Archive for September, 2011

Why Are The Aspen So Red?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Lots of Red Leaves in the High Country!

At camp this fall, we have a remarkable number of BRIGHT red Aspen. This is unusual, as most of our Aspen tend to be the standard “gold and amazing” types. So what factors are present this fall to create such a remarkable color display?

The timing of leaf coloring til leaf fall is dependent on the increasing length of night. As the days grow shorter, a tree’s biochemical process shifts and its production of chlorophyll slows and eventually ceases. As the leaf’s chlorophyll is used up by the tree, other color pigments—carotenoids and anthocyanins—become visible. According to the USDA Forest Service site, “Both chlorophyll and carotenoids are present in the chloroplasts of leaf cells throughout the growing season. Most anthocyanins are produced in the autumn, in response to bright light and excess plant sugars within leaf cells.”

Jewels Underfoot

Carotenoids are responsible for the yellows, golds, oranges and browns in both leaves and in corn, carrots, bananas, and buttercups. Anthocyanins give cranberries, plums, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries their distinct hues. Typically, a tree’s fall color doesn’t vary much from year to year…but this year, we have had a number of unique factors that have contributed to our beautiful display.

1. Exceptionally dry spring and early summer; all of our trees were highly stressed during that period.
2. Good rainfall beginning in late summer and early; leaves began producing sugars like crazy to support the renewed growth potential of the trees.
3. A succession of many warm, sunny days and very cool, crisp evenings.

Nature's Myriad Hues

Though more anecdotal than scientific, we DO think that the Aspen leaves at camp have more sugars in them than they normally would at this point in the fall because of both the late rains and the very warm days. Anthocyanins are produced during these “lots of sugar lots of light” conditions—and then, with the very cool evenings, the veins of the leaves gradually close—leaving behind the gorgeous reds, and purples of the anthocyanin pigments. Additionally, because of the late rains, the Aspen seem to be a little behind schedule…it is almost October and many Aspen are still completely green.

It is almost as though the trees are celebrating this gorgeous end of summer and early fall–and trying to postpone the inevitable long, cold winter days ahead. We hope YOU will continue the celebration with us at our annual Sanborn Reunion on Oct. 13th-16th. Together, we will enjoy these beautiful fall days and the successful completion of our Sanborn 60 Capital Campaign.

The Aspen will be blazing the trail home. Hope to see you in October.







HTOEC Week 1

Friday, September 16th, 2011

We just finished a great week with the 6th graders from Challenger Middle School. The students arrived Tuesday morning and jumped right into their outdoor ed experience with their first discovery group that afternoon – Setting the Mood. Led by trained facilitators, the students learned about using their 5 senses more, as well as about the High Trails sixth sense – Wonder. The students were split in half Tuesday evening – one group going to the hoedown (a fun and silly set of dances led by the High Trails staff) and the other went to the Interbarn our hands-on science center.

Students Arrival

Students Arrival at High Trails

Wednesday morning was adventure-filled with the first themed discovery groups. Students learned about Homesteaders, Prospectors, Mountaineers, Innovators, and Woodsmen to name a few. After a delicious lunch, students headed back out for their second themed discovery group. Unfortunately, a little rain cancelled the cookouts, but everyone enjoyed burgers in the lodge followed by an entertaining skit night.

The groups made it out for all-days yesterday and lots of fun was had by all. The HTOEC staff expanded on the activities done during the shorter discovery groups – Cowboys see our working ranch, Innovators tried some solar cooking, Woodsmen go to the working sawmill, Explorers go to the Bat Caves, and Mountaineers rock scramble on several of the bluffs around the main property. To finish off the day, the students that went to the hoedown on Tuesday headed to the Interbarn, and the students from the Interbarn went to the hoedown.

After a great rock session this morning, students went for their last discovery group – Putting It All Together. The students seemed to enjoy their week and learn a lot of interesting facts about nature, themselves, and Colorado history. We had a lot of fun this week and hope the students enjoy the rest of the school year. We look forward to Mountain Ridge Middle School coming next week!

Lyrics and Video for This Summer’s Hit Song: High Trails Queen

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

You’ll be my Julie Richardson, I’ll be your Mike MacDonald

You’ll be my pair of Chacos, I’ll be your pair of Keens

You’ll be my Big Spring Warrior, I’ll be your High Trails Queen

Hey, we just said it all

We’ll miss camp in the fall

We’ll miss the Big Spring mail and Pony Express

We’ll miss the Hipster Hoedowns

And all those Viking Showdowns

We’ve got a love for camp we must confess

You’ll be my pita pizza, I’ll be your breakfast crepe

We’ll be like Ryan and Ashley,

They’re havin’ a Sanborn babe

You’ll be my aspen grove, I’ll be your Grow Strong Tree

You’ll be my Big Spring Warrior, I’ll be your High Trails Queen

You’ll be my Crazy Creek, I’ll be your Nalgene bottle

You’ll be my Julie Richardson, I’ll be your Mike MacDonald

You’ll be my pair of Chacos, I’ll be your pair of Keens

You’ll be my Big Spring Warrior, I’ll be your High Trails Queen







Sanborn Homecoming and Reunion: Will YOU Be There?

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

On top of horses, on Top of the World

BEWARE!! THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT for
THE 2011 ALUM HOMECOMING REUNION
October 13-16, 2011

As we enter August, do you find yourself longing for those long-ago carefree days of summer when all you had to worry about was which pair of dirty jeans to put on in the morning and whether you could find your water bottle (or canteen)? Would you like to ride a horse through aspen groves, catch the view from the Top of the World, have delicious meals served to you—and cleaned up for you?

If so, it is time for you to come back to camp!

Please join us for our Alum Homecoming Reunion, October 13-16, 2011. The event will take place atThe Nature Place, so your accommodations will be warm and comfy, the food great, and our “bug juice” will be of the adult variety. We’ll be hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain bike riding, mountain climbing and enjoying all types of camp activities. We’11 reconnect with friends, camp, and the natural world.

A View from A-Bluff

And this reunion will be special because we will celebrate the successful conclusion of our first ever Capital Campaign: Sanborn 60. It will also be special because Jim “Herc” Roth has already promised to provide his world-famous St Joe barbequed ribs. And it will be special for a hundred reasons we can’t even define yet—maybe you will see a Red Tail hawk soaring over Little Blue, or reconnect with a friend from long ago. Maybe you will be energized by the smell of the pines or the crisp mountain air. Maybe we’ll have one of those long gentle nighttime rains that provides the best sleeping anywhere on the planet or maybe we’ll see the first snowflakes of the season. The possibilities are endless.

Registration information is on the alum section of our website or we can mail you a form. We hope to see you in October!

This post was copied from the Alum e-News.  The Alum e-News  is sent monthly to alums of Sanborn Western Camps. To add your name from the Alum E-News list, please send an e-mail to jane@sanbornwesterncamps.com

Musings On Lost and Found

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

A lone water bottle (without a name) has been sitting on the back porch of the Big Spring Office for the past two weeks. I first noticed it just before dawn on Closing Day and have been watching it ever since. I should pick it up and send it through the dish machine and put it in the great pile of anonymous water bottles we keep around to loan to future campers. But I haven’t moved it, because in some small way, that water bottle reminds me of the great summer we just experienced.

Who knows where that water bottle has been? Did it sustain its owner on a climb to the summits of Mt. Elbert and Massive? Or did it travel to the Puma Hills in a saddlebag? Did it sit beside its owner at Sunday Rocks or backpack along the Colorado Trail?

That’s the way it is with Lost and Found.

Even though all the campers and staff (and most of their stuff) left on Closing Day, we continue to find physical reminders throughout the year, and often they make us smile. How did that baseballcap get on the roof of Ponderosa?  Whose sierra cup is underneath the sink at the Big Spring Chalet? Why is there a dirty t-shirt under the driver’s seat in Van 106? When did the single Chaco get left in the High Trails Pool House (and did its owner even miss it?) Many, many minor mysteries.

I sometimes wonder if there is a sock somewhere, hidden in some forgotten nook, from each year of camp. We found a few of them when we tore down the tents on HKL Ridge and built new ones. Unfortunately Carbon 14 dating did not work, and, in our experience a sock which may have been left in 1960 looks much like a sock left in 2008 after a year or two. So we’ll never know…But, to be honest, with the remarkable number of single socks we do find on Closing Day and during the weeks following, odds are really good that there is at least one we have missed every year. We did find a couple of really ancient towels when we renovated the STUW Ridge washhouse a few years back.  They were so disgusting that even Jerry did not want to keep them as an historical display.  And speaking of washhouses, we always find a lot of shampoo, shower gel, and toothpaste on the day after camp. It is the unopened ones that worry me.

And so the Cycle of Camp continues. Campers come and campers go, but most of them leave something to remind us of their presence—water bottle, sierra cup, sock, toothpaste. And it all brings back great memories.

-Jane Sanborn-
Taken from this month’s Alum E-News.
To subscribe, please email Jane@SanbornWesternCamps.com and request to be added to our monthly Alum News Update.

September 2011 Camp News Update

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

All is Quiet on the Eastern Side of Pikes Peak

It is much too quiet around camp since second term campers left on August 14.   The fields, hills, and lodges are filled with great memories from the summer of 2011, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to spend this time with so many outstanding campers and staff.

One of our tasks during the weeks following camp is to collect and distribute all the lost and found items.  We have mailed every major article from High Trails which has a name to the owner.  Big Spring items have been mailed more recently so they may still be in the mail.  We still have some jackets, boots, and other items of clothing which do not have names.  Please let us know if your camper is missing something and we will do everything we can to track it down and send it to you.

Our outdoor education program staff arrives today and we will begin welcoming sixth graders to High Trails Outdoor Education Center on September 13.  Among the staff who will be returning to teach during this program are wranglers Jenny Hartman and Lacey Ellingson, High Trails ridge leaders Stacey Robinson and Lela Payne and Camp Trip Leader/Photographer Jessie Spehar.  Big Spring staff from the summer of 2011 include Ian Stafford, Zach Schoenfelt, Kevin Robinson, Jackson Blackburn, Falcon Craft and Adam Beard.  Andrew Jones will return from the summer of 2010.  Chris Tholl, Carlotta Avery and Chris “BC” Miller McLemore direct the program;  they are assisted by camp leaders Elizabeth Rundle and Ryan and Ashley McGowan.

We have several exciting events this Fall in addition to our traditional schedule.  On September 9, September 18-19 and October 6-8 we will be providing leadership training for students from several different area high schools.  We have developed this outstanding program over the past few years and are always excited to work with these motivated teens.  On September 10-11, we will be partnering with the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument as part of the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea to provide a fun nature-based experience for the families of soldiers who are serving abroad.  And on September 24, we will again join with the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to celebrate “No Child Left Inside Day” by hosting an open house.  We will be offering a program of nature-based activities and hikes for families who would like to get their children outdoors for the day.  There is no cost for the event.

On October 13-16, we are excited to host a Reunion for camp alums.  We’ll be hiking, riding, climbing mountains, biking, rock climbing, relaxing and reconnecting.  This Reunion is also special because we’ll be celebrating the successful conclusion of our Sanborn 60 Capital Campaign.

We are already thinking about next summer and have established our dates.  The first term at Big Spring and High Trails will be Sunday, June 10 – Tuesday, July 10, 2012.  The second term will be Friday, July 13 – Sunday, August 12.  The four terms of Sanborn Junior will be June 10 – June 24, June 26– July 10, July 13 – July 27, and July 29 – August 12.  We have sent this information to current camp families and will send additional information in October to camp families, former camp families, and prospective camp families. If you would like to receive our catalog and DVD or know someone who would, we will be happy to mail them at any time.

Each month we will post news from camp and photos from the summer of 2011 on the website, so keep checking it out!  Right now, a few gold leaves are showing on the Aspen, and the sky is incredibly blue.  A large herd of elk is hanging out at Potts Spring and the horses are wondering why no one comes each day to ride them.  We wish all of our camp friends a great beginning to the school year and hope that everyone will keep in touch.