Posts Tagged ‘colorado aspen viewing’

Sanborn Western Camps: October News Update

Monday, October 4th, 2010

The Leaves are Falling Fast at Camp

We are enjoying spectacular Indian Summer days here at camp.  The golden Aspen are at their peak right now 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, 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.

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 last Saturday and were very happy to have many local families join us for a day 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.”

On October 15-17, we will again offer our outdoor education workshop, “Stalking Education in the Wild”.  This weekend includes a wide variety of educational sessions led by experts in the field and is open to teachers, camping staff, parents, and anyone interested in learning more about living and teaching in the out-of-doors.  Please let us know if you would like additional information on this event.

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 a decade.  The groups rock climb, participate in an orienteering course, and work through many team building scenarios, all of which teach values-based leadership.

Sam and his crew have finished harvesting our hay crop and have stored it safely in the barns.  The horses will be happy to have this hay when the ground is snow-covered, but for now, they are grazing enthusiastically on the sweet grass at Witchers and in the High Tor Meadow.

We are most excited about opening enrollment for another season of camp.  The summer of 2011 will be our 63rd 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 2010 which are appearing each month on our website.  We are creating a CD-ROM with a selection of these photos and plan to mail it to each camper who was with us last summer.

We hope you are having a fantastic fall!

Celebrate the First Day of Fall

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Already September 22nd?  Where have the days gone since the end of camp?  Though it seems like just yesterday we were climbing mountains, tubing in the South Platte, and riding through the high valleys full of green Aspen—we know summer has passed, and winter is just around the corner.

September Equinox Image from

It is the first day of fall (at least in North America…if you are in Europe or Asia, you have to wait til September 23rd).  At camp, though, fall is a fairly short season…think weeks instead of months.  Many of us measure these fall days by the changing temperatures, the turning Aspen leaves, and the ever-present possibility of snow.  And tonight the autumnal equinox officially takes place at 10:09 p.m. Eastern Time, signifying the sun being in line with the equator.

So at 8:09, about the time the students from Mountain Ridge Middle School are in the middle of the Cowboy Extravaganza at Heisler Hall, the tilt of the earth will have our friends in the southern hemisphere celebrating the Spring Equinox.  Tomorrow morning, the sun will come up over the right flank of Pikes Peak (which, for those Summer Solstice campers in June, the sun was coming up on the far LEFT of Pikes’ summit back on June 21st).

By the time we hit the shortest day of the year in December, the sun seems to rise down by Pueblo, and drops behind Little Blue around 3:30 in the afternoon.  And, yes, it is cold.

Fall Explorations

So, take a walk around your neighborhood today and reflect on how things have changed and are changing in the natural world around you.  Notice the little changes in the colors of the trees and grasses; check out the seed-heads where there were once flowers; feel the different textures of the plants; look at the color of the sky; observe animals or insects—What are they doing? How are they moving?  Where are they going?; listen to the natural sounds and see if you can hear all of the same sounds you remember from your summer days; think about the smells and tastes of each season—how do you define fall with your five senses?

Enjoy your journey around the sun—and we’ll see you again when the sun looms large, bright, and long in the 2011 summertime sky.