Archive for October, 2014

News From Camp: November 1, 2014

Friday, October 31st, 2014
We have had a long and beautiful Indian Summer, with golden and red aspen trees lasting into late October.  The temperatures are dropping a bit now and the mornings are chilly, but the sun is creating a lot of warmth during the day.  We still have not seen any snow.
Our maintenance crew has made excellent use of the good weather and is building four new tent frames on ABC Ridge at Big Spring.  They have also finished a new roof on the Big Spring Lodge. Their winter projects include renovating the Real Estate at Big Spring and installing new showers and flooring in some of the cabins at High Trails.  We also plan to replace the floor in the High Trails Lodge this winter so you will notice a bright new look in the Lodge on opening day.
Maren reports that the horses are very happy grazing in Fish Creek. They have appreciated taking it easy and munching sweet mountain grass to their heart’s content after their busy summer in the Big Spring and High Trails Riding programs.
We will be again be hosting the American Camp Association—Rocky Mountain Region Annual workshop in mid-November.  Attended by camp leaders from several states, this is a wonderful educational and networking opportunity and many of our year round staff will be attending and, in some cases, presenting programs.  Big Spring Director Mike MacDonald is just finishing his term as the Past President of the Rocky Mountain Region and High Trails Director Elizabeth Rundle is a new member of the Local Counsel of Leaders.
We are all looking forward to the relative calm of the winter season and the opportunity it provides to improve our programs and our facilities. We met last week to select dates for some of our exceptional trips next summer.  These include four- and five-day backpacking trips on Mts. Elbert and Massive, Mts. Harvard and Yale, Pikes Peak, the Colorado Trail, Buffalo Peaks, the Tarryall Mountains and several more spectacular wilderness areas.  We will also plan mountain climbing trips to Mt. Huron, Mt. Ouray, Mt. Oxford and Belford, La Plata Peak, Mt. Quandary, Mt. Democrat, Mt. Princeton and ten more Colorado “Fourteeners”.  We are already anticipating the fun and challenge of these amazing adventures.
Thank-you to everyone who met Mike and Ariella in Seattle for our first ever camp show in the Pacific Northwest.  Mike and Elizabeth will head out soon for several more camp shows.  They will be in Falls Church, VA, on November 11, in Pittsburg on November 12 and in the Philadelphia area on November 13. They will also travel to Texas in early December and will do shows in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.  Details for both of these trips are on our website.  They are also planning their January trip to the Midwest.  A schedule of their travels is posted on the website, and early in the new year we will be sending information about the shows to camp families, alums, and those who are interested in exploring the opportunities at Big Spring, High Trails and Sanborn Junior.
Many of you have received enrollment information in the past month, and we are always happy to send our brochure and DVD to new families.  We offer an early bird tuition discount for enrollments we receive before December 1. We have already received a significant number of enrollments for 2015 and are excited to watch the High Trails and Big Spring communities take shape.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Nothing is Simple and Alone

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

New Perspectives

When I think back on the best times of my life, I always end up thinking about summer camp.  My experience at camp truly shaped who I am today.  It helped me see the world in a new way.   As a camper, I learned that my view of the world was an internal, subjective interpretation.  The counselors and trip leaders didn’t just guide me into the wilderness, they guided me into a new way of seeing.

At Sanborn camps, there is a two day trip called the Lone Vigil, a little adventure that I signed up for when I was a kid at camp.  The trip is simple: a camper spends time alone in the wilderness, two days and one night…alone.  On other trips, the campers and counselors stay together, hike together, set up tents in a cluster, cook, eat, and sleep in a small group.  But not the Lone Vigil.  On that trip, the goal was solitude.  Campers are lead by their counselors into the woods, then after a mile or so, the group splits up and heads in different directions.  Everyone strikes out alone.

I can remember walking alone, feeling the weight of my pack filled with food, shelter, and provisions.  I was self-sufficient, hiking alone in the woods, nervous but confident.  I was armed with new skills learned in camp — the ability to read map and compass, the knowledge of fire safety, the tenants of leave-no-trace camping, and a good book.  I soon found my campsite, close to water but not too close.  I set up my tent and gathered wood.  The solitude was amazing.  I felt the wind in a new way, heard the birds more clearly.  I spent the entire afternoon alone, building camp alone, cooking and watching the sunset alone.

Solitude and Silence

So many emotions rolled through my mind and body.  I was excited, afraid, lonely, uplifted, and curious.  The hours ticked by in solitude, and my eyes began to open up and really see the woods.   Dappled sunlight. The idleness of a huge boulder. The paper-wind-chime music of an aspen grove.  Movement caught my eye, and I turned to see a group of deer staring back at me.  I felt like I was…part of it.

As darkness settled in, a bit of fear filled my young mind.  Alone in the woods all night?  Could I pull this off?  A welcomed visit from my counselor calmed my nerves.  He approached through the twilight with a bag of candy and a few fun stories.  He assured me that he was keeping an eye on me from a distance, not far away, not to worry.  The counselor walked off into the dusk, heading out to check on the other Lone Vigils.

The light faded, and I was alone with the night.  There were so many stars, countless tiny jewels.  The fear inside me melted away.  The limitless stars seemed to echo what my counselor said: I was safe.  As I faded off to sleep bundled in my bag, the cosmos kept me company.

I woke at first light, alone in the sunrise.  I watched the trees, was the trees.  A golden eagle circled above me, then dove down the wind into a field.  I had never seen a eagle before, I swear it was bigger than my dog back home. The eagle blurred in the grass, then took back to the air with a rodent locked in its talons.  Breakfast.  Good idea.  I got up and cooked myself some oatmeal, thinking.  I’d never seen anything like that, the circle of life, the hunt of a golden eagle, the pulse of the planet.  It was a natural, personal, adventurous experienced that was only possible at summer camp.

First light

Years later, when I became a counselor at Sanborn, I learned how the trip worked.  I learned that the counselor was indeed always near by.  Even though I felt completely alone, an adult was just over the ridge, just behind the aspen grove, always watching and making sure I was safe.  But when I was a kid, I didn’t know that for sure.  All I knew was the change I went through.

On camp trips like that, I learned to respect the earth, because we are the earth.  The survival of the human race depends on nature.  We were born with nature, we are part of it all.  For me, it was my time at summer camp that helped me see that.  Nature is always with us.  Even on a Lone Vigil, we are never alone.

-M.Huffman-

Oh the Places WE Go!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

The mountains ARE waiting...to see YOU at camp!

Sanborn Road Show 2015

The Sanborn Road Show is an opportunity for prospective and current campers and their parents to meet and chat with Mike MacDonald, Matthew Huffman, Elizabeth Rundle and/or Ariella Rogge, the respective directors of Big Spring Ranch for Boys and High Trails Ranch for Girls; see a digital presentation about a summer at Sanborn Western Camps; and ask questions about the facilities, camp programs, staff, or anything else that may be on your mind!

We are currently coordinating our dates and times for our 2015 show. Please save the dates  below for shows in nearby cities, and visit our Facebook Events page for new city additions and location updates.

If you are interested in hosting a presentation, please contact Mike, Elizabeth or Ariella at 719.748.3341.

Seattle, Washington

Sunday, October 26th, 2014
4:30 p.m.
Montlake Community Center
1618 E Calhoun St
Seattle, WA  98112

Hosted by: The Rawlings Family
Kay Rawlings 206.501.5942 or rawsee1 at gmail dot com

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Ariella Rogge at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or ariella at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Falls Church, Virginia

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
7:30 p.m.
Temple Rodef Shalom
2100 Westmoreland Street
Falls Church, VA 22043

Hosted by: Sam Klein and Family

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Location and Time: TBD

Hosted by: The Stefani Pashman and Jeremy Feinstein Family

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
7:30 p.m.

Temple Sholom

55 Church Ln
Broomall, Pennsylvania 19008

Hosted by: Jeff Farhy and Family

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Houston, Texas

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Location and Time: TBD
Hosted by: Deborah Whalen

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Austin, Texas

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
Location and Time: TBD
Hosted by: The Ehrlich and Gormin Families

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

San Antonio, Texas

Wednesday, December 11th, 2014
Location and Time: TBD
Hosted by: The Smith Family

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Denver, CO

Wednesday January 21st, 2015
7:30 p.m.
1st Plymouth Congregational Church
The Odeon Room
3501 South Colorado Blvd.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Chicago, IL

Saturday January 24th, 2015
Time: TBD
Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Ave.
Winnetka, IL
Local Host: Cathy Burnham 847-272-2160

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

St. Louis, MO

Sunday January 25th, 2015
Location and Time: TBD
Local Host: Bill Polk

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Monday January 26th, 2015
Time: TBD
Christ United Methodist Church-Room
3515 South Harvard
Local Host: Margie Brown 918-260-6808

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Tuesday January 27th
Time: TBD
All Souls’ Episcopal Church
Christian Family Life Center
6400 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
Local Hosts: Lucy, John and Sarah Covington
john at covingtonoil dot com  or call 405-306-0518

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Rundle at Sanborn: 719.748.3341 or elizabeth at sanbornwesterncamps dot com.

Santa Fe, NM

Thursday January 28th
Time: TBD
Santa Fe Prep
1101 Camino de Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Local Hosts Mary and Kent Little
mbrlittle at mac dot com 505-989-8977

Additional 2015 Sanborn Road Show Dates will be added in the upcoming months. Please check back soon or call 719-748-3341 to find out when we are coming to your neighborhood!

Jane Sanborn Receives Colorado College Spirit of Adventure Award

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Sanborn Western Camps and Colorado College have a long, storied history. The Admissions team used to hunker down at The Nature Place to finalize their annual freshman class; every summer (and many Outdoor Education seasons) we hire CC students and graduates as staff; we have relationships with many faculty members past and present; and we even have a few Colorado College graduates on our year-round staff. One notable Colorado College grad is our Executive Director, Jane Sanborn. Among other things, she credits Colorado College for her affinity for Shakespeare, for her witty editorial voice, and for her ability to solve multifaceted problems in creative ways.

This upcoming Saturday, October 11, 2014, Jane Sanborn will receive the Spirit of Adventure Award at Colorado College’s Opening Convocation Ceremony in Shove Memorial Chapel. The Spirit of Adventure Award is one of only four Alumni awards presented during Opening Convocation. 

This award “recognizes an alumnus/a, who exemplifies the unique CC experience through a life of intellectual, social or physical adventure. These attributes are characterized by Robert M. Ormes ’26, English Professor, Colorado College, 1952-1973 who was the inaugural award recipient.  He was an adventurer of the mind, body and the spirit which exemplifies much of what is special about Colorado College.”

The College profiled Jane in both a recent Alumni magazine as well as in the Homecoming registration materials and shared this biography and description:

“An adventurer’s spirit has guided Jane McAtee Sanborn ’70 throughout her career at Sanborn Western Camps/Colorado Outdoor Education Center, a nonprofit that focuses on teaching and practicing teamwork, perseverance, responsibility, independence, and critical thinking. As executive director, Jane leads Sanborn Western Camps, which involves 700 young people each summer in an active outdoor program. She oversees the High Trails Outdoor Education Center, which provides residential outdoor education programs for sixth graders. Through the Nature Conference Center, Colorado Outdoor Education offers programs for adults and families, in addition to providing outstanding team and leadership development programs for MBA students, educators, and corporate groups. Jane served two terms as president of the American Camp Association (ACA)-Rocky Mountain Region, and as a member of the ACA National Public Policy Committee. She currently serves as chair of the ACA National Conference and chair of the ACA National Children, Nature, and Camps Committee. She is a recipient of the Rocky Mountain ACA’s Distinguished Service Award, and the ACA’s National Service, and National Honor awards. Jane, who was a Boettcher Scholar at CC, served two terms on the Colorado Governor’s Advisory Committee for Child Care Licensing. Prior to serving as executive director of COEC, she was director of the High Trails Ranch for Girls Summer Camp for 30 years.”

At 11 a.m. on Saturday morning, Colorado College President President Jill Tiefenthaler and Alumni Association Board President Chris Moon Schluter ’65 will present the Benezet, Worner, Riley, and Spirit of Adventure Awards. Everyone is invited to attend this special ceremony that honors our distinguished award recipients and will feature remarks from President Tiefenthaler. Shove Memorial Chapel is located on the west side of Nevada Avenue between E Cache La Poudre and Uintah Streets.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday and to celebrating Jane’s adventurous accomplishments in both the community and in the world!

News from Camp: October 1, 2014

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Aspen leaves on a woodland trail

We are enjoying spectacular autumn days here at camp.  The golden Aspen are at their peak and are stunning against the bright blue sky.  We’ve been spying on the herd of elk at Potts Spring and have also seen deer, porcupines, wild turkeys, bobcats, and, of course, the fat black Abert squirrels.  Many of our summer birds have headed south and the year-round bird residents are beginning to show up at our feeders more regularly.
We did have a lot of rain in September and are enjoying extremely green grass for this time of year.  Although Pikes Peak has been covered in snow several times recently, we have not yet had our first snow.  It won’t be long now!

Our outdoor education program with sixth graders from District 20 in Colorado Springs has been underway since mid-September. We also hosted a “No Child Left Inside” open house September 20 and were very happy to have many local families join us for a morning of hikes and nature-based activities led by our staff.   We are very committed to doing everything we can to help young people connect with the natural world.  The benefits are enormous—as Richard Louv, author of “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder” says:  “Children who have a personal connection with nature are happier, healthier, and smarter.”

At The Nature Place, Rob Jolly and his staff are busy working with the University of Denver on a team-building and leadership development program for DU’s MBA students.  We have collaborated with DU on this program, where every MBA student spends a long weekend at The Nature Place, for over 15 years.  The students rock climb, participate in an orienteering course, and work through many team building scenarios, all of which teach values-based leadership.

Aspen are MAGNIFICENT

The horses are grazing happily in Four Meadows where they are exceptionally appreciative of the lush green grass. They miss taking rides every day with their many friends but are already looking forward to next summer.

We are most excited about opening enrollment for another season of camp.  The summer of 2015 will be our 67th and we are looking forward to sharing adventures, friendships and lots of fun.  We have already begun enrollment, and additional enrollment information will be going out throughout the month of October.  If you know of interested families, we’ll be happy to send our brochure and DVD.  They can also request information from our website.  We hope you are enjoying the photos from the summer of 2014 which are appearing each month on our website.

We hope you are having a fantastic Autumn!