Archive for June, 2014

News from Camp: June 29, 2014

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The CORE Tech Rock trip hiked all 14 miles of trails at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument to help promote their use by teens!

We climbed our first mountains of the season last week!  Groups from Big Spring reached the summits of Mt. Elbert and Huron Peak on Tuesday morning.  High Trails groups successfully climbed Quandary Peak and Mt. Ouray on Friday morning. In addition to the climbs, we enjoyed many other amazing trips last week— fishing adventures, canoeing and river trips, horseback rides, fossil digging, wonderful hikes, rock climbing, bike riding, and much more.  Everyone returned to camp Friday night excited by their adventures and happy to be back with friends at camp for the weekend.

We have had a busy weekend.  Yesterday’s Saturday Special Activities were fun in the morning and in the afternoon we had an extremely exciting coed carnival that included cotton candy,  sno cones, and popcorn in addition to many games and carnival events.  It was so warm that Mike even started up the fire truck in order to let everyone cool off in the spray. The dance had a Luau theme which was appropriate for such a warm day.  Today, we prepared for next week’s trips, and both camps will end the day with our traditional vespers services.  The boys climb to the top of Little Blue for this special celebration and the girls go to “Sunday Rocks” on B-Bluff.
We were sad to see our First Term Juniors depart today—they have been a wonderful group and we are grateful for our time together.  We look forward to greeting our Second Session Junior campers on Tuesday.
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 four- and five-day high mountain backpacks into some of Colorado’s most pristine wilderness.  Other trips will be based in spectacular alpine areas like Silver Heels and Kite Lake near Alma.  Many groups will have the opportunity to climb mountains, and we know that our summit count will grow.
Big Spring has planned an exciting program of overnights and all-day trips including mountain climbing trips to Quandary Peak, Pikes Peak, Mt. Princeton and Mts. Oxford and Belford.  The boys will also be horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping on the ranch and tubing on the river.  Their “long trips” are scheduled for the week of July 7.
We will post photos from the week on our website later tonight.  Keep watching our Facebook page too—we have posted some stunning photos lately.

News from Camp: June 22, 2014

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Opening Campfires were jubilant affairs at both camps!

What a great week!  As always, we feel so fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of young people, and enthusiasm has been high for all of our trips and activities.

Following our busy week of campouts and activities, we were happy to once again be all together on Friday evening for dinner, and the Lodges were exciting (and noisy) places to be.  On Saturday mornings we offer Saturday Specials—these are activities which continue every Saturday morning during the camp term.  Campers may choose to work on the coed Drama which they will present at the end of camp, take riding lessons, learn technical rock climbing, hike to different parts of the ranch, learn how to throw pots on the wheel in ceramics, and many other fun activities.  On Saturday evening, the camps came together at Big Spring for an ice cream social and Decades Dance.
Campers in both camps have been offered a wide variety of all-day and overnight trips and a number of these are scheduled for next week.  Horseback overnights, tubing on the South Platte River, fishing all-days, mountain climbs and hikes to several spectacular locations are only some of the adventures that wait. There will also be a busy in-camp program and some of our favorite special events.  Juniors at both camps will experience another campout, more horseback riding, swimming, rock-scrambling, and a number of fun, creative in-camp activities.  High Trails Juniors are looking forward to their trip on the South Platte River while Junior Campers at Big Spring will enjoy the Bat Caves/Fossil Beds All Day.
Many of our older campers have signed up for SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Leadership Experience) or CORE (Community Outreach Experience) next week—these 5-day adventures include service projects as well as challenging activities.  One group will work with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative to build trails on Mt. Elbert, while another group will work with CFI on Oxford/Belford.  Two separate trip groups have chosen a rock climbing focus.  During the week they will learn climbing skills at our climbing site on Wild Goat Mountain and then venture off our property to climb at Turkey Rocks and Red Rock Canyon. These groups will come together on Wednesday to become the first group ever to hike the entire 14-mile trail system of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Both the CORE and SOLE programs are also offering 5-day Horsemanship experiences–these will emphasize improving horseback riding skills as well as community service.  We also have a CORE mountain biking trip which will bike around the ranch, work on our biking trails, and then complete the Salida Downhill bike ride.
The Junior Counselors at High Trails and Outbackers at Big Spring are also looking forward to their special 3-day trips this week.  The girls leave tomorrow for Great Sand Dunes National Monument; on Wednesday they will meet the Outbackers in Buena Vista for an exciting day of rafting on the Arkansas River.  The girls will then return to camp while the boys head to the Sand Dunes for two-days of sand surfing and exploration.
If you haven’t already done so, check out the living unit photos taken early last week by visiting our website Photo Gallery.  Our photographers also are hard at work posting new photos taken at camp last week.  They will be available for viewing Monday morning.  Photos from either Big Spring, High Trails, or Sanborn Junior will load automatically in the photo gallery.  To access photos from the other camps, click on the gallery button on the bottom left of the photos and choose the photos you would like to see.
Beyond reading these e-mails and our Sanborn blog online, you can follow Sanborn Western Camps on Facebook. We would love to have parents, friends, and family follow our updates about camp events, trips and activities.
Until next week…

News from Camp: June 15, 2014

Monday, June 16th, 2014

When the buses arrive from the airports, it's a celebration at both camps!

The Opening Day of camp is the most exciting day of our year and we enjoyed sun and a brilliant blue sky most of the day.  We have had more moisture over the winter and spring than we had the past two years, and our green grass and abundant wildflowers are thriving.  After almost two weeks of staff training, we are excited to have campers running down the paths and filling the lodges with laughter.  They seem as happy to be here as we are to have them.

Luggage was barely unpacked before camp activities began.  The stables were busy with Ride-Out and Basic Preparation, and shouts came from the volleyball courts, the Gaga Pits, and our new game 9 Square in the Air.  The sounds of old friends reconnecting and new friendships forming were everywhere.  Tonight, tent and cabin groups are playing “Getting Acquainted” and “Team Building” games to facilitate the formation of these important living unit communities.  The energy and enthusiasm is contagious!

Tomorrow, our program will begin in earnest and we will have half-day hikes heading out to A-Bluff, Top of the World, the Crystal Beds and other favorite destinations.  Basic Preparation will continue at both stables, and we will have introductory sessions in rock climbing and camping skills.  We’ll also begin craft projects, activities at the Interbarn science center, tennis, fishing, and sports.  Junior campers will be hiking, riding, swimming, and learning camping skills at the Mountain Odyssey program during their first two days.

On Wednesday morning the girls will backpack out for their Cabinside Overnights at campsites on our property.  The boys will camp-out on Thursday night.  These first overnights with the living unit accomplish some important goals.  They introduce everyone to the fun of camping out; outdoor skills are learned or reviewed; and close bonds are created among the members of each living community.   Sanborn Junior campers will also experience their first overnight on Wednesday or Thursday.

Tomorrow night, Opening Campfires will be held at both Big Spring and High Trails, and this year we can have “real” campfires!  These are always lots of fun and include great singing and Broadway quality skits.  Other special events planned this week include the All Camp Adventure Race, the Counselor Hunt and Cabinside Skit Night at High Trails.  At Big Spring the boys will enjoy the Bomber Relay and Unit Skits.  Later in the week, we will all get together for a coed ice cream social on Saturday night.

The High Trails ladies headed up the path to their Vespers spot this evening to sing some songs together, listen to quotes and enjoy the beauty of where we are!

Early in the week, we will be signing up for trips throughout the term.  High Trails and Big Spring campers will choose from many exciting possibilities including mountain climbs, horseback trips, tubing on the South Platte River and wilderness backpacking trips.  Counselors and senior staff members will be on hand to help campers select those trips which best fit individual interests.  Sanborn Junior campers do not sign up for trips; their program includes two exciting all-day trips in addition to their overnight camping trips.

We will be taking group photos early in the week and will post them on our website—so check us out again late in the week!  We’ll also be mailing you a copy of your camper’s group photo with the counselor letter next Sunday.  Each Sunday evening, we will send an e-mail to camp families about our activities and we will post photos of activities taken during the previous week on our website.  Although we can’t promise to show every camper or every activity, we hope these photos will provide a glimpse into life at camp for families and friends.  Until next week……..

News from Camp: June 1, 2014

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Pikes Peak looks very blue when there is so much green below it!

June is finally here and we are all excited for the arrival of campers in two weeks! We had a significant amount of moisture in May, which has made the Ranch more beautiful than ever. The grass is green, the Aspens are leafing out, and the wildflowers are beginning to appear. We see deer every day in the immediate camp area, the Mountain Bluebirds are settled in for the summer, the hummingbirds are back, and the Abert’s squirrels are exceptionally fat and sassy.

We have been preparing the facility and are almost ready for everyone’s arrival. The Big Spring tents are up, the BS Lodge is open for business, and fresh paint is being applied in many places. The flowers are planted, the horses have new shoes, and the swimming pools are full and heating. We are also moving into the newly renovated High Trails Lodge Office and adding the final touches on the new central campfire circle at High Trails. Although we are still finishing a few last minute facility projects, we have now turned our attention to staff training.

The leadership staff arrived last week and we are conducting a special training for our Senior staff team over the weekend. Several staff are also taking a lifeguard training course over the weekend. On Thursday and Friday last week, our rock climbing staff enjoyed a two-day training at our Wild Goat Mountain climbing site, while several staff completed a riflery instructor course. Our wranglers have been here for two weeks now and have been busy getting our horses ready for the summer and completing their specialized training.

The wranglers enjoyed their 4-day pack trip around 39-Mile Mountain.

On Monday and Tuesday, many of our trip leading staff will complete a two-day Wilderness First Aid course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute. On Wednesday, we will hold an all-day driver training course and also will conduct First Aid and CPR courses. Our entire staff of more than 100 will arrive on Thursday. For the following nine days, we will hold sessions on youth development, outdoor skills, our mission and core values, leadership tools, and health and safety, as well as trainings in our many program areas.

It is always special when our wonderful summer community comes together. We are looking forward to the mountains we will climb, the horseback trips we will enjoy, the sunsets we will share and the friendships we will make. We especially anticipate the opportunities we will have to learn more about ourselves, our companions and the natural world.

We again plan to post weekly updates and photos on the website once camp begins. Although we cannot promise to show every camper or every activity, we think these photos will help parents, friends, and family members to get a peek into life at Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior. So visit us again on June 15!