Winter cold has crept into the Ranch even though we still have lots of sunny days. A nice snow a week ago still covers the ground so it is very holiday-like around here. The animals are pretty quiet now although we often see deer in the middle of Big Spring and High Trails. The elk have been hanging out at Potts Spring and there are still a few porcupines waddling around in the dusk. A flock of wild turkeys is seen near the Big Spring Barn almost every day—I guess they knew they would not become Thanksgiving dinner!
The office is a fun place to be these days as the elves are all busy getting ready for Christmas, preparing gifts, cards and other holiday mailings. We are keeping UPS and the local post office busy!
Elizabeth and Mike are making plans for their trip with the camp show through the Midwest in January and look forward to meeting camp families, alums, and those who would like to explore the opportunities at camp. We will be sending a mailing in early January with dates and times. This information will also be posted on our website. These fun gatherings are a great way to reconnect with camp friends and also provide a great way for families interested in camp to learn more about our programs.
We have big plans for the winter! This is always a time when we can focus on projects designed to improve our programs and facilities. We’ve already planned and submitted our proposed high mountain and horse trips to the Forest Service for the summer of 2014 and can’t wait to share these amazing adventures with our campers next summer. We will be working on all aspects of our program from crafts to horseback riding to rock climbing to improve and refresh all of our activities.
Our maintenance crew is busy installing new roofs and renovating ABC washhouses at Big Spring, building a new Campfire circle at High Trails, and painting, repairing and remodeling throughout our facility.
We are also expanding and improving our staff training, using research that is current in youth development. And, of course, hiring the best counselors and program leaders is one of our major winter projects. Some great staff members have already promised to return!
Enrollment for next summer has been flowing in and we are very excited about the communities that are shaping up at Big Spring, High Trails and Sanborn Junior for 2014. Everyone at camp wishes all of our friends the happiest of holiday seasons!