Archive for September, 2014

Starry Night Gala for the John Austin Cheley Foundation

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Sanborn Staff Members in front of the "Lapis Icicle Tower"...oh the irony!

On Saturday, September 27th, 2014, the Sanborn Western Camps administrative team brushed the dust off of their dress clothes and popped down to the Denver Botanic Gardens to not only see the incredibly Dale Chihuly exhibit and the new Science Pyramid, but to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the John Austin Cheley Foundation.

As stated in its mission, The John Austin Cheley Foundation funds need-based camperships for high potential youth to attend extended-stay wilderness summer camps that have a proven track record of positively impacting youth development. Sanborn has been an Associate Camp with the JACF for almost two decades. Other associate camps include: Cheley Colorado Camps in Estes Park, CO; Friendly Pines Camp in Prescott, AZ; Camp Thunderbird in Bemidji, MN; and Colvig Silver Camps in Durango, CO.

Over 400 individuals were in attendance at the event which included admission to the gardens and museum, a silent auction, dinner and two excellent keynote addresses, one from Rue Mapp of Outdoor Afro, and the other from our very own camper, Luis Ochoa.

Rue Mapp spoke at length about the importance of connecting young people to the outdoors; while Luis simply spoke about the impact Sanborn, and the Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen, has had on his personal growth and development. Ms. Mapp believes that parents in underserved communities must first understand the benefits of connecting to the outdoors before they will be able to understand the benefit of a camp experience, and that exposure to nature has to happen at a family, grassroots, and community level.  Luis Ochoa said, “I used to think BOOM was a only sound—like an explosion in movies—but now I understand it is a brotherhood: The Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen.”  Luis also went on to talk about how the connections in the close-knit Big Spring community have allowed him to be a successful student at the rigorous Philips-Exeter academy. “Before I went to Sanborn,” Luis said, “I didn’t know who I was as a person, and how to express myself….Camp gave me the confidence to talk, and when you go to a school where every class is a discussion, that is HUGE.”

The Big Spring Brotherhood Represents

The evening was a huge success, both in raising funds to help send even more campers to camp, but also because it made everyone collected under the “Starry Skies” of the twinkle-lit tent at the Botanic Gardens understand the power of the camp experience. Even Hollywood seasoned actor, Jason Ritter, who was the emcee for the evening, found it hard to put the impact of the camp experience into words. Yet for him, and for most of us, camp simply “changed my life.”

“Camp Matters” is the official slogan of the John Austin Cheley Foundation and after being part of such an excited group of passionate camp professionals and camp supporters, it is officially true, too. If you would like to learn more or help send a deserving young person to camp, please visit: www.cheleyfoundation.org

To see more photos of the evening, please visit our Facebook page.

The Lemon-Lime Time

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

"Aspen" Wondering When Fall Would Arrive!

Fall is a (but not THE) favorite season for all of us at camp.

We love the crisp evenings, the cool mornings, the warm days, and the gold Aspen against the bluebird blue sky. This summer’s bluebirds can still be seen flying in the fields around Big Spring, the coyotes are even more talkative than usual, and the elk bugles and whines can be heard as we walk the quiet paths on the weekends…the trails are still pretty noisy during the week with High Trails Outdoor Education Center students and The Nature Place guests enjoying the granite bluffs and beautiful vistas, as well.

Fall is both sweet and sour; sweet because we get to look ahead to next summer, and sour because we didn’t want Summer 2014 to end. It is a transition time around the office, too. The pace from the summer slows, and we take time to read evaluations, write letters, and begin to look forward to the possibilities of 2015.

We hear from campers, staff, and alums who miss camp and long for the simplicity of summer days. Days when breakfast is hot and ready for you, when accomplishments are measured in thousands of feet and shared connections with beautiful horses, when friendships are deepened by real experiences and real challenges, and when we each can begin to see and understand our unique place in the world.

One of the most valuable parts of the camp experience is the time and space that is created for reflection. This doesn’t only happen when you are watching for meteors in the star-filled night sky, or when you can take a cat-nap in the alpine tundra after a successful climb on a beautiful day. This space and time for reflection can be internalized, and—once it is in you—you are more able to take a deep breath and simply be.

Our wish for you, as the grassheads begin to dry and lose their seeds, growing more yellow and brittle as they lighten the landscape, is that you take time to go crunch among the fall leaves—or stop and share a beautiful view with a friends—or simply find that special spot in your favorite outdoor place where you can pause, listen to the wind, the birds, and just breathe.

Dr. Seuss said, “Do not cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Celebrate these transitions, as brief and meaningful as they are, because they remind us to remember, reflect, and anticipate the wonder ahead.

News from Camp: September 1, 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

We are still dreaming of closing campfire and already looking forward to next summer's opening campfire!

It is much too quiet around camp- The fields, hills, and lodges are filled with great memories from the summer of 2014, 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 now mailed every major article which has a name to the owner.  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 has arrived and we will begin welcoming sixth graders to High Trails Outdoor Education Center on September 9.  Among the summer staff who will be returning to teach during this program are Sara Everhart, Hilary LeBlanc, Katie Gibbons, Robert Hune-Kalter, Greg Mazmanian, and Mike Adler.  Janie Cole, and Jack Ostrand have returned from the summer of 2013.  Patrick Perry, Carlotta Avery, Sarah Ulizio, Ian Stafford, and Jackson Blackburn will provide leadership for the program.
We have several exciting events this fall in addition to our traditional schedule.  On September 5, we will be providing leadership training for students from School District 20 high schools.  We have developed this outstanding program over the past few years and are always excited to work with these motivated teens. And on September 20, 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.
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 14 – Tuesday, July 14, 2015.  The second term will be Friday, July 17 – Sunday, August 16.  The four terms of Sanborn Junior will be June 14 – June 28, June 30 – July 14, July 17 – July 31, and August 2 – August 16.  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 a few photos from the summer of 2014 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.

It is much too quiet around camp- The fields, hills, and lodges are filled with great memories from the summer of 2014, 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 now mailed every major article which has a name to the owner.  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 has arrived and we will begin welcoming sixth graders to High Trails Outdoor Education Center on September 9.  Among the summer staff who will be returning to teach during this program are Sara Everhart, Hilary LeBlanc, Katie Gibbons, Robert Hune-Kalter, Greg Mazmanian, and Mike Adler.  Janie Cole, and Jack Ostrand have returned from the summer of 2013.  Patrick Perry, Carlotta Avery, Sarah Ulizio, Ian Stafford, and Jackson Blackburn will provide leadership for the program.
We have several exciting events this fall in addition to our traditional schedule.  On September 5, we will be providing leadership training for students from School District 20 high schools.  We have developed this outstanding program over the past few years and are always excited to work with these motivated teens. And on September 20, 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.
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 14 – Tuesday, July 14, 2015.  The second term will be Friday, July 17 – Sunday, August 16.  The four terms of Sanborn Junior will be June 14 – June 28, June 30 – July 14, July 17 – July 31, and August 2 – August 16.  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 a few photos from the summer of 2014 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.