SANBORNISMS: Over the years many words have crept into the camp language that are not found in Webster’s. If you are receiving letters from a camper this summer, here are a few definitions to help you with translation.
ABLE WAITERS. Campers at Big Spring who choose to come to each meal 30 minutes early, eat early, and then serve food to other campers when the main meal starts. Benefits include an excellent salary (chits which may be used at the camp store); special treatment from the cooks; and a high degree of prestige. MABLES are the servers at High Trails and everyone takes a turn. Benefits are the same.
ASSISTANT COUNSELORS. Commonly called ACs, these staff members wash the dishes after each meal and keep camp buildings clean. They also work in many areas of the camp program and add a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to every aspect of the camp community.
BOMBER. A long, day hike which can be chosen from the trip sign up sheet and sometimes from the in-camp program. These hikes range in length from 5-25 miles and cover a lot of beautiful territory. Near the end of the term there is even a Bomber Hike to climb Pikes Peak offered to older campers.
CHIT. The currency at Sanborn Camps, chits are accepted at the camp stores. They may be earned by excellence in tent or cabin clean-up, able or mabel waiting, and a variety of other good deeds.
CHIPPY DIPPY BARS. A delicious chocolately homemade dessert.
FLUBBER. A magical substance which is a solid one minute, a liquid the next. Named after the amazing goo which starred in several Walt Disney movies, this stuff is lots of fun to experiment with.
GORP. A high energy trail snack which is used on camp trips. It usually consists of M&M’s, raisins, and peanuts although creative trip leaders may also add granola and other special treats.
INTERBARN, THE. A large science center located between Big Spring and High Trails, the Interbarn houses fun, creative displays like the giant walk-in replica of a living cell and the Talking Rock. A lot of fun activities take place here during the summer—including flubber-making bubble-blowing, “Mad Scientists”, hot air balloon making and much more.
JUNIOR COUNSELORS. Commonly called “JCs”, these are the oldest campers at High Trails. In addition to participating in an advanced activity program, their program includes leadership training and opportunities. OUTBACKERS are the same campers at Big Spring.
RIDGE LEADER. A senior staff member who supervises several tents/cabins. They are here to support staff and campers, lead trips, organize program areas, and many other behind the scenes jobs.
SCHMERLTZ “THE WORLD’S GREATEST GAME”. Invented at Big Spring, in the 1950s, this game which began with socks packed with dirt has achieved fame as the “Foxtail” game which is now commercially sold. Although we’ve replaced the dirt with a ball, we still use a sock. Two teams face each other on the playing field and throw the schmertlz toward a goal — there are a wide variety of ever-changing rules — but it is always “the world’s greatest game”!
SIERRA CUP. A metal cup with a handle which is used on camping trips for eating and drinking. Easy to clean and carry, it is the only dish you’ll ever need!
VESPERS or SUNDAY ROCKS. On Sundays Big Spring and High Trails each hike to a high point to watch the sunset, reflect on the week, sing songs, and share inspirational quotes. This is a non-sectarian service that celebrates camp values and the beauty of the natural world.
WRANGLER. A staff member who specializes in teaching horseback riding. They lead great horse trips and are exceptionally good at helping everyone from beginning to advanced riders improve their horsemanship skills. They are renowned culinary artists of the back-country.