Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Activities’

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.

National Get Outdoors Day

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Saturday, June 11, is National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day). The ACA is promoting the fourth annual GO Day in order to “encourage healthy, active outdoor fun” across the country. While there are a number of events taking place at different locations, we encourage you to create your own GO Day. The overall goal for the day is to reconnect youth with the outdoors.

A typical Sanborn GO Day

Our campers don’t arrive until Sunday, but we will spend the rest of the summer having GO Days. We have numerous traditional and non-traditional outdoor activities. We think that is part of what makes participating in GO Day so fun – you can do whatever you want, as long as it is outdoors!

The Big Spring staff returned from their overnights yesterday, and the High Trails staff returned today. They spent two days out of the trail learning different parts of the ranch, mastering how to cook excellent overnight food, and partaking in a variety of nature activities. Most importantly, all the staff are very excited to share their new knowledge with the campers in just a few days!

We would love to hear what activities you are doing for GO Day!

“Why Kids Need Nature”: WE AGREE

Friday, March 4th, 2011

We found a great article on the Children and Nature Network web site this morning: Why Kids Need Nature. At Sanborn we more than understand the value of kids spending time in nature, and we love being able to share more research about the importance of it with others.

I wonder what that tastes like?

Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine interviewed Richard Louv to gain more insight into why it is important for children’s well-being to spend time outdoors and how parents are able to expose their children to nature. Louv explains that time in nature can help fight obesity, depression, and ADD as well as help kids activate their brains (in a different way than school provides) and utilize all their senses. Including their sense of wonder which we emphasize in our summer camps and school weeks programs. It can be hard for parents and children to find the time and space to explore nature. Sports, clubs, meetings, homework all take time during already busy family schedules. Not many neighborhoods have the space for kids to run and play freely.

Louv explains that it is understandable that parents are hesitant to send their kids out to explore unsupervised, but that he finds more and more parents spending time outdoors with their children. We believe that not only kids benefit from nature, but adults as well! Louv states, ”Nature is good for everyone’s mental health.” It is fun for parents to get out with their children and go on scavenger hunts around the yard and neighborhood and take a break from work and for a hike in the woods. The more enthusiastic parents are, the more excited their children will be about their abilities to explore.

“Nature isn’t the problem; it’s the solution.” The Children and Nature Network recognizes the challenges parents may face taking the initiative to take their children outdoors and provide parents with local resources and ideas. We at Sanborn also try to provide resources and ideas for parents and children to reconnect with nature. Here are just a few:

Beyond 101 Nature Activities

New Adventures

Ariella and the Wild Animals

A Small Sounds Tapestry

Time for a Special Place







It’s Time to Get Outside: Nature Bingo

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Nature Bingo: Use ours...or create your own!

Are the kids getting a little stir-crazy during this holiday weekend?  It’s time to get them outside for a rousing game of Nature Bingo!

Adapted from our newly released 101 Nature Activities for Kids book, this is a great activity for the entire family.

From 101 Nature Activities: Many common games can be adapted for use in the outdoors, and bingo is a great example.  Children can either use bingo cards that you have made ahead of time or they can create the cards themselves.  If they are making their own cards, provide a list of items that you would like them to find or things they think they might find.  Then, they can draw or write the items on their bingo cards.  See how many bingos they can get throughout the hike.

Have fun!  And let us know all of the amazing things you find!







More Support For Children’s Play

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Camps have known about the importance and power of play for a long time. As outdoor educators and youth development professionals we do all that we can to promote children’s use of imagination, creative play, developing relationships, understanding of self and others, self-esteem, and appreciation for the outdoors (to name a few).

Research has been done and published promoting these lessons and the chance for children to play and explore. The New York Times published an article today about efforts made to promote play. This article supports our parents’ efforts to encourage their children to use their imaginations, disengage from video games, computers, and TV. We have long recognized and try to share the importance of free play and getting kids outdoors as a way to take advantage of imaginative play. Children need recess, camp, time in the backyard to develop and refine the life and relationship skills that are hard to learn in the classroom or on the soccer team.

Central Park hosted the Ultimate Block Party in October to promote the importance of play in children’s lives. While the party’s over, the Web site provides additional resources and research for parents. Just looking at the number of sponsors and endorsements the group received was inspiring for me to see the number of people and organizations that support the movement to get children playing.

Throughout the past year we have shared ideas and benefits of creative and imaginative play with our readers. As I searched our archives and reread what we’ve written, I realized that I couldn’t share every post that we’ve written, so I tried to limit the links (as hard as it was).  These are just a few links to check out some of our ideas for helping children and parents helping their children get back to unstructured (while supervised) play: Snowy Day ActivitiesBring on the Sunscreen,Parent Lessons from CampGo Play OutdoorsHooray for the Wild ChildMore PlayTime for a Special PlaceAdventures with the 5 Senses, and Reconnect With Your Sense of Wonder. Sometimes children just need props to get their creative juices flowing and other times we try to provide limited guidance to help children feel comfortable with the idea of free play.

With greater recognition, support, and effort we can all help children reconnect with their childhood and enjoy playing again.

Week 2, Discovery Canyon Campus

Friday, November 5th, 2010

We had a great day at High Trails! Everyone had good early morning hikes. It was a beautiful sunrise this morning and we could still see the smallest sliver of the moon. We enjoyed another delicious breakfast – french toast, sausage, cereal, milk, and apple juice.

Everyone had fun on their all-days today. The all-days are always a good opportunity for the students to spend an extended amount of time with their themed discovery groups. They get to know the groups very well, do extra activities, and eat lunch out on the trail. The students came back this afternoon excited about what they had learned and ready to share their highlights from the week with their families at home.

After a little downtime, the students were able to choose their recreation activity. Students were again able to spend time with classmates who are in different cabins and discovery groups. Recreation options included 4-Square, nuke-em, marshmallow baseball, 4-story treehouse, and A-Bluff. Students enjoyed running around and playing games with their High Trails staff, high school counselors, and teachers.

Everyone went to the Hoedown for evening program. The High Trails staff and counselors dress in crazy costumes and lead silly, choreographed dances. The students all had a good time skipping and dancing around. Before bed, the High Trails staff went back to the cabins to talk about the highlights from the day and prepare the students for tomorrow. In the morning the staff will go to the cabins to help the students pack and clean before breakfast and their last discovery group.

Week 2 Discovery Canyon, Day 1

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

It was a beautiful day here at High Trails. The weather was warm and the sun was shining. The students arrived and went to a short welcome meeting. Afterwards, the High Trails staff helped the students move into their cabins and played some games before lunch. Following lunch the staff went back to the cabins to take the students on a short hike and to play more games.

All the students went on their first discovery group this afternoon. In smaller groups, the students all did Setting the Mood. This discovery group is a chance for students to use their 5 senses, talk about the High Trails sense of wonder, and find their own special spots on a high point around the High Trails Property. The high school students lead the 6th graders through a nature awareness scavenger hunt and a blindfolded trust hike to find a tree. Everyone was excited to tell about their adventures at dinner.

Everyone headed to the Interbarn tonight for the nature carnival. The High Trails staff and high school students led different stations at our hands-on science center. The students were able to choose three stations to go to, followed by a debrief connecting what they saw tonight with what they saw during the day, and will experience through the next few days.

In the morning, the High Trails staff will go to the cabins before breakfast to take the students on hikes to various points around the property. We are expecting good weather again tomorrow and are looking forward to the adventures for the rest of the week!

Discovery Canyon Campus, Evening 2

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

We had a great day at High Trails! Everyone had a lot of fun on both their morning and afternoon discovery groups. During lunch, one of the staff members sang a silly song that everyone enjoyed. The sun stayed out all day and it wasn’t very windy (it felt much warmer than yesterday!).

Students enjoyed a little down time after the afternoon discovery groups. It was a good chance for students to head back to the cabins and relax for a few minutes. For dinner tonight, the students went on themed cookouts. The groups went out and did several of the activities that corresponded to the discovery group, and then ate a dinner of burgers, chips, apples, and brownies around a campfire. Everyone had a great time. One group even looked at Jupiter through the telescope!

The High Trails staff are in the cabins right now, helping the students get ready for bed. They are debriefing the highlights from today, and preparing the students for tomorrow. In the morning students are able to choose which early morning hike they want to go on. The hikes are not as long as today, but are still going to some of the best places on the property. Everyone is looking forward to the all-days tomorrow, and even warmer weather!

Eagleview Week 2, Evening 3

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

All-days were very successful today! Everyone had a great time and learned a lot. This afternoon students were able to choose a hike or game they wanted to play for recreation time. Options included Nuke em’, 4-Story treehouse, marshmallow baseball, and charades. It was an exciting dinner as everyone wanted to share the highlights from their days. It stayed a little overcast today, which provided a little bit cooler weather. The High Trails staff made sure everyone stayed warm!

For evening program, the group that went to the Interbarn on Tuesday went to the Hoedown tonight. We had staff in crazy costumes, and even a dancing bear! The group that went to the Hoedown on Tuesday, went to the Interbarn tonight. The students enjoyed learning about nature, animals, and rocks. At the concluding discussion, everyone wanted to share what was the neatest thing they learned today, and everyone has something they can’t wait to get home and share with their friends and family.

Everyone is in the cabins now getting ready for bed. In the morning the staff will help the students clean the cabins before breakfast and finish packing. After breakfast the students will head to a closing session on the rocks where the staff will read some of the quotes that the students wrote in their special spots on Tuesday. The students will go on their closing discovery group before the million dollar buffet tomorrow. Everyone will do Putting It All Together, a session that wraps up the week, the students return to their special spots, and talk about goals for when they return home. Similar to Setting the Mood, everyone does the same discovery group, however the groups are separate and go to their own places.

Eagleview Week 2, Evening 2

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

It was a great day at High Trails today! Everyone had a lot of fun and learned a lot during their morning discovery groups. Lunch was filled with stories, adventures, and learnings from the morning. Students used their sense of wonder, learned about nature, and made connections between their lives and the lives of early Colorado explorations.

After a short rest period following lunch, the students went out on their second themed discovery group. Again there were lots of good stories about the highlights from the afternoon. For dinner the students went on themed cookouts. The counselors and staff wore costumes, led activities and games, and the staff cooked burgers over the fire. It was a busy, but extremely exciting night. We have been in a fire ban here at High Trails, and this was the first time we’ve been able to do cookouts since the beginning of the season. It always seems to be one of the students’ favorite parts of the week. There were not many leftovers that came back from the different groups.

The High Trails staff are in the cabins right now debriefing the day with the students. This is a good opportunity for students to share their highs from the day, and talk about things they would like to change for tomorrow. Everyone will be getting to bed early tonight to get ready for another big day tomorrow. In the morning the students will go on hikes again before breakfast. Different from today though, the students get to choose which hike or activity they want to do. This is a good chance for the students to spend time with their classmates who are not in their cabins or discovery groups.