Archive for the ‘Sanborn Western Camps’ Category

Sanborn Western Camps News Update: July 31, 2011

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Working on our Adopted Peak: Mount Missouri

What a busy week we’ve had! Big Spring and High Trails had a wide variety of all-day and overnight trips both on and off the camp property. A number of campers chose overnight horse trips while others selected rock-climbing, canoeing, fishing or mountain climbing adventures. All-day trips included hikes to the Florissant Fossil Beds and to Pancake Rock, as well as tubing on the South Platte River and fishing. Some of our older campers signed up for the challenging SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Learning Experience) and CORE (Community Outreach Experience) programs for the week. They were enthusiastic about their experiences and felt great about the service components of the trips.

Sanborn Junior campers also had a full week. High Trails Juniors were excited about their all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. All the Juniors enjoyed a second camping trip and a wide variety of in-camp programming. We were sorry to see them leave on Friday.

We were happy to greet a new group of Sanborn Junior campers today and look forward to a campout, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, and many fun activities with them next week. The fourth term of Sanborn Junior living unit photos will be up on our website on Wednesday or Thursday this week.

Special events last week included the Sanborn Carnival for both camps on Saturday. This was followed by a theme dance. Big Spring spent Wednesday on a Unit All-Day where each living group selected an activity to do together—mountain biking, high ropes course, fishing, horseback riding, rock scrambling, etc. The boys also enjoyed a Kangaroo Court evening, and a “How Well Do You know Your Counselors” Game Show. A favorite evening program at both camps was the Counselor Hunt. High Trails also had fun with their “Minute to Win It” program on Friday.

CORE Horse Ambassadors clearing trees on SWC property

Next week the girls will leave camp for three-, four-, and five-day trips. Some will head out on horse pack trips; others have chosen 4 or 5-day high mountain backpacks into some of Colorado’s most pristine wilderness. Other trips will be based in spectacular alpine areas such as Leavick Valley at the base of Mt. Sherman and Kite Lake at the foot of Mt. Democrat. Many groups will have the opportunity to climb mountains.

Big Spring has planned an exciting program of overnights including mountain climbing trips to Mt. Princeton, Mt. Huron, La Plata Peak, and Mts. Oxford and Belford. The boys will also be tubing on the river, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing, and enjoying some overnights on the ranch. BS long trips will take place the week of August 8.

Until next week….

More Camper Stories

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Camp is like a home away from home. Every year is full of fun, adventure, and excitement. I have been with the same group of girls that now feel like family; I can be as crazy as I want to around them. Camps is also the only time I really get out into nature and no amount of technology can compensate for living with nature.

The Warrior Dash
The warrior dash was such a blast! We had all these different teams and challenges that we had to complete. These are just some of the things we got to do. First we went to the warrior sing and had to make up a song for our team. Next I went to the 4-story treehouse and had to save “King Arthur” by choosing the right silver cup. We tossed shrunken heads (water balloons) back and forth in front of the lodge.
Hope Pohlman

Sanborn Camp is not about sitting around. Sanborn is about determination, courage, and responsibility. Sanborn is about getting in touch with nature, hiking the tallest mountains, riding a horse as fast as you can, and pushing yourself to the extreme! Sanborn is a new beginning and it never has an end. Sanborn camp is happiness, pure happiness.
Victoria Mak

In the world,
we get lost in the commonality
we forget to look for the beauty
we miss the glow of life
Then we come to nature and
we are afraid to look, love, listen
we are afraid that something might be perfect and true
we are terrified that something is real
That’s why together we can accept that
this might be what we’ve been searching for
this might open up our eyes to it all
Then we go back to the world
never to be the same.

Grab your towel, grab your goggles, bring your smile, and run to the pool. Cruise down the slide, and splash in the water. There’s so much to do at the POOL! Paddle around in the blow-up tubes! Use the noodles as any sea creatures. Adventure through the whole pool, there’s so much to do! You can play in the pool or out of the slide. I love the swimming pool! My favorite thing is to hang out in the sun and talk to my friends! Mis loves to go down the slide on a sleeping pad because it goes so fast! Addie loves to go down on a tube! I love the pool! There’s so much to do!
Emily Driscoll

Camper Posts

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

I was new at camp the year. When I came I was scared and got homesick. Then everything got better, everyone was really nice!! My counselors were nice too! One of my favorite activities is horseback riding! You get to learn how to put the saddle on and learn how to brush your horse. Skit night was fun. It’s where you and your cabin make up a skit and perform it and everybody at High Trails watches. I like singing songs here like “Rocky Mountain High.”
Katie Neal

High Trails is like a second family to me. We all come here from different parts of the county and come from different backgrounds. But once we are surrounded by all of these beautiful mountains and trees and nature, none of that matters. Every new person is welcomed with hugs and smiling faces. And old friends are never forgotten. You are never bored because there are a variety of things to do. You can horseback ride, mountain bike, technical rock climb, rock scramble, swim, arts and crafts, and much more! High Trails gives me something to look forward to every summer and when it is over I know there are more girls enjoying the Rocky Mountain High.
Mimi Chapman

High Trails at Sanborn Camps is a summer worth of fun. There is something for everyone. Horseback riding, drama, hiking, climbing, pottery, and so much more. Sanborn is a safe environment where kids can learn and grow in the outdoors. We welcome new campers with open arms. Sanborn has become a second home to some and hopefully to you too. Sanborn is an experience you do not want to miss. Have you ever heard the wind dance in the aspen leaves? Have you ever slept out under the stars? Have you climbed to the top of a mountain peak? Have you ever gone tubing down a river? We guarantee you will have a blast! Throughout the term you will learn new things, meet new people, and do things you may not have. I tried Sanborn and I know I am a better person for it. Sanborn is the camp to go to. We hope to see you here next summer!
Kate Ratliff

It’s only the first week of Sanborn, and I can already tell you that walking uphill is A LOT easier. I’m sure by the end I will have gained so much muscle! Hiking a mountain will be a breeze. Then I will spend more time actually seeing the beauty of the Rockies. The hills gently roll, and the mountains…Oh the mountains! Last year when I was hiking up Quandry we got up at 3 in the morning. I can tell you it was well worth the early rise. In the light of the moon, the dew on the pines sparkles and glistened. It was probably one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.
Not using technology was hard at first, but when you get to know how many things you can do without it, it gets easier. There is so much to do here, you really don’t have time for technology. If there’s anything to be said of Sanborn, it’s that you never get bored!
At Sanborn there are 2 sections. One is Big Spring, where the boys live. And I live at High Trails with the girls. It actually makes camp more enjoyable to be separate, you spend less time worrying about looks and boys and more time enjoying the outdoor experience. There are coed events where you get to see the boys. Best of both worlds!
Coming to Sanborn is a wonderful experience, and the people you meet always become your friends. It’s like a family away from family. Cliques don’t exist here. Everyone is there to help you out. If I could spend every summer here, I would say yes without even batting an eye.

Sanborn Camps News Update: July 24, 2011

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The first full week of camp has flown by! The enthusiasm of the campers and staff for the activities and events of the past week has been exceptional. As always, we feel so fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of young people.

Groups returning from the unit overnights were exuberant about their adventures while camping out on the Ranch on Monday or Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday we began some exciting all day trips. Some campers from Big Spring and High Trails chose to explore Pancake Rocks, or The Crags, spectacular rock formations on the west side of Pikes Peak. Others enjoyed mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, tubing on the South Platte River and canoeing at Eleven-Mile Reservoir. We’ve also had a varied in-camp program with crafts, sports, hikes, half-day rides and Interbarn activities among others.

The Junior campers had a full week, too. After returning from their overnight camping trips, they went horseback riding, enjoyed several hikes, and spent time at the swimming pool, the crafts shop and the Interbarn. Juniors at both Big Spring and High Trails spent a great day tubing on the river last week, while Big Spring Juniors also enjoyed an all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Everyone participated in several all-camp events throughout the week. At High Trails, the All-Camp Adventure Race on Wednesday afternoon was great fun. High Trails also had a special “Lucky Dinner” and Bingo Party on Friday night.

At Big Spring, the boys loved the Bomber Relay on Thursday night. Following the unit overnights both camps held skit nights where campers dramatized their adventures. On Saturday, many campers chose to participate in “Hike the Pike”, an annual event to raise money for a worthwhile charity. Campers and staff hike up to six miles, and the camp makes a contribution for each mile walked. Saturday evening everyone came together for an evening which included an ice cream social and dance.

We are looking ahead to next week’s adventures, which will include a wide variety of overnight and all-day trips. Several different “Fourteener” mountain climbs are scheduled at High Trails and Big Spring as well as 2-day horseback trips, canoe trips, rock climbing trips, fishing trips and much more. The Juniors have another overnight planned as well as horseback riding and several special events. High Trails Juniors will also visit the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Many of our older campers have signed up for SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Leadership Experience) or CORE (Community Outreach Experience) next week—5-day adventures include service projects as well as challenging activities. Two groups will work with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative to build trails in Missouri Gulch on Mts. Oxford and Belford. Another trip has a rock climbing focus. During the week they will learn climbing skills and build trails at our new climbing site on Wild Goat Mountain. Yet another trip will focus on improving horseback riding skills as well as working on trails around the ranch.

If you haven’t already done so, check out the living unit photos as well as activity photos from this week in camp on our website.

Until next week…

Sanborn Camps News Update: July 15, 2011

Monday, July 18th, 2011

The opening day of camp is always exciting and it is wonderful to greet so many old friends and to begin to get to know first-time campers.  After almost two weeks of training and a successful first term, our staff members are seasoned veterans and we are proud of their enthusiasm, their skill, and their caring attitude. The campers have already made themselves at home; they seem as happy to be here as we are to have them.

Activities begin immediately.  This weekend some campers will be horseback riding; others will enjoy hikes to A-Bluff, the Crystal Beds, or Top of the World.  Crafts, sports, nature and geology explorations and preparatory training for everything from rock climbing to canoeing will contribute to a busy schedule for everyone.  Tomorrow night’s opening campfires at each camp are always fun and memorable.

During the weekend, campers at Big Spring and High Trails will sign up for their trips.  We are really anticipating the backcountry adventures we will share during the upcoming weeks—mountain climbs, backpacking trips, horsepack explorations and many more.

Sanborn Junior campers will spend Saturday and Sunday hiking, riding, swimming, making crafts and learning camping skills for their first campouts.  Sanborn Junior girls will join everyone at High Trails and leave Monday for their cabinside overnights on the ranch.  On Tuesday, the boys will all head out for their unit overnights.  Goals for these first campouts include getting to know cabin and tent mates, learning to work together as a group, enjoying the beauty of the Colorado mountains, getting acquainted with part of the spectacular 6000 acres owned by the camps, testing equipment and honing camping skills, as well as having a lot of fun!

Later in the week Big Spring and High Trails campers will choose from an exciting program of all-day hikes, horseback rides, river trips, ropes course challenges, and rock climbing as well as a varied in-camp program.  The Juniors will do more riding, swimming, archery, tennis and crafts.  They also have a great all-day trip to the river for tubing/rafting planned.

We have already posted photos from today.  Each weekend we will update these.   We will post cabin and tent unit photos later in the week.  We’re looking forward to a great week….

A Film From the Big Spring Craft Shop: “As it Happens”

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Movie: "As it Happens"

Movie: "As it Happens"

Our campers have sure been creative this session! They’ve worked with clay, fired pots, painted posters, carved wood, and the list goes on

Throughout this session, a group of four campers worked diligently to create a stop-motion video. Using clay, paper, cardboard, and wire, they put this film together during the Arts and Crafts Saturday Special.

As described by our Arts and Crafts Director, Falcon Craft, “This is what happens when you get a group of creative campers, staff, and just the right amount of magic working together like a fine delicacy.”

Click here to see the video!

Sanborn Western Camps News Update: July 10, 2011

Monday, July 11th, 2011
Big Spring on Mt. Columbia

Big Spring on Mt. Columbia

Another great week has come to a close.  The boys returned Thursday and Friday from their long trips excited about their adventures. Many of them backpacked through alpine wilderness and climbed some of Colorado’s highest peaks—Mt Elbert and Mt. Massive, La Plata Peak, Mt. Columbia, Pikes Peak, and Mt. Silverheels. One group backpacked and fished in the spectacular Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Area for four days while another backpacked along the Colorado Trail for five days.  Committed horseback riders spent the week exploring the rugged terrain on the Black Mountain in South Park or the Puma Hills.

The girls had a full week of all-day trips, and overnight trips including two-day horseback rides, mountain climbs, and technical rock climbing.  They also enjoyed tubing/rafting trips on the South Platte River and challenged themselves at our High Ropes Course.  One exceptional group of hikers climbed Pikes Peak in one day!  After four weeks of hardy outdoor living, the girls were excited to spend Thursday shopping in the resort town of Breckenridge.

The Junior campers enjoyed another super campout, some great hikes, swimming, crafts, archery and tennis as well as an all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument followed by the opportunity to dig for their own fossils. They were especially enthusiastic about their all-day rafting trip on the South Platte River.

Some major special events took place this week including the JC Dinner on Monday nigh, the High Trails Talent Show on Wednesday, and  the Miss Sanborn Competition at High Trails on Thursday night.  The theme of the JC Dinner was “Princesses” and each cabinside came in costume and presented a song or skit.   The Miss Sanborn Pageant is a spoof in which campers choose a character for their counselor, dress them, and help them prepare a “talent”.  Contestants this year included The Super Rugby Player, Oscar the Grouch, and Miss Dessert.

Our final weekend has been packed! On Friday evening, Big Spring, High Trails and Sanborn Junior met together for an energetic Hoedown.  Our annual Gymkhana took place on Saturday morning  This series of games on horseback is fun for both the participants and their cheering squads.  On Saturday evening everyone enjoyed the all-camp Drama Presentation, “Harry Potter at Camp ”. On Sunday both camps celebrated their final vespers service.

Tomorrow will bring packing, last-chance activities, closing dinner and closing campfires at each camp.  On Tuesday, we will be sad to see this wonderful group of campers leave.  However, we are looking forward to the arrival of our Second Term campers on Friday.

Until next week…

Camp is NOW

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Camp Builds Authentic Relationships in and through the Outdoors

Time Magazine Editor Nancy Gibbs wrote an article in this week’s Time Magazine called “To the Time Machine!”  As she prepared her daughter for camp she recognized that “the real luxury travel of the modern age is not through space; it’s through time.”  Her daughter, she felt, would be traveling back in time to a simpler age “No wi-fi. No grades.  The world as it was, or maybe just as we imagined it was, 100 years B.S. (before screens)”

Richard Louv, the founder of the Children and Nature movement, and a passionate spokesman for environments such as camp where young people live within the natural world, calls his writings “Field Notes from the Future”.  He believes that humans will learn to achieve a healthy balance between nature and technology and will therefore create stronger communities based on the natural world.

The camp environment is the past and the future, and, perhaps, more than these, camp is Now.  Standing on the summit of a Fourteener, riding a horse through an Aspen grove, tubing on the South Platte River, watching the sunset from Sunday Rocks.  These are intense moments which require us to be wholly in the present.

Summit of Mount Ouray

And maybe that is the greatest activity of all—standing still in time long enough to appreciate the moment.  These are the moments which create memories that really do last a lifetime and provide meaning in life long after the moment has passed.

True Talent

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Lots of talent at High Trails!

At last night’s High Trails Talent and Art Show, our High Trails ladies demonstrated their guitar playing, charcoal sketching, pastel-drawing, popsicle stick building, skit-making, knitting, song singing, hand-building, dance-creating, laughter-inducing, dramatic reading, flash mobbing and piano virtuoso prowess.

All of the 2nd Term Sanborn Juniors shared their talents with the audience. One of those ladies, Claire Lang, read a poem she had written to the group of over 150 people in Heisler Hall. We wanted to share it with you.

Sanborn Poem

What Sanborn has is clear blue skies and pine needles sewing the earth,
with the ground tanning in the sun and campers gathered around a hearth.

Children wish on polished stones that they skip across the lakes,
for the water reflects off into the sky, making the stones into stars, that make sure in the morning the sun wakes.

Claire Reading Her "Sanborn Poem"

With blue mountain sunrise and Colorado fresh air,
you know you’ll always keep that Colorado feeling with you and everywhere.

With dirt trails covered in horseshoe tracks,
and people waiting for the Ninja squirrel to attack.

Lots of moss covered rocks and games to teach,
and the beautiful horizon just beyond your reach.

Wildflowers dancing in the morning breeze,
and counselors laughing so much they’re about to sneeze.

With yellow finches flying on golden rays,
and starlight streaming throughout all of your days.

But what Sanborn has is Familyhood,
bunched all together in one big wood.

-Claire Lang, age 10

Impressive and Impressionistic Works at the HT Art Show

Familyhood. We couldn’t say it better ourselves. Thank you, Claire.

Growing Stronger

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

We CAN Do It Together!

Over the past few weeks, the GROW STRONG initiative at High Trails has given shape and purpose to some of the life skills our young women and girls learn at camp.

Though GROW STRONG is a lengthy acronym (Growing Responsibility in Our World; a Sisterhood Transforming and Renewing Our Never-ending Growth) that speaks volumes about what we accomplish each and every summer at High Trails, this summer we also had specific weekly traits and characteristics the staff have been teaching, emphasizing, and celebrating with each girl at camp.

Our “Words of the Week” or WOW words represent some of the myriad attributes a child gains while at camp.  These skills are essential for community living, appreciation of others, and the development of a secure, healthy sense of self.

Random Acts of Kindness: Helping Carry the Saddle into the Barn

The first week of camp focused on Courage, Flexibility, and Kindness.  We recognized returning campers who were inclusive and kind to new members of their cabin communities.  We helped others see flexibility as a trait that allows groups to reach consensus when establishing guidelines for community living or just being open to trying new foods in a new place.  We celebrated (and continue to celebrate) those moments when our campers make courageous choices: whether taking an unpopular, but necessary, stand when sticking to the expectations or by just pushing themselves by signing up for trips and activities which push them beyond their comfort zones.  We witnessed small acts of kindness everyday: girls coming to the lodge to get board games to help distract a slightly homesick friend, a cabinside setting the tables for the AC’s, older campers carrying weary younger campers on their backs during the Adventure Race, and a thousand others.

Our second week of camp had us developing Empathy, Friendship, and Initiative.  As the girls took the outdoor skills they had learned on their cabinside overnights and applied them to horse pack trips, 14,000 foot mountain climbs, SOLE/CORE experiences,  and more, they also built and practiced the social skills necessary for making and keeping friends from different age groups, cabinsides, and countries.  Developing quality friendships requires a high degree of empathy, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and nowhere else is empathy modeled and practiced more than at camp.  While you are trying to climb a mountain, lug a heavy pack, or work with a stubborn horse, the support and caring that emanates from the High Trails staff and campers makes you feel celebrated, appreciated and understood in a way that only seems to happen at camp.  With this kind of empathetic support and understanding, it is no wonder that our campers are motivated and full of initiative: from doing their part during cabin clean-up to helping lead a group on a hike to being the creative force behind the evening skit, we witness our camper’s initiative in countless ways every day.

Working Our Way Up Ouray, Summer 2011

During our long trip week, we sought Resilience, Generosity, and Integrity.  Resilience is the ability to bounce back from hardship, and many a trip last week experienced challenges.  The snowpack was deep and not only created necessary route changes, it actually forced full itinerary changes for some of the trips.  The girls not only embraced the changes, but made the most of the new adventures: they were some of the most successful long trips in recent memory.  The campers and staff were generous with themselves and their skills in large and small ways.  Our Junior Counselors took on significant leadership roles on many trips: they helped navigate, motivate, and create outstanding experiences…and were incredibly generous with their outdoor skills, spirit, and hilarious stories.  Campers were able to see, first hand, what integrity looks like as they watched their trip leaders share leadership roles throughout the week.  Staff were honest and open with campers when hard decisions—like not summiting due to weather– had to be made;  campers learned that personal integrity, from knowing what food I have in my pack for which meal to staying attentive and focused while “hawking” the horses, is integral to earning respect and leads to more opportunities for leadership and autonomy.

THE Pirate Overnight, Summer 2011

And, finally , during our last week, we hope to acknowledge many small (and large) instances of good Communication, Imagination, and a more developed Self-Confidence in each and every one of our High Trails campers and staff members.  Lela Payne (Ridge Leader for Ponderosa and Silver Spruce) led a wildly successful Pirate Overnight during the second week of camp.  This overnight exemplified everything that IS creativity and imagination.  The campers built a pirate ship in High Tor, successfully survived attacks from evil marauders, and spent most of the overnight in some sort of “free play.”  The sequel, like all good pirate tales, is coming this week—and promises to be even MORE imaginative and fun than the last.  Good communication means we speak to each other with respect and caring because we know that our time together is short, so we need to listen and understand as much as we need to speak and think.  And, finally, the self-confidence our campers will leave with next Tuesday will help them navigate the challenges of tweendom, adolescence, college, and beyond.

Summit Success!

Through our Silent Trails, cabin conversations, moments stargazing and more, there have been many opportunities to share and hear how camp has positively influenced these girls and young women.  With our GROW STRONG necklaces, leaves, and charms we hope each one of the girls will be able to speak to you about how SHE grew stronger this summer…and how those experiences will make her stronger in the future, too.