Archive for March, 2014

It’s that time of year…

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Today we experienced beautiful blue skies and melting icicles, chilly grey and white skies, and mid-afternoon were treated to a delightful sun snow shower. Florissant is preparing itself for Spring in its usual confused way, and soon yellow buses will be driving up our dirt roads. And where will we be? Anxiously sitting in the High Trails Office, muscles tense, for the first shout of “Buses!” It is the moment we at the High Trails Outdoor Education will be training for and thinking about for the next two weeks. The off(ice) season is over! And Sanborn Western Camps is thawing.

Our final staff member for Outdoor Ed. arrives today, and tonight marks our welcome dinner for new and old staff alike!

So here’s WM thanking you from the bottom of his heart for reading his sometimes confusing blog posts over the last few months…

And Ian Stafford, his trusty photography and co-contributor/ adviser/ clothing consultant, wishing you a fond farewell! If you need us, we’ll be dressed as prospectors/ woodsmen/ cowboys/ artists/ American Indians/ and a lot of other craziness, running around with students and doing accents. And what about after the Spring Outdoor Ed. season? Great question, faithful reader (you have always asked such great questions)! What happens after Spring Outdoor Ed?

Well, you know…

Office March Madness Brackets

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Every March there are a lot of basketball games. Sometimes friends and family are happy, and other times they’re mad and somebody says to me, “Just give them a second, man.” Once when all the lights were off in the downstairs of my house I thought I knew where the open door was and I walked into the side of the door frame. I was really mad that time, because I should have just turned the lights on.

I asked around the office about different methods for filling out my bracket. You can pick the teams with the coolest looking uniforms. You can pick at random, or by whose names sound the most like cheese. Heck, some people apparently even have insider knowledge of which teams are good, and they make educated guesses on which teams will do well. It was all overwhelming.

I found out Obama’s bracket was made public, so I went with that, because no way did he fill that bracket out himself if he doesn’t pick his suit out in the morning (not to mention he went 2 for 22 that one time). So I trust the smart person they picked to fill out his bracket for him. Go Michigan Street!

Breaking Sanborn Blog News!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Drop what you are doing. Unless you are holding a glass of water, a gerbil cage you are cleaning, an ant farm, or an infant child. Because tomorrow we are sending out our Spring Issue 2014 of the Alum News Newspaper.

Today was a very busy day at the Sanborn Blog‘s Headquarters! With our fearless leader Jessie Spehar at the helm, 3,300 Alum News Newspapers were stickered and loaded into mailing bins. Maybe you are thinking to yourself “3,300? That is not so much. I once sent that many Christmas Cards while also baking toffee.” But let me ask you this: Was your Christmas Card 12 pages long, filled with humor, news, and a wonderful picture of The Infamous JCs of 1972? Oh… it was? Um, well… It’s still a good read, so get excited.

Kind reader I know what you are thinking. Weren’t papercuts a major source of alarm? But do not be alarmed about papercuts. At least three members of our staff are Wilderness First Aid certified, and Jackson may or may not still be a Wilderness First Responder.

Building Interview #2: Quick’s Homestead

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The gate is open and the wire and wooden post is covered in snow. Where are the juniors running around the campfire waiting for their chili mac to finish? I’ve seen a lot of light saber duals around this house, not to mention the amount of shady deals gone down in the feed-store-turned-saloon in front of the homestead. Soon school groups will be here. They will move from the tool shed to the caved-in potato cellar, across the wooden boards to the barn, and out to see the old carriages and plows rusted out and wood bleached from the sun in the field.

I interviewed the stove.

WM: What’s cooking?

S: Heh, not much.

WM: It was only a question, don’t get overheated!

S: Wow, that’s great.

WM: Thanks. You ever get to read the books in here?

S: Sometimes, but I’m not a big reader.

WM: What do you want to be when you’re older?

S: A Stove.

WM: Ha, good one. Uh… [WM shuffles through his pad of paper.] Ever heard of television?

S: Nope.

WM: A Jet Boil?

S: No.

WM: You hear how many retweets Ellen DeGeneres got at the Oscars?

S: Nope.

WM: Like over 2 million.

It’s hard to imagine, this winter flying back and forth home to Massachusetts, driving down to Colorado Springs to see a movie in 3D, driving to Crested Butte to ski for the weekend, that Quick’s is always here. That it always smells like this. That at 2pm the sun looks like this. The tools are lying just so, waiting for us to find them in the Spring and hand to wide-eyed children. I sometimes think the ground squirrels always hide in the rafters of the tool shed until I walk up, exploding across the wooden boards and vanishing with a flip of their tail out of sight.

WM: A microwave?

S: [She shakes her head.]

WM: It’s really neat, it’s got these buttons and you can make a hotdog in 45 seconds. 1 minute if you want it to split—

S: Look, can we wrap this up soon?

WM: Wait! Sorry I’m so nervous, it’s just… you’re my favorite stove.

S: [Stove brightens up.] OK. Let’s try again, then.

WM: Sorry about before. I didn’t mean to grill you.

News from Camp: March 1, 2014

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Lookin' forward to more rainbows over the Sand Dunes this summer!

We had some great snows during the first weeks of February and are very happy to look ahead to the green grass and wildflowers which this moisture will make possible during the summer. The longer days and increased activities of our wild animal friends remind us that Spring is just around the corner, and this makes us even more excited about the coming camp season.

We have many projects underway in preparation for camp next summer.  Mike, Ariella, and Elizabeth have been hiring outstanding staff members for next summer.  We have some great returning staff as well as some wonderful new staff signed up for the summer of 2014.
We are working on many areas of the program, too, which will provide some exciting new activities and trips this summer.  Kelly and Jackson have been busy putting together plans and resources for each activity so by the time June arrives, we will have everything ready!
Maren and Jaime have been making plans for our super horseback riding program, designing activities and trips that will be lots of fun and also allow everyone from beginner to advanced riders to improve their riding skills.
Our maintenance crew is working on a variety of projects to improve and update our facilities in both camps.  These include renovations of the ABC washhouses at Big Spring and some new floors in the bathrooms of some of the cabins at High Trails.  We also plan to have a brand new central campfire area at High Trails before camp starts.
Ian, Jessie, Kelly, Ariella and others are keeping our Facebook site fresh and active with new posts several times a week.  You can also check out our blog which has fun stories about what is going on at camp during the winter.
We are mailing our Getting Ready information to enrolled camp families this week.  All of the needed forms are online this year, and we hope this will make the preparation for camp much easier for our families. As always, please email or call the office with questions.
Camp is only three months away and we can’t wait.  Already we have campers and staff from 41 states and 10 countries—and we’re adding more every day.  The fun and friendship which occur when all of these great people get together is what makes camp so special!  We are happy to send our brochure and DVD to anyone interested in learning more about the exciting programs at Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.