2012 is the 50th Anniversary of High Trails so it seems like a little trip down memory lane is appropriate. High Trails opened in 1962 with the lodge and four cabins: The Infirmary, Jumping Juniper, Gold Hut, and Kinnikinnik. Big Spring had been around for 14 years and a lot of the boys who attended Big Spring had sisters who were also interested in camp, so they were ready and willing to come to High Trails. In 1962, there were about 35 girls in each term.
This was before backpacking, so for cabinside overnights the girls would hike to a spring tank on the property, and Nasty Ned or another guy would deliver their Baker tents (three sided green canvas contraptions which had ten foot wooden poles and weighed about 50 pounds—five people could sleep in one but they were not at all watertight), food, large heavy grills and number #10 cans for cooking (no cook kits then).
The whole camp went together by hired bus on off-camp trips and the regular bus drivers became part of the community. These included three or four day trips to Ashcroft near Aspen which included a visit to the sled dogs at Toklat. These included Yukon King, Sergeant Preston’s famous companion (for those of you under 70, “Sergeant Preston of the Yukon” was a popular radio/TV show. Just so you know, I had to look it up on Google). Another “long” trip was to the Sand Dunes—the tents here were huge bus tents which weighed hundreds of pounds and had to be set up by the bus drivers. They slept about 25 and were stifling— everyone slept outside unless it was pouring rain.
The whole camp went to the River together (none of the rafts had bottoms and no one had a life jacket so Jaws could be pretty exciting) and to Cripple Creek to watch the melodrama. For in-camp program, everyone chose “Big Deals” and “Little Deals”–programs that met several times each term. There was a horseback riding Big Deal, a hiking Big Deal, a crafts Big Deal and even a dance Big Deal. And on Sunday, everyone wore tan and white, Laura’s favorite colors, had coffee cake for breakfast, and went to Sunday Rocks in the evening (we still have coffee cake and go to Sunday Rocks but the tan and white “uniform” is no longer.)
There were coed events with Big Spring and the advent of High Trails changed Big Spring in some profound ways. Probably the most significant change was that the boys started showering at least one a week. Status was also added to the roles of trash man, who got to pick up garbage at High Trails, and Assistant Counselors, who got to do dishes at High Trails on a rotating basis. Now, of course, the HT Assistant Counselors are girls and the girls do their own trash—but most of the boys still shower on Saturday before the coed event. This was also the beginning of the Camp Marriage Count (now at #66).
Ah, those were the good old days……
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