What a great week! As always, we feel so fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of young people, and enthusiasm has been high for all of our trips and activities.
Following our busy week of campouts and activities, we were happy to once again be all together on Friday evening for dinner, and the Lodges were exciting (and noisy) places to be. On Saturday mornings we offer Saturday Specials—these are activities which continue every Saturday morning during the camp term. Campers may choose to work on the coed Drama which they will present at the end of camp, take riding lessons, learn technical rock climbing, hike to different parts of the ranch, learn how to throw pots on the wheel in ceramics, and many other fun activities. On Saturday evening, the camps came together at Big Spring for an ice cream social and 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 special fishing trip 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 Thursday to work with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte to complete service projects at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Both the CORE and SOLE programs are also offering 5-day Horsemanship experiences–these will emphasize improving horseback riding skills as well as community service. We also have a CORE mountain biking trip which will bike around the ranch, work on our biking trails, and then complete the Salida Downhill bike ride.
The Junior Counselors at High Trails and Outbackers at Big Spring are also looking forward to their special 3-day trips this week. The girls leave tomorrow for Great Sand Dunes National Monument; on Wednesday they will meet the Outbackers in Buena Vista for an exciting day of rafting on the Arkansas River. The girls will then return to camp while the boys head to the Sand Dunes for two-days of sand surfing and exploration.
Although we are high and dry here at camp, some of our usual activities have been impacted by the extreme amount of moisture Colorado received during the spring and early summer. The South Platte River, where we usually tube and raft, has been at flood stage for over a week now, and the part of the river we use is closed. We hope to be able to take some River Trips later this term when the water flow has decreased. The good news related to water sports is that the High Trails Lake, which has barely been a puddle for several years, is now an impressive body of water and we are having a great time canoeing and paddle boarding there.
We also are watching the high mountains closely due to extremely high snowpack in some areas. However, the snow at high elevations is melting rapidly now, and we are fortunate enough to have Forest Service permits for many different mountains, so we have been able to shift some of our permits to climb those mountains with less snow next week. And, we are confident that most of the mountains we climb will be in good shape by June 29 when the High Trails long trips head out.
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 last week. They will be available for viewing early tomorrow morning.
Beyond reading these news updates and our Sanborn blog online, you can follow Sanborn Western Camps on Facebook. We would love to have parents, friends, and family follow our updates about camp events, trips and activities.