We have had a long and beautiful Indian Summer, with golden and red aspen trees lasting into late October. The temperatures are dropping a bit now and the mornings are chilly, but the sun is creating a lot of warmth during the day. We have not had a snowstorm yet, but know that it cannot be long now….
We are all looking forward to the relative calm of the winter season and the opportunity it provides to improve our programs and our facilities. We will meet this week to select dates for some of our exceptional trips next summer. These include four- and five-day backpacking trips on Mts. Elbert and Massive, Mts. Harvard and Yale, Pikes Peak, the Colorado Trail, Buffalo Peaks, the Tarryall Mountains and several more spectacular wilderness areas. We will also plan mountain climbing trips to Mt. Huron, Mt. Ouray, Mt. Oxford and Belford, La Plata Peak, Mt. Quandary, Mt. Democrat, Mt. Princeton and ten more Colorado “Fourteeners”. We are already anticipating the fun and challenge of these amazing adventures.
Next summer, we will also have an exciting new addition to our trip options. We have purchased 173 acres at the base of Mt. Antero in the Collegiate Range. This beautiful property will provide a wonderful base camp for mountaineering trips, fishing trips, and explorations of all kinds. Raspberry Creek runs through the property (which we are calling “Raspberry Gulch”) and we can’t wait to show it to our 2017 campers and staff.
This year, we have an exceptionally strong group of staff staying on through the winter to help us prepare for camp next summer. High Trails Directors Elizabeth Rundle-Marable and Ariella Rogge will lead a strong team consisting of Program Director Anne Shingler, Program Resource Specialist Val Peterson, and Ridge Leader Megan Blackburn. Big Spring Director Mike MacDonald has also assembled a great team including 2017 Assistant Directors Mike Adler and Mark Rutberg and Program Directors Martie Adams and Jalen Bazile. HT Wrangler Annie McDevitt will join Riding Director Maren MacDonald and Rachel Plambeck at the stables to help develop the riding program and keep the horses in shape. Of course, Jerry, Jane, Carlotta, and Jessie will be around to help with whatever is needed.
We will again be hosting the American Camp Association—Rocky Mountain Region Annual workshop in mid-November. Attended by camp leaders from several states, this is a wonderful educational and networking opportunity and many of our year round staff will be attending and, in some cases, presenting programs. High Trails Director Elizabeth Rundle-Marable is a member of the ACA Local Council of Leaders, and has been very involved in planning the conference.
Our maintenance crew has made excellent use of the good weather and have been doing a lot of painting as well as putting on some new roofs, including a brand new roof on the High Trails Lodge. During the winter, they will continue to work on all kinds of facility upgrades at Big Spring and High Trails.
Many of you have received enrollment information in the past month, and we are always happy to send our brochure and DVD to new families. We offer an early bird tuition discount for enrollments we receive before December 1. We have already received a significant number of enrollments for 2017 and are excited to watch the High Trails and Big Spring communities take shape.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!