Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

News from Camp: February 1, 2015

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

The white snow sure makes a nice contrast against the rustic red Big Spring Barn.

We have had several good snowstorms since January 1 and the Ranch is beautiful under its white blanket.  We are always grateful for the moisture and know that this snow will transform itself into green grass and abundant wildflowers next summer.  We see a lot of animals on the Ranch—elk, deer, and a flock of more than 20 wild turkeys which has been hanging out near the Big Spring Office.

Mike, Elizabeth, and Matthew have enjoyed seeing many of you as they traveled through the Midwest with our digital slide show program.  They have appreciated their warm receptions and enthusiasm for the coming summer.
February is a busy month as we prepare for the summer of 2015.  A major project throughout the winter is to hire the summer staff—counselors and wranglers, nurses and A.C.s.  We are always so proud of the outstanding college men and women who spend their summers contributing enthusiasm, fun, and nurturing leadership for the young people who attend Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.  We already have a great group of returning staff lined up and are making careful selections among new applicants now.
The National Convention of the American Camp Association will be held in New Orleans next week, and we will be participating in full force. Jane is the Chairperson for this year’s conference and has been working on an outstanding educational program for many months. Ariella, Jackson, and Patrick will be leading educational sessions at the conference. Mike, as immediate past Chairperson of the Rocky Mountain Region of the American Camp Association, will be participating in the leadership events held at the conference.  Elizabeth, Carlotta, Jessie, Janie, Matthew, Ian, and Sarah will also be attending the conference. This type of training helps us to stay on top of evolving issues and inspires us to continue to improve our program each summer.
Our maintenance team continues to work on various projects to improve our facilities.  They are finishing up an interior remodel of the Big Spring Health Center and of the bathroom in Crystal Palace.  We’re also working on installing a brand-new floor in the High Trails Lodge.
Maren and Jamie are hard at work preparing the riding program for next summer and making sure the horses are all ready for their busy season.  It won’t be long before we start having new calves at the Witcher Ranch.
We are all excited about the community that is coming together for the summer of 2015 and can’t wait to begin the fun. We are happy to mail our brochure and DVD to anyone interested in camp and to provide references for new families.  If camp is in your plans, please let us know soon, as we have several grades in both terms at High Trails and the first term at Big Spring which are filled or near filling.  Several terms of Sanborn Junior are also building waiting lists.

We have had several good snowstorms since January 1 and the Ranch is beautiful under its white blanket.  We are always grateful for the moisture and know that this snow will transform itself into green grass and abundant wildflowers next summer.  We see a lot of animals on the Ranch—elk, deer, and a flock of more than 20 wild turkeys which has been hanging out near the Big Spring Office.
Mike, Elizabeth, and Matthew have enjoyed seeing many of you as they traveled through the Midwest with our digital slide show program.  They have appreciated their warm receptions and enthusiasm for the coming summer.
February is a busy month as we prepare for the summer of 2015.  A major project throughout the winter is to hire the summer staff—counselors and wranglers, nurses and A.C.s.  We are always so proud of the outstanding college men and women who spend their summers contributing enthusiasm, fun, and nurturing leadership for the young people who attend Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.  We already have a great group of returning staff lined up and are making careful selections among new applicants now.
The National Convention of the American Camp Association will be held in New Orleans next week, and we will be participating in full force. Jane is the Chairperson for this year’s conference and has been working on an outstanding educational program for many months. Ariella, Jackson, and Patrick will be leading educational sessions at the conference. Mike, as immediate past Chairperson of the Rocky Mountain Region of the American Camp Association, will be participating in the leadership events held at the conference.  Elizabeth, Carlotta, Jessie, Janie, Matthew, Ian, and Sarah will also be attending the conference. This type of training helps us to stay on top of evolving issues and inspires us to continue to improve our program each summer.
Our maintenance team continues to work on various projects to improve our facilities.  They are finishing up an interior remodel of the Big Spring Health Center and of the bathroom in Crystal Palace.  We’re also working on installing a brand-new floor in the High Trails Lodge.
Maren and Jamie are hard at work preparing the riding program for next summer and making sure the horses are all ready for their busy season.  It won’t be long before we start having new calves at the Witcher Ranch.
We are all excited about the community that is coming together for the summer of 2015 and can’t wait to begin the fun. We are happy to mail our brochure and DVD to anyone interested in camp and to provide references for new families.  If camp is in your plans, please let us know soon, as we have several grades in both terms at High Trails and the first term at Big Spring which are filled or near filling.  Several terms of Sanborn Junior are also building waiting lists.

Klean Karma for YOU!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Kleanin' Karma (and socks) Since 1948

As we head into our 2015 Sanborn Road Show Midwest Tour, we look forward to seeing many current and past campers, camp families, alums, and staff. These individuals in each of our Road Show cities always articulate and echo the value of the camp experience to the new and prospective campers and camp families in attendance.

We have realized that some of you miss out on the opportunity to share stories and highlights of your Sanborn experience with the World-At-Large, so we would like to encourage you to take a couple of moments and share your thoughts in our new, online review site.

This process not only gives voice to your personal Sanborn Western Camps experiences for Everyone On The Planet to enjoy, but it gives the data-driven logarithms of technological monoliths like Google good stuff to share.

And we like to share.

So thank you, Awesome Sanborn Friends Who Don’t Live in Road Show Cities. And, if you DO live in Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or Santa Fe, we hope to see you at the Road Show this next week (sorry, Denver, have to wait until February 11th, now).  And for our Sanborn Road Show attendees, if you aren’t The Type To Stand Up And Spout Testimonials In Front Of Strangers, then simply fill out this quick online review instead.

Your Karma will be forever Klean because of it.

ATTENTION UPDATE: Denver Roadshow Rescheduled

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

We will keep you updated on our snow adventures, if you promise to go out and have some fun too!

Good morning everyone,

We want to make sure you have heard the news that the Denver Roadshow has been rescheduled due to snowy weather all over the Denver area and down to camp!  We have rescheduled the show for February 11th, 2015 @ 7:30 pm.

Denver, CO

Wednesday February 11, 2015
7:30 p.m.
1st Plymouth Congregational Church
The Odeon Room
3501 South Colorado Blvd.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone in February! In the meantime you can always keep in touch on Facebook, snail mail, or give us a call and have a chat!

Jane Sanborn Receives Colorado College Spirit of Adventure Award

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Sanborn Western Camps and Colorado College have a long, storied history. The Admissions team used to hunker down at The Nature Place to finalize their annual freshman class; every summer (and many Outdoor Education seasons) we hire CC students and graduates as staff; we have relationships with many faculty members past and present; and we even have a few Colorado College graduates on our year-round staff. One notable Colorado College grad is our Executive Director, Jane Sanborn. Among other things, she credits Colorado College for her affinity for Shakespeare, for her witty editorial voice, and for her ability to solve multifaceted problems in creative ways.

This upcoming Saturday, October 11, 2014, Jane Sanborn will receive the Spirit of Adventure Award at Colorado College’s Opening Convocation Ceremony in Shove Memorial Chapel. The Spirit of Adventure Award is one of only four Alumni awards presented during Opening Convocation. 

This award “recognizes an alumnus/a, who exemplifies the unique CC experience through a life of intellectual, social or physical adventure. These attributes are characterized by Robert M. Ormes ’26, English Professor, Colorado College, 1952-1973 who was the inaugural award recipient.  He was an adventurer of the mind, body and the spirit which exemplifies much of what is special about Colorado College.”

The College profiled Jane in both a recent Alumni magazine as well as in the Homecoming registration materials and shared this biography and description:

“An adventurer’s spirit has guided Jane McAtee Sanborn ’70 throughout her career at Sanborn Western Camps/Colorado Outdoor Education Center, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching and practicing teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, independence, and critical thinking. As executive director, Jane leads Sanborn Western Camps, which involves 700 young people each summer in an active outdoor program. She oversees the High Trails Outdoor Education Center, which provides residential outdoor education programs for sixth graders. Through the Nature Conference Center, Colorado Outdoor Education offers programs for adults and families, in addition to providing outstanding team and leadership development programs for MBA students, educators, and corporate groups. Jane served two terms as president of the American Camp Association (ACA)-Rocky Mountain Region, and as a member of the ACA National Public Policy Committee. She currently serves as chair of the ACA National Conference and chair of the ACA National Children, Nature, and Camps Committee. She is a recipient of the Rocky Mountain ACA’s Distinguished Service Award, and the ACA’s National Service, and National Honor awards. Jane, who was a Boettcher Scholar at CC, served two terms on the Colorado Governor’s Advisory Committee for Child Care Licensing. Prior to serving as executive director of COEC, she was director of the High Trails Ranch for Girls Summer Camp for 30 years.”

At 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, Colorado College President President Jill Tiefenthaler and Alumni Association Board President Chris Moon Schluter ’65 will present the Benezet, Worner, Riley, and Spirit of Adventure Awards. Everyone is invited to attend this special ceremony that honors our distinguished award recipients and will feature remarks from President Tiefenthaler. Shove Memorial Chapel is located on the west side of Nevada Avenue between E Cache La Poudre and Uintah Streets.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday and to celebrating Jane’s adventurous accomplishments in both the community and in the world!

Sanborn Alums in Action: Rediscovering the Great American Prairie Project

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

From Montana to Missouri on horseback, for grassland conservation

Tenacity. Persevarance.  Spirit. Unbridled adventure. A deep respect for the natural world and the lessons it teaches you: those of humbleness, responsibility, and connectedness.

These are the things that you carry with you after spending a summer (or 4) at Sanborn. As a camper for many summers, and then as an assistant counselor, I left Sanborn with a sense that things that at first glance seem undoable (climbing Mt. Princeton at dawn, taking 15 8 year olds on a backcountry expedition, cleaning the dining hall after 150 campers pass through its Sunday buffet) are achievable when they coincide with an equal dose of determination and fun.

It is impossible to drive down the dirt road in Florissant after a summer at High Trails without discovering an intense respect and appreciation for the vast beauty and explosive grandeur of the natural world. You gain this at Sunday Vespers, as you sit and watch the sky light up in flame and paint a snow flecked Pikes Peak delicate pinks and fierce reds. You gain it when you listen to the clash and crackle of Aspen leaves around you. You begin to develop an environmental ethic. My own includes a sense of responsibility to be a thoughtful and engaged steward of this land and earth.  To look at the world around me and inquire what my place is within it.

With this in mind, I have developed a project, along with my colleague Sebastian Tsocanos, that aims to put this ethic into action. We will traverse the North American Great Plains on horseback to increase public understanding and appreciation of a region that is absolutely pivotal to conservation efforts in North America. Through education and outreach, from both scientific and artistic perspectives, we will engage a wide audience in an investigation of the issues that affect this vitally important region. We will explore what our legacy as stewards of this land has been and what it might become, shaking hands with the landscape and the people who call it home.

We will produce a documentary film that will share the beauty of the landscape and the perspectives of the people we meet along the way. It will be used as an educational tool to promote greater local and national involvement in determining the future of an ecologically imperative region.  After we complete the ride, we will present our film at high schools, universities, and other groups, giving talks nationwide promoting conservation of this enormously important region and challenging communities to become involved in its story. In addition, we will exhibit our work at galleries around the country, combining art, conservation, community, and education to deepen ecological understanding and appreciation of the natural world.

Temperate grasslands are the least protected biome on earth, and our own are disappearing at an alarming rate. Our project aims to increase understanding of their fragile state and volatile future and contribute to the growing momentum of grasslands conservation today.

The project requires support–financial and otherwise. For the financial aspect, we have started a fundraising campaign with IndieGoGo, and hope you’ll contribute. You can learn more about our project and make a donation at our Indiegogo page. Please check out it out at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/rediscovering-the-great-american-prairie

Your contributions are so very appreciated, and we’ve arranged some great perks for donors, including photographic prints, and horseshoes thrown from the road!

Learn more about the project and follow us on the road at our website:www.RediscoverThePrairie.org

Please help us make it happen by passing our Indiegogo link on to family, friends, colleagues, and campers. Tweet about it, post it on your Facebook, talk to friends about it. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support and we can’t wait to share our stories with you from the road!

-Robin Walter, High Trails Camper 97,98,99, 2006; High Trails Staff 09-

Summer 2012: The 50th Summer of High Trails

Monday, April 9th, 2012

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……

Enjoyed this journey down memory lane?  Get a monthly update (and often a giggle) by signing up for our Alum e-News.  To subscribe send an e-mail to jane@sanbornwesterncamps.com and write in the subject line, “Add Me to the Alum e-News”.  We won’t sell, distribute or otherwise try and use your email to buy stuff at the camp store.

The Happy Wanderer(s) — Jeff Joyce & Stacy Robinson

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

As much as Jeff and Stacey loved the four-a-week hoedowns at HTOEC, it was time to move along.

Since last fall, the two moved back east to Harrisonburg, Virginia. Stacey began working for the VA hospital as a case manager with a program called “Hand-in Hand.”

Jeff has been working “like a mad-man,” Stacey told me, launching a number of food trucks in northern Virginia. Jeff has three trucks ready to launch by St. Patrick’s Day.

“We just hired a General Manager who is creating the menu and spends his days making food for the first truck – drum roll please … its going to be a chili and mac-n-cheese truck!” Stacey said. “We eat our body weight in mac-n-cheese tasting all the different variations.”

Ahem … commence Chili Dance.

They hope to have 49 trucks (whoa!) over the course of the next few years. And even though it’s a lot of work, they’re excited to embark a creative endeavor.

So what else goes on in rural Harrisonburg? Well …

“Outside that, we have been training for the Shenandoah 100 miler!” Stacey said. “It’s a 100-mile mountain bike race that just very well may be the end of us. It’s in September, so we got some time to beef up and get ready.”

Oh yeah. Almost forgot.

Jeff and Stacey will be getting married on June 9! We shall keep you posted on the two’s big day.

Until then, hands up, chili chili.

(This is part two of a series entitled, “The Happy Wanderer,” which explores what interesting things our Sanborn alum are doing these days.)







The Happy Wanderer — Falcon Craft-Rubio

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

(This is part one of a series entitled, “The Happy Wanderer,” which explores what interesting things our Sanborn alum are doing these days.)

Our fellow Big Spring Warrior, HTOEC teacher, and Art Barn extraordinaire, Falcon Craft-Rubio, headed back to Texas this winter and began an interesting creative company with his family called Bexar Goods Co..
Check out this video where, yes indeed, that’s Falcon hammering away:
I was able to get a hold of this busy bee recently, and he gave me some good perspective on not only his business model, but how Sanborn helped pave the way:

David: This is such an interesting creative field to move into–how excited are you about everything that’s going on? How has this changed things for you?
Falcon: Its an exciting new adventure. It’s been a learning experience. I’ve had a lot of fun designing and becoming more familiar with hand-crafted goods.  We all have enjoyed each step of starting Bexar Goods Co.
D: So how did the whole Bexar operation begin? Out of a dream? Out of the BS craft shop?
F: Bexar Goods was inspired by rugged classic designs . The initial idea was to start with a quality made wallet or bag.  Then expanding on that idea of well made durable products. Bexar Goods is different from a lot because of the quality and promise of our products. We are not a trend based company. Bexar Goods started to create products we wanted to use ourselves. For the active, rugged and adventurous man.
D: What’s been your role thus far, and has this been an entirely new thing for you, and/or what’s been a challenge in starting a whole company?
F: Bexar Goods Co is a collaborative operation along with Christian Craft (brother) and Guy Rubio (cousin).  We equally have had input and creative leadership on each of our diverse products.   Creatively we had no outside help, it was all in the family. We first started with the concept and mission.  Then we created our makers mark that prompted our product and website design. Each Bexar Goods design is an overall group effort to insure that the vision is executed to meet our standards.  What’s great about Bexar Goods is that we build off of each other. I might have an idea for a new product and both Christian and Guy will build on it to make it better.  I work specifically as the one of the craftsman, stitching our carry goods.  As well as designing new products.
D: Where did the name “Bexar” (pronounced “bear”, correct?) come from? And how did it all begin, basically?
F: Its the county we live in. Also has multiple meanings and true to the origin, Bear, Bare, and Bexar. Natural, raw and where we are from.
D: Are there any ideas/skills/dreams that came from Sanborn? Or was this something you started to dream up before you came/in the off months of camp?
F: Sanborn Western Camps is an inspiring place itself and teaches a lot of self discovery and encourages people, young and old to grow and learn about the outdoors. Bexar Goods is a company based on these same principles. We don’t have limitations, we are free to grow in any which way we desire.
D: What makes your company different from anything else out there? (product-wise, materials, vision/mission)
F: Bexar Goods Co. is quality hand-made products that instills the ideas of proud local products that a lot of the bigger corporations claim but not necessarily execute correctly.  Bexar Goods promises each product is individualistic, and built to be handed to the next generation.  The materials we use are of the highest quality and bought locally in America.
D: Would your product outlast a 5-day horse trip/a summer at camp / hail, lightening, hellstorm-proof?
F: Well only if Claude approves. Flashy might put our products to the test.
D: Where do you see yourselves at the end of 2012?
F: We would like to continue making the highest quality products and striving to improve and being well-respected.
D: Do you all make Ella-size (Ryan & Ashley’s) baby tote bags/baby bjorns (Christmas idea)?
F: She can have anything she wants.
D: Anything you would like all your campers (fans) to know?
F: I Zigga Zumba.
D: Any other thoughts on Bexar for now?
F: We wanted to thank Sanborn for supporting our small family business and for being that special place where people can continue to learn and exceed expectations. Thank you for everything , Falcon Craft-Rubio.