After a long and beautiful Indian Summer, with golden and red aspen trees lasting into late October, winter arrived last week in the form of wind and colder temperatures. We still have not seen much snow, however. We are certainly thinking about our many friends on the East Coast and wishing you the best as the clean-up from Hurricane Sandy moves forward.
The High Trails Outdoor Education Center staff will finish an outstanding outdoor education season on November 9th. They hosted a fantastic Halloween event for the Colorado Springs District 20 students, as well as helped almost 1,500 sixth grade students, high school “counselors”, teachers and administrators connect with the natural world in a positive, transformational way.
We are happy to announce that our Sanborn Semester school will begin in January 2014! The Sanborn Semester is a semester school for motivated, aspirational high school students who are looking for an alternative to traditional classroom learning. Classes feature hands-on experiences, inspirational educators, service projects and regular field trips to explore the many facets of the Rocky Mountains. Electives even include Western Horsemanship and Bicycle Maintenance! Students will live, study and exchange ideas in the comfortable facilities of The Nature Place. Call Chris Tholl at 719.748.3341 or visit www.sanbornsemester.org for more information. Scholarships are available.
Our maintenance crew has made excellent use of the good weather and has built four new tent frames on STUW Ridge at Big Spring. These are similar to the new tent frames they have built on HKL and MOPQ ridges over the past two years. They have also put new roofs on three cabins at High Trails. If our sunny days continue, they will complete several more roofing projects this winter. One of their winter projects will be to build new Gaga Ball pits for both Big Spring and High Trails.
Maren reports that the horses are very happy grazing in the Fish Creek Meadows. They have appreciated taking it easy and munching sweet mountain grass to their heart’s content after their busy summer in the Big Spring and High Trails Riding programs.
We will be 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. Big Spring Director Mike MacDonald is the current President of the Rocky Mountain Region.
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 soon 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.
Plans are underway for Mike and Elizabeth’s January—February trip to the Midwest with the camp road show. A schedule of their travels will be posted on the website, and we will be sending information about the shows to camp families, alums, and those who are interested in exploring the opportunities at Big Spring, High Trails and Sanborn Junior.
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 2013 and are excited to watch the High Trails and Big Spring communities take shape.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!