined in the camp environment.
From the Adolescent Girls’ Resilience Scale (AGRS) website:
Simply stated, Resilience is the ability to negotiate and successfully cope with risks, challenges, and/or disadvantages. This includes having feelings of confidence and self-efficacy, being able to approach challenges in a positive manner and developing positive relationships with others.
The AGRS measures several components of girls’ resilience. This includes:
- Approach to Challenge: the degree to which girls view challenge positively; respond positively to stressful situations; feel brave and courageous; show persistence, and are flexible when problem solving.
- Self-Efficacy: the degree to which girls believe that they are capable and believe they have the ability and motivation to complete tasks and reach goals.
- Relationship Building: the degree to which girl’s form positive relationships with others, successfully negotiating conflicts in relationships, and feel comfortable with and supported by other girls.
- Confidence: represents an adaptive approach to challenge and sense of self-efficacy.
- Positive Peer Relationships: includes interactions with peers and how one interacts with or feels about their peers.
The goal of the AGRS is to measure change in the potential for resilience among adolescent girls (ages 10-18) as a result of participating in a broad range of programs designed to promote resilience among girls, such as adventure programming or camp experiences. The AGRS was tested over three years with a total of approximately 1500 girls from various organizations.