Archive for the ‘Leadership and Teambuilding’ Category

News from Camp

Monday, July 30th, 2012

July 29, 2012

We have had a great weekend in camp after incredible adventures last week.  On Friday morning, three groups from High Trails summited three different Fourteeners:  Mt. Shavano, Mt. Antero, and Quandary Peak.  We also had many great horseback adventures, rock climbing, canoeing, tubing on the river, and much more.

Yesterday afternoon we celebrated the Olympics with a coed Olympic Carnival Extravaganza.   While our events were not exactly the same as those being showcased in London, it was a lot of fun (and we did have cotton candy, sno-cones, and popcorn!)  This was followed by a Superhero Dance in the evening.  Check-out our photos to see some of the creative costumes.

This afternoon, High Trails had a banana split party and also packed for long trips.  These three-, four-, and five-day trips leave Monday and Tuesday for many alpine locations in the central Rockies.  We plan to backpack many miles, climb many mountains, and enjoy the beauty of some of Colorado’s most spectacular wilderness areas.  In addition, four different horse trips will head out into the scenic ranching country to our West.

Big Spring also spent part of today packing for many overnight and all-day trips this week.  The boys have mountain climbs on the agenda as well as rock-climbing trips, river overnights, fishing overnights,  many camping trips on our property and a two-day trip to the high Sonoran Desert near Canyon City.

We were happy to welcome our fourth term Sanborn Junior campers today.  They are already forming their living communities and making new friends.  This week both the boys and the girls will be horseback riding, hiking, swimming, and enjoying their first overnight camp-out.

Our photographers are loading new photos from the week on our website tonight—they will be available tomorrow morning.  We’ll post another update on Wednesday!

Hike the Pike Tomorrow

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

June 29,  7:00 PM

Everyone is back in camp and the Lodges were hopping at dinner!  We are all looking forward to a fun weekend together.

Tomorrow afternoon we will hold our “Hike the Pike” walk for charity.  We have held this event for almost two decades.  Campers who choose to participate (and most of them do) can walk up to 6 miles from camp to the Witcher Ranch on our property and back.  Counselors walk with the campers and some are stationed along the road with water and other support.  The camps then donate $1 for every mile walked to a charity each year.  This year we will be supporting the Red Cross through This site has been established to provide assistance to those who have been evacuated by the Colorado wildfires.

We would like to invite camp families and alums to join us on the “Hike the Pike” walk in spirit.  By clicking on the above link, you can also donate to this worthy cause.  Please let us know on Facebook if you have made a donation.  Let’s go viral with this!

We will send another news update tomorrow and will post an immense number of photos of this week’s trips and activities on Sunday night.  Thanks, Jane

High Trails 50th Summer Staff

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Here at High Trails it’s been a long standing tradition to ask only the most important questions. You see we don’t like to waste our time on frivolous things like seating charts and upholstery patterns… Instead we wonder things like what kitchen utensil would you be and why? Or: What is your favorite musical experience you’ve experienced? We also ask ladies to imagine the most perfect weather… what are you going to do on such a day? Any particularly odd or weird things you can or like to do? Any by the way, if you were stranded on a desert island, what’s the one item you would bring with you?

This summer we are pleased to have some exceptionally talented, intelligent and strong women on our staff. We’ve also come to learn how quite funny and witty they all are, yet always kind and compassionate as well! During our 50th summer we are looking forward to remembering the history of camp with some old traditions and continuing with current projects like our GROW STRONG Initiative! Happy reading as you get to know us a little bit here and we can’t wait to meet you in person on opening day!

Juniper West

Juniper West (left-right)

Lucia Nunez

I am from Colorado Springs and am attending Scripps College to study Environmental Analysis. My dream vacation spot would definitely be Italy! I like to ballroom dance and am currently reading The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm! If I had to choose a kitchen utensil, I’d be a water bottle because I would save someone from using disposable water bottles AND have some awesome adventures – especially this summer!

Stacey Murrell

I come from Littleton, CO and am attending Malcalester College to study History, Political Science and Educational Studies. In the kitchen I would be a fryer in order to make things crunchy, salty, and delicious with a tough exterior and savory interior, but while frying I’d probably be eating super spicy chicken wings! I wonder what they would be like fried?!? The most interesting talent I have is that I can transcribe Elvish (Lord of the Rings), so of course if I was on an island I’d take a bow and arrows! Then, I could make my own adventures and live out Lord of the Rings/ Elf dreams… someone would probably write a book about me too!

Robin Gallagher

Hello there! I am from Mason, Texas and just graduated from Texas A& M with a degree in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics. The most important thing about me is that I am a happy person and I want you to be happy too! And of course dark chocolate (my favorite midnight snack) is always an important part of a well – balanced meal! I can’t wait for the campers to arrive and we get to have adventures together!

Juniper East (Left to right)

Juniper East

Whitney Walker

I spent the last 5 years living in Westminster, CO, but recently moved back to my hometown of Springdale, Arkansas – and am now back in Colorado for the summer! I have a BA in English from the University of Arkansas and a MLIS in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma. I’m planning to also work toward an MA in Journalism in the near future! Seeing “They Might Be Giants” on their “Flood” tour last year was a pretty awesome musical experience! Although, I would like to meet Mozart and chat with him about music – maybe I could introduce him to some of my favorites! This summer I’m super excited to become an expert fire building and campfire chef!

Haley Dukart

I am from Masonville, CO and attend the University of Wyoming to study Art Education with a Spanish minor. Someday, I’d like to travel all over the world and see all there is to see! Chief Sitting Bull, Cleopatra and John Lennon are 3 historical figures I’d like to meet.  The most important thing about me is I’m a very kind, friendly, trusting, and fun person. I follow my heart and stick to my gut feeling whenever possible.

Angela Scruggs

My hometown is Hendersonville, TN near Nashville and I am studying Statistics at the University of Tennessee KnoxvilleOne. Traveling to Switzerland and seeing the Alps, especially during an Olympic Games, would be a dream come true! I love awkward moments and laughing at awkward moments. So I end up laughing at myself a lot. And my greatest passion is helping the people of Haiti in any way possible. By the way… I can wiggle my ears on command!

Ponderosa West (Clockwise from Top)

Emily Abel

I’m from the mountains of Western North Carolina – lived in Franklin, NC for a while, then moved to Otto, NC, and now – when I’m not at school in Winston-Salem – I live in Black Mountain, NC. So…when people ask me this question, I typically just say “The mountains of Western North Carolina.” :P   I’m currently pursuing a double major in Sociology and Spanish  with a minor in Psychology at Salem College.  A deserted island actually sounds like a pretty great vacation to me, but I’d still bring some sort of satellite radio communication system so that I could get in contact with someone to ah…get me off of the island that I could only bring one thing to. :P Hopefully the battery would not be dead when I got there.

Ponderosa West

Kelsey Coon

I live in St. Augustine, Florida and grew up in Jacksonville. FL. I attend Flagler College and am studying Fine Arts and Graphic Design. I love to find live music gigs at little coffee shops and enjoy the show! I love the challenge of rock climbing and am stoked to meet new people during my first summer here at Sanborn!

Casey Carr

I am from Buffalo, NY and am a sophomore at Cornell University, studying Nutritional Sciences. I am currently reading The Book Thief, which has nothing to do with the fact that my dream vacation spot would be somewhere in the Swiss/ Italian Alps! My favorite midnight snack is an orange or clementine, but the most important thing about me is that I appreciate good souls!

Ponderosa East (Left to Right)

Kat Jarvinen

I traveled to camp from Evergreen, Colorado – it took near forever to get here! I am attending Reed College in Portland, Oregon and

Ponderosa East

am still figuring out my best course of study. I’m considering Chemistry, Anthropology and Religion as potential majors! I’m currently reading House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, but can’t wait to also start reading something aloud with my campers in the evenings. I’m excited to be back at camp and have lots of adventures!

Chelsea Davenport

Tulsa, Oklahoma is my hometown, but I attend Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO to study Psychology with a, Art: Theory and Practice minor. Currently my dream vacation spot is Greece, but we’ll see what other places I learn about that might intrigue me! I love to dance and performed an interpretive dance piece to a piano piece my friend composted for the final performance of one of his classes! I’d love to meet Einstein and discuss Quantum Physics as well as hair products.

Kelsey (Kelso) Shumate

I am from Fayetteville, Arkansas and am studying French at the University of Arkansas.  Thailand is definitely my dream vacation – A day of elephants, yoga, beaches, and endless Pad Thai sounds like a dream come true to me. Nothing compares to music around a campfire – so all of my friends playing all kinds of different instruments and singing around a fire is a great musical experience! With all the love and energy in the kitchen, I would be the sponge, so I could soak it all up!

Silver Spruce West (left to right)

Hannah Flink

I am another Colorado girl from Littleton and am attending the University of Colorado at Boulder to study Psychology/ Sociology. It was really cool when I performed in an a cappella group! I’d like to be a spatula that spends a lot of time mixing cake batter – yummy! I am so excited to share my passion for the outdoors with the campers! And P.S. I can make air come out my eyes…

Silver Spruce West

Maggie Kittner

I am from a very small town on the border of Mass. and NY called Great Barrington. I am attending Elon University in North Carolina to study Acting. I saw Lady Gaga in concert at 6 Flags New England before she was famous! I would take a huge radio/ boombox that has access to every music station ever to a deserted island! Don’t forget to ask me to wiggle my eyebrows like Ace Ventura!

Kelsey Wessels

I am from Howard County, Maryland and am attending Wake Forest University, studying Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies. Chocolate covered pretzels are my favorite midnight snack and I think sporks are the silliest (and yet most genius) utensil ever! The most important thing about me is that I’m always the one who laughs the hardest at my own jokes!

Silver Spruce East (left to right)

Silver Spruce West

Hannah Weisbecker

I am from Lincolnwood, IL, but am currently attending Tulane University and am deciding whether to study English or physics engineering. Currently I love learning to longboard in great sunshiny weather. I’ll know I’m really good when I can longboard on the camp roads! Really the most important thing you should know about me is that I love eating Cheerios and 2% milk for a midnight snack!!! Also, I am really looking forward to playing my guitar at vespers this summer!

Taylor Indrebo

I am currently studying Recreation and Outdoor Education at Western State College of Colorado! My perfect weather day is crazy thick fog. When you walk through it, it’s like being in another world! Along those lines, I would like to vacation on the Moon – I like cheese! But the most important think about me is – I am who I am!

Claire Pendergrast

coming soon

Cedar Lodge West (clockwise from top)

Cedar Lodge West

Eva Metz

Coming soon

Katherine Friedel

I am from Overland Park, KS and am studying Environmental Studies at the University of Kansas. Fun fact about me: I can touch my tongue to my nose and cross my eyes at the same time! I am so excited to be here for the camping, hiking, horseback riding – this is my dream vacation spot! And when I’m not doing any of those things you’ll find me sitting outside reading a book!

Hailey Jung

My hometown is Billings, Montana and I attend Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington where I am studying Anthropology, Global Studies and French.  The most important thing about me is that I am a devoted Hanson fan and I got to see them in concert with my sister Megan last year! I love pretzels, dry cereal and ice cream – separate or together! And if it were a bit cloudy and rainy, but warm I would hike all up and down the Pacific Coast!

Cedar Lodge East (left to right)

Kate Smith

I am from San Anselmo, California and am attending George Washington University to study Security Policy and International

Cedar Lodge East

Affairs. Probably the first thing you should know about me is that I can lick my nose (comes in handy when eating ice cream cones)! I’d like to have a girls’ night with Katharine Hepburn – she’d probably appreciate the nose trick too! I’m most looking forward to meeting people that I will become best friends with, and climbing mountains this summer!

Bry Meloni

Hello! I am from the great state of Michigan and earned a BFA in Production Design with a focus in Stage Management from Michigan State and will be attending the University of Colorado in Denver to study nursing in the fall! I’d love to travel anywhere I haven’t been and has a sense of adventure to it! One of my greatest memories is sitting backstage of Phantom of the Opera in the Broadhurst Theatre with the calling stage manager and the conductor struck up the orchestra for the overture. Not only was the music striking and stunning, but I literally felt it in my bones. It was one of the most full-bodied experiences I have ever had.

Crystal Palace East (left to right)

Crystal Palace East

Mary Gigliotti

I am from Jamestown. NC and attend the University of NC in Wilmington and am studying Environmental Studies. Good thing I’ve come back to camp where the food is amazing, since I can eat an impressive amount of food when it is something really yummy! That, and I love river trips, cabinside overnights, long trips, the scenery, etc. etc.  Of course, I would be the cookie jar and make sure I’m always full for midnight cookie runs!

Julia Hunter

I come from New Orleans, LA and am currently attend Duke University to study Pre- Med and French. In the kitchen, I would be a wooden spoon because they stay cool – even under heat! They are also good for making popcorn, sweet potato fries and pumpkin pie – all things I enjoy eating at midnight! This summer I am so excited to spend my time OUTDOORS walking through the mountains!

Maya Witte

My hometown is Columbia Heights, Minnesota and I am studying Liberal Studies – Global Non-Profit Leadership at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. I love musical jam sessions with my friends and stove-popped popcorn. Just so you know – I can cluck like a chicken while shaking my eyes!

Crystal Palace West (left to right)

Annamaria (A.M.) Viazzo

I come from Larchmont, NY, am attending Stony Brook University to study Biology and Bioengineering. I would really like to travel

Crystal Palace West

around Australia. Wherever I am, when the weather is sunny and dry, I’d go hiking with friends; bring a picnic lunch and a soccer ball for a pick- up game! If I could be a kitchen utensil, I would pick a man powered rotary egg beater because they’re pretty handy and just fun to play with!

Katie Powers

I come from Sherwood, Oregon and study Business Marketing at Portland State University. The one item I’d bring to a deserted island would be Emily Katz – of course, she’d be both helpful and entertaining! I love a good apple, anytime of day, but especially at night – good thing we have so many apples here at camp! And everyone should know that I can fold my tongue in half – hamburger style (not hot dog style!)

Kinnikinnik East (left to right)

Kinnikinnik East

Valerie Peterson

I am from Wichita, Kansas and am studying History and Sociology and would like to teach sometime in the future.  If I could imagine my plans for a day with the most perfect weather, I would have an outdoor party in the grass with cute little lights and awesome music (and since this is imaginary I’m adding a white fine sand beach and a lake) and lots of my friends and we’d all be barefoot and play outdoor games. And then, I’d sleep in my hammock under the moon! – And since I’ve perfected the most perfect combination of cheese we’ll dine at that! (Toasteds Buttercrisp Crackers with marbled colbyjack cheese. So. Good.)

Tess Cohen

I come from Palm Beach, Florida and attend Colgate University and am studying Art History. I am currently reading The Happiness Project which fits – since I love spreading happiness myself! With no other explanation needed – I would definitely be the ice cream scooper in the kitchen, but maybe more so the one at the ice cream shop in Breckinridge! The most important thing about me is that when there is music, WE will DANCE!

Tully Sandbom

I have traveled south from Anchorage, Alaska to be at High Trails this summer! Cookies, milk, and a book are a sure fire way to relax for me, and I’m currently reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I love playing outside and am so excited for long trips and vespers this summer! Besides all that – if I were stranded on a desert island, I think I would like to have a magic lamp because my happiness is infectious – I think the genie and I would have a great time surviving on the island!

Kinnikinnik West (left to right)

Kinnikinnik West

Lindsey Herman

I am from Warrenton, Virginia and am attending Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to study Environmental Studies and Women’s Studies with a minor in Music (Oboe Performance). I’m a patchwork quilt of stories and pictures. Also, I legitimately am as open-hearted as I seem, even though I look a little… funny (try to see past the mohawk). I’m so excited to be here this summer and sit on the porch and diddle around on the banjo… Run around and play ultimate frisbee… garden…jump on things. There’s so much stuff to do!

Sarah Merfeld

I am from Madison, WI and attend Colorado College to study Religion/ Philosophy. I would love to meet the Dalia Lama and just listen to him talk about anything. Also, I love the band Phish, and listening to an awesome fiddler is thrilling! You should probably all know that I can shoot water out of the gap in my teeth really far!

Kiley Falcone

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I live in Wilmette, IL, a town right outside Chicago and I go to school in Burlington, VT. I am a double major in English and Studio Art at the University of Vermont. I am currently reading Jane Eyre and love it! My favorite midnight snack is ice cream with more rainbow sprinkles than ice cream! I am most excited to reunite with friends this summer and finally getting to be an AC (I’ve been thinking about it since I was in Juniper!)

Columbine East (left to right)

Columbine East

Elizabeth Kirby

I come from Wilmette, IL near Chicago and am Pre-Med at the University of Virginia. I, myself, am not really musically inclined, but I had a great time at the Lollapolooza music festival. My perfect weather includes a 6 foot base of snow and a perfect powder day – then I’d go skiing. I would really like to visit Tahiti and Patagonia – they’d be pretty great! And p.s. I can pull out my belly button!

Janie Cole

I am from Chapel Hill, North Carolina and will be a senior at Salem College in the fall. I am double majoring in Sociology and Women’s Studies. I got to see and hear Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel… it was a beautiful night. :) I believe that midnight snacks are the best type of snack! Some of my classics would be lucky charms, or pickles, but not usually together. Oh, and I pretend that I am two inches taller than I really am. I am really good at it. The truth only comes out when I try to reach for things at the same time as friends who are actually two inches taller than me.

Darcy Kuhn

I am from Birmingham, Michigan and attend Adrian College to study Secondary Education. I think that visiting an ice hotel in Iceland is a pretty great dream vacation spot! In the kitchen, I would be the whisk – cause they’re just cool! And I would definitely take sunglasses with me to a deserted island!

Columbine West (clockwise from left)

Columbine West

Caitlin Rosso

My hometown is Birmingham, MI and I am attending Central Michigan University to study Entrepreneurship and Museum Studies. I really enjoyed seeing the Lion King musical production! If I could meet a historical figure, it would be Homer and I would like to know all about the Trojan War. And Obviously, if I were stranded on an island – I would want a boat and maybe some ice cream for a cool snack!

Sean Sudekum

I come from Defiance, Missouri and am studying Urban Development at the University of Redlands. I am so excited to be back at camp climbing 14ers, being with my girls and doing dishes – obviously! My favorite midnight snacks are sparkling lemonade, chocolate chip cookies and cashews! And of course – I would take a magical genie to a deserted island and he could make sure I had all the cookies I needed to survive there!

Morgan Coffey

Hey! I am so excited to be back at High Trails this summer and can’t wait to spend more time on trips with my girls and at the barn! I am from Kentucky and study biology and chemistry at Samford Pharmacy School. Besides camp, if I could vacation anywhere, I’d probably go to Greece and go island hoppin’ and see Athens!

Gold Hut East (top to bottom)

Sara Everhart Coming Soon

Gold Hut East

Jessica Locke

I am from Nocona, Texas and am attending Texas A and M – Commerce to study Agriculture Sciences and Technology with Education Certification. I would love to meet Annie Sullivan and discuss the keys to being an exceptional teacher and the challenges she faced in teaching Helen Keller. In the kitchen I would be a blender because I am a peacemaker. We can all come together from different walks in life and I would help us mix together to become something amazing. Oh, and I love Oreos and milk – really at any time of day!

Cade Beck

I am from a “little” mountain town by Golden, Colorado and am attending Whitman College. I am a history major who does a lot of theatre and a lot of photography! Hmm… dream vacation – somewhere deep in the woods. Well, I’m a gymnast, so I can do quite a few stupid human tricks if you give me a wide open field! And, I would be a spatula because I think that flipping pancakes would be really fun!

Gold Hut West (left to right)

Gold Hut West

Alex Tilsley

I come from New Hampshire and am attending the University of Southern California to study Comparative Literature with a Psychology minor. Dream vacation – hmmm – can it be somewhere where there is a city, the ocean and the mountains all in one? I am super excited about seeing the stars — we don’t get that often in LA. Also hiking, camping, and getting to meet amazing people. For obvious reasons – I would be a coffee maker!

Clara Troyer

I am from Denver, CO, but attend school at George Washington University and study English and Sociology. In order to help with homework, I’d like to meet Shakespeare and get his perspective on things! One of my goals in life is to emulate the ultimate combination of Beyonce, Tina Fey, and Audrey Hepburn… it’s a work in progress! Toward that goal I’d like to be Vicky’s (the High Trails baker) cookie jar, because I aspire to make people as happy as a chippy dippy bar can make me!

Aspen (top to bottom)

Irina Rasner

I consider Fairfax, Virginia my hometown and where I grew up for the majority of my life, but for the past few years, I’ve been living in Salt Lake City, where I feel I have grown the most as an individual. I graduated from James Madison University in 2009 with a degree in Psychology and minor in Russian Studies. I would like to travel to the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa and hike all through them! You should all probably know that I’ve been to 5 Backstreet Boys concerts!

Helen Higgins

I am from Mission Hills, KS and am attending Hamilton College studying math and art. I loved hearing an alpine horn while hiking in the Swiss Alps! I love to talk with Dr. Seuss about cheese, and I’ll have a carrot eating contest with Jessie Spehar any time of the day or night! But really, the most important thing about me is I love peanut butter – especially on carrots!

Lucy Stockdale

I am from Denver, Colorado and am attending Trinity University. I am still in the process of deciding my major, but am thinking about education/ communication. I am so excited to be back at camp and climb some more 14ers! I would want a Genie if I were stranded on an island! And the most important thing about me is that I’m a very loyal person and am open to anyone who wants to talk to me. (Plus, I secretly wish I was Cat Woman!)

Ridge Leaders (left to right)

Kristy Burt

I come from Mount Vernon, Ohio, but have spent the last couple years in Fort Collins, CO. I graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Natural Resources Environmental Communication. I love playing ukulele while campers sing along and another of my favorite music experiences was listening to Trampled by Turtles play at the Southeast Alaska State Fair. I am excited to climb so more mountains and sleep under the stars this summer; and you can count on my having a musical instruments at most times!

Kelly Muedeking

I am from Baltimore, Maryland and just graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BS in Environmental- Sociology and a Gender Studies minor. My most perfect day would include a nice long bike ride. Then, I’d grab a blanket and a book and lounge around outside. I’d end the day with a big BBQ with friends! And when I woke up in the middle of that night, I’d pop a big ‘ol bowl of popcorn.  One of the proudest moments of my life was when I beat a group of my friends (including two boys on the football team) in a pancake eating competition! I ate a pancake the size of a turkey platter in the least amount of time- 32 minutes!

Ashley (Smash) Robin

I come from Rehoboth, Mass. and attended St. Lawrence University and studied Geology and Environmental Science. If, by chance, I was on a deserted island I would take my Lord of the Rings books because they shaped my life and I would need to read them to all the wild animals that would be there. I am also hoping that maybe someday New Zealand will become a deserted island, and then I would be able to visit the hobbit holes! Obviously, I would want to meet J.R.R. Tolkien … we’d talk about EVERYTHING and speak Elvish with each other!

Lela Payne

I am from Jackson, MO and attended the University of Missouri and studied Political Science and Religious Studies. Speaking of musical experiences: Coldplay, but then there’s David Gray, Feist, John Mayer, and The Swell Season too … all equally impressive, earth shattering and magical – hard to choose! I would invite Queen Elizabeth II to dinner and I’d ask her how she really feels about the Spanish Armada… along with me maybe living in Buckingham Palace, full time of course!


Jenny Hartman

Hi! I am a Colorado girl from Littleton! I graduated from Colorado State University in 2010 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies! I’m so excited to continue working as a wrangler at the barn and teaching the campers to ride and care for their horses! You can definitely find me on my favorite horse, named Aspen, any chance I have, but I also enjoy reading. One of my favorite authors right now is Jodi Picoult, and you can find me in a hammock, in an aspen grove, in the mountains.

Lacey Ellingson

Well hello there – I am from Shoreview, MN and studied biology and Pre-veterinary Medicine at Willamette University. You can find me on my horse most days and as soon as I can figure out how to cook and eat a superhuman amount of s’mores while on my horse – life will be complete! I currently am reading A People’s History of the United States, so I might want it on a deserted island, but I’d definitely take my sister, since we keep each other entertained!

Amanda Nooter coming soon

Emily Katz

I am from the great plains of Kansas where buffalo roam through tornados made of sunflowers! I am currently attending the University of Colorado at Boulder to study Geography and Peace and Conflict Studies. On a nice sunny clear day I would find a grassy knoll and just roll, and roll, and roll until I got back to my tent – which would be pitched perfectly in a grove of aspens! In terms of music, I like to sing – and I sang Enrique Iglesias in Spanish on the streets of Spain once.

Jaime Olivette

Howdy! I am from Cazenovia, NY and am studying Elementary and Special Education at Syracuse University. I am very adventures and love to always be doing fun and silly things! My most perfect weather scenario is 80 degrees and sunny, and I would go kayaking, then for a long run, and take a nap in a hammock! I also think I would be a pyrex pan, if I were a kitchen utensil, because it can go in both the kitchen and the oven, and it’s see through – so you always now what you are getting!

Creative Quartet (left to right)

Bea Raemdonck - Kitchen Coordinator

Jenn Dalton – Arts and Crafts Guru

I am from Ohio and attended Ohio University to study Fine Arts. Interestingly enough my favorite midnight snack is jalapeno poppers and I LOVE art! I would definitely invite Vincent Van Gogh to dinner and I’d ask him how he felt about his success. Even though I love backpacking, if I were stranded on a desert island I would like a satellite phone!

Ali Ardery - outcamp

I come from Harper, Kansas and attended Oklahoma Wesleyan University and studied Psychology. Everything about seeing Cirque de Soleil was an exciting experience- I loved the music, entertainment and acrobatics! My favorite midnight snack is peanut M&Ms, and if I were the mixing bowl in the kitchen maybe someone would make M&M cookies in me – that would be pretty great! I am so excited to go on trips and learn new skills this summer!

Jessie Spehar – paparazzi

Hey! I am from Laramie, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming to study Elementary and Special Education. I am so excited to continue taking photos all summer and be in the out of doors with all the girls! My favorite midnight snack is tator tots, but you can probably find me eating them any ‘ol time! My water bottle has climbed 16 mountains with me in the last 6 summers and if I were on a deserted island I would probably bring my camera and homesick pills (the m&m’s from Julie’s desk)!

Nurses (left to right)

Ashley Noelke

Hello! I am one of the nurses this summer and can’t wait to help everyone stay healthy and hopefully get to come do some activities with you outside of the infirmary! I am from Washington, MO and went to Southeast MO State University for my nursing degree. I love to bake and if I got to pick any kitchen item to become for the day it would definitely be the mixer! The most important thing about me is that I’m a nice person and love fixing boo boos so you can get back to having fun!

Tressa Rudik coming soon

Evolving Education: Rodrick Lucero & the Educational Landscape, Part One

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The following is taken from a keynote speech given by Rodrick Lucero during the 2012 ACA Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Get ready to be inspired.

… My discussion with you will focus on the relationship between what you provide to the education of every child and what schools provide.  My hope is that you will walk away from this keynote with

  • specifics to share with parents about our collective role in the education of every child.
  • a sense of how camp and schools are related in the 21st century
  • a description of skills that camps contribute to the schooling of every child
  • a little bit of research on the importance of camps
  • and renewed vigor in the important work that you do!


In tears, a camper shares:  “Camp is such a big part of me…I grew up here; I found out who I am here; I have spent my childhood here; I figured out my values here; and now I know I can do anything!  I am more confident in school now.  I really want to take what camp has given me and share it with the world!”

Another camper notes: School is more fun because of camp, because I figured out who I was, I was able to “find my voice”…and as a result I am more of an active participant in my life…I like school because I am part of the process, not just watching it from the outside looking in.  I have finally learned that when I challenge myself, I can be a better me.”

And yet another:  It’s better to be on a summit with a group, it’s a shared journey, shared worked, shared struggle, and shared rewards!

A staff member writes:  Being outside encourages skills that a classroom can’t touch; problem-solving that combines visceral engagement with intellectual development.  Kids use their bodies and their hands to interact with the world; they have more chances to grow emotionally and socially.   Camp is like school on steroids; I have freedom that spans the out of doors and my “classroom” encompasses whenever I can dream up…kids are more engaged, receptive in nature.  After this experience, I will always make sure that there in an outdoor component to everything I teach.  Here we teach emotional intelligence with every interaction…everyone here is an educator because everything we do is intentional.

So what have these campers and counselors captured?  They have eloquently stated why camp is part of their educational experience.  The have described the soft skills, otherwise known as the 21st century skills that guide every student through every learning event of their lives from the Biology lab, to learning the “J” stroke with a canoe, to playing in the band, to saddling a horse, to team sports in Physical Education, and to engaging in a reflective essay in English, or the genuine appreciation for a sunset.  It is the development of these soft skills…these 21st century skill…that camp does well and where schools struggle…As educators, it is incumbent upon us all to work collaboratively with our local, state, and national school communities and articulate what our important contributions, let them articulate what they provide and intentionally plan for a vision of educational excellence for every child.  We can no longer live in the safe isolation that has defined our relationships for over 150 years.  The camp community and the school community absolutely need one another if they are to continue to be relevant, to continue to prepare young people for active involvement in our democracy, engagement in the environmental crises we are facing, and shared responsibility for all others across the globe.

So much of what we hear about effective education calls for the reform of the system.  However, maybe “reform” isn’t the answer.  Maybe “renewal” captures our charge with more clarity.  It is my supposition that each entity, schools, and camps, do better because of the other, while they can (and often do) exist in isolation their collectives outcomes will dramatically improve the life of each child who benefit from the good work in both environments.

The work in which we engage is best understood by what John Goodlad has called “Simultaneous Renewal”.  It is not in reform that we find answers, but in continual growth.  It’s a “space” where we recognize what is good and we build upon it.  It’s also a “space” where we identify needed change; those elements that are barriers to our growth.  Reform, on the other hand, is a call for throwing out the good work that has been done, and constructing a new “world order”.  But as we look at how we learn, we begin from what we know…doesn’t renewal sounds like a more realistic way to provide ongoing, effective, instruction!  Reform is much about ideas that have no foundation, no place in practice, and are therefore relegated to existence in rhetoric without any manifestation in the reality of the educational environment.

“Renewal” is hopeful and resonates with the power of a joyful educational system that is always in process…always climbing, always meeting children where they are and taking them where they need to be…it speaks to the “camp” experience and its place in the education of every child. It is this commitment to personal growth that we remember in our own camp experience, it’s the memory of last summer’s “renewal” that brings a camper back the next year, and staff back for several seasons!  It is what we do!

Simultaneous Renewal is a realization that innovations, ideas, and creative endeavors are robust when they have a tangible benefit for participant.  In our daily camp activity schedules are we insuring that all participants;  campers, counselors, directors, vendors, parents, staff, etc. are involved in the mission and engaged in making the experience meaningful.   Every participant must be engaged in the mission, and therefore must be actively part of the culture.  All participants must “belong” to the camp environment if they are to create meaning within the day to day operations.  Are cooks invited to campfires? Are mechanics invited to an appreciation breakfast put on by campers? Are mail carriers greeted with “ant cookies” made especially for them? So, I would ask you, how is renewal built into your camp processes, staff training, activity dockets, letters home, etc.?

The synergy created when human beings engage in meaningful experiences together is palpable.  It is why we love camp, it’s why campers return year after year, and it’s how we retain staff beyond one season. This “renewal” happens when meaning is defined around a purpose.  In my camp experience the founders of the camp used a mantra, “fun and adventure, with a purpose”.  In my first staff training experience it became clear what the “purpose” was…as Counselors, we were there to enjoy being in the out of doors with campers, but also to educate them about the natural world in which we explored.  It is here that the mission is found…a focused idea: an idea of purpose, an idea of learning.  It is on the first day of my first staff week where I became an educator.  I can recall an overwhelming sense of responsibility and excitement sweeping over every sense as I wondered how I would answer the charge to be an educator.  Would I be good enough? Would I know enough? Would I be engaging enough? Would I be funny? Would I be liked? What if I didn’t know an answer?

As staff training continued I came to a realization that has stayed with me thirty years later…it’s not about knowing the answers, critical thinking and effective instruction is about asking the questions…and then searching for possible answers together…the discovery…ah, the discovery.  The miracle happens every day, and every cloud becomes a shape to see, every ant hill was a city to be studied, every song was a mirror within which to see ourselves, and every challenge, an opportunity to help others, even while we struggled…and we learned…that the fun was in the journey, and that the journey of learning never ends…and the fun never ends.  And the answer to effective learning and effective education is, as Ellen noted in my session yesterday…the answer is CAMP.

So what are these 21st Century skills that we’ve been discussing, and how exactly do they help us learn, how do they help us all in our own renewal?

Because of camp…

We learned to persevere

We learned to be kind

We learned what was meant, by camp cookies that sang.

We learned how to take the next step, then the next as we climbed

We learned to live in a community

We learned that Facebook was not as much fun as a sunset

We learned that our I-Phone was not as engaging as kickball

We learned to make friends

We learned to overcome homesickness

We learned to lend a helping hand

We learned that a smile we could share was more important that our rotten mood

We learned to challenge ourselves, and our friends

We learned the power and subsequent respect of a thunderstorm

We learned to be a member of a team

and when to lead,

and when to follow

We learned the magic of a group effort

We learned the intimacy of being silent

We learned the humility of being a part of nature

We learned that don’t have to sing well, to sing camp songs

We learned that the showers get hotter when the toilets are flushed

We learned that we really have value

We learned that we really do have worth

And we learned that we really do matter

And we learned that sometimes we need someone else’s help

And we learned that in every interaction, and in every challenge there was

something for us to learn…and we learn…and we learn…and we learn…

… to be continued

Dr. Rodrick S. Lucero is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the School of Teacher Education and Principal Preparation in the School of Education at Colorado State University and has 10 years’ experience as a camp staff member. He was a well-respected high school teacher and high school administrator for 21 years before moving to his current position. His educational career has been heavily influenced by the relevance inherent in a natural environment and he continually advocates for a myriad of learning environments in order to educate every student effectively. It is at this complex intersection that Rod has fused his passion for nature and his passion for educational opportunities for every child.

Easter Egg Hunts: An Opportunity for Nature Adventure!

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

One of the great annual traditions of the year-round staff of Sanborn Western Camps and the High Trails Outdoor Education Center is our Easter Egg hunt and staff dinner.

Easter egg hunts up here take place outside, in all weather…many years we are digging through the snow to find eggs (and, yes, this event is NOT reserved for kids under the age of 12).

Last year, however, we had one of the most fun hunts in recent memory.  It combined nature activity, sensory awareness game, and great teamwork.  If you are looking for a way to refresh your Easter Egg hunt, this will make the hunt memorable, fun, and engage the entire family!

Setting Up the Hunt:

  • Hide the eggs in both easy and challenging locations
  • Use the natural landscape to hide the eggs in unique ways (in the crook of a tree, in a hole, under a bush) this makes the hunt more exciting and fun for everyone
  • There should be an “Egg Master”, or a time limit so someone knows when all of the eggs have been found, or time has expired

Framing the Hunt for Participants:

  • Each person needs a partner; pair children with adults if possible or younger children with teens
  • The oldest partner needs to be blindfolded
  • The youngest partner “leads” his/her partner to the hidden eggs….BUT CANNOT TOUCH THEM TO GUIDE THEM (this can change if you have a very young child)
  • Only the blindfolded partner can touch the eggs
  • If you want, have a time limit (5-7 minutes) and then switch roles

After the Hunt:

  • Use the hunt as an opportunity to talk about where animals hide their eggs or make their nests
  • If possible, head back out and see if any eggs were missed while trying to find “real” nests and animal homes in the same area
  • Collect items found in the area to build your own nest…you can use it to contain all of the chocolate eggs you collected during the Easter egg hunt!

Have fun and share YOUR favorite Easter egg hunt!

The Sanborn Semester: Education at Its Peak

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Live It.

We begin the new year with some exciting news!

We are launching a new semester school program, the Sanborn Semester, to begin in January 2013. This unique semester program is designed for achievement oriented, college-bound high school juniors and seniors.

Students will live at The Nature Place from mid-January to mid-May and take core subjects (English, History, Science, Math, Foreign Language, etc) taught in an experiential and integrated format. In addition to the academic subjects,
students will participate in a unique Perspectives course which is focused on leadership, service learning, environmental ethics, and research. They will provide community service by becoming teaching assistants in our High Trails Outdoor Education Program, and they will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the many special outdoor opportunities the Sanborn property provides—horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, biking and more.

Learn It.

Why, you might ask, would a summer camp undertake a high school semester program? The answer is simple: We are educators and we have always been educators. (Some of you will recall the stories Sandy used to tell about the years he was Superintendent, Principal, only Teacher, and Janitor at the Florissant High School) We know that young people thrive when they have contact with the natural world; we know that the technology we are surrounded with can create distraction in a teen’s life which leads to diminished focus; we know that a program which integrates academic skills with social and emotional skills provides a solid foundation for 21st century success. And we know that our brand of experiential curriculum works on many levels. It excites and inspires students; it reignites curiosity and wonder; it makes learning fun and relevant again; and it helps to create a passion for lifelong learning.

Be It.

Our year-round professional staff is extremely excited about the opportunities which the Sanborn Semester presents, and are committed to providing a truly transformational experience for the students who join us.

If you know of any outstanding high school students who might be interested in the program, please let us know
and we will be happy to send them additional information about the curriculum, the program, and community life.

We would also be happy to send information if you are connected with a school and know of students who might be interested in this opportunity. You can also check our website

We look forward to hearing from you!

How Long Is Your Shadow?

Monday, February 6th, 2012

How long is your shadow?

“How long is the shadow of your leadership?” A recent article in the ACA’s Camping Magazine includes an article by Kerry Plemmons, a clinical professor at Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. The basis of the article is that camp is good for everyone. Plemmons and fellow professors bring students from DU’s business school to The Nature Place for a weekend early in their graduate school careers to help teach the students the leadership skills necessary to be successful business men and women.

The relationship between Daniels and The Nature Place started in 1990 when Rob Jolly and Sandy Sanborn approached Daniels with the idea of experiential leadership. As part of the 10th Mountain Division, Sandy saw the importance of strong leadership in challenging situations. He saw how organizations could be successful with a flat structure. He saw the long-term benefits of leadership opportunities in students of all ages. During the summer, we offer a Peaks to Performance curriculum where campers can partake in SOLE and CORE in 8th and 9th grade, respectively and are able to be Junior Counselors and Outbackers in 10th grade. We put into practice the beliefs that Sandy felt so important with campers:

  • Individual development: self confidence, virtue & courage, sense of self, leadership roles & styles, establishing trust
  • Team development: working with a team, encouraging & helping others, interdependency, membership and followership
  • Problem solving: managing others, creativity & innovation, environmental awareness

These are the same skills that DU business students develop and practice during a three-day weekend. As Plemmons points out, it is easy and fun to talk about leadership, ethics, and values in a classroom, but it is not until the skills can be put into practice that individuals are challenged, motivated, and successful at implementing personal change. Campers are challenged during the summer in a safe and supervised environment. Counselors are prepared to help campers work together and challenge themselves individually.

Daniels students are taught “the Shadow of Leadership” – we practice leadership skills modeled by others, and those skills

Working together on a plan

are hopefully passed onto other people we interact with; and ideally the shadow of good leadership continues to grow. Plemmons explains, “When you think of bad leadership, the influence of that person leaves as soon as the physical shadow is gone…Good leadership is able to influence people across boundaries of time and space through empowerment.” This is our goal for every participant (from the young camper, to the DU graduate student, to the corporate business person) who comes through the Colorado Outdoor Education Center – to be in the shadow of positive leadership and help that shadow grow.

It is important to us to keep asking, “How will you build capacity in others in a manner that lengthens the shadow of your leadership?”

Holiday Listening Skills: The Reason for The Visit

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Taking time to listen...all year long

How are your listening skills? Today is the Colorado Outdoor Education Center’s annual holiday luncheon at The Nature Place.  It is our opportunity to get everyone from the different departments at COEC together for a meal and some quality story telling, some questionable singing, and some good listening.  This is a holiday tradition that has been part of Sanborn for decades.

Story telling is an essential part of the holiday season, it allows us to take a deep breath and immerse ourselves in the history of the past year with our friends and family.  It allows us to remember those we have lost, and celebrate the triumphs of childhood and share our quest for sanity in parenthood.  It allows us the opportunity to listen at a deeper level.

In the excellent article, In Africa, The Art of Listening, author Henning Mankell reminds us why “humans have two ears and only one tongue”.  Much holiday family time revolves around “visits” to different places to see different people…yet a “visit” is also a time to chat and, more importantly, to listen.  It is around these holiday tables that I learned my history and began to define my own set of stories to help explain my distinct sense of self.

One of my family’s favorite stories was about Sandy Sanborn.  My uncle, Charlie, does an amazing Sandy impression and his favorite story is a humorous retelling of The Day The Sheriff Came.  “Chandler” (as my uncle was known) was the Garbage Man at Big Spring.  The day the sheriff arrived (for reasons never known), Sandy had my uncle hide—and then began to tell everyone that “Chandler” was a wanted man.  At the next meal, a shot was fired outside the lodge, and–in dramatic fashion–my uncle crashed through the front doors….covered in ketchup.  (This was always the point in the story my dad would mutter, “My kids are NEVER going there…”)  I don’t remember what happened next—but I’m certain it involved Sandy’s deep belly laugh…a laugh that I had heard imitated for years before I actually heard it in person.

Children LOVE your stories.  They will readily become enraptured as you tell stories about your favorite gifts, most memorable holiday moments, and the history of the traditions you practice and remember.  They want to hear your stories about everything: school, camp, love, adventure, embarrassment, and mistakes.  A good story will teach a lesson…but the listener might not realize the lesson for years to come.  Your stories will shape their paths, and they will return to them again and again to gain more and more knowledge about the world.

In a world where information is ubiquitous, time is a valuable resource, and there are innumerable technological distractions that take away from these “visits” it is important to take time to pause, reflect, remember and share.  Whether we know it or not, we all crave the knowledge those moments provide.  As Mankell says, “Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening.”

During this holiday season, we hope you take time to tell a story or two, listen to the stories being told, and watch for the new stories being created.

Happy Holidays!

The Teenage Brain: A Beautiful Thing!

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

A Natural High at the High Ropes Course

Teenagers rejoice! In the October issue of National Geographic, an article entitled Beautiful Brains reveals that many of the traits that cause you (and your parents) headaches and heartaches actually make you, from about age 10-25, some of the most adaptable individuals on the planet.

In a nutshell, the research shows that your love of excitement, novelty, risk, and the company of peers is not only normal, they are universal traits of adolescence. For some “these traits may seem to add up to nothing more than doing foolish new stuff with friends,” but for you—they help prepare you for life on your own.

Teens’ love of excitement and novelty, “sensation seeking”, peaks at age 15. The desire to meet new people and try new things can, theoretically, lead to negative outcomes (depending on the people and the things). Yet, in most cases, sensation seeking is a supremely beneficial trait: by seeking opportunities to meet other people in new situations—much like camp–you better prepare yourself for a world full of people who aren’t exactly like you. Thus, you create a rich pool of varied friends and relationships with your peers, and supportive, healthy adults outside of your immediate family.

New Experiences Above the Clouds

Teenage risk-taking involves the most hand-wringing from their parents, and has recently been attributed to teens “undeveloped” brains. The article showed, however, “teens take more risks not because they don’t understand the dangers but because they weigh risk versus reward differently: In situations where risk can get them something they want, they value the reward more heavily than adults do.” In many cases, the reward is recognition, acceptance and the admiration of their peers.
This “reward” may not seem substantial (especially if, as a parent, you are dealing with any sort of teenage—or tweenage—girl drama), yet teens “gravitate toward peers for another, more powerful reason: to invest in the future rather than the past.” We are born into a world made by our parents, but it is whether we can successfully create and remake our own world that matters…and we need good, healthy friends to help us do it. This reminded me of a story from one of our SOLE trips this summer.

Making dinner on SOLE trip

Every day of the trip, staff members assigned certain “camp life” tasks to certain groups when they arrived at camp. Some campers would put up tents, others would hang the bear bag, while others would prep for and cook dinner. One day, the small group that was supposed to be hanging the bear bag was just hanging out. When asked about the bear bag, they replied, “Oh, we didn’t see how you put it up yesterday, we were waiting for you to help us.” The counselor kindly, but firmly, said, “Figure it out.”

Both the counselor and the campers related that story to me after the trip. The counselor was struggling with what she must not have done during her demonstration; the campers were beyond ecstatic and delighted because, “It took a long time, but we did it ourselves!”

So the counselor should feel validated when author David Dobb states, “when parents engage and guide their teens with a light but steady hand, staying connected but allowing independence, their kids generally do much better in life.” And, after 63 years of doing just that with each and every one of our campers, we know it is true.

As always, the images from the National Geographic article are stunning…but we like to think our own images tell a bit different story of risk-taking, novelty, excitement, and the company of peers. Enjoy!

How Camp Staff Creates Awesomeness

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

A recent Fast Company article, Leadership Lessons from Burning Man, caught the eye of Big Spring Director, Mike MacDonald because, as he said, “We already DO these things.”

“It starts with culture”

The New Face of The HT Store

As the program director at High Trails, each summer I am energized by the creativity and motivation of the collected group of staff members who return or are brand new each and every summer. Their ideas for both in and out of camp programming are as varied and nuanced as each individual at camp.

During a program interview prior to camp, I will ask staff about their “secret nerd hobbies” and their “passion areas.” These are often jumping off points for many creative activities we share with campers. Maybe a staff member knows how to crochet, or he is a campfire culinary master, or she is just really into Harry Potter. By immediately trying to integrate our staffs’ interests into the summer program offerings, we are harnessing their creativity and creating buy-in for the creative, inspirational community culture of camp.

Additionally, once our staff are familiar with the day to day camp schedule, we regularly solicit new ideas for activities and trips to add variety and richness to our program offerings. This inspires others to “think big” and also creates an opportunity for positive reinforcement that benefits the entire organization.

“Add a dose of trust and positive reinforcement”

Look out! It's Mystique on the Move!

This summer at camp, overnights and trips like The Pirate Overnight, The Yoga/Horse Five Day, The Ghost Hunter Overnight, The Locavore All Day, and The Assault on Mt. Doom (formerly known as The Pikes Peak Bomber), made for memorable, creative, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the campers and staff on the trips. Themed hikes featuring X-Men adventures, 80’s attire, fairies, and Ninja hijinks were both new on sign-up sheets—and full of the creative spirit of the staff whose idea inspired the activity. Nature activities like PoeTREE and Guerilla Art were both unique and enhanced the campers’ Sense of the Earth, while The Junkyard Art All Day will, undoubtedly, be the catalyst for the next generation of Burning Man artists. The newly created “Costume Class” competition during 2nd Session’s Gymkhana was a fantastic addition to a long-standing tradition, while our traditional ceramics program was a hit for many of the campers—with some of the pieces they created out on overnights being glazed and fired for an end of camp show that was enjoyed by the whole community.

We don’t always know how a new trip or activity will work out. And sometimes they DON’T work. Yet as an organization we trust the efficacy of the entire experience because that type of experiential, creative learning is enormously beneficial for both campers and staff. Campers provide real-time feedback to adults, often directly “challenging the process” and “inspiring a shared vision”, while staff members are able to analyze their triumphs and potential missteps in a supportive, creative community environment where feedback is often solicited as much as it is given…because personal success should be celebrated.

“Motivate with autonomy”

Yoga on Horses

What should one do on Xanni and Grace’s Rugby and Parkour Adventure Hike? Whatever Grace and Xanni decide to do. In this case, campers did a lot of running around, jumping off/over/around rocks/bushes/trees, and practicing the fine art of “scrumming”—all while hanging out with a couple of REALLY OUTSTANDING female role models.

Utilizing the talents, interest areas, and latent creativity of staff members allows for autonomous professional and personal growth. Even if staff members don’t necessarily know what the heck “Treehouse Madness, Fairy House Building, and Cloud Watching” might be, they have to craft an activity that is fun, campercentric, and fulfills the mission in some way. This also helps them create opportunities for camper excitement, ownership, and autonomy because the campers themselves often have great ideas about where to build the best fairy houses, what to do at the treehouse, and which valleys/high points have the best cloud watching potential.

Autonomy can be terrifying: “What if I mess up? What if this doesn’t work out? What if it does? What will people think? How will I feel?” Yet in the camp environment, campers and staff ask themselves versions of these questions every day. By making independent choices and dealing with the real time outcomes, our campers and staff develop stronger, authentic selves.

In our camp environment, like the larger Burning Man community, there simply isn’t room or time for micromanagement. The mission and community shape the camp culture; the people and the 6,000 acres of space create the unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience we share each and every summer.

“Reward people with appreciation rather than money”

Junkyard Art All Day Adventures

People don’t often get rich through creative expression alone…and we also know they don’t get rich working as summer camp counselors. Yet the value of the experience IS truly multi-faceted: an enhanced confidence in one’s own creative ability, the recognition found in self-expression in a community, and the freedom to learn, grow, and challenge oneself to create something unique that positively impacts the campers and their camp experience.

I truly appreciate the creative efforts and inspired thinking of our Sanborn staff members…and I challenge any and all of the participants of Burning Man to see if they can sustain and maintain their creativity for the duration of a summer camp contract…you do remarkably great things in the desert for seven days, but our staff do AMAZING things for 72 days.

Oh yes. The Sanborn Staff are en fuego.

-Ariella Rogge-