News from Camp: July 31, 2016

July 31st, 2016

We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon Carnival and visiting day!

We had some fabulous trips last week, including six successful mountain climbs.  Groups from High Trails reached the summit of Huron Peak on Tuesday morning while two other girls’ groups stood on the tops of Quandary Peak and Mt. Princeton early Friday. A group from Big Spring summited Mt. Elbert on Tuesday, and one of our SOLE Mountain Trips made it to the top of Mt. Antero on Thursday, while another SOLE trip climbed Huron on Friday. Our third SOLE Mountain trip spent 3 days hiking the Colorado Trail; all of these trips also spent days working with the Colorado Fourteeners’ Initiative doing trail work on Mt. Elbert and in the Missouri Gulch.

All of our trips last week enjoyed warm, sunny weather and we had some amazing views of stunning clouds and a lightning show over Pikes Peak on Thursday evening. Horseback riders rode through fields of clover and camped out at several of the established spring tanks on our property and on the National Forest to our west; CORE tech rock experienced great climbing both on and off the ranch; mountain bikers glided along our trails and did the Salida Downhill bike trip. Other campers tubed on the river, fished in mountain ponds, visited the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, and enjoyed some wonderful rock scrambling all-days.

The CORE and SOLE trips did some awesome trail work this week!

We have also had a busy weekend.  Yesterday’s Saturday Special Activities were fun in the morning; in the afternoon, we all enjoyed a coed Carnival with all kinds of games, as well as cotton candy, sno cones, and popcorn. The dance on Saturday night had a “Movie Character” theme and there were many creative costumes.  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 Third Term Juniors depart on Friday—they had been a wonderful group, and we are grateful for our time together.  We have had a lot of fun greeting our Fourth Term Juniors today.  They have a busy week planned including their first camp-out on the Ranch, horseback rides, exciting hikes, swimming, crafts and much more.

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, La Plata Peak, and Mts. Shavano and Tabeguache.  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 August 8.

Photos from this past week will be available tomorrow morning.  We’re looking forward to another adventure-filled week!

News from Camp: July 24, 2015

July 25th, 2016

Hike the Pike is a fun afternoon for everyone. Though it is not a race - there still seems to be a starting line!

We had some fabulous all-day trips on Thursday and Friday. The weather was warm and sunny and the High Trails Juniors loved their Thursday tubing trip on the South Platte River as did a group of older girls who chose this adventure on Friday. A group from each camp climbed on the fabulous rocks at The Crags and Pancake Rocks on the west side of Pikes Peak, and others enjoyed rock scrambling on the camp property. We also took hiking trips to the Mueller Ranch State Park, canoeing trips, technical rock climbing trips, mountain biking trips, and several extremely fun horseback riding all-days. The Big Spring Junior campers enjoyed seeing the huge petrified Sequoia stumps at The Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument on Friday and discovering leaf and insect fossils at the special digging site we visit.

We have had a full weekend with Saturday Special Activities yesterday morning and Hike the Pike in the afternoon. For Hike the Pike, campers may choose to hike up to 6 miles, and the camp makes a donation to charity for each mile walked. Many campers participated and most chose to do the entire 6 miles! Last night we had a coed ice cream social and dance; the theme of the dance was “80’s Neon Workout/Jazzercise” and there were many colorful and creative costumes.

Sunday is always a day to clean up, organize and get ready for upcoming adventures. During the afternoon we had a fun in-camp program which included all kinds of games and swimming. Tonight, each camp will celebrate our traditional Sunday Rocks service at dusk.

The sunset tonight was a truly WONDERful sight!

The sunset tonight was a truly WONDERful sight!

We have a lot going on next week. Both camps have many overnight and all-day trips including mountain climbs, horseback 2-days, Capture the Flag Overnights, river trips, fishing trips and much more. This is also the week for our SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Learning Experience) and CORE (Community Outreach Experience) Trips, offered to campers who have completed the 8th and 9th grades. Campers choose from trips specializing in mountain climbing, horseback riding, technical rock climbing, and mountain biking. Each 5-day adventure includes a service component as well as a great deal of learning in the chosen activity area.

The Junior Campers at both camps will have another fun overnight and Juniors at High Trails are looking forward to their trip the fossil beds on Wednesday. Riding, hiking explorations, swimming, crafts, and special closing activities will round out the week for the Juniors.

Our photographers are hard at work uploading this week’s photos. You can check them out tomorrow morning.

We are looking forward to another great week!

News from Camp: July 17, 2016

July 18th, 2016

Opening Campfire is an exciting event at both camps and include counselor skits and singing favorite camp songs!

Opening Day is always exciting, and we were extremely happy to greet our Second Term campers on Friday. 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 the swimming pool. The sounds of old friends reconnecting and new friendships forming were everywhere. Tent and cabin groups played “Getting Acquainted” and “Team Building” games to facilitate the formation of these important living unit communities. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

This weekend our program began in earnest and we have had half-day hikes to A-Bluff, Top of the World, the Crystal Beds and other favorite destinations. Basic Preparation has continued at both stables, and we have had introductory sessions in rock climbing and camping skills. We’ve also begun crafts projects, activities at the Interbarn science center, tennis, swimming, and sports. Junior campers have been hiking, riding, swimming, and learning camping skills at the Mountain Odyssey program during their first two days.

Campers have also signed up for trips throughout the term. High Trails and Big Spring campers choose from many exciting possibilities including mountain climbs, horseback trips, tubing/rafting on the South Platte River and wilderness backpacking trips. Counselors and senior staff members were 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 all-day trips in addition to their overnight camping trips.

Opening Campfires were held at both camps last night with great singing and Broadway quality skits. Tonight we will celebrate our first Sunday Rocks services at both camps.

Tomorrow, High Trails, including Sanborn Junior girls, will head out for their cabinside overnights on the ranch. The older boys, living on STUW Ridge will also leave tomorrow for a two-night camping trip. On Tuesday, the rest of Big Spring and the Sanborn Junior boys will camp out on their Unit Overnights. Goals for these first campouts include getting to know cabin and tent mates, learning to work together as a group, enjoying the beauty of the Colorado mountains, getting acquainted with part of the spectacular 6000 acres owned by the camps, testing equipment and honing camping skills, as well as having a lot of fun!

Later in the week Big Spring and High Trails campers will participate in an exciting program of all-day hikes, horseback rides, river trips, ropes course challenges, and rock climbing as well as a varied in-camp program. The Juniors will do more riding, swimming, archery, hiking and crafts. They also have a great all-day trip to the river for tubing planned this week. On Friday, the Big Spring Juniors will hike through the Bat Caves (which don’t really have any bats) to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

Each Monday morning photos of activities taken during the previous week will be available 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. Early this week, we will also post living unit photos.

We’re looking forward to an exciting week!

News from Camp: July 10, 2016

July 10th, 2016

Out in the high mountains is the best place to be.

Another great week has come to a close. The boys returned Thursday and Friday from their long trips excited about their adventures. Many of them backpacked through alpine wilderness and climbed some of Colorado’s highest peaks—Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive, Pikes Peak, Mt. Silverheels, Mt. Antero, Shavano and Tabeguache, Mt. Democrat and Mt. Sherman. Committed horseback riders spent the week exploring much of the beautiful National Forest to our West, including 39-Mile Mountain and Puma Hills.

The girls had a full week of all-day trips and overnight trips including two-day horseback rides, and mountain climbs (La Plata and Ouray). They also enjoyed canoeing trips, technical rock climbing trips, and river tubing trips. Two different groups challenged themselves at our High Ropes Course. After four weeks of hardy outdoor living, many of the girls were excited to spend Thursday shopping in the resort town of Breckenridge.

The Junior campers enjoyed a super campout, some great hikes and horseback rides, swimming, and crafts, as well as an all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument followed by the opportunity to dig for their own fossils. They also all loved their trip to the South Platte River for tubing.

Some major special events took place this week including the JC Dinner on Monday night, the High Trails Talent Show on Wednesday, and the Miss Sanborn Competition at High Trails on Thursday night. The theme of the JC Dinner was “Toy Story” and each cabinside came in costume and presented a song or skit. The Miss Sanborn Pageant is a spoof in which campers choose a character for their counselor, dress them, and help them prepare a “talent”. Contestants this year included the Hairbrush Fairy, the Leave No Trace Guerilla, and the SOW – Sense of Wonder pig.

Our final weekend has been packed! On Friday evening, Big Spring enjoyed their Super Counselor Hunt, while High Trails had a fun all-camp game. Our annual Gymkhana took place on Saturday morning. This series of games on horseback is fun for both the participants and their cheering squads. On Saturday evening everyone enjoyed the all-camp Drama Presentation. On Sunday both camps celebrated their final vespers service.

Tomorrow will bring packing, last-chance activities, closing dinner and closing campfires at each camp. On Tuesday, we will be sad to see this wonderful group of campers leave. Thank-you for sharing your children with us!

Best Regards,

Jane Sanborn

Executive Director

News from Camp: July 3, 2016

July 4th, 2016

All of camp enjoyed a beautiful display of fireworks on Saturday night!

We have had another great week at camp! We celebrated Fourth of July yesterday with a fun dance and spectacular fireworks! The day began with Saturday Specials and our traditional “Hike the Pike”. Many campers and staff chose to walk up to six miles to raise money for charity.

High Trails had an amazing long trip week, and Big Spring is planning some awesome trips for next week!

Long trips at High Trails returned Thursday and Friday exuberant about their adventures and accomplishments. The four-day Elbert-Massive Backpack climbed 14,443’ Mt. Elbert and 14, 428’ Mt. Massive (Colorado’s two highest peaks). The Colorado Trail five-day trip backpacked 25 miles along the Continental Divide and climbed Mt. Columbia (14,077’). Three groups of climbers reached the top of 14,036 Mt. Sherman and another group summited 14,036 Mt. Democrat. The Buffalo Peaks four-day backpack climbed 13,326’ West Buffalo Peaks, and the four-day Oxford/Belford backpack trip summitted 14, 160’ Mt. Oxford and 14,197’ Mt. Belford. The four-day Pikes Peak Backpack reached the top of 14, 115’ Pikes Peak and impressed all the tourists who had driven up the mountain or taken the cog railway. The girls on the four-day backpack trip in the beautiful Tarryall Mountains were elated by their experience, and another group backpacked for four days on Mt. Silverheels, achieving the 13,822’ summit. The four- and five-day horse trips had a great time exploring wilderness areas south and west of camp, and the Canoe/Paddleboard Trip successfully canoed around the perimeter of Eleven-Mile Reservoir.

Big Spring campers enjoyed many exciting overnight and all-day trips last week including climbs of Quandary Peak (14,265’), Pikes Peak, Mt. Princeton (14,197’), and Mt. Belford. The boys also had fun on horse overnights, river overnights, technical rock climbing overnights, all-days to the Fossil Beds and Cripple Creek, and a fishing all-day.

The Second Term of Sanborn Junior campers arrived Tuesday; they have been enthusiastic and energetic about their activities this week. They enjoyed their first campout on Thursday and Friday, and have also enjoyed horseback riding, swimming, crafts, hikes and nature programs at the Interbarn. They were extremely excited about our Fourth of July fireworks.

Next week, Big Spring will head out on three-, four-, and five-day backpacking trips, mountain climbs and horse-pack trips. High Trails has a variety of overnights and all-days planned including a trip to the resort town of Breckenridge on Thursday. Sanborn Junior campers are looking forward to another campout, more horseback riding, an all-day trip tubing on the South Platte River, and an all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.

We will post photos from the week on Camp in Touch tomorrow morning. Keep watching our Facebook page too, as we will post a few highlights throughout the week.

News from Camp: June 26, 2016

June 27th, 2016

We climbed our first mountains of the season last week! Two groups from High Trails reached the summit of Quandary Peak on Tuesday and Friday mornings. A Big Spring SOLE Mountain trip climbed Mt. Antero on Thursday and a coed SOLE Mountain trip stood on the top of Huron Peak on Friday. An intrepid group of High Trails climbers also made the long climb up Mt. Princeton on Friday. Climbing a Fourteener is never easy and all of these successful summits are a tribute to excellent staff leadership and enthusiastic, persistent campers.

In addition to the climbs, we enjoyed many other amazing trips last week— fishing adventures, canoeing 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.

The Carnival is a highlight of the summer with all the fun games and snacks!

We have had a busy weekend. Yesterday’s Saturday Special Activities were fun in the morning; in the afternoon, we had an extremely exciting co-ed carnival that included cotton candy, sno cones, and popcorn in addition to many games and carnival events. The dance had a Space theme so it was an out-of-this-world affair. 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 visiting Cripple Creek. Their “long trips” are scheduled for the week of July 4.

We will post photos from the week on Camp in Touch tomorrow morning. Keep watching our Facebook page too, as we will post a few highlights throughout the week.

News from Camp: June 19, 2016

June 20th, 2016

Preparing for overnight trips is a team effort.

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. We had spectacular weather for our unit overnights last week and everyone had a great time on these first camping-out adventures.

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 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, fishing all-days, mountain climbs and hikes to several spectacular locations are only some of the adventures that await. 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 a tubing trip on the 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 two other groups will work with CFI in Missouri Gulch. All three groups then plan to climb a Fourteener to complete their week. 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. These groups will come together on Wednesday to work with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte to complete environmental service projects. 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.

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 Camp-in-Touch portal. Our photographers are also hard at work posting new photos taken at camp during the past week. They will be available for viewing early Monday morning.

For more news of camp, 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.

News from Camp: June 12, 2016

June 12th, 2016

The High Trails ladies head up to B-Bluff after dinner for their first Sunday night Vespers.

The Opening Day of camp is the most exciting day of our year and we enjoyed a great one today. We have had a lot of moisture over the winter and spring 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 all the camp trails. 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 crafts 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.

Each living unit gets together the first evening of camp to begin to create a respectful living community.

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/rafting 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.

Jane Sanborn

‘Twas the Night Before Summer

June 12th, 2016

Staff Hike and Sing Along at Top of the World

Twas the night before opening day and all through Sanborn

Every staff member was stirring, awaiting the morn.
The nametags were hung on the lockers with care
Knowing that campers soon would be there.

The counselors were excited and making their beds,
While visions of full units danced in their heads.
Trainings were over and staff week was a wrap
All staff too excited to even take a nap.

When out on the lawn arose such a clatter
For Vicky had perfected the perfect cookie batter
Away from the kitchen, staff were shooed
Told that they couldn’t take all of the food!

Pikes Peak in our view still covered in snow
Gave the luster of midday to tents below
When all of the sudden who should appear?
Napoleon the pony, to camp is near!!

What a little ol’ pony so lively and quick
I knew in the moment the wranglers were sick!
More rapid than Cherokee, fast horses they came
And they whistled and shouted and called him by name

Now Napoleon come here, you better listen!
The counselors they run, their brows start to glisten
On to their porches and past tetherball
But dash away dash away, he ignores their call

Past aspens and the lodge Napoleon flies
When he is met with an obstacle he can’t get by.
So down to the barn Napoleon goes
Met by Meeker, too big to oppose.

So back to the barn the wranglers they fly
Tears of relief—“To bed now!” they cry.
So back up the hill the counselors flew
Ari, and Izzy, and the Big Spring crew.

And then in a twinkling, standing aloof,
A very large ground squirrel
Climbed up on the roof.
As we shook our heads and started to frown
A squirrel escape?! When I was bedtime bound.

He had lots of brown fur
From his head to his feet,
And his mouth was all covered with coffee cake and treats.
A bundle of goodies he had eaten in back,
And he looked like a camper who just needed a snack.

His eyes how they twinkled, a cute little guy
He looked all around with a gleam in his eye
Guilty look on his face, he’d given a show
Now very full, it’s his time to go

Off like a shot, he ran into the trees
Leaving no trace of food apart from the cheese
We all were so sad that breakfast was gone
But the cooks reassured us, breakfast was still on!

Now tired and laughing, our thrill for the night
The campers come tomorrow, bed now sounds alright!
We walked to lodge to get a hot drink
Then Ari and Mike walked in in a stink.

They spoke not a word but their silent looks worked
We put up our mugs and turned with a jerk
Back to our bunks, walking arm in arm
After a night of many alarms

We sprang into our beds now fully tired
Soon to wake up and be inspired
Our campers are coming—I hope we’re all tight
We will see you tomorrow, but for now, a goodnight!

See you tomorrow!!!!

Hip Hip Hooray for Opening Day!

Big Spring Staff 2016

June 11th, 2016

Take a moment to meet the Big Spring Summer 2016 Staff!  We have spent the last 10 days completing staff training and are so excited to meet the campers! This is a little sneak peek into who we are and how much fun we will have this summer!

Left to right: Robby Abraham, Tijler deJong, Alex Young


Alex Young, Counselor

Hello all! I’m Alex and this will be my first summer as a counselor. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2015 with a degree in geological sciences. First secret though, I like biology a little more, so I got a minor in that as well. Since the end of school, I have been working on joining the Air Force as a drone pilot, I’ve traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands and I have been spending more time with my sister and parents. I’m a puzzle master, so if you have riddles bring them to me. I also enjoy competition and will be glad to show you how it’s done, unless you win, then it’s a rematch. The thing I’m most excited about this summer is witnessing everyone, including myself, get better at something. I’m the counselor that won’t sit still, so bring the energy and some goals for us to crush together!

Robby Abraham, Counselor

Robby Abraham, Junior Camp Counselor & S’more Enthusiast
Hello future campers! I’ll be spending summer #1 at Sanborn and I’m looking forward to making my rookie season a great one! I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and I attended St. Xavier High School. I’m currently going into my sophomore year at Indiana University where I major in accounting and finance in the Kelley School of Business. I’m an Eagle Scout and I also completed a Tough Mudder last summer which is a 12 mile obstacle course. Going into my freshmen year of high school I had the opportunity to live on a sailboat for 2 weeks through the Boy Scouts in the Bahamas where I spent the days snorkeling, fishing, and sailing. I’m most excited for the funny campfire skits and tubing the river with some of the best campers around!

Tijler deJong, Counselor

Hey everyone my name is Tijler deJong and I’m so excited to get back to camp and meet everyone! This is going to be my second summer at Big Spring and I’m ready for it to be even better than the last. I’m currently going to school for child psychology in the hopes of becoming a school counselor one day. Needless to say, I love working with kids. A couple of my favorite pastimes are hiking with friends and eating pizza (with pineapples, yes I said pineapples). I’m very excited to see all of the areas at camp I haven’t seen yet and share in the wonder of hiking with all of the people around me. I love the brotherhood of Big Spring and I look forward to meeting all of my new brothers this summer!

Left to right: Anthony Trombetta, Mikey Rainey, Cody Al-Jamie


Anthony Trombetta, Counselor

My name is Anthony Trombetta but you can call me Tony. This is my first summer with Sanborn and I’m so excited to meet everyone. Growing up in a west suburb of Chicago (Wheaton) I spent a lot of time camping and earned my Eagle Scout. I’m quite familiar with the outdoors and camping, but nothing quite as amazing as the #1 summer camp in America. I also love acting and theater. In college I was part of an improv comedy troop – so I love to clown around and have a good time. Laughing is one of the most important things you can do, and I plan to do it a lot this summer. I love riddles and brain puzzles, so bring your best! I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in marketing and professional sales. I’m not really sure what I want to do beyond Sanborn and that’s the beauty of this summer. Life’s an adventure, its about the journey and not the destination. One day I’d like to own a boat, visit every continent, and start a company. I’d like to make a difference, not necessarily money. “Happiness only real when shared” – Christopher McCandless

Cody Al-Jamie, Counselor

Hello, my name is Cody and I will be a counselor this summer. I am from Orange County, CA. When I decided to go to college I moved to Rocklin, CA and attended Sierra College where I studied automotive technology. Before I came here I was sitting on my couch watching Adventure Time and eating a box of Fruit Loops. Then I actually wanted to go on an adventure so I jumped on a plane, landed in Colorado, drove to the mountains, called Sanborn and now I’m here to make this an awesome summer! Oh yeah, I love candy and skittles are my favorite! See you soon!

Dylan Morris, Counselor

Heyo! My name is Dylan Morris, and this is my second summer at camp as a full time staff member, and my 5th year coming up as a volunteer/staff. I live about an hour away from camp, down the mountains in Colorado Springs. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and Physics at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. When I’m not studying or tutoring, I’m out rock climbing and hiking. I love the outdoors, and I love being up at camp. I hope to go on a lot of mountain and horseback trips and I’m looking forward to another great summer full of new adventures and new people. I’m sure that it will be even better than the last one.

Michael Rainey, Counselor

Hey, hey! My name Michael Rainey, though I usually go by Mike or Mikey. Arvada, Colorado has been my home for my 22 years. This will be my 1st summer at Big Spring and I’m very excited to meet all the campers and staff! I currently attend Metropolitan State University of Denver where I major in Elementary Education and Mathematics. I am a Para Educator at an elementary school and the assistant coach of cross country and track at my former high school. Commonly, I can be found hiking, running, cooking, reading a book, going to a concert, trying a new restaurant/new food, or just on some sort of adventure! When driving, I definitely get way too into singing along to the radio. 9 times out of 10, I will be a total dork! I am looking forward to spending nights under the stars, making s’mores, and getting to know some awesome people! Ready? Campers set! Let’s go!

Left to right: Alex Burlison, Mat Larimer, Grant Flavo


Alex Burlison, Counselor

My name is Alex Burlison, and this is my first year at Big Spring! I am from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I studied several things (Philosophy, Psychology, Nutrition, Outdoor Recreation) at the University of Arkansas before I decided to take some time off. Since then I have been climbing and traveling as much as possible and going on as many adventures as I can! I am so excited to share my love for nature with a group of young dudes, and hopefully spark a long-lasting desire for adventure, exploration, and fun, as well as a deep desire to help preserve and protect the natural world.

Grant Flavo, Assistant Counselor

My name is Grant Falvo and I currently study Sustainability at Arizona State University. This will be my first summer at Sanborn. I am looking forward to bringing my interests in music, food, and art to camp. With luck I’ll be able to get the kids interested in one or all of those through programs and events. I have experience with darkroom and digital photography, many instruments, many styles of cooking, as well as artistic expression and functional crafting in the wood shop. When i’m not doing these things I enjoy challenging myself outdoors.

Mat Larimer, Counselor

My name is Mat Larimer and this will be my second year as a Big Spring staff member. I recently graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, AR with a degree in Economics and Business. This past semester I recorded and produced a full length album of songs with my friends at school. I also directed and edited a short documentary on the production process of the album we made. I want to continue to work with music wherever I go. I believe in the importance of music in our lives and how we can connect with one another by sharing music together. During the fall of 2015, I spent a semester studying Entrepreneurship and Management in the Netherlands. This summer, I am most excited for the opportunity to pass on the tradition of learning and living amongst nature and long-trip weeks.

Left to right: Ben Cox, Henry Ewing, Will Hardwick


Ben Cox, Counselor

H! My name is Ben Cox and this is my first summer at Sanborn Western Camps! I grew up in a rural Kansas town, Wakefield, but I live in Manhattan, KS! I studied Secondary Education and Political Science at Kansas State University, but to avoid debt I transferred to a local community college! I am an aspiring Ultra Marathoner, which basically means I run really far for a really long time on trails and think I’m cooler than I actually am! Other than being outdoors I love to read, binge watch Netflix, and discuss politics with my wide variety of friends. I’m really looking forward to this summer!

Henry Ewing, Counselor
-coming soon-

Will Hardwick, Assistant Counselor
My name is Will Hardwick and I’m a current student at CSO Fort Collins. I live in Colorado Springs when I’m not living in the dorms in Fort Collins. I’m studying natural resources with ambition to be a forest ranger. I love the outdoors, team building activities and I’m very open to conversation about all subjects. I was in the marching band for five years and I plan to continue my membership after a year off. I played the drums in the band and have been playing the drums since fourth grade. I love drumming with a passion! I took four years of leadership academy in which I learned the skills to help me lead individuals or a group of people from different walks of life. I can lead with different appropriate strategies for different situations. I love to camp, sing, play drums, climb rocks, hike and play games. I like to play card games, namely, Magic the Gathering, so I’m always down to play a match with anyone interested. I do origami, build, carve wood, and make food and body care products. This is my first year on staff as an assistant counselor. I’m very excited for the summer and to meet all of the campers! I am very friendly and love conversations so talk to me about anything!

Left to right: Bret Wolter, Ayden Bolin, Matthew Baca


Ayden Bolin, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Ayden Bolin, and although I have never been to Sanborn, I am very excited to go on adventures and share my love for the outdoors with all the campers. I recently graduated from high school in Wichita, KS and will attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA to study biology/ecology and music in the fall. In high school I was a three-sport athlete and student body president. My hobbies include playing guitar, sleeping outside, eating mac-n-cheese, playing in the dirt, and taking long walks in the woods. I am also deeply passionate about our planet and the well-being of the world we live in, and I am stoked to be able to share that passion with so many other people! I can’t wait to meet all the campers, and I know everyone is going to have a wonderful time.

Bret Wolter, Counselor

My name is Bret Wolter and this is my second summer at Big Spring! Last year was my first summer and I was an assistant counselor. I attended the High Trails Outdoor Education program when I was in sixth grade and as a volunteer in high school. I went to Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs and took a few classes at Pikes Peak Community College this past year. For the past year and a half I worked at Lids in a mall and helped coach my cousin’s baseball team. I am a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan and I love to play baseball. I love sports of all kinds but nothing beats laying in a hammock with a book. This next year I will attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where I will study Elementary Education! I am extremely excited to be on the HKL ridge again this summer and going on the mountain trips!

Matthew Baca, Counselor

Hello everyone! My name is Matthew Baca and I’m from Austin, Texas. I go to school here and I am studying Architectural Engineering. I believe balance is important so I try to push myself in all things. My love for math, science, art, and philosophy have been the driving factors of my career choice. For a while I struggled with trying to find what I wanted to do. My whole life had been centered upon everyone else! Once I began climbing, hiking, and training for cross country running, I was able to become more self aware, knowing who I was all along and being able to make myself better each and every day- always striving for new heights! This will be my first Sanborn summer experience and I am excited to disconnect from the monotonous grind of school and work, so that I may not only learn from the kids at camp, but be there to help answer any questions they may have. I’m excited to be part of the team at Sanborn and provide a fun, exciting, and SAFE environment for the children attending.

Left to right: Ashton Eckerstorfer, Preston Goss, Slayter Marwitz


Ashton Eckerstorfer, Counselor

My name is Ashton Graham Eckerstorfer. Although I have never been to summer camps, I am more than excited to be able to participate and be a part of the camp! I currently go to Henderson State University working towards a Bachelor’s degree in the study of biology (specializing in botany) with a minor in chemistry and philosophy. A few fun facts: my middle name Graham was given to me by my great grandmother in honor of my distant relative Alexander Graham Bell (the man who invented the telephone); I have lived in Wisconsin for the first seventeen years of my life, which makes me a Cheesehead (Go, Packers, Go!), but now I live in the beautiful Ozark mountain range in Arkansas; I thrive in the outdoors, so I am very excited to be spending most of my time outside; and I absolutely love photography! I am excited for the whole camp in general, but I am most excited for backpacking and climbing 14ers! I have a deep passion for the environment and I consider myself to be an environmental steward. I hope to have a career that will teach and inform others about the importance of the environment and how we need to take the appropriate actions to protect and preserve the natural world. Anywho, I could type about many other things, but I’ll stop here so I don’t end up writing my life story.
I’ll see you guys at camp!

Preston Goss, Assistant Counselor

Hey y’all! My name is Preston and this will be my first time at camp. I was a part of High Trails Outdoor Education in the fall with Liberty High School and fell in love with the wilderness and learning that took place. So now I’m back! I come from a military family and have siblings ranging from two to twenty years old. I came from Alaska and will always call it home (of course I rode a Polar bear to school). I look forward to seeing faces light up when the kids see the beauty of all that nature has to offer! See you soon!

Slayter Marwitz, Counselor

Howdy! My name is Slayter and this will be my second summer returning to Big Spring Ranch & I am SUPER stoked for all the awesome fun and adventures! Summer in the mountains is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I got back to this raging hot flatland we call Texas last year. I currently attend the University of North Texas with a focus on advertising. I play for the men’s ultimate frisbee club team at UNT which is, without a doubt, the greatest sport ever invented (and no, it isn’t the same as disc golf…). This summer I really look forward to bagging more peaks, paddle boarding, and doing things previously thought impossible with some awesome campers. I can’t wait!!

Left to right:


Jake Baum, Counselor
-coming soon-

Luke Campbell, Counselor

Hello! My name is Luke Campbell and I’m here for summer #2 at Sanborn. I just graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. My plan is to have an awesome time in an awesome place with awesome people this summer at Big Spring and then move to Denver and figure this whole life thing out (forever summer baby! [I'm crying on the inside]). I’m interested in creative climate change communication, renewable energy systems and sustainable development. I did a lot of improv comedy at CU and love to do creative things with creative people. When I was growing up I wanted to be an ichthyologist and somewhere deep down that dream is still alive. I do not think toothpaste is soap!

Will Carson, Assistant Counselor

Hi there! My name is Will Carson! I’ve been a camper for 7 years at Sanborn and this year will be my first time as an AC! I graduated high school in May and will attend St. Edward’s University in August to major in psychology. I’m super excited to go rock climbing and mountain climbing with the campers. Sanborn has been an integral part of who I’ve become and I can’t wait to share that with the kids!

Kit Carson

Top to bottom: Dalton Balcanoff, Ben Cole, Liam Clancy


Ben Cole, Counselor

Hi my name is Ben and I study international studies and Spanish at the University of South Carolina. My favorite animal is the river otter and fun fact: I actually age backwards…

Dalton Balcanoff, Assistant Counselor

Hi there excited campers and parents, my name is Dalton Balcanoff. This is my first summer at Sanborn Western Camps! It was recommended to me by another Assistant Counselor and I am very excited to meet you all out here in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. I am from Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from First Coast High School last year. I currently attend the University of North Florida as a Finance major. I’m also a Navy Midshipman at Jacksonville University with aspirations to one day serve as a commissioned officer in the world’s greatest Navy! I really do love the outdoors, I’m always out in the sun and wish I was able to be at the beach much more often than I am (even if I’m only 15 minutes away). I love food, having a good time with friends, and being physically active – that’s why Sanborn sounded like a real life paradise when I was told about it! I know there will be memories to last a lifetime made this summer and I can’t wait to meet you all. To the worrisome parents out there, I promise you that safety is my number one priority and that they will be in good hands while having tons of fun if I have the privilege to have your son as one of my campers. See ya soon!

Liam Clancy, Counselor

Hello everyone, my name is Liam Clancy and this is my first summer as a camp counselor at Sanborn. Back in the day I attended Sanborn as a junior camper and I am ecstatic to be back for another summer full of adventures! I am entering my senior year in college at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. I am double majoring in finance and economics and also have the pleasure of being a member of our university’s men’s soccer team! A few things you should know about me are that I am an only child, I have been to 22 countries, I have lived in four different states, and my favorite animal is a penguin. You may be wondering what I am most excited for about this summer.. I am most excited to get away from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Colorado with a great atmosphere and even greater people.


Left to right: Jack Polk, Drew Foster, Walker Crowley, Kelley Flint


Drew Foster, Counselor

Hey Guys! My name is Drew Foster. I am 20 years old and I just finished my sophomore year of college! I am a Business major with a minor in English at Mars Hill University near Asheville, North Carolina. Although I go to school in North Carolina I am a native of the great state of Georgia! This will be my first summer at Big Spring and I really look forward to getting to know all the campers and sharing my love of the outdoors with every single one of them! I am an avid hunter and fly fisher and love getting outdoors and trying to find things no one else has discovered! I also love music. Whether it’s listening to it, playing my guitar, or writing songs – I love it all! I often find myself staring out the window during class dreaming about adventures like what we are going to experience this summer! I am excited to meet everyone and have the summer of a lifetime!

Jack Polk, Assistant Counselor

I’m Jack Polk from Saint Louis, Missouri. This is my first summer on staff at Sanborn, but I went to camp here for 6 years! I just graduated from high school and am excited to start at the University of Virginia next fall. A couple things about me: I am always up for adventure! Aside from my time in Colorado, I have also taken part in extended outdoor excursions in Alaska and Switzerland. I am an enormous Cardinals and Blues fan (don’t even try to talk to me about the Rams!). I played ice hockey for eight years and am always willing to talk hockey with anyone. I am always looking for new music to listen to, and I listen to all different kinds of genres. My current favorites include Kygo, Chris Stapleton, and Zedd. This summer, I am extremely excited to climb some 14ers, go fishing, play prison ball, and meet all of the awesome Big Spring Campers. I ZIGGA ZUMBA!

Kelley Flint, Assistant Counselor

I’m Kelley Flint and this will be my ninth year at camp and my first year as a member of the staff. I study philosophy at the University of Portland. I have my Pilot’s license and that’s what I plan to do as a career once I’m out of college. At Sanborn I’ve been able to summit nine 14ers and hope to do even more this year. I love the outdoors and hiking and can’t wait to be back at camp and experience Sanborn as a staff member.

Walker Crowley, Counselor/ Riding Specialist

What’s Up Big Spring? My name is Walker Crowley and I could not be more excited to be back at Sanborn this summer. This will be my 10th summer at camp, 2nd on staff. I just finished my first year at the University of Utah where I study global health, minoring in clinical pediatric research. When I am not stuck in the library studying, you will probably find me ski patrolling at Park City Mountain or trying to find the secret powder in the Wasatch Mountains. This summer I am looking forward watching more sunsets on little blue, riding horses around the ranch, and most importantly: I can’t wait to eat Vickie’s cookies again! I am looking forward to meeting everyone! BOOM!


Left to right: Devon Beck, Logan Markko, Carter Bowe, Ian Anderson, Alex Hedges


Alex Hedges, Counselor
-coming soon-

Carter Bowe, Assistant Counselor
-coming soon-

Devon Beck, Counselor

Hi my name is Devon and I’m from the Denver area. This is my first summer at Sanborn and I’m looking forward to playing field games with campers and learning how to ride a horse! I love football, swaging out, playing golf and my favorite color is yellow.

Ian Anderson, Counselor

Hi guys, My name is Ian Anderson. I’m from Pflugerville, Texas I am going into my junior year at Texas State University in San Marcos where I study computer science and physics. I am very excited for my first summer at camp. I like hiking, camping, running, and I love soccer. I’m ready to meet y’all so we can get started on the awesome adventures waiting for us this summer.

Logan Markko, Counselor

Hello! My name is Logan Markko and I will be returning to Sanborn Western Camps for my second summer. I graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in the spring of 2015 with a degree in English. Since college I’ve worked as a substitute teacher, giving me the opportunity to work with kids of all ages for much of the past year. It is my hope to become a full-time English teacher in the near future, but until then I am very excited for a return to Big Spring. I am looking forward to climbing some more 14′rs, hiking everyday, and living in the most beautiful place on Earth. BOOM!!!


Left to right: Rio McMahon, TJ Brzezenski, Evan Zitt


Evan Zitt, Counselor
-coming soon-

Rio McMahon, Counselor

Howdy future friends, my name is Rio McMahon and I am beyond stoked to return to my Sanborn home in Colorado this summer. I attended Big Spring as a camper and this will be my second year back at camp on staff. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno where I got a B.S. in mining engineering. I’m ready to trade in my textbooks for my Teva’s (I’m actually a Chaco person but that didn’t alliterate as nicely) and spend the summer outside and having fun! I’m absolutely in love with mother nature and am really excited to hike/run/ride horses on all the phenomenal trails around Sanborn. I recently completed my first long course triathlon (half-ironman distance) and am feeling very energized and ready to get out and crush some 14ers and rock climb tall rocks with campers. I’m confident summer 2k16 is going to be a classy one and I’m excited to share it with everyone at Sanborn!

TJ Brzezenski, Assistant Counselor

I am TJ Brzezenski and this will be my second year at Sanborn. It will be my first as a counselor. I am currently studying supply chain management at Arizona State University, but I am also a part time actor/stand up comedian. I like to get away from it all sometimes to embrace nature, it makes me more creative. I’m looking forward to being a leader and a teacher this summer.


Left to right: Conor Overman, Erick Broome


Erick Broome, Counselor

Hello, my name is Erick Broome and this will be my very first summer at Big Spring! I am ecstatic and can’t wait to meet my fellow staff/friends and all the campers. I graduated in May from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in physical education, health, and coaching. As you may have guessed from my majors, I love sports, outdoors, being active, and of course, being around kids! One fun fact about me is that I was homeschooled by my mother all the way through high school along with my 3 brothers/best friends. I loved this experience because I got to play sports at school, but got to spend my day at home with my family. Another fun fact is that over winter break and spring break I visited Colorado with a friend of mine. During these visits I went to the zoo, a Nuggets game, Vail, Breckenridge, and probably my favorite, hiked Garden of the Gods. It is truly amazing the power that nature and the outdoors have; it really opened my eyes to what I have been missing out on. That being said, I am most excited to have the opportunity to hike a 14er this summer. This would be an incredible experience! I am also very excited about horseback riding, rock climbing (bucket list=climb at Garden of the Gods), and campfires. I can’t wait to meet all the amazing people I get to spend my summer with. It’s about to get WILD in the mountains and I hope all the campers are ready for an experience of a lifetime!

Conor Overman, Counselor

What’s up what’s up what’s up! It’s everyone’s favorite counselor, Mr. Paul Conor Overman, returning for a second round! After graduating Indiana University – Bloomington with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Finance this spring, I thought what better way to relax, unwind, and take on some awesome adventures than to return to the Rocky Mountains with my fellow Big Spring Warriors. Living out in the west suburbs of Chicago my whole childhood, I’ve missed out on the Chaco wearin’, horseback riding, sunrise summiting lifestyle and I’m ready to taste it again! I can’t wait to show the campers how a counselor can go undefeated in the counselor hunt for two summers straight! Oh – and to launch tons of frisbees on top of the world. See you soon!


Left to right: Elliott Abbott, Hunter Levy, Kevin Conchieri, Jared Loerzel


Elliott Abbott, Assistant Counselor

I am a student at St. Olaf College and will be a sophomore in the fall. I am originally from Middlebury, VT where I live with my parents and sister (who also attends High Trails). I love the outdoors, especially hiking and cycling, and hope to acquire my skydiving license by the end of college. I am also an avid tennis player and lover of all things active. I was a 2nd session camper for 5 years and could not be more excited to be back again for my first year on staff!

Hunter Levy, Counselor

My name is Hunter Levy. This is my first summer Sanborn and I’m extremely excited! I study economics at the University of San Diego and just returned from studying abroad in the south of France for the past 4 months. I love to write, play sports and games, meet new people and joke and laugh. I’m pumped for all the hiking, backpacking and camping this summer. I loved doing those things growing up in Idaho and can’t wait to experience more of it in Colorado. The summer is fast approaching, and I’m ecstatic to begin this new adventure.

Jared Loerzel, Counselor

Hey! My name is Jared Loerzel and this will be my first summer ever at Sanborn. I recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in environmental engineering. I also commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps. I report for active duty (I’ll be a pilot and I am going to flight school woot woot!) September 13 which gives me plenty of time to come out to Sanborn and have a great summer with all of you!
Some interesting things about me:
-I love to travel! I have stayed in the glass igloos in Finland to see the northern lights.
-I owned a Jeep that would start itself when the keys weren’t in the ignition (or when I wasn’t in the car LOL).
-I can eat 24 cheez balls in one mouthful.
-I have two small dachshunds (wiener dogs). Gunnar and Mya.
-I have caught a fish so big that it pulled me into the ocean and I was fishing from shore!
-Sometimes when I am asleep, people tell me I just yell out “YEAH!” and then continue sleeping.
-My favorite movies are Monty Python and The Holy Grail & Zoolander.
Anyway, that’s enough about me. What I am most excited about is meeting all of you! Catch you on the flip side campers and stay frosty!

Kevin Conchieri, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Kevin Conchieri and I am headed into my second summer working here at Big Spring. I recently finished up my third year at the Ohio State University studying neuroscience with a pre-dentistry focus. This summer, when I’m not with campers climbing 14ers or backpacking through the Colorado wilderness, I will be using my free time to apply to dental schools which is quite exciting! I am a Vermont native, born and raised, which has given me an innate sense of adventure so whenever I’m not at school in Ohio, I‘m finding ways to get out and explore as much of the beautiful United States as I can. Road trips are one of my favorite things and I will never say no to spending time in the mountains, either hiking or skiing. A summer at Sanborn is unlike anything else I’ve ever done and it truly is a transformative experience. I cannot wait to meet more amazing and unique campers and see how they grow throughout their time at camp. This summer is going to be an absolute blast, I can already tell! Cheers!


Left to right: Joe Roberts, Jordan Unger, Andrew Marsh, Ben Vockley


Andrew Marsh, Counselor

Hey y’all!! My name is Andrew Marsh and I am currently a Junior at the University of Denver pursuing a degree in History! This is my first summer working at Sanborn and I couldn’t be more stoked! I am originally from Lake Forest Illinois and moved out to Colorado two years ago to go to school and be closer to the mountains. I am super excited to work in the mountains at an awesome camp. A few fun facts about me: Indiana Jones is my hero, I love rock climbing – anything from bouldering to a long multi pitch is great in my book – I’ll never pass up a good time to go fly fishing on any of Colorado’s beautiful rivers and lakes, and couscous is one of my favorite meals because it’s the food so nice they named it twice! I am most excited this summer to share my passion for rock climbing, fishing and the outdoors to all campers and to work in a totally new environment!

Ben Vockley, Counselor

Hey campers and parents! My name is Ben Vockley and I will be one of the counselors on STUW Ridge at Big Spring this summer. This will be my second summer in this position and I can’t wait to get back! I just graduated from Northland College with a degree in outdoor education and I am looking forward to once again using my education to make camp an awesome place. A few fun facts about me are… I lived in a village of 100 people in Iceland for three months. My favorite snack is Four Cheese Cheez-its. My most recent trip was a month spent in the backwoods of Maine doing leadership training and whitewater canoeing. I am super excited to be back at Big Spring and I am particularly excited to summit another 14′er with the campers!

Joe Roberts, Counselor

Heyoooo! My Name is Joe Roberts! I’m from the mountains of Western North Carolina (Brevard, NC) but I currently live in Raleigh, the state’s capitol. This will be my first summer at Big Spring, so I guess that makes me a newbie! I just finished my first year at North Carolina State University, studying microbiology! Being a microbiologist means I have the pleasure of studying germs, viruses, mushrooms, and loads of other neat stuff! While I love studying science, nothing beats a few full days in the outback fly fishing and backpacking. Something about carrying everything you need to live on your back fascinates me; especially today when it’s so hard fit everything we “need” into our dorm rooms or suitcases. I’m stoked to enjoy the Rocky Mountains this summer with all of you. It doesn’t matter if we’re camping, fishing, riding, or rock climbing, because I know this summer is going to be a blast! I can’t wait to see all of you at camp for some in-tents (intense) fun! -Broseph Helm Roberts IV

Jordan Unger, Counselor

This is my 2nd year at Sanborn. I was on STUW ridge last year and primarily enjoy working with older kids here at camp. I am a recent graduate from Boise State University with a history major and French minor. I am looking forward to long trips at camp and climbing 14ers as well as building upon the relationships I made with campers last summer. Fun facts: my favorite animals are polar bears and penguins and my favorite article of clothing are necklaces.

Outbacker Counselors

Top to bottom: Mark Rutberg, Jonah Sublette, Adam Resseguie, Will Gundlach

ELBERT (Outbacker)

Adam Resseguie, Counselor
-coming soon-

Jonah Sublette, Counselor

Hello friends! My name is Jonah Sublette and this will be my fourth summer working at Big Spring Ranch. I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder where I spend my days doing improv comedy, going on long bike rides and studying film. The fact that this is my fourth summer says a lot about why I’m coming back. I just purely love this place. I’m excited to see old friends and make new ones this coming summer. See you soon!

Mark Rutberg, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Mark and I’m currently writing from a country that is well below sea level. This is my first year at Sanborn and I’m ready to trade in the clogs, windmills, and tulips for some mountains! Even though I have spent four years living in one of the flattest countries in the world (Holland) I have managed to travel to some wild places. After receiving a degree in physical education and dedicating most of my time to playing football for the University of New Hampshire, I decided to break free and begin adventuring. While teaching in Europe at an international school I was fortunate enough to get out and explore a bit. Some highlights were climbing and trekking through Patagonia, summiting Kilimanjaro, cruising through the Serengeti, and ski touring through the ALPS. The list goes on but my favorite experience yet was easily a 30-day mountaineering course in the PNW with NOLS. Being active in nature is where I’m at my best and sharing all that this planet has to offer with others is my passion. I can’t wait to arrive at camp and share some new adventures with you all!

Will Gundlach, Counselor
-coming soon-

photo coming soon

Emerson Underwood, Junior Ridge Leader

Howdy! My name is Emerson Underwood and I am super excited to be spending my second summer at Sanborn. This fall, I will be entering my senior year at the University of South Carolina, where I study Environmental Science. I am a huge fan of music, including but not limited to the smooth and intricate jams of Phish and the Grateful Dead plus the funk driven grooves of Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, and Billy Preston. I can’t wait to bust out my best dance moves at all of the dances and share my love of the outdoors with all of my Big Spring Brothers.

Jared Allen, ABC Ridge Leader
-coming soon-

Kevin Gassaway, HKL Ridge Leader

My name is Kevin Gassaway and I from the fine land of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Queen City! I started college at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks), but will be finishing my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University, where I will be studying marketing with a minor in global environmental sustainability starting this fall. I’m a huge fan of music and I am really excited to have the opportunity to share the wonderful music of my hero, Bob Dylan, and the groovy riffs and horns of some of my favorite funk gods with my coworkers and campers this summer. Entering my third summer in a row at Sanborn, I’m looking forward to exploring the most beautiful part of the world on foot, horseback and bike, tossing some flies and catching some trout, summiting some Fourteeners, and sharing my love for adventure and the outdoors with everybody at Big Spring.

Joe Sisk, MOPQ Ridge Leader

Hi all! My name is Joe Sisk. This is my 7th summer here at Sanborn and I’m so excited to be back! In between summers I’ve passed the time studying mechanical engineering and mandarin Chinese at CU Boulder as well as slinging bagels at an Einstein Bagels. I’m amped to do everything this summer from summiting 14ers to the artisan chef overnight! I can’t wait to meet everyone. BOOM!

Jalen Bazile, STUW Ridge Leader

Hey there, my name is Jalen. My first summer at Sanborn was in 2014, I returned in 2015 and have not left camp! I am currently working full time as the Program Specialist and STUW Ridge Leader. I am coming from the University of Missouri where I studied Philosophy and Political Science. Since the fall of 2015 I have picked up rock climbing as a main hobby during the warmer months. When snow is in abundance I greatly enjoy skiing! And if I had to do one thing for the rest of my life it would be to cycle across the globe. This summer I am excited about leading our campers through the great outdoors and deepening their connections to nature!


Left to right: Stephen VanAsdale, Oliver Fisher, Ethan Wallgreen


Ethan Wallgreen, Head Wrangler

Howdy! My name is Ethan and this is my fourth year on staff and first year as head wrangler. I’m from Texas and am currently studying business and education at the University of North Texas. I have been around horses most of my life but began working around and with children while volunteering near my home. I spend my spare time fishing, hunting, hiking, working out, or running outdoors. My favorite trail ride is to take in the wide open views on top of Antelope Ridge, down the tree covered Rocky Draw, to bust out of the Aspen trees near Owl Tree. I hope to see you on my next ride where we could be delivering mail or even swimming with our horses! YEE-HAW!!!!!

Oliver Fisher, Wrangler

What’s up, Big Spring! My name is Oliver Fisher and I couldn’t be more excited to be back at Sanborn this summer! I was a camper here for 7 years and this is my second year on staff. I can’t wait to be a wrangler this summer and go on some awesome trips. I graduated this past December from the University of Missouri  with a degree in Marketing and Spanish. I moved out here to camp in January to start working with the horses. I am originally from Chicago, IL but currently living here in the mountains. I can’t wait to get this summer started and have an awesome time with all of you! I’m very excited to see familiar faces and meet all the new campers! BOOM!

Stephen VanAsdale, Wrangler

Hey, I’m Stephen VanAsdale. I’m from Kansas City, MO and currently go to school at Saint Louis University, studying and have no clue what I will be doing after I am done with school. This will be my 11th summer at Sanborn, 2nd as a wrangler. I am looking forward to seeing all the returning campers and staff, as well as all the new guys coming to Big Spring for the first time. Can’t wait to get back in the saddle and explore all the trails around property.

photo coming soon

Kat Jarvinen, Photographer

Hi my name is Kat Jarvinen and this is my 3rd summer working at Sanborn (2nd at Big Spring). I graduated in 2015 from Reed College with a B.A. in art & art history and have spent this year teaching art to elementary school students in sunny Portland, OR. Although I grew up going to High Trails, I am very excited to return to Big Spring for another summer! I love Sundays on Little Blue, rocking out in camp vans, and giving motivational speeches while ascending 14ers or before a camp dance if you’re feeling insecure about your dance moves (if you can do the funky chicken you can do ANYTHING). This summer I’ll be snapping photos of adventuring staff and campers. I’m looking forward to a rad summer can’t wait to meet everyone’s camera-ready, smiling faces!

Kevin Fernandez, Outcamp

My name is Kevin, this is my third summer on staff at Big Spring and I am beyond excited for this summer! I am from a small town in Virginia called Front Royal. I just graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in economics. I love backpacking/climbing mountains and I’m hoping to check off a few more 14′ers this summer while at camp. Can’t wait to get back to ga-ga and Little Blue!

Kyle Gilbert, Kitchen Coordinator

Hi my name is Kyle and this is my second summer at Sanborn. My first year I was an AC and now I’m returning as the Kitchen Coordinator. I attend Austin Community College and will be a junior in the fall. My favorite part of camp is the meals on the weekend when everyone is together and having a good time. Fun Fact: My favorite outdoor activities are rock climbing and mountain biking.

Mike Potts, Arts & Crafts Coordinator

Hi I’m Mike Potts. I am a professional artist primarily working with photography, sculpture, and painting. I worked at sanborn from 2006 – 2010 developing the art program and am excited to return this summer and continue to build the arts program! The program this year includes components of woodworking, photography, drawing and painting, jewelry making, and ceramics as well as a Makerspace philosophy. I am looking forward to showing campers the process of art and how it can positively impact their lives.

Sean Enking, Climbing Anchor

Sean Enking grew up in Freeport, ME where he discovered his love for nature and adventure. This is Sean’s FOURTH summer on staff at Big Spring and he is so ecstatic to be Lead Anchor! Sean attended Hampshire College, a small college in Western Massachusetts, for two years before transferring to Northern Arizona University to finish out his degree focusing in outdoor education and leadership. At NAU Sean gained certifications in leadership, Leave No Trace education, challenge course facilitation, wilderness medicine, water sport safety, and wilderness fire fighting. He started his tech rock pursuits freshmen year in college. Since, he has climbed all over New England, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. He also enjoys backpacking, kayaking, swimming, reading, cooking, biking, exploring new places, and most of all ULTIMATE FRISBEE!! The psych level is so high he plans to arrive three weeks early to start training and getting camp ready! He can’t wait to take on an even greater leadership role from being ridge leader in 2014 to make a positive impact on both his peers and campers this summer!

photo coming soon

Margot Cromack

-coming soon-

Phillip Hackmann

Hi, my name is Phil Hackmann, I am one of the nurses at Big Spring. This is my first summer at Big Spring. I worked as a teacher and athletic trainer before going back to school to be a nurse as well. I grew up in Northern Idaho and now live with my wife and daughter in New Hampshire. This summer I am looking forward to being back in Colorado where I spent many of my school vacations and summers while I was growing up.

Sarah Robinson

Hi! I’m Sarah Robinson. I’m from Tennessee and went to Middle Tennessee State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is my first summer coming to camp, and I am super excited! I am one of six children, I just got certified as a yoga therapy teacher in India, and, of course, I love any activity that involves being outdoors. I am looking forward to spending the summer in Colorado, enjoying the new experience, and getting to know all the kids!