Posts Tagged ‘High Trails’

Unpacking at Camp

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Unpacking and organizing at camp tends to be a very different experience from your room at home with a full sized closet, dresser, major floor space. To that end, we figured we’d consult with the leading experts and find out exactly what are some of the tips and tricks that make living at camp, with all your gear, as organized as possible. Depending on which type of dwelling you live in at camp, the process will also change a bit! So you will see this blog divided into High Trails and Big Spring, with Big Spring divided into each type of dwelling.


Locker at High Trails

Plastic Drawers give you more individualized storage.

Every High Trails lady will have her very own locker (approximately 21”w x 22”d x 34”H to the hanging bar and each shelf is 11”H), a cubby in the bathroom, and access to the shared space under the bathroom sinks. Keep in mind that by no means is the following advice mandatory to be followed, nor is it impossible to live an organized life at camp without doing these things. We just figured we’d hit on some of those, “Oh! That’s a great idea!” moments.
Each locker includes two shelves and a bar for hangers. One great idea is to bring the skinny size plastic drawers to create more containment spaces, for stationary and accessories, hats, gloves, or undergarments. If plan on driving to camp, this is an easy thing to even pack those items in while at home and then deposit straight in your locker upon arrival. Many campers ship luggage to camp and these can pack up easily in a box. (I wouldn’t recommend carrying one on an airplane. Yikes!)
Something easy to pack into airplane luggage would be a hanging shelf apparatus, usually intended for sweaters or shoes, but can hold many things. The one shown happens to be much longer than you can see, but all that excess just bunches up quite nicely on the locker floor and stays out of the way underneath. This way you have lots of compartments and they are easy to see. Shoe boxes can also be easily packed into suitcases and used to store
undergarments and things.

High Trails Lockers

Hanging shoe organizers are also great options for organizing your locker.

The top shelf of the locker is quite deep, with room to stack extra sheets
behind pants and sweatshirts where they stay out of the way and clean and folded until they are needed. Above the lockers is ample room for hiking packs, sleeping bags, and other overnight paraphernalia.
When it comes to life in the bathroom, think awesome learning experience for college dorm life! We have hanging cubbies provided in each bathroom with room in them for toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair accessories. Having a plastic caddy to hold all those other hygiene items under the sinks makes finding your stuff really easy.
So now that you’re unpacked and organized what about making it feel like home. Pictures from home and small posters and everyone’s colorful pillowcases quickly make the cabins look like they belong to each group of girls living there.


At Big Spring the type of living unit you live in depends on your age. The Junior Boys (ages 7-9 years) live in one of 2 cabins, Massive or Red Cloud. The youngest month long campers (ages 9-11 years) live in the Yurts. The rest of the guys (ages 12-16 years) live in the big green tents! This means that the best unpacking strategies are different for each type of summer home!

Junior Cabins at Big Spring

Lockers in the Junior's Cabins

CABINS (Junior Boys)
Each guy in the cabins will have his own locker that can hold all your things. The lockers are 21”W, 22”D, three shelves 11”H each and lots of floor space for shoes and backpacks. Shoe box sized Rubbermaid totes can be great to keep socks and other small items in. You can also store sleeping bags and daypacks on top of your locker. There are cubbies in the bathroom for all your toiletry items.

YURTS (month long campers ages 9-11)
In the Yurts using your luggage as a “closet” works best. There is room at the end of your bunkbed to sit your trunk or duffle. The yurts also have lattice work around the walls that jackets and other items can be hung from and tucked into, so if you have a couple of those hangers that fit over the door at home – these work really well.

Yurts at Big Spring

Yurts at Big Spring

Things can also be hung from the beams in the ceiling. Hanging shoe organizers can make good cubbies when hung from the bunkbed or the ceiling. In the washhouse, you’ll have a cubby for all your toiletries and other smelly items.

Tents at Big Spring

Tents at Big Spring

TENTS (month long campers ages 12-16)
In a tent using the space under your bed is ideal! Store your backpack, shoes, sports gear under there. Using your trunk or duffel for your other clothes keeps them all in your space.
The tops of trunks can also be used as table tops for games and your waterbottle. Each tent is held to the frame with straps and clips – you can hang your calendar and mail in the clips next to your bed. In the washhouse you’ll have your own cubby for all your toiletry items.

We are excited for opening day and everyone to move in, we hope this this helps give some quick ideas that will make it easier to keep track of every sock you bring to camp! If you have any other questions about unpacking at camp please send us an email or give us a call: Contact us

or call (719) 748-3341   We can’t wait to see you and all your stuff soon!

Building Interview #1: High Trails Kitchen

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

High Trails Dish Room

Ian and I pull into the snowy High Trails “parking lot” after deciding not to do the Speedwagon as our first interview, or the High Trails Craft Barn, and that we probably didn’t have enough time to get out to Quicks and back before Ian’s interview, and so I roll down the Suburban’s window to open the door because there’s no handle inside the car, and realize I have no idea how one even conducts a building interview. I guess I figured we’d take an artsy picture, and I’d write some insightful, nostalgic stuff about how it looks in the wintertime.

WM: I really appreciate you taking the time out to do this.

HT Kitchen: Sure, no problem.

WM: So: is it lonely out here?

HT Kitchen: Excuse me?

WM: I mean, without all the kids.

HT Kitchen: It gets quiet, but no, I’m not lonely. I don’t mind the quiet.

WM: How many squirrels live inside here?

HT Kitchen: No squirrels.

WM: Alright… Well, you know, I actually heard—

HT Kitchen: Sorry, but what is all this about?

WM: [WM puts his hand over the microphone] Off the record, OK?

HT Kitchen: …OK.

WM: How many squirrels?

An Artsy Picture

None of Vicki’s tools hang from the bakery hooks. The cookie jar isn’t even out on the table, with a few careless crumbs at the bottom. There is no reason to be here, and it is colder inside the kitchen than in the bakery. The stainless steel of the dish machine looks like we’d just sprayed it with vinegar and wiped it with dishrags hung from our aprons. A Nalgene and red mug sit next to the faucet, and sump buckets and fork and knife and spoon buckets and the kitchen’s serving spoon/whisk/colored nonstick paring knife/soup ladle bucket all lie downside-up in what we affectionately call the other window.

WM: What’s your opinion on net neutrality?

HT Kitchen: There’s no wi-fi here over the winter.

WM: Great! I think that’s all I need.

HT Kitchen: That’s it?

WM: [WM stands and they shake hands] Yep. See you March 27th!

HT Kitchen: I mean, but if you want to come by before then, if you’re in the neighborhood or something, you could… I mean to say, if you had nothing else to do.

[WM stands, silhouetted by the setting sun behind him, and with enough orange afterglow to light his slow smile and his almost imperceptible, yet fully sincere, head-nod, he gathers his things and leaves.]

Camp News: March Update

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The Iconic Aspen Grove

The last days of February brought two really good snowstorms, and we are really happy to have the moisture. The longer days and increased activities of our wild animal friends remind us that Spring is just around the corner, and this makes us even more excited about the coming camp season.

We have many projects underway in preparation for camp next summer. One of the most exciting is that we are building a new health center at High Trails. This new state-of-the art facility will be light and airy and will be convenient and comfortable both for our nurses and campers/students. It will be open by the time our First Term campers arrive this summer. You can follow the progress on our Facebook page.

Our maintenance crew is working on a variety of projects to improve and update our facilities in both camps. These include new roofs on cabins at High Trails, new tent frames at Big Spring, new Gaga pits for both camps, and many others.

Mike, Ian, Ariella, and Elizabeth have been hiring some outstanding staff members for next summer. We have some great returning staff as well as some super new staff signed up for the summer of 2013. We are working on many areas of the program, too, which will provide some exciting new activities and trips this summer.

Ian, Kelly, Ariella and others are keeping our Facebook site fresh and active with new posts every day. You can also check out our blog which has valuable information for families, alums, and youth development professionals.

Camp is only three months away and we can’t wait. Already we have campers and staff from 41 states and 10 countries—and we’re adding more every day. The fun and friendship which occurs when all of these great people get together is what makes camp so special! We are happy to send our brochure and DVD to anyone interested in learning more about the exciting programs at Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.

A few camper stories

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A few stories to send you into what is hopefully a good weekend for you…

Hi, I’m Daniela and I want to tell you about a great horseback riding experience! Here at Sanborn, they teach you everything about the horses and give you time to love them. There is time to appreciate and learn about them. The wranglers help you understand the horses and how horses understand your feelings. Horses teach you how that everything is possible! They give you a feeling of comfort, even though the horses are bigger than you. The horseback riding experience at Sanborn is unforgettable and you shouldn’t miss it!

I love horses! I ride English at home and compete in lots of horse shows. I really love to come to camp and ride Western. It is fun and relaxed and I still learn a lot. The wranglers are all really nice! I am able to sign up for lessons on Saturdays, go on a horse overnight, and different rides in the morning and afternoon. Even though it is a different type of riding, the wranglers help me improve my riding skills so I will be a better rider when I go home. I like going on trail rides because we get to play games on horseback and talk to our friends. I definitely recommend riding while at Sanborn!

We are getting ready for our last overnight this week. I am really excited to go on the Pirate overnight. I heard we get to build a pirate ship, go on a scavenger hunt, and play fun games! I loved all of my trips and activities this summer. I can’t decide which is my favorite! I am going to be really sad to go home soon. I have made such great friends this session – I’ve made some new friends and spent time with some people who were here last year. This has been such a fun summer and I can’t wait to come back next year!

HTOEC Week 1

Friday, September 16th, 2011

We just finished a great week with the 6th graders from Challenger Middle School. The students arrived Tuesday morning and jumped right into their outdoor ed experience with their first discovery group that afternoon – Setting the Mood. Led by trained facilitators, the students learned about using their 5 senses more, as well as about the High Trails sixth sense – Wonder. The students were split in half Tuesday evening – one group going to the hoedown (a fun and silly set of dances led by the High Trails staff) and the other went to the Interbarn our hands-on science center.

Students Arrival

Students Arrival at High Trails

Wednesday morning was adventure-filled with the first themed discovery groups. Students learned about Homesteaders, Prospectors, Mountaineers, Innovators, and Woodsmen to name a few. After a delicious lunch, students headed back out for their second themed discovery group. Unfortunately, a little rain cancelled the cookouts, but everyone enjoyed burgers in the lodge followed by an entertaining skit night.

The groups made it out for all-days yesterday and lots of fun was had by all. The HTOEC staff expanded on the activities done during the shorter discovery groups – Cowboys see our working ranch, Innovators tried some solar cooking, Woodsmen go to the working sawmill, Explorers go to the Bat Caves, and Mountaineers rock scramble on several of the bluffs around the main property. To finish off the day, the students that went to the hoedown on Tuesday headed to the Interbarn, and the students from the Interbarn went to the hoedown.

After a great rock session this morning, students went for their last discovery group – Putting It All Together. The students seemed to enjoy their week and learn a lot of interesting facts about nature, themselves, and Colorado history. We had a lot of fun this week and hope the students enjoy the rest of the school year. We look forward to Mountain Ridge Middle School coming next week!

Remembering Camper Stories

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Camp has sadly come to an end for the summer of 2011. Things are very quiet at Big Spring and High Trails! While we are already looking forward to next summer, we want to share a few more stories from this summer…

Today we went horseback riding. We all put on our jeans and boots and walked to the barn. First we talked to our wrangler about how to saddle our horses before our ride. The sun was blazing hot, but luckily we all finished saddling quickly. My horse was named Popcorn. She is dark brown and pretty tall. We walked through all the pretty trees and mountains. At about noon we stopped for lunch. YUM! We tied our horses to trees and enjoyed a delicious meal. Turkey sandwiches and fruit. After we ate, we got back on our horses and started to head back to camp. On the way back we took a different trail and saw colorful flowers and lots of trees. After an all-day ride, we got back to the barn and untacked our horses. This was probably the best horseback riding trip ever all because of SANBORN!!
Abby G.

One day early in the morning we got up and dressed to go on our all-day horse ride. It was really fun! When we got to the barn I looked on the sheet and I got Rafter. Rafter was a tall horse. He was really sweet and listened to everything I told him to do, and he loved to trot fast. I loved him so much. When we got back, we put the horses in the pen. Rafter dropped on the ground and started to roll in the dirt. I said “Rafter I just brushed you” and he just looked up at me, stood up, and came up to the fence and licked my hands.
Alexandra D.

There are lots of fun things to do at Sanborn. The fun thing I just did was the Artsy Overnight. It is a hike to Tie Cabin and we make art. It took us about twenty minutes to get ready with our backpacks full of food and tents. And then we were ready to go. It took about two hours to get there and set up our tents. Then we started to draw, make key chains, rock necklaces, and so much more. The day went by so fast. It was time to go to bed. I was sad to leave the fun things that we were doing, but I knew that a bunch more fun things await me and my campmates!
Addie T.

We just got back from our very fun overnight, the Artsy Overnight. When we got back, we went to outcamp to wash dishes and put away the food. We had a delicious lunch of hamburgers, french fries, and root beer floats. We met at the lodge for our afternoon activities – I chose blogging. I know we are going to be very sad to leave our new friends we made at Sanborn. But most of us are coming back for another summer of fun!
Taylor L.

Campers’ Summer Stories

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

CORE (Community OutReach Experience) Horse was a very educational, growth encouraging, and fun-filled experience for me. A lot of people think riding a horse is very simple. But it takes a lot more work than just sitting in a saddle and pushing the horse forward. My group learned things from how to scoop manure to how to do Key Hole in gymkhana. You learn how to face your fears of riding bareback on a horse and how to communicate with your horse through your body, not just your actions. We learned how everyday wranglers, like Jessie, Will O., and Maren, wake up at 5am to feed and pull horses for us campers throughout the day. And then they don’t get to sleep until 10pm. CORE is a great experience and I will never forget it. Thank you Sanborn!
Mimi C.

Sanborn is the BEST camp ever! You meet lots of great people here and they are very nice to you. My favorite part of camp is the good. The chefs are amazing! And nice. :) The one thing that is great about this camp is that you get to choose almost everything you do here! I can’t wait to climb a 14er! The view is beautiful everywhere you go. There are trees everywhere! We follow a practice that is “Leave No Trace.” That basically means don’t litter, leave stuff behind, or carve your name into trees. I most certainly can’t wait for my 2nd year in 2012!
Lauryn G.

There are so many things to do at High Trails, and fishing is one of them! We went fishing and it was so much fun! We learned how to fish in 3 simple steps. Cast, reel, and viola! You probably have a fish. We used marshmallows as bait. There were a lot leftover, so we ate them. We heard that the boys caught a 19in fish in the pond, so we were hopeful! In the end, everybody had caught something – reed, sticks, themselves. Overall everybody enjoyed themselves and were full of marshmallows!
Mia M.

I am a junior at HIgh Trails, but I wish I were here for a month because it is so much fun here. One of my favorite things is the horseback riding, which I absolutely love, but everything at Sanborn is fantastic so I’m not picking favorites! Today we came back from our last overnight at Tie Cabin, which was awesome. It’s amazing that eleven days have done by because it feels like two days. I am definitely coming back to Sanborn!!!
Katherine S.

Sanborn Western Camps News Update: July 31, 2011

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Working on our Adopted Peak: Mount Missouri

What a busy week we’ve had! Big Spring and High Trails had a wide variety of all-day and overnight trips both on and off the camp property. A number of campers chose overnight horse trips while others selected rock-climbing, canoeing, fishing or mountain climbing adventures. All-day trips included hikes to the Florissant Fossil Beds and to Pancake Rock, as well as tubing on the South Platte River and fishing. Some of our older campers signed up for the challenging SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Learning Experience) and CORE (Community Outreach Experience) programs for the week. They were enthusiastic about their experiences and felt great about the service components of the trips.

Sanborn Junior campers also had a full week. High Trails Juniors were excited about their all-day hike to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. All the Juniors enjoyed a second camping trip and a wide variety of in-camp programming. We were sorry to see them leave on Friday.

We were happy to greet a new group of Sanborn Junior campers today and look forward to a campout, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, and many fun activities with them next week. The fourth term of Sanborn Junior living unit photos will be up on our website on Wednesday or Thursday this week.

Special events last week included the Sanborn Carnival for both camps on Saturday. This was followed by a theme dance. Big Spring spent Wednesday on a Unit All-Day where each living group selected an activity to do together—mountain biking, high ropes course, fishing, horseback riding, rock scrambling, etc. The boys also enjoyed a Kangaroo Court evening, and a “How Well Do You know Your Counselors” Game Show. A favorite evening program at both camps was the Counselor Hunt. High Trails also had fun with their “Minute to Win It” program on Friday.

CORE Horse Ambassadors clearing trees on SWC property

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 4 or 5-day high mountain backpacks into some of Colorado’s most pristine wilderness. Other trips will be based in spectacular alpine areas such as Leavick Valley at the base of Mt. Sherman and Kite Lake at the foot of Mt. Democrat. Many groups will have the opportunity to climb mountains.

Big Spring has planned an exciting program of overnights including mountain climbing trips to Mt. Princeton, Mt. Huron, La Plata Peak, and Mts. Oxford and Belford. The boys will also be tubing on the river, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, canoeing, and enjoying some overnights on the ranch. BS long trips will take place the week of August 8.

Until next week….

More Camper Stories

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Camp is like a home away from home. Every year is full of fun, adventure, and excitement. I have been with the same group of girls that now feel like family; I can be as crazy as I want to around them. Camps is also the only time I really get out into nature and no amount of technology can compensate for living with nature.

The Warrior Dash
The warrior dash was such a blast! We had all these different teams and challenges that we had to complete. These are just some of the things we got to do. First we went to the warrior sing and had to make up a song for our team. Next I went to the 4-story treehouse and had to save “King Arthur” by choosing the right silver cup. We tossed shrunken heads (water balloons) back and forth in front of the lodge.
Hope Pohlman

Sanborn Camp is not about sitting around. Sanborn is about determination, courage, and responsibility. Sanborn is about getting in touch with nature, hiking the tallest mountains, riding a horse as fast as you can, and pushing yourself to the extreme! Sanborn is a new beginning and it never has an end. Sanborn camp is happiness, pure happiness.
Victoria Mak

In the world,
we get lost in the commonality
we forget to look for the beauty
we miss the glow of life
Then we come to nature and
we are afraid to look, love, listen
we are afraid that something might be perfect and true
we are terrified that something is real
That’s why together we can accept that
this might be what we’ve been searching for
this might open up our eyes to it all
Then we go back to the world
never to be the same.

Grab your towel, grab your goggles, bring your smile, and run to the pool. Cruise down the slide, and splash in the water. There’s so much to do at the POOL! Paddle around in the blow-up tubes! Use the noodles as any sea creatures. Adventure through the whole pool, there’s so much to do! You can play in the pool or out of the slide. I love the swimming pool! My favorite thing is to hang out in the sun and talk to my friends! Mis loves to go down the slide on a sleeping pad because it goes so fast! Addie loves to go down on a tube! I love the pool! There’s so much to do!
Emily Driscoll

June 1st Update: Getting Ready For Summer 2011

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Senior Staff Leadership Scenarios

June is the most exciting month at camp and everyone here is excited for the arrival of campers in less than two weeks.  We had some great moisture in May, (mainly in the form of snow!) and the grass is green, the Aspen are leafing out, and the wildflowers are beginning to appear. We see deer every day in the immediate camp area, the Mountain Bluebirds are settled in for the summer, the hummingbirds are back, and the Abert’s squirrels are exceptionally fat and sassy.

We have been preparing the facility and are almost ready for everyone’s arrival.  The Big Spring tents are up, the BS Lodge is getting a facelift, and fresh paint is being applied in many places.  The flowers are planted, the horses have new shoes, and the swimming pools are filling.  Although we are still finishing a few last minute facility projects, we are now turning our attention to staff training.

The leadership staff has already arrived and we completed a special training for our Senior staff team over the weekend. Several staff also completed a lifeguard training course over the weekend. Last Thursday and Friday, our rock climbing staff enjoyed a two-day training at our Wild Goat Mountain climbing site.  On Monday and Tuesday, many of our trip leading staff completed a two-day Wilderness First Aid course taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute.  Today, we’re conducting an all-day driver training as well as CPR and First Aid classes.  And that is just the beginning…on Thursday our entire staff will be here for a nine-day staff training period.

As always, we are excited about bringing together our wonderful summer community.  We are looking forward to the mountains we will climb, the horseback trips we will take, the sunsets we will share and the friendships we will make.  We especially anticipate opportunities we will have to learn more about ourselves, our companions and the natural world.

We again plan to post weekly updates and photos on the website and our blog once camp begins.  Although we cannot promise to show every camper or every activity, we think these photos will help parents, friends, and family members to get a peek into life at Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.  So visit us again on June 13!