Archive for the ‘Sanborn Western Camps’ Category

ACA Conference

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Last week 10 of us ventured to Atlanta for the ACA National Conference. The overall theme of the conference

Jane Sanborn and her entourage!

was Convergence: Vision, Learning, Innovation. This was an exciting opportunity for our staff to continue our professional development as youth and outdoor educators and camp professionals. And it was a great week! Our very own Jane Sanborn was the conference program chair. She and the conference team lined up wonderful session and keynote speakers, fun night programs, and a variety of exhibitors for the exhibit hall.  We were all able to go to a variety of educational sessions presented by child development and camp professionals – sessions that emphasized the importance of what we do best: provide exceptional outdoor experiences for children. We were able to network with other camp professionals. We left energized and motivated for the summer! It is fun for us to come back and share all that we have learned with each other and start incorporating new ideas into our summer and school weeks programs.

We had great keynote speakers including, Dr. Christine Carter (author of Raising Happiness), Richard Louv, Sanborn alum, Rod Lucero, and Niambi Jaha-Echols. Each speech was relevant to and encouraging of what we do at camp.

Dr. Carter started the week sharing the importance of teaching and cultivating life skills such as gratitude, kindness, and growth campers – all things that we know about and do at camp! Dr. Carter is a strong believer of Growth Mindset – the belief that someone is successful due to hard work and effort, as well as innate ability. At camp, it is important to us that campers are challenged to try new things and encouraged through the process. We believe that campers and staff can grow and learn from our trips and activities. Being able to try new things is one of the great things about camp and campers having the ability to choose their own trips and activities.

Richard Louv emphasized the role camps play in continuing to get children outside. In his speech he told us how he was jealous of his friend who left Kansas every summer to go to camp…specifically, his friend left Kansas and spent his summers at Sanborn. He spoke of the growing importance of camp and getting outside, as our world becomes more technology-driven.

Rod Lucero helped us better understand the importance of camps continuing the education from schools. Relevance, Rigor, and Relationships are the foundation of education, and according to Lucero, without them, reading, writing, and arithmetic don’t matter. At camp, we help make education relevant. The foundation of Sanborn is education. We continue to learn and pass our knowledge on to all Colorado Outdoor Education Center participants.

Niambi Jaha-Echols provided us with an inspiring and humorous closing session. According to Jaha-Echols, camp provides us the opportunities to transform into new beings – from caterpillars to butterflies. It is important to us that we provide campers with the space and support to understand and grow into the people they are supposed to be. We are lucky to have 6,000 acres, amazing counselors, and a great variety of trips and activities to help all campers grow as individuals into butterflies.

We look forward to continuing to share our learnings with you and incorporate them into our 2012 summer.

A few camper stories

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A few stories to send you into what is hopefully a good weekend for you…

Hi, I’m Daniela and I want to tell you about a great horseback riding experience! Here at Sanborn, they teach you everything about the horses and give you time to love them. There is time to appreciate and learn about them. The wranglers help you understand the horses and how horses understand your feelings. Horses teach you how that everything is possible! They give you a feeling of comfort, even though the horses are bigger than you. The horseback riding experience at Sanborn is unforgettable and you shouldn’t miss it!

I love horses! I ride English at home and compete in lots of horse shows. I really love to come to camp and ride Western. It is fun and relaxed and I still learn a lot. The wranglers are all really nice! I am able to sign up for lessons on Saturdays, go on a horse overnight, and different rides in the morning and afternoon. Even though it is a different type of riding, the wranglers help me improve my riding skills so I will be a better rider when I go home. I like going on trail rides because we get to play games on horseback and talk to our friends. I definitely recommend riding while at Sanborn!

We are getting ready for our last overnight this week. I am really excited to go on the Pirate overnight. I heard we get to build a pirate ship, go on a scavenger hunt, and play fun games! I loved all of my trips and activities this summer. I can’t decide which is my favorite! I am going to be really sad to go home soon. I have made such great friends this session – I’ve made some new friends and spent time with some people who were here last year. This has been such a fun summer and I can’t wait to come back next year!

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!

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.

Camp Memories – All Year Long

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

I was doing a little procrastinating today, hence a late blog post, and was amazed by some of the things that I

We can't get enough!

read of Facebook. Camp isn’t just something that happens for a couple of months during the summer. It is a year-round experience.

We know that a camp experience is important to children. We know about the friendships that are made. We know how essential it is for children to spend time outdoors and to have the opportunity to reconnect with nature. We see campers and staff grow and change during their time at camp during the summer. We love mailing reminders of camp during the year – calendars, DVDs, postcards, newsletters. We live and breathe Sanborn all year. And we LOVE hearing how campers, staff, and alums live and breathe camp when they are away.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed today, I noticed a number of Sanborn reconnects and memories being shared. Campers visiting each other, staff taking trips together, alums reminiscing about their Sanborn experiences. For us, it a great feeling to know how people stay connected to camp even when they are not here. Recognizing that my number of Facebook friends can never compare to the number of people who have come through Sanborn, I can only imagine the number of Sanborn memories and reunions that I am unaware of.

A fun camp memory

It is great for us to hear about the lasting impact camp and Sanborn has had on people’s lives. Send us news updates, follow us on Facebook, look through photos from the summer – share your camp reconnects and memories with us! We love Sanborn and we love that you do too!

Jackie- The World’s Favorite Mule

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012


Color: Chestnut

Gender: Molly

Breed: Mule

Jackie is our one and only mule at Sanborn Western Camps.  She is affectionately known around camp as “The World’s Favorite Mule.”

Jackie can be used as a traditional mule and be packed with food, supplies, and sleeping bags to go out on trips.  She also loves to be ridden by campers on trail rides and in the arena.

When Jackie calls for her friends in pasture,  it is a combination of sounds.  She starts with a whinny and ends in a hee-haw!  It is her own original calling card that cannot be mistaken for anyone else.  Jackie’s closest friends are Corona, Credence, and Peanuts.  They know her bray very well!

Since mules don’t have withers, and their backs are much flatter than horses’ backs, Jackie’s saddle has a few special parts to help keep it in place.  Campers get very skilled in learning how to put Jackie’s saddle on all by themselves.

Jackie takes a little rest-- with a full pack on!

Click here for more Tails from the Barn.
Find more Four-Legged Friends here!

Sanborn Western Camps February News Update: Summer Camp in Colorado is Just Around the Corner!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

We are having extremely mild days here in central Colorado which remind us that winter is passing and summer will be here before we know it.

Mike, and Julie have enjoyed seeing many of you as they travel through the Midwest with our digital slide show program.  They have appreciated their warm receptions and enthusiasm for the coming summer. They have a show in Santa Fe tonight and another in Boulder on February 8.

February is a busy month as we prepare for the summer of 2012.  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 Atlanta in mid-February, and we will be participating in full force.  Executive Director, Jane Sanborn, is the Chairperson for this year’s conference and has been working on an outstanding educational program for many months.  Chris, Ryan, Elizabeth, Ashley and Ariella will be leading educational sessions at the conference. Mike, as President of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Camp Association, will be participating in all of the leadership events held at the conference. COEC Board member Rod Lucero will be presenting one of the keynote addresses. Julie, Carlotta, and David will also be attending the conference. This type of professional development helps us to stay on top of evolving issues and inspires us to continue to improve our program each summer.

We are happy to announce that we will be holding a second annual “Reconnect with Sanborn” event for alums in Denver on March 4.  This event is also a benefit for the Sandy and Laura Sanborn Scholarship Fund.  Denver area alums will be receiving all the details soon, and watch our Facebook page for more updates.

Maren, Scot, and Rosie 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.

Alums can look forward to a big news-filled edition of the Alum News in March, and camp families will receive our Getting Ready information early in March.

We are all excited about the community that is coming together for the summer of 2012 and can’t wait to begin the fun. We are rapidly filling many of our age groups, so we encourage you to enroll today! As an additional benefit to camp families, we have added the “Camp In Touch” app to our Facebook page.  This will allow families to access their camp information, view photos from the summer, purchase “Camp Stamps” for our one-way email program and much more.  We are happy to mail our brochure and DVD to anyone interested in camp and to provide references for new families.

Wordless Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

“People who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
―J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

I HEART Camp Day!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Say it loud and proud today...and every day of the year!

Happy “I Heart Camp” Day!

As we know, a summer camp experience is transformational.

Children who go to camp will make new friends, build community, find positive role models and mentors, play in the natural world, develop empathy, have character building experiences, discover their own personal strengths, and embrace an active, healthy lifestyle.

We hope you, too, will tell the world that “I HEART Camp” by downloading this pdf, printing it, and taking a picture of yourself, your family, your class, or the camper that you know and love holding the image–and then sharing it on the Sanborn Western Camps Facebook page, your own personal Facebook page, the American Camp Association Facebook page, or the I Heart Camp Facebook page (or maybe all of them!)

We are only 4 months away from the 2012 summer season–three months of time that will impact countless lives for many years to come.  Because of that…We *HEART* Camp!

During the Sanborn Road Show Days...the rest of the office will play!

Crystal Blue- Half Horse Half Giraffe

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Crystal Blue

Color: Skewbald Paint

Gender: Gelding

Breed: Quarter Horse Cross

Crystal Blue is an awesome horse that was born right here at Sanborn.

His extremely unique marking is the white giraffe on the side of his body! Can you spot it in these pictures?

Crystal Blue’s name comes from his mother who was named Crystal Bar plus he has two clear blue eyes.

Crystal Blue is also a talented horse to ride. He is very responsive to cues, is great at rounding up other horses in the morning, loves to be the leader on trail rides, and knows how to handle himself around cows.  His long legs make it easy for him to cruise around and have fun being a horse!

Long lost cousin?

Click here for more Tails from the Barn.
Find more Four-Legged Friends here!