News from Camp: June 26, 2016

June 27th, 2016

We climbed our first mountains of the season last week! Two groups from High Trails reached the summit of Quandary Peak on Tuesday and Friday mornings. A Big Spring SOLE Mountain trip climbed Mt. Antero on Thursday and a coed SOLE Mountain trip stood on the top of Huron Peak on Friday. An intrepid group of High Trails climbers also made the long climb up Mt. Princeton on Friday. Climbing a Fourteener is never easy and all of these successful summits are a tribute to excellent staff leadership and enthusiastic, persistent campers.

In addition to the climbs, we enjoyed many other amazing trips last week— fishing adventures, canoeing trips, horseback rides, fossil digging, wonderful hikes, rock climbing, bike riding, and much more. Everyone returned to camp Friday night excited by their adventures and happy to be back with friends at camp for the weekend.

The Carnival is a highlight of the summer with all the fun games and snacks!

We have had a busy weekend. Yesterday’s Saturday Special Activities were fun in the morning; in the afternoon, we had an extremely exciting co-ed carnival that included cotton candy, sno cones, and popcorn in addition to many games and carnival events. The dance had a Space theme so it was an out-of-this-world affair. Today, we prepared for next week’s trips, and both camps will end the day with our traditional vespers services. The boys climb to the top of Little Blue for this special celebration and the girls go to “Sunday Rocks” on B-Bluff.

We were sad to see our First Term Juniors depart today—they have been a wonderful group, and we are grateful for our time together. We look forward to greeting our Second Session Junior campers on Tuesday.

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 four- and five-day high mountain backpacks into some of Colorado’s most pristine wilderness. Other trips will be based in spectacular alpine areas like Silver Heels and Kite Lake near Alma. Many groups will have the opportunity to climb mountains, and we know that our summit count will grow.

Big Spring has planned an exciting program of overnights and all-day trips including mountain climbing trips to Quandary Peak, Pikes Peak, Mt. Princeton and Mts. Oxford and Belford. The boys will also be horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping on the ranch and visiting Cripple Creek. Their “long trips” are scheduled for the week of July 4.

We will post photos from the week on Camp in Touch tomorrow morning. Keep watching our Facebook page too, as we will post a few highlights throughout the week.

News from Camp: June 19, 2016

June 20th, 2016

Preparing for overnight trips is a team effort.

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. We had spectacular weather for our unit overnights last week and everyone had a great time on these first camping-out adventures.

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 tubing trip on the river 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 Wednesday to work with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte to complete environmental service projects. 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.

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.

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 during the past week. They will be available for viewing early Monday morning.

For more news of camp, 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.

News from Camp: June 12, 2016

June 12th, 2016

The High Trails ladies head up to B-Bluff after dinner for their first Sunday night Vespers.

The Opening Day of camp is the most exciting day of our year and we enjoyed a great one today. We have had a lot of moisture over the winter and spring and our green grass and abundant wildflowers are thriving. After almost two weeks of staff training, we are excited to have campers running down the paths and filling the lodges with laughter. They seem as happy to be here as we are to have them.

Luggage was barely unpacked before camp activities began. The stables were busy with Ride-Out and Basic Preparation, and shouts came from the volleyball courts, the Gaga Pits, and all the camp trails. The sounds of old friends reconnecting and new friendships forming were everywhere. Tonight, tent and cabin groups are playing “Getting Acquainted” and “Team Building” games to facilitate the formation of these important living unit communities. The energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

Tomorrow, our program will begin in earnest and we will have half-day hikes heading out to A-Bluff, Top of the World, the Crystal Beds and other favorite destinations. Basic Preparation will continue at both stables, and we will have introductory sessions in rock climbing and camping skills. We’ll also begin crafts projects, activities at the Interbarn science center, tennis, fishing, and sports. Junior campers will be hiking, riding, swimming, and learning camping skills at the Mountain Odyssey program during their first two days.

On Wednesday morning the girls will backpack out for their Cabinside Overnights at campsites on our property. The boys will camp-out on Thursday night. These first overnights with the living unit accomplish some important goals. They introduce everyone to the fun of camping out; outdoor skills are learned or reviewed; and close bonds are created among the members of each living community. Sanborn Junior campers will also experience their first overnight on Wednesday or Thursday.

Tomorrow night, Opening Campfires will be held at both Big Spring and High Trails, and this year we can have “real” campfires! These are always lots of fun and include great singing and Broadway quality skits. Other special events planned this week include the All Camp Adventure Race, the Counselor Hunt and Cabinside Skit Night at High Trails. At Big Spring the boys will enjoy the Bomber Relay and Unit Skits. Later in the week, we will all get together for a coed ice cream social on Saturday night.

Each living unit gets together the first evening of camp to begin to create a respectful living community.

Early in the week, we will be signing up for trips throughout the term. High Trails and Big Spring campers will choose from many exciting possibilities including mountain climbs, horseback trips, tubing/rafting on the South Platte River and wilderness backpacking trips. Counselors and senior staff members will be on hand to help campers select those trips which best fit individual interests. Sanborn Junior campers do not sign up for trips; their program includes two exciting all-day trips in addition to their overnight camping trips.

We will be taking group photos early in the week and will post them on our website—so check us out again late in the week! We’ll also be mailing you a copy of your camper’s group photo with the counselor letter next Sunday. Each Sunday evening, we will send an e-mail to camp families about our activities and we will post photos of activities taken during the previous week on our website. Although we can’t promise to show every camper or every activity, we hope these photos will provide a glimpse into life at camp for families and friends.

Jane Sanborn

‘Twas the Night Before Summer

June 12th, 2016

Staff Hike and Sing Along at Top of the World

Twas the night before opening day and all through Sanborn

Every staff member was stirring, awaiting the morn.
The nametags were hung on the lockers with care
Knowing that campers soon would be there.

The counselors were excited and making their beds,
While visions of full units danced in their heads.
Trainings were over and staff week was a wrap
All staff too excited to even take a nap.

When out on the lawn arose such a clatter
For Vicky had perfected the perfect cookie batter
Away from the kitchen, staff were shooed
Told that they couldn’t take all of the food!

Pikes Peak in our view still covered in snow
Gave the luster of midday to tents below
When all of the sudden who should appear?
Napoleon the pony, to camp is near!!

What a little ol’ pony so lively and quick
I knew in the moment the wranglers were sick!
More rapid than Cherokee, fast horses they came
And they whistled and shouted and called him by name

Now Napoleon come here, you better listen!
The counselors they run, their brows start to glisten
On to their porches and past tetherball
But dash away dash away, he ignores their call

Past aspens and the lodge Napoleon flies
When he is met with an obstacle he can’t get by.
So down to the barn Napoleon goes
Met by Meeker, too big to oppose.

So back to the barn the wranglers they fly
Tears of relief—“To bed now!” they cry.
So back up the hill the counselors flew
Ari, and Izzy, and the Big Spring crew.

And then in a twinkling, standing aloof,
A very large ground squirrel
Climbed up on the roof.
As we shook our heads and started to frown
A squirrel escape?! When I was bedtime bound.

He had lots of brown fur
From his head to his feet,
And his mouth was all covered with coffee cake and treats.
A bundle of goodies he had eaten in back,
And he looked like a camper who just needed a snack.

His eyes how they twinkled, a cute little guy
He looked all around with a gleam in his eye
Guilty look on his face, he’d given a show
Now very full, it’s his time to go

Off like a shot, he ran into the trees
Leaving no trace of food apart from the cheese
We all were so sad that breakfast was gone
But the cooks reassured us, breakfast was still on!

Now tired and laughing, our thrill for the night
The campers come tomorrow, bed now sounds alright!
We walked to lodge to get a hot drink
Then Ari and Mike walked in in a stink.

They spoke not a word but their silent looks worked
We put up our mugs and turned with a jerk
Back to our bunks, walking arm in arm
After a night of many alarms

We sprang into our beds now fully tired
Soon to wake up and be inspired
Our campers are coming—I hope we’re all tight
We will see you tomorrow, but for now, a goodnight!

See you tomorrow!!!!

Hip Hip Hooray for Opening Day!

Big Spring Staff 2016

June 11th, 2016

Take a moment to meet the Big Spring Summer 2016 Staff!  We have spent the last 10 days completing staff training and are so excited to meet the campers! This is a little sneak peek into who we are and how much fun we will have this summer!

Left to right: Robby Abraham, Tijler deJong, Alex Young

RED CLOUD

Alex Young, Counselor

Hello all! I’m Alex and this will be my first summer as a counselor. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2015 with a degree in geological sciences. First secret though, I like biology a little more, so I got a minor in that as well. Since the end of school, I have been working on joining the Air Force as a drone pilot, I’ve traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands and I have been spending more time with my sister and parents. I’m a puzzle master, so if you have riddles bring them to me. I also enjoy competition and will be glad to show you how it’s done, unless you win, then it’s a rematch. The thing I’m most excited about this summer is witnessing everyone, including myself, get better at something. I’m the counselor that won’t sit still, so bring the energy and some goals for us to crush together!

Robby Abraham, Counselor

Robby Abraham, Junior Camp Counselor & S’more Enthusiast
Hello future campers! I’ll be spending summer #1 at Sanborn and I’m looking forward to making my rookie season a great one! I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio and I attended St. Xavier High School. I’m currently going into my sophomore year at Indiana University where I major in accounting and finance in the Kelley School of Business. I’m an Eagle Scout and I also completed a Tough Mudder last summer which is a 12 mile obstacle course. Going into my freshmen year of high school I had the opportunity to live on a sailboat for 2 weeks through the Boy Scouts in the Bahamas where I spent the days snorkeling, fishing, and sailing. I’m most excited for the funny campfire skits and tubing the river with some of the best campers around!

Tijler deJong, Counselor

Hey everyone my name is Tijler deJong and I’m so excited to get back to camp and meet everyone! This is going to be my second summer at Big Spring and I’m ready for it to be even better than the last. I’m currently going to school for child psychology in the hopes of becoming a school counselor one day. Needless to say, I love working with kids. A couple of my favorite pastimes are hiking with friends and eating pizza (with pineapples, yes I said pineapples). I’m very excited to see all of the areas at camp I haven’t seen yet and share in the wonder of hiking with all of the people around me. I love the brotherhood of Big Spring and I look forward to meeting all of my new brothers this summer!

Left to right: Anthony Trombetta, Mikey Rainey, Cody Al-Jamie

MASSIVE

Anthony Trombetta, Counselor

My name is Anthony Trombetta but you can call me Tony. This is my first summer with Sanborn and I’m so excited to meet everyone. Growing up in a west suburb of Chicago (Wheaton) I spent a lot of time camping and earned my Eagle Scout. I’m quite familiar with the outdoors and camping, but nothing quite as amazing as the #1 summer camp in America. I also love acting and theater. In college I was part of an improv comedy troop – so I love to clown around and have a good time. Laughing is one of the most important things you can do, and I plan to do it a lot this summer. I love riddles and brain puzzles, so bring your best! I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in marketing and professional sales. I’m not really sure what I want to do beyond Sanborn and that’s the beauty of this summer. Life’s an adventure, its about the journey and not the destination. One day I’d like to own a boat, visit every continent, and start a company. I’d like to make a difference, not necessarily money. “Happiness only real when shared” – Christopher McCandless

Cody Al-Jamie, Counselor

Hello, my name is Cody and I will be a counselor this summer. I am from Orange County, CA. When I decided to go to college I moved to Rocklin, CA and attended Sierra College where I studied automotive technology. Before I came here I was sitting on my couch watching Adventure Time and eating a box of Fruit Loops. Then I actually wanted to go on an adventure so I jumped on a plane, landed in Colorado, drove to the mountains, called Sanborn and now I’m here to make this an awesome summer! Oh yeah, I love candy and skittles are my favorite! See you soon!

Dylan Morris, Counselor

Heyo! My name is Dylan Morris, and this is my second summer at camp as a full time staff member, and my 5th year coming up as a volunteer/staff. I live about an hour away from camp, down the mountains in Colorado Springs. I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and Physics at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. When I’m not studying or tutoring, I’m out rock climbing and hiking. I love the outdoors, and I love being up at camp. I hope to go on a lot of mountain and horseback trips and I’m looking forward to another great summer full of new adventures and new people. I’m sure that it will be even better than the last one.

Michael Rainey, Counselor

Hey, hey! My name Michael Rainey, though I usually go by Mike or Mikey. Arvada, Colorado has been my home for my 22 years. This will be my 1st summer at Big Spring and I’m very excited to meet all the campers and staff! I currently attend Metropolitan State University of Denver where I major in Elementary Education and Mathematics. I am a Para Educator at an elementary school and the assistant coach of cross country and track at my former high school. Commonly, I can be found hiking, running, cooking, reading a book, going to a concert, trying a new restaurant/new food, or just on some sort of adventure! When driving, I definitely get way too into singing along to the radio. 9 times out of 10, I will be a total dork! I am looking forward to spending nights under the stars, making s’mores, and getting to know some awesome people! Ready? Campers set! Let’s go!

Left to right: Alex Burlison, Mat Larimer, Grant Flavo

ANTERO

Alex Burlison, Counselor

My name is Alex Burlison, and this is my first year at Big Spring! I am from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I studied several things (Philosophy, Psychology, Nutrition, Outdoor Recreation) at the University of Arkansas before I decided to take some time off. Since then I have been climbing and traveling as much as possible and going on as many adventures as I can! I am so excited to share my love for nature with a group of young dudes, and hopefully spark a long-lasting desire for adventure, exploration, and fun, as well as a deep desire to help preserve and protect the natural world.

Grant Flavo, Assistant Counselor

My name is Grant Falvo and I currently study Sustainability at Arizona State University. This will be my first summer at Sanborn. I am looking forward to bringing my interests in music, food, and art to camp. With luck I’ll be able to get the kids interested in one or all of those through programs and events. I have experience with darkroom and digital photography, many instruments, many styles of cooking, as well as artistic expression and functional crafting in the wood shop. When i’m not doing these things I enjoy challenging myself outdoors.

Mat Larimer, Counselor

My name is Mat Larimer and this will be my second year as a Big Spring staff member. I recently graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, AR with a degree in Economics and Business. This past semester I recorded and produced a full length album of songs with my friends at school. I also directed and edited a short documentary on the production process of the album we made. I want to continue to work with music wherever I go. I believe in the importance of music in our lives and how we can connect with one another by sharing music together. During the fall of 2015, I spent a semester studying Entrepreneurship and Management in the Netherlands. This summer, I am most excited for the opportunity to pass on the tradition of learning and living amongst nature and long-trip weeks.

Left to right: Ben Cox, Henry Ewing, Will Hardwick

BLANCA

Ben Cox, Counselor

H! My name is Ben Cox and this is my first summer at Sanborn Western Camps! I grew up in a rural Kansas town, Wakefield, but I live in Manhattan, KS! I studied Secondary Education and Political Science at Kansas State University, but to avoid debt I transferred to a local community college! I am an aspiring Ultra Marathoner, which basically means I run really far for a really long time on trails and think I’m cooler than I actually am! Other than being outdoors I love to read, binge watch Netflix, and discuss politics with my wide variety of friends. I’m really looking forward to this summer!

Henry Ewing, Counselor
-coming soon-

Will Hardwick, Assistant Counselor
My name is Will Hardwick and I’m a current student at CSO Fort Collins. I live in Colorado Springs when I’m not living in the dorms in Fort Collins. I’m studying natural resources with ambition to be a forest ranger. I love the outdoors, team building activities and I’m very open to conversation about all subjects. I was in the marching band for five years and I plan to continue my membership after a year off. I played the drums in the band and have been playing the drums since fourth grade. I love drumming with a passion! I took four years of leadership academy in which I learned the skills to help me lead individuals or a group of people from different walks of life. I can lead with different appropriate strategies for different situations. I love to camp, sing, play drums, climb rocks, hike and play games. I like to play card games, namely, Magic the Gathering, so I’m always down to play a match with anyone interested. I do origami, build, carve wood, and make food and body care products. This is my first year on staff as an assistant counselor. I’m very excited for the summer and to meet all of the campers! I am very friendly and love conversations so talk to me about anything!

Left to right: Bret Wolter, Ayden Bolin, Matthew Baca

CRESTONE

Ayden Bolin, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Ayden Bolin, and although I have never been to Sanborn, I am very excited to go on adventures and share my love for the outdoors with all the campers. I recently graduated from high school in Wichita, KS and will attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA to study biology/ecology and music in the fall. In high school I was a three-sport athlete and student body president. My hobbies include playing guitar, sleeping outside, eating mac-n-cheese, playing in the dirt, and taking long walks in the woods. I am also deeply passionate about our planet and the well-being of the world we live in, and I am stoked to be able to share that passion with so many other people! I can’t wait to meet all the campers, and I know everyone is going to have a wonderful time.

Bret Wolter, Counselor

My name is Bret Wolter and this is my second summer at Big Spring! Last year was my first summer and I was an assistant counselor. I attended the High Trails Outdoor Education program when I was in sixth grade and as a volunteer in high school. I went to Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs and took a few classes at Pikes Peak Community College this past year. For the past year and a half I worked at Lids in a mall and helped coach my cousin’s baseball team. I am a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan and I love to play baseball. I love sports of all kinds but nothing beats laying in a hammock with a book. This next year I will attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where I will study Elementary Education! I am extremely excited to be on the HKL ridge again this summer and going on the mountain trips!

Matthew Baca, Counselor

Hello everyone! My name is Matthew Baca and I’m from Austin, Texas. I go to school here and I am studying Architectural Engineering. I believe balance is important so I try to push myself in all things. My love for math, science, art, and philosophy have been the driving factors of my career choice. For a while I struggled with trying to find what I wanted to do. My whole life had been centered upon everyone else! Once I began climbing, hiking, and training for cross country running, I was able to become more self aware, knowing who I was all along and being able to make myself better each and every day- always striving for new heights! This will be my first Sanborn summer experience and I am excited to disconnect from the monotonous grind of school and work, so that I may not only learn from the kids at camp, but be there to help answer any questions they may have. I’m excited to be part of the team at Sanborn and provide a fun, exciting, and SAFE environment for the children attending.

Left to right: Ashton Eckerstorfer, Preston Goss, Slayter Marwitz

DEMOCRAT

Ashton Eckerstorfer, Counselor

My name is Ashton Graham Eckerstorfer. Although I have never been to summer camps, I am more than excited to be able to participate and be a part of the camp! I currently go to Henderson State University working towards a Bachelor’s degree in the study of biology (specializing in botany) with a minor in chemistry and philosophy. A few fun facts: my middle name Graham was given to me by my great grandmother in honor of my distant relative Alexander Graham Bell (the man who invented the telephone); I have lived in Wisconsin for the first seventeen years of my life, which makes me a Cheesehead (Go, Packers, Go!), but now I live in the beautiful Ozark mountain range in Arkansas; I thrive in the outdoors, so I am very excited to be spending most of my time outside; and I absolutely love photography! I am excited for the whole camp in general, but I am most excited for backpacking and climbing 14ers! I have a deep passion for the environment and I consider myself to be an environmental steward. I hope to have a career that will teach and inform others about the importance of the environment and how we need to take the appropriate actions to protect and preserve the natural world. Anywho, I could type about many other things, but I’ll stop here so I don’t end up writing my life story.
I’ll see you guys at camp!

Preston Goss, Assistant Counselor

Hey y’all! My name is Preston and this will be my first time at camp. I was a part of High Trails Outdoor Education in the fall with Liberty High School and fell in love with the wilderness and learning that took place. So now I’m back! I come from a military family and have siblings ranging from two to twenty years old. I came from Alaska and will always call it home (of course I rode a Polar bear to school). I look forward to seeing faces light up when the kids see the beauty of all that nature has to offer! See you soon!

Slayter Marwitz, Counselor

Howdy! My name is Slayter and this will be my second summer returning to Big Spring Ranch & I am SUPER stoked for all the awesome fun and adventures! Summer in the mountains is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I got back to this raging hot flatland we call Texas last year. I currently attend the University of North Texas with a focus on advertising. I play for the men’s ultimate frisbee club team at UNT which is, without a doubt, the greatest sport ever invented (and no, it isn’t the same as disc golf…). This summer I really look forward to bagging more peaks, paddle boarding, and doing things previously thought impossible with some awesome campers. I can’t wait!!

Left to right:

HURON

Jake Baum, Counselor
-coming soon-

Luke Campbell, Counselor

Hello! My name is Luke Campbell and I’m here for summer #2 at Sanborn. I just graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado. My plan is to have an awesome time in an awesome place with awesome people this summer at Big Spring and then move to Denver and figure this whole life thing out (forever summer baby! [I'm crying on the inside]). I’m interested in creative climate change communication, renewable energy systems and sustainable development. I did a lot of improv comedy at CU and love to do creative things with creative people. When I was growing up I wanted to be an ichthyologist and somewhere deep down that dream is still alive. I do not think toothpaste is soap!

Will Carson, Assistant Counselor

Hi there! My name is Will Carson! I’ve been a camper for 7 years at Sanborn and this year will be my first time as an AC! I graduated high school in May and will attend St. Edward’s University in August to major in psychology. I’m super excited to go rock climbing and mountain climbing with the campers. Sanborn has been an integral part of who I’ve become and I can’t wait to share that with the kids!

Kit Carson

Top to bottom: Dalton Balcanoff, Ben Cole, Liam Clancy

KIT CARSON

Ben Cole, Counselor

Hi my name is Ben and I study international studies and Spanish at the University of South Carolina. My favorite animal is the river otter and fun fact: I actually age backwards…

Dalton Balcanoff, Assistant Counselor

Hi there excited campers and parents, my name is Dalton Balcanoff. This is my first summer at Sanborn Western Camps! It was recommended to me by another Assistant Counselor and I am very excited to meet you all out here in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. I am from Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from First Coast High School last year. I currently attend the University of North Florida as a Finance major. I’m also a Navy Midshipman at Jacksonville University with aspirations to one day serve as a commissioned officer in the world’s greatest Navy! I really do love the outdoors, I’m always out in the sun and wish I was able to be at the beach much more often than I am (even if I’m only 15 minutes away). I love food, having a good time with friends, and being physically active – that’s why Sanborn sounded like a real life paradise when I was told about it! I know there will be memories to last a lifetime made this summer and I can’t wait to meet you all. To the worrisome parents out there, I promise you that safety is my number one priority and that they will be in good hands while having tons of fun if I have the privilege to have your son as one of my campers. See ya soon!

Liam Clancy, Counselor

Hello everyone, my name is Liam Clancy and this is my first summer as a camp counselor at Sanborn. Back in the day I attended Sanborn as a junior camper and I am ecstatic to be back for another summer full of adventures! I am entering my senior year in college at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. I am double majoring in finance and economics and also have the pleasure of being a member of our university’s men’s soccer team! A few things you should know about me are that I am an only child, I have been to 22 countries, I have lived in four different states, and my favorite animal is a penguin. You may be wondering what I am most excited for about this summer.. I am most excited to get away from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Colorado with a great atmosphere and even greater people.

Longs

Left to right: Jack Polk, Drew Foster, Walker Crowley, Kelley Flint

LONGS

Drew Foster, Counselor

Hey Guys! My name is Drew Foster. I am 20 years old and I just finished my sophomore year of college! I am a Business major with a minor in English at Mars Hill University near Asheville, North Carolina. Although I go to school in North Carolina I am a native of the great state of Georgia! This will be my first summer at Big Spring and I really look forward to getting to know all the campers and sharing my love of the outdoors with every single one of them! I am an avid hunter and fly fisher and love getting outdoors and trying to find things no one else has discovered! I also love music. Whether it’s listening to it, playing my guitar, or writing songs – I love it all! I often find myself staring out the window during class dreaming about adventures like what we are going to experience this summer! I am excited to meet everyone and have the summer of a lifetime!

Jack Polk, Assistant Counselor

I’m Jack Polk from Saint Louis, Missouri. This is my first summer on staff at Sanborn, but I went to camp here for 6 years! I just graduated from high school and am excited to start at the University of Virginia next fall. A couple things about me: I am always up for adventure! Aside from my time in Colorado, I have also taken part in extended outdoor excursions in Alaska and Switzerland. I am an enormous Cardinals and Blues fan (don’t even try to talk to me about the Rams!). I played ice hockey for eight years and am always willing to talk hockey with anyone. I am always looking for new music to listen to, and I listen to all different kinds of genres. My current favorites include Kygo, Chris Stapleton, and Zedd. This summer, I am extremely excited to climb some 14ers, go fishing, play prison ball, and meet all of the awesome Big Spring Campers. I ZIGGA ZUMBA!

Kelley Flint, Assistant Counselor

I’m Kelley Flint and this will be my ninth year at camp and my first year as a member of the staff. I study philosophy at the University of Portland. I have my Pilot’s license and that’s what I plan to do as a career once I’m out of college. At Sanborn I’ve been able to summit nine 14ers and hope to do even more this year. I love the outdoors and hiking and can’t wait to be back at camp and experience Sanborn as a staff member.

Walker Crowley, Counselor/ Riding Specialist

What’s Up Big Spring? My name is Walker Crowley and I could not be more excited to be back at Sanborn this summer. This will be my 10th summer at camp, 2nd on staff. I just finished my first year at the University of Utah where I study global health, minoring in clinical pediatric research. When I am not stuck in the library studying, you will probably find me ski patrolling at Park City Mountain or trying to find the secret powder in the Wasatch Mountains. This summer I am looking forward watching more sunsets on little blue, riding horses around the ranch, and most importantly: I can’t wait to eat Vickie’s cookies again! I am looking forward to meeting everyone! BOOM!

Oxford

Left to right: Devon Beck, Logan Markko, Carter Bowe, Ian Anderson, Alex Hedges

OXFORD

Alex Hedges, Counselor
-coming soon-

Carter Bowe, Assistant Counselor
-coming soon-

Devon Beck, Counselor

Hi my name is Devon and I’m from the Denver area. This is my first summer at Sanborn and I’m looking forward to playing field games with campers and learning how to ride a horse! I love football, swaging out, playing golf and my favorite color is yellow.

Ian Anderson, Counselor

Hi guys, My name is Ian Anderson. I’m from Pflugerville, Texas I am going into my junior year at Texas State University in San Marcos where I study computer science and physics. I am very excited for my first summer at camp. I like hiking, camping, running, and I love soccer. I’m ready to meet y’all so we can get started on the awesome adventures waiting for us this summer.

Logan Markko, Counselor

Hello! My name is Logan Markko and I will be returning to Sanborn Western Camps for my second summer. I graduated from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in the spring of 2015 with a degree in English. Since college I’ve worked as a substitute teacher, giving me the opportunity to work with kids of all ages for much of the past year. It is my hope to become a full-time English teacher in the near future, but until then I am very excited for a return to Big Spring. I am looking forward to climbing some more 14′rs, hiking everyday, and living in the most beautiful place on Earth. BOOM!!!

Princeton

Left to right: Rio McMahon, TJ Brzezenski, Evan Zitt

PRINCETON

Evan Zitt, Counselor
-coming soon-

Rio McMahon, Counselor

Howdy future friends, my name is Rio McMahon and I am beyond stoked to return to my Sanborn home in Colorado this summer. I attended Big Spring as a camper and this will be my second year back at camp on staff. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno where I got a B.S. in mining engineering. I’m ready to trade in my textbooks for my Teva’s (I’m actually a Chaco person but that didn’t alliterate as nicely) and spend the summer outside and having fun! I’m absolutely in love with mother nature and am really excited to hike/run/ride horses on all the phenomenal trails around Sanborn. I recently completed my first long course triathlon (half-ironman distance) and am feeling very energized and ready to get out and crush some 14ers and rock climb tall rocks with campers. I’m confident summer 2k16 is going to be a classy one and I’m excited to share it with everyone at Sanborn!

TJ Brzezenski, Assistant Counselor

I am TJ Brzezenski and this will be my second year at Sanborn. It will be my first as a counselor. I am currently studying supply chain management at Arizona State University, but I am also a part time actor/stand up comedian. I like to get away from it all sometimes to embrace nature, it makes me more creative. I’m looking forward to being a leader and a teacher this summer.

Sherman

Left to right: Conor Overman, Erick Broome

SHERMAN

Erick Broome, Counselor

Hello, my name is Erick Broome and this will be my very first summer at Big Spring! I am ecstatic and can’t wait to meet my fellow staff/friends and all the campers. I graduated in May from the University of Northern Iowa with a B.A. in physical education, health, and coaching. As you may have guessed from my majors, I love sports, outdoors, being active, and of course, being around kids! One fun fact about me is that I was homeschooled by my mother all the way through high school along with my 3 brothers/best friends. I loved this experience because I got to play sports at school, but got to spend my day at home with my family. Another fun fact is that over winter break and spring break I visited Colorado with a friend of mine. During these visits I went to the zoo, a Nuggets game, Vail, Breckenridge, and probably my favorite, hiked Garden of the Gods. It is truly amazing the power that nature and the outdoors have; it really opened my eyes to what I have been missing out on. That being said, I am most excited to have the opportunity to hike a 14er this summer. This would be an incredible experience! I am also very excited about horseback riding, rock climbing (bucket list=climb at Garden of the Gods), and campfires. I can’t wait to meet all the amazing people I get to spend my summer with. It’s about to get WILD in the mountains and I hope all the campers are ready for an experience of a lifetime!

Conor Overman, Counselor

What’s up what’s up what’s up! It’s everyone’s favorite counselor, Mr. Paul Conor Overman, returning for a second round! After graduating Indiana University – Bloomington with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Finance this spring, I thought what better way to relax, unwind, and take on some awesome adventures than to return to the Rocky Mountains with my fellow Big Spring Warriors. Living out in the west suburbs of Chicago my whole childhood, I’ve missed out on the Chaco wearin’, horseback riding, sunrise summiting lifestyle and I’m ready to taste it again! I can’t wait to show the campers how a counselor can go undefeated in the counselor hunt for two summers straight! Oh – and to launch tons of frisbees on top of the world. See you soon!

Torreys

Left to right: Elliott Abbott, Hunter Levy, Kevin Conchieri, Jared Loerzel

TORREYS

Elliott Abbott, Assistant Counselor

I am a student at St. Olaf College and will be a sophomore in the fall. I am originally from Middlebury, VT where I live with my parents and sister (who also attends High Trails). I love the outdoors, especially hiking and cycling, and hope to acquire my skydiving license by the end of college. I am also an avid tennis player and lover of all things active. I was a 2nd session camper for 5 years and could not be more excited to be back again for my first year on staff!

Hunter Levy, Counselor

My name is Hunter Levy. This is my first summer Sanborn and I’m extremely excited! I study economics at the University of San Diego and just returned from studying abroad in the south of France for the past 4 months. I love to write, play sports and games, meet new people and joke and laugh. I’m pumped for all the hiking, backpacking and camping this summer. I loved doing those things growing up in Idaho and can’t wait to experience more of it in Colorado. The summer is fast approaching, and I’m ecstatic to begin this new adventure.

Jared Loerzel, Counselor

Hey! My name is Jared Loerzel and this will be my first summer ever at Sanborn. I recently graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in environmental engineering. I also commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps. I report for active duty (I’ll be a pilot and I am going to flight school woot woot!) September 13 which gives me plenty of time to come out to Sanborn and have a great summer with all of you!
Some interesting things about me:
-I love to travel! I have stayed in the glass igloos in Finland to see the northern lights.
-I owned a Jeep that would start itself when the keys weren’t in the ignition (or when I wasn’t in the car LOL).
-I can eat 24 cheez balls in one mouthful.
-I have two small dachshunds (wiener dogs). Gunnar and Mya.
-I have caught a fish so big that it pulled me into the ocean and I was fishing from shore!
-Sometimes when I am asleep, people tell me I just yell out “YEAH!” and then continue sleeping.
-My favorite movies are Monty Python and The Holy Grail & Zoolander.
Anyway, that’s enough about me. What I am most excited about is meeting all of you! Catch you on the flip side campers and stay frosty!

Kevin Conchieri, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Kevin Conchieri and I am headed into my second summer working here at Big Spring. I recently finished up my third year at the Ohio State University studying neuroscience with a pre-dentistry focus. This summer, when I’m not with campers climbing 14ers or backpacking through the Colorado wilderness, I will be using my free time to apply to dental schools which is quite exciting! I am a Vermont native, born and raised, which has given me an innate sense of adventure so whenever I’m not at school in Ohio, I‘m finding ways to get out and explore as much of the beautiful United States as I can. Road trips are one of my favorite things and I will never say no to spending time in the mountains, either hiking or skiing. A summer at Sanborn is unlike anything else I’ve ever done and it truly is a transformative experience. I cannot wait to meet more amazing and unique campers and see how they grow throughout their time at camp. This summer is going to be an absolute blast, I can already tell! Cheers!

Wetterhorn

Left to right: Joe Roberts, Jordan Unger, Andrew Marsh, Ben Vockley

WETTERHORN

Andrew Marsh, Counselor

Hey y’all!! My name is Andrew Marsh and I am currently a Junior at the University of Denver pursuing a degree in History! This is my first summer working at Sanborn and I couldn’t be more stoked! I am originally from Lake Forest Illinois and moved out to Colorado two years ago to go to school and be closer to the mountains. I am super excited to work in the mountains at an awesome camp. A few fun facts about me: Indiana Jones is my hero, I love rock climbing – anything from bouldering to a long multi pitch is great in my book – I’ll never pass up a good time to go fly fishing on any of Colorado’s beautiful rivers and lakes, and couscous is one of my favorite meals because it’s the food so nice they named it twice! I am most excited this summer to share my passion for rock climbing, fishing and the outdoors to all campers and to work in a totally new environment!

Ben Vockley, Counselor

Hey campers and parents! My name is Ben Vockley and I will be one of the counselors on STUW Ridge at Big Spring this summer. This will be my second summer in this position and I can’t wait to get back! I just graduated from Northland College with a degree in outdoor education and I am looking forward to once again using my education to make camp an awesome place. A few fun facts about me are… I lived in a village of 100 people in Iceland for three months. My favorite snack is Four Cheese Cheez-its. My most recent trip was a month spent in the backwoods of Maine doing leadership training and whitewater canoeing. I am super excited to be back at Big Spring and I am particularly excited to summit another 14′er with the campers!

Joe Roberts, Counselor

Heyoooo! My Name is Joe Roberts! I’m from the mountains of Western North Carolina (Brevard, NC) but I currently live in Raleigh, the state’s capitol. This will be my first summer at Big Spring, so I guess that makes me a newbie! I just finished my first year at North Carolina State University, studying microbiology! Being a microbiologist means I have the pleasure of studying germs, viruses, mushrooms, and loads of other neat stuff! While I love studying science, nothing beats a few full days in the outback fly fishing and backpacking. Something about carrying everything you need to live on your back fascinates me; especially today when it’s so hard fit everything we “need” into our dorm rooms or suitcases. I’m stoked to enjoy the Rocky Mountains this summer with all of you. It doesn’t matter if we’re camping, fishing, riding, or rock climbing, because I know this summer is going to be a blast! I can’t wait to see all of you at camp for some in-tents (intense) fun! -Broseph Helm Roberts IV

Jordan Unger, Counselor

This is my 2nd year at Sanborn. I was on STUW ridge last year and primarily enjoy working with older kids here at camp. I am a recent graduate from Boise State University with a history major and French minor. I am looking forward to long trips at camp and climbing 14ers as well as building upon the relationships I made with campers last summer. Fun facts: my favorite animals are polar bears and penguins and my favorite article of clothing are necklaces.

Outbacker Counselors

Top to bottom: Mark Rutberg, Jonah Sublette, Adam Resseguie, Will Gundlach

ELBERT (Outbacker)

Adam Resseguie, Counselor
-coming soon-

Jonah Sublette, Counselor

Hello friends! My name is Jonah Sublette and this will be my fourth summer working at Big Spring Ranch. I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder where I spend my days doing improv comedy, going on long bike rides and studying film. The fact that this is my fourth summer says a lot about why I’m coming back. I just purely love this place. I’m excited to see old friends and make new ones this coming summer. See you soon!

Mark Rutberg, Counselor

Hey everyone! My name is Mark and I’m currently writing from a country that is well below sea level. This is my first year at Sanborn and I’m ready to trade in the clogs, windmills, and tulips for some mountains! Even though I have spent four years living in one of the flattest countries in the world (Holland) I have managed to travel to some wild places. After receiving a degree in physical education and dedicating most of my time to playing football for the University of New Hampshire, I decided to break free and begin adventuring. While teaching in Europe at an international school I was fortunate enough to get out and explore a bit. Some highlights were climbing and trekking through Patagonia, summiting Kilimanjaro, cruising through the Serengeti, and ski touring through the ALPS. The list goes on but my favorite experience yet was easily a 30-day mountaineering course in the PNW with NOLS. Being active in nature is where I’m at my best and sharing all that this planet has to offer with others is my passion. I can’t wait to arrive at camp and share some new adventures with you all!

Will Gundlach, Counselor
-coming soon-

RIDGE LEADERS
photo coming soon

Emerson Underwood, Junior Ridge Leader

Howdy! My name is Emerson Underwood and I am super excited to be spending my second summer at Sanborn. This fall, I will be entering my senior year at the University of South Carolina, where I study Environmental Science. I am a huge fan of music, including but not limited to the smooth and intricate jams of Phish and the Grateful Dead plus the funk driven grooves of Herbie Hancock, George Clinton, and Billy Preston. I can’t wait to bust out my best dance moves at all of the dances and share my love of the outdoors with all of my Big Spring Brothers.

Jared Allen, ABC Ridge Leader
-coming soon-

Kevin Gassaway, HKL Ridge Leader

My name is Kevin Gassaway and I from the fine land of Charlotte, North Carolina. The Queen City! I started college at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks), but will be finishing my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University, where I will be studying marketing with a minor in global environmental sustainability starting this fall. I’m a huge fan of music and I am really excited to have the opportunity to share the wonderful music of my hero, Bob Dylan, and the groovy riffs and horns of some of my favorite funk gods with my coworkers and campers this summer. Entering my third summer in a row at Sanborn, I’m looking forward to exploring the most beautiful part of the world on foot, horseback and bike, tossing some flies and catching some trout, summiting some Fourteeners, and sharing my love for adventure and the outdoors with everybody at Big Spring.

Joe Sisk, MOPQ Ridge Leader

Hi all! My name is Joe Sisk. This is my 7th summer here at Sanborn and I’m so excited to be back! In between summers I’ve passed the time studying mechanical engineering and mandarin Chinese at CU Boulder as well as slinging bagels at an Einstein Bagels. I’m amped to do everything this summer from summiting 14ers to the artisan chef overnight! I can’t wait to meet everyone. BOOM!

Jalen Bazile, STUW Ridge Leader

Hey there, my name is Jalen. My first summer at Sanborn was in 2014, I returned in 2015 and have not left camp! I am currently working full time as the Program Specialist and STUW Ridge Leader. I am coming from the University of Missouri where I studied Philosophy and Political Science. Since the fall of 2015 I have picked up rock climbing as a main hobby during the warmer months. When snow is in abundance I greatly enjoy skiing! And if I had to do one thing for the rest of my life it would be to cycle across the globe. This summer I am excited about leading our campers through the great outdoors and deepening their connections to nature!

Wranglers

Left to right: Stephen VanAsdale, Oliver Fisher, Ethan Wallgreen

WRANGLERS

Ethan Wallgreen, Head Wrangler

Howdy! My name is Ethan and this is my fourth year on staff and first year as head wrangler. I’m from Texas and am currently studying business and education at the University of North Texas. I have been around horses most of my life but began working around and with children while volunteering near my home. I spend my spare time fishing, hunting, hiking, working out, or running outdoors. My favorite trail ride is to take in the wide open views on top of Antelope Ridge, down the tree covered Rocky Draw, to bust out of the Aspen trees near Owl Tree. I hope to see you on my next ride where we could be delivering mail or even swimming with our horses! YEE-HAW!!!!!

Oliver Fisher, Wrangler

What’s up, Big Spring! My name is Oliver Fisher and I couldn’t be more excited to be back at Sanborn this summer! I was a camper here for 7 years and this is my second year on staff. I can’t wait to be a wrangler this summer and go on some awesome trips. I graduated this past December from the University of Missouri  with a degree in Marketing and Spanish. I moved out here to camp in January to start working with the horses. I am originally from Chicago, IL but currently living here in the mountains. I can’t wait to get this summer started and have an awesome time with all of you! I’m very excited to see familiar faces and meet all the new campers! BOOM!

Stephen VanAsdale, Wrangler

Hey, I’m Stephen VanAsdale. I’m from Kansas City, MO and currently go to school at Saint Louis University, studying and have no clue what I will be doing after I am done with school. This will be my 11th summer at Sanborn, 2nd as a wrangler. I am looking forward to seeing all the returning campers and staff, as well as all the new guys coming to Big Spring for the first time. Can’t wait to get back in the saddle and explore all the trails around property.

KAHUNAS
photo coming soon

Kat Jarvinen, Photographer

Hi my name is Kat Jarvinen and this is my 3rd summer working at Sanborn (2nd at Big Spring). I graduated in 2015 from Reed College with a B.A. in art & art history and have spent this year teaching art to elementary school students in sunny Portland, OR. Although I grew up going to High Trails, I am very excited to return to Big Spring for another summer! I love Sundays on Little Blue, rocking out in camp vans, and giving motivational speeches while ascending 14ers or before a camp dance if you’re feeling insecure about your dance moves (if you can do the funky chicken you can do ANYTHING). This summer I’ll be snapping photos of adventuring staff and campers. I’m looking forward to a rad summer can’t wait to meet everyone’s camera-ready, smiling faces!

Kevin Fernandez, Outcamp

My name is Kevin, this is my third summer on staff at Big Spring and I am beyond excited for this summer! I am from a small town in Virginia called Front Royal. I just graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in economics. I love backpacking/climbing mountains and I’m hoping to check off a few more 14′ers this summer while at camp. Can’t wait to get back to ga-ga and Little Blue!

Kyle Gilbert, Kitchen Coordinator

Hi my name is Kyle and this is my second summer at Sanborn. My first year I was an AC and now I’m returning as the Kitchen Coordinator. I attend Austin Community College and will be a junior in the fall. My favorite part of camp is the meals on the weekend when everyone is together and having a good time. Fun Fact: My favorite outdoor activities are rock climbing and mountain biking.

Mike Potts, Arts & Crafts Coordinator

Hi I’m Mike Potts. I am a professional artist primarily working with photography, sculpture, and painting. I worked at sanborn from 2006 – 2010 developing the art program and am excited to return this summer and continue to build the arts program! The program this year includes components of woodworking, photography, drawing and painting, jewelry making, and ceramics as well as a Makerspace philosophy. I am looking forward to showing campers the process of art and how it can positively impact their lives.

Sean Enking, Climbing Anchor

Sean Enking grew up in Freeport, ME where he discovered his love for nature and adventure. This is Sean’s FOURTH summer on staff at Big Spring and he is so ecstatic to be Lead Anchor! Sean attended Hampshire College, a small college in Western Massachusetts, for two years before transferring to Northern Arizona University to finish out his degree focusing in outdoor education and leadership. At NAU Sean gained certifications in leadership, Leave No Trace education, challenge course facilitation, wilderness medicine, water sport safety, and wilderness fire fighting. He started his tech rock pursuits freshmen year in college. Since, he has climbed all over New England, New York, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. He also enjoys backpacking, kayaking, swimming, reading, cooking, biking, exploring new places, and most of all ULTIMATE FRISBEE!! The psych level is so high he plans to arrive three weeks early to start training and getting camp ready! He can’t wait to take on an even greater leadership role from being ridge leader in 2014 to make a positive impact on both his peers and campers this summer!

NURSES
photo coming soon

Margot Cromack

-coming soon-

Phillip Hackmann

Hi, my name is Phil Hackmann, I am one of the nurses at Big Spring. This is my first summer at Big Spring. I worked as a teacher and athletic trainer before going back to school to be a nurse as well. I grew up in Northern Idaho and now live with my wife and daughter in New Hampshire. This summer I am looking forward to being back in Colorado where I spent many of my school vacations and summers while I was growing up.

Sarah Robinson

Hi! I’m Sarah Robinson. I’m from Tennessee and went to Middle Tennessee State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is my first summer coming to camp, and I am super excited! I am one of six children, I just got certified as a yoga therapy teacher in India, and, of course, I love any activity that involves being outdoors. I am looking forward to spending the summer in Colorado, enjoying the new experience, and getting to know all the kids!

High Trails Staff 2016

June 11th, 2016

Take a moment to meet the High Trails Summer 2016 Staff!  We have spent the last 10 days completing staff training and are so excited to meet the campers! This is a little sneak peek into who we are and how much fun we will have this summer!

Top to Bottom: Noelle Bierman, Adrienne Devore, Amberlyn Sacchetti

JUNIPER WEST

Adrienne Devore

Hey, hey! My name is Adrienne Devore, and I am so excited for camp to start! This will be my second summer as a camp counselor, and my first summer as a camp counselor at High Trails, woo-hoo! Next year will be my senior year at Bowling Green State University located in Ohio where I am from. I am studying to become an Inclusive Early Childhood Educator. I have only spent two days in Colorado, but I LOVED it here, and told myself I would be coming back! Needless to say, I am very excited about spending an entire summer in the best state!! I am very passionate about teaching, running, donuts, and ice cream! Acting goofy is an every-day-thing for me. :) I am so, extremely excited for everything about camp this summer, BUT what I am excited for most is getting to explore High Trails with the AWESOME campers!

Amberlynn Sacchetti

My name is Amberlyn Sacchetti, and I am a recent graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania! I graduated with a Music degree, but don’t let that fool you, my second favorite thing to do after making music, is being outside, hiking, camping, and travelling to different parts of the world! This is my first summer at the High Trails camp, and I am so totally stoked about all the fun we are going to have! I have already made plans to have a fun night making our own instruments out of everyday items, and making our own band! I’ll bring my guitar, mandolin, and singing voice to entertain everyone around the campfire with some good ole fashion camping songs! After this summer, I’ll be going back to school for my Masters in Music Therapy! Can’t wait to meet everyone, and have an awesome summer!

Noelle Bierman

Hey everyone!!! My name is Noelle. This will be my first summer at High Trails, and I canNOT be more excited to meet all of you! I currently live and go to school in San Diego, California. Go Aztecs!!! I am addicted to 7-Eleven slurpees, and drink multiple a day. I am probably the clumsiest person you’ll ever meet–I fell in a manhole once. I love jokes, puns (good or bad), and my acoustic guitar! I will be bringing it this summer, so you all make sure to bring your singing voices (lovely, loud, crazy or otherwise!). Being outdoors and adventuring are two of my greatest passions, and I look forward to doing both alongside all of you at camp! Can’t wait to have the best summer ever with all of you!

Left to right: Jaclyn White, Mollee Hendricks, Kate Schlegel

JUNIPER EAST

Mollee Hendricks

Hey Y’all! My name is Mollee Hendricks and yup you guessed it, I’m from the big Lone Star state, Texas. I attend college at Texas A&M Corpus Christi where I’m studying to be an Educational Diagnostician. My University is on its own little island, a little different from where I’ll be living this summer but I’m excited to trade in my flip flops for some hiking shoes. This is my first year at Camp Sanborn and I’m beyond excited for this summer so I can finally meet all the campers and enjoy all the fun activities we have planned, especially horse back riding! If I’m not in class or studying my brains out in the library you can usually find me outside somewhere or watching disney movies (probably Frozen) when the weathers yucky. Some fun facts about me: I could put ketchup on anything, I’m the gnarliest boogie boarder south of the Mississippi, my dream is to sail around the world & I’m bringing my doll (sissy) with me to camp because I can’t go anywhere without her. I can’t wait to meet all y’all!

Jaclyn White

Hi! My name is Jaclyn White and this will be my first summer at camp EVER! I love to dance, read, travel and play new games! I’m from Flagstaff, Arizona and I graduated with a BA in psychology at Arizona State University. After that, I traveled all around Europe and even lived in Spain for a little bit. When I came home, I worked at a conservation non-profit and helped preserve our planet! I love being outside and smelling the fresh air! I cannot wait for camp to start! See you soon :)

Kate Schlegel

Hey! My name is Kate Schlegel. Here are you a couple quick facts about me! I am Colorado native, love to dance to Motown, went to an all-girls camp in Maine, rode an elephant in India, was on the lacrosse and crew team in high school and most recently visited the Korean border. After I graduated Kent Denver last May, I decided to take a gap year before starting college at the University of Denver. So, I started my adventure in the south island of New Zealand on a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) trip. I was off the grid for three months mountaineering, sea kayaking and hiking. It was an incredible experience sleeping under the stars every night. Although, I have to say it was nice to come back home to my family and my bed. After 2 months of skiing and working, I left for Central America, traveling through Guatemala and Nicaragua. I volunteered at schools, learned about sustainability, and worked on my Spanish. I am back in Colorado now and can’t wait to spend the summer at Sanborn meeting you and learning your story!

left to right: Claire Collins, Chloe Stiffle, Francesca Decastell

PONDEROSA WEST

Chloe Stiffle

Hi everyone!! My name is Chloe Stiffle and I am from the heart of Chicago. I was a camper at Sanborn for 4 years and I am SO excited to finally be returning as a counselor. I just completed my second year at Colgate University where I am double majoring in History and Educational Studies; after college I plan on teaching. Outside of school I love listening to music, running, volleyball, and writing. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about a moment or adventure from camp and I hope to create many more amazing memories this summer. I am most looking forward to sunrise summits, Vespers, pita pizzas, and, most of all, spending time with all of you at the best place on earth!!

Francesca Decastell

Hello! My name is Francesca and I am from Phoenix, Arizona. I was a camper for 5 years, Junior Counselor for one year, and this will be my 1st summer at Sanborn as a staff member. You could say I really love Sanborn and I am thrilled to be back for another wonderful summer. I am currently a student at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. I am a Psychology major and Educational Studies minor on the pre medical track. I love listening to all kinds music and working out, so finishing a long day in school with a “disco spinning class” is the perfect ending to any day for me. I also really love art and find it to be a great stress relief and creative outlet.  I am most excited to conquer more 14,000 foot mountains, relax on a river all day, and spend time with and learn all about the girls in my cabin this summer. I cannot wait to meet all of you and see how wonderful, funny, and incredible you all are!

Claire Collins

*coming soon*

left to right: Sarah Loring, Morgan Kapp, Sarah Ashby

PONDEROSA EAST

Sarah Ashby

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I can’t wait to spend my eighth summer at Sanborn and first summer on staff this year! I’m currently in my third year of college at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL and I’m majoring in social work. I love going to the beach with friends, playing board games, and spending time with my two little sisters. I ran track and cross country in middle and high school and I plan to run my first marathon soon(ish). I’m an absolute sucker for tie-dyed animal shirts and Beyoncé. I’ve spent the past few months talking to anyone who will listen to me about how excited I am to spend my summer at the most beautiful place in the universe! I’m really looking forward to meeting all of the campers, summiting a few 14ers, getting out of my comfort zone, and dressing up in crazy costumes all summer!!

Morgan Kapp

Hello everyone! My name is Morgan Kapp and this will be my first summer at camp! I am writing from Wisconsin (Go Pack Go!). I grew up in the small town of Neenah, WI but I am currently living in Menomonie, WI where I attend school. I am just finishing up my senior year at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. I am double majoring in Psychology and Studio art with a concentration in drawing. My career goal is to become an Art Therapist and work in children’s hospitals! Along with being a full time student I am the president for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization on campus. Besides being the president I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a “big sister”/mentor to an elementary aged boy. Some of the things I enjoy are crafting, being around family and friends, being outdoors and doing things like camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, gardening, and walking my dog. A fun fact about me is my sophomore year of college I adopted a black lab puppy. He just turned two years old and is the best dog I could ask for, I will miss him dearly while I am at camp but, I am very excited to visit the beautiful state of Colorado because I have never been to CO before! I can’t wait to go on hikes, ride horses, do crafts with the campers, and meet new friends. I am a social butterfly and love meeting new people!

Sarah Loring

Greetings Earthlings! My name Is Sarah, some call me Syrup. I’ve been attending camp for about 4 years until now, it is finally time to return as an AC! I am so excited to be an AC at Sanborn this year because it has always been my home away from home, and of course all the extravagant activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and being with the people I love in nature! I currently study at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Here I am majoring in Earth Science/General Science in Secondary Education (AKA Geology for high school students). In Bellingham, I enjoy going to the beaches, swimming, kayaking, hammocking, painting, and of course being a geology major.. looking at pretty rocks! I am also in the Pottery Club, Women in Geology Club, and the Hiking Club, many weekends I spend hunting for Geodes or Fossils. I have a scientific dream that I will be an astronaut one day

left to right: Abbey Schulz, Grace Kennedy, Maisie Anrod

SILVER SPRUCE WEST

Grace Kennedy

Hi all, my name is Grace Kennedy and I am so excited to be working at Sanborn this summer!! I have been a camper for years, but this will be my first summer at High Trails. I just finished my sophomore year are Rhodes College in Memphis, TN as a pre-med student with a History major. I am so excited to be a counselor, I love everything outdoorsy, as well as drawing/paining, running, and swimming. I went to an all-girls high school, and I think a similar setting at camp will be fantastic. I’m counting down the days until I meet everyone!!

Abbey Schulz

Hi! My name is Abigael Schulz (but you can all call me Abbey!). I am from the great state of Indiana, where yes, indeed, everywhere you look there is a cornfield nearby! While I have actually never been to Colorado before coming to work here, I have been going to camp practically my whole life! Growing up I went to CYO Camp Rancho Framasa in Bloomington, Indiana and last summer I worked as a camp counselor in Evart, Michigan (so if you cannot tell, I love to travel and see new places!). I am currently a sophomore at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana. I created my own major for Social Justice and Inequality. A fun fact about me is that I played soccer for most of my life until I got to college. I also love to put reese’s on my s’mores! I am so excited for all the hiking and canoeing we will be doing this summer! I can’t wait to be at camp!

Maisie Anrod

Hello all!!!  My name’s Maisie and I cannot wait to be back at High Trails this summer!  I was a camper for four years and it was the best experience, so I’m so happy to get to come back as an Assistant Counselor and meet the next generation of awesome campers.  Going on long backpacking trips and horse trips at Sanborn was my favorite, and I’ve come to love Colorado, from Vespers cliffs to the Collegiate Peaks.  Speaking of college, I’m just now finishing up my freshman year at Middlebury College!  Though Vermont’s Green Mountains are smaller than the Rockies, they are really beautiful, and as a Biology major and member of Middlebury Mountain Club I get to explore them every week!  When I’m not in class, I love to hike, write, draw, bake, and occasionally play soccer or whitewater kayak.  One new skill that I learned this year was how to roll a kayak back up after flipping over; you get some water in your nose but it’s really fun once you get the hang of it!  At High Trails I can’t wait to lead some adventurous, ridiculous, costumed, theme hikes and sing all of the camp songs I remember, as well as some new ones.  Summer is so soon, but until then I’ll get ready by practicing my s’more roasting skills, tuning my singing voice, and gathering potential costumes!  See everyone soon!

left to right: Maddie Ohaus, Emily Burnham, Kelly Ahman

SILVER SPRUCE EAST

Kelly Ahman

Hello Everyone!!

My name is Kelly Ahman and I am unbelievably excited for my first summer working as a camp counselor at High Trails! I am currently a senior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, studying Sociology and Anthropology. I am originally from a small town called Lima (pronounced like the bean, not the capital of Peru) in northwest Ohio, but three out of my four older siblings along with my nearly retired parents have moved out to Colorado and New Mexico, so I have spent a lot of time out west. As much as I love living in sunny South Carolina, I am ready to live the camp lifestyle all summer in one of my favorite states! Outside of school I am the proud coach of a ridiculously bright, sassy and strong Girls On The Run team! Also, in keeping with the GOTR theme, my favorite hobby is running. I am most excited for the hiking and overnight camping trips we will be taking this summer. I spent a lot of my childhood going on fishing and camping trips in Canada with my family, and look forward to experiencing the great outdoors in Colorado! I can’t wait to meet and get to know all of our wonderful campers- this will be an amazing summer!!
Maddie Ohaus

*Bio coming soon*

Emily Burnham

Hey, my name is Emily! I was a camper for 7 years at High Trails, but I’m so excited to be coming back to Sanborn this year for my first year on staff. Right now, I’m finishing up my freshman year at Colorado College, and I haven’t declared a major, but it’s probably going to be Sociology with minors in Environmental Issues and Dance. At school, I love being involved in the dance department and the Outdoor Recreation Committee. You can usually find me trying to organize a giant dance party, dressing up in crazy costumes, or getting stoked to get outside! Or most likely some combination of all three, if we’re being honest. At Sanborn, I really love climbing mountains & hiking and looking at but not riding horses. I’m crazy excited to get up to camp this summer and meet all of you (and eat some gumdrop cookies)!

left to right: Sera Bulbul, Anna Wiegand, Claire Foster

CEDAR LODGE WEST

Claire Foster

Hello! My name is Claire Foster and I am from Greenville, North Carolina. I just finished up school at NC State University where I graduated with a degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. This is my second summer at High Trails and I am so excited to get back to crazy costumes, climbing mountains, and hanging out with all of you! Fun facts about me are that I’m perpetually clumsy, I suffer from chronic cabin fever, and I love Ted Talks. I love all things outdoors and am a big fan of backpacking, long walks, and a good hang in an Eno. I’m looking forward to spending my days in the Colorado sunshine with you all this summer and am counting down the days to camp! See you soon!

Anna Weigand

Hello! My name is Anna Wiegand, and this will be my first summer at Sanborn. I’ve never been in the mountains before, and I’m excited to spend some time in Colorado! I just graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a degree in Global Studies. My specific area of interest is Eastern Europe, and I spent an awesome semester studying abroad in Estonia my junior year. I’m planning on doing some internships, and perhaps teaching English abroad for a while, as I figure out where I want to go for graduate school. I love to read, travel, play the flute, and spend time outside. I’m excited to go on hiking adventures, make crafts in the art barn, canoe, ride horses, and meet the campers and the other counselors. Also, marshmallows are my favorite food group, so I’m ready to make some s’mores!

Sera Bulbul

Hi Campers! My name’s Sera, and I’m so excited to come back to Sanborn for my 5th summer and first time on staff! I’m half American, half Turkish, but grew up mostly in Switzerland. I’m a freshman at Yale University, and am leaning towards majoring in Political Science. I’m also on the varsity crew team! At Yale, I’m most likely to be found a) at practice/ in the gym, b) in the library with friends, or c) searching for events with free food. My two best skills are teaching myself to eat ice cream really fast without getting a brain freeze and being able to learn song lyrics quickly! I love being outside, so look for me on a hike, on the volleyball court or lounging in the sun! I’m so excited to finally be back at camp after 3 long years without puppy chow, pita pizzas, camp songs, gorgeous views and 14er summits!

left to right: Alex Nay, Dylan Craddock, Hailey Gelzer

CEDAR LODGE EAST

Hailey Gelzer

Hi Hi! My name is Hailey Gelzer and Im stoked to be spending another summer in one of the most beautiful places on earth with some of the coolest people. I currently go to school at Montana State University and feel so lucky to live in such an active community as Bozeman. Im studying conservation biology and ecology and work in a research lab in the ecology department. When I’m not on campus, I spend all the free time I have getting outdoors. Depending on the season I get out snowboarding, rock climbing, camping, mountain biking, and hiking. This is my second year in Bozeman and have learned so much from the fearless and insanely talented people around me. I grew up in Virginia and also lived in Colorado for some time, nature has always been a huge part of my life and it always will be. Im excited to spend yet another summer outside in such an amazing community. On top of that Ill be looking to work on some dance moves and eat too many bowls of cereal! Get excited!

Alex Nay

Hi! My name is Alexandra Nay, I live in Long Beach CA. I went to University of North Texas where I studied journalism. This is my first year at camp. I love hiking, and I love new adventures. I like to do arts and crafts, I almost never wear shoes. I like to read and bake (my cake balls are famous.) And I’m super excited to get to know all the campers and staff. Also I’m so ready to spend all day every day outside.

Dylan Craddock

Hey, Hey (we’re the Monkees…I hope someone sings along)! Actually though this isn’t the Monkees, my name is Dylan Craddock and this will be my 9th Sanborn Summer (1st summer as a Staff Member)! I am so so excited to be coming back this summer, it will be the best one yet. Sanborn is my favorite place on earth, and even that’s an understatement. I go to Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, where I play lacrosse and study both International Studies and Spanish. While I love Memphis with all my heart, I am originally from Colorado Springs, making Colorado my true home and one of my favorite places. Some fun facts are that I am obsessed with the Beatles and named after Bob Dylan, so classic rock has a very special place in my heart. I’ve played lacrosse for 10 years, and have climbed 10 of Colorado’s mountains! This summer I look forward to exploring the outdoors and learning even more about our wonderful earth, and hiking as much as I can! You can also find me working alongside my fellow ACs in the lodge or writing the occasional nature poem. Can’t wait to meet you all soon! Grow Strong!

left to right: Carlie Howard, Maddie Macmillan, Katie Weaver

CRYSTAL PALACE EAST

Carlie Howard

Hi my name is Carlie Howard. This is will my 2nd year as a staff member at camp and I was a camper for 8 years! So if you haven’t figured it out, I love anything and everything about Sanborn. I am originally from Wisconsin and just finished my 2nd year at Iowa State University. I am an Apparel Design student and a Spanish minor. When I graduate, I hope to be a creative designer for an outdoors wear company. I am so excited to reunite with former campers and meet new campers! Additionally, I can’t wait to be outside all summer and take part in camp trips and activities. I look forward to meeting you soon!

Katie Weaver

Hello!

My name is Katie and this is my first summer at camp! I am a nursing student from Omaha, Nebraska and attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing. I did my prerequisites for nursing school at the University of Kansas and am an avid KU basketball fan (Rock Chalk!). My favorite color is yellow and I would consider myself an ice cream connoisseur. I am super excited for literally everything at camp! I love all outdoor adventures and am so excited to wake up everyday in the mountains. I am also very excited to meet all of the new campers :)

Maddie MacMillan

Hey campers! My name is Maddie, I’m 19 and I can hardly contain my excitement about returning to High Trails this summer. This will be my 7th summer at camp and my first time as a counselor. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived there until I was 10 years old. Right before my 11th birthday, my family moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I attend NC State University in Raleigh where I am majoring in environmental engineering and minoring in Spanish.  When I’m not busy studying around campus, I enjoy going to concerts, photography, eating Nutella and spending time outdoors.  Some fun facts about me are that I love volunteering, and will have just returned from working with an environmental conservation group in the Galapagos Islands before the start of camp.  This summer, I can’t wait to rekindle my love of horseback riding, climb as many mountains as I can and eat endless amounts of Chippy Dippy bars. I’m so excited to make lots of memories and friends this summer at Sanborn! :)

left to right: Elena Wirth, Truman Sherwood, Zannie Peck

CRYSTAL PALACE WEST

Zannie Peck

Hi I’m Zannie. I am so excited to come back to High Trails this summer! I spent three amazing summers as a camper at Sanborn and can’t wait to be a counselor. I am a Southwest studies major at Colorado College and plan on being an ESL teacher. I love the being outside and I go exploring whenever I can. I can’t wait to spend the summer climbing 14ers, canoeing and adventuring in the great outdoors. In my free time (when I’m not frolicking through aspen groves) I like to paint and do craft projects, attempt to teach myself Arabic, and play Ultimate Frisbee. I can’t wait for summer!

Truman Sherwood

Hello wonderful people! My name is Truman Sherwood, I’m 19, and I can’t wait to spend my summer wondering and wandering through the magical mountains of Colorado with my friends and loved ones. I am from Los Angeles and I always find so much peace leaving this concrete jungle, although I do love it dearly, and living in a community that learns and grows in nature. I have been going to Sanborn since 2007 and after my first summer I fell in love with it and never wanted to leave…which explains my excitement to come back! I just finished my sophomore year at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. At school I spend my days outside, by the lake or walking in the woods with my friends because there is endless beauty and so much to learn from nature. Spring time on the east coast was is of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, much like summiting my first mountain at camp! I am studying sustainable agriculture, which is something I have become extremely passionate about. I love going on adventures, exploring, growing, learning and loving, and I can’t wait to do all of those things with the people closest to my heart at the place that made me who I am today!

Elena Wirth

When I was 9 years old, and living in the beautiful cabin side of Ponderosa West, I won a paper plate award that said: “Most likely to work at Sanborn,” so here I am! My name is Elena Wirth and I am from Santa Fe, New Mexico. I am so excited to be heading back to my home away from home for Summer 2016! Here are three fun facts that only my camp friends know about me: 1. I have summited six 14,000ft mountains in Colorado, and I cannot wait to climb so many more this summer! 2. Hats and tutus are the best way to make a fashion statement at camp (I will be wearing both quite frequently). 3. My nose wiggles when I laugh really hard, and camp is when my nose wiggles the most! As you may be able to tell, most of my favorite memories have all happened at camp. I just finished my freshman year at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where I am studying Political Science and Women’s Studies. Although I have enjoyed living in the city, I am ready to see the stars, some ponderosa trees, and most importantly my campers! Catch me on a hike to Top of the World, journaling in an aspen grove, or making some of the best Pita Pizzas in all the land. See you all soon!

left to right: Rachel Wroblewski, Livvy Katz, Julia Stier

KINNIKINNIK EAST

Julia Stier

My name is Julia Stier, and I am currently studying Theatre (Acting) and Cinema at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and then moved to San Antonio, Texas about 8 years ago. This will be my first time EVER at summer camp, and I couldn’t be more excited!! I love music and reading, and am always looking for recommendations on what to listen to/read next! I cannot wait to meet everyone, and create what I know will be lasting memories!

Rachel Wroblewski

Hey there! My name is Rachel and I am SO excited for my first summer at High Trails.  I am currently attending school at Northern Arizona University to study Outdoor Education and Leadership and I can’t wait to begin my career exploring the outdoors and learning with awesome young people! Between dancing in the sun, playing in the mountains, and climbing trees, I just cant ever seem to keep the dirt out from under my fingernails and the knots out of my hair, but I love every minute of it. I am looking forward to summitting some 14ers and singing songs around the campfire with wonderful new friends this summer at camp!

Livvy Katz

Hello!! My name is Olivia Katz, but everyone at Sanborn calls me Livvy. This will be my first summer working at Sanborn, but I spent 8 amazing summers at High Trails as a camper! This past year I attended American University in Washington, D.C., although next year I am moving across the country and transferring to University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington! I studied cello performance at American University and will continue to study cello out West. I am bringing my cello to camp with me this summer, which means I get the privilege of bringing together the two things I am most passionate about: cello and camp!!! Some of my favorite things/people are being outside, playing cello, my cat Nica, musicals, seeing live music, Beyonce, goofy dancing, laughing, and High Trails! I am so excited to spend yet another summer in my favorite place where I am my best self while part of a community full of beautiful, strong, healthy mountain mamas!

left to right: Helen Robins, Maggie Siddens, Cassidy Rhodes

KINNIKINNIK WEST

Maggie Siddens

Hello! I am 19 years old, this is my first summer at Sanborn and I could not be more excited to get started! I was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado but have spent the past year studying biochemistry and anthropology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. I love the Pacific Northwest dearly but I cannot wait to get some much needed sunshine in my absolute favorite state! Beyond my studies at Lewis and Clark I work at our College Outdoors program exploring around Oregon and Washington, and I am a proud member of the rugby team. I was incredibly lucky to grow up skiing, hiking, backpacking, and exploring the beautiful Rockies, and I cannot wait to learn and grow more with everyone at camp. When I am not in school or outside you can find me playing music, doodling, swimming or probably eating. I am incredibly passionate about dogs, Stevie Wonder, pie, sunshine, and getting to know you lovely people! This being my first summer at camp I cannot express my excitement to learn everything I can and become a part of this amazing community!

Helen Robins

Hello friends, I’m Helen Robins and this summer will be my ninth at Sanborn! I’m currently studying Business Administration and International Development at Tulane University on New Orleans, Louisiana but I’m beyond excited to be going back to my home state of Colorado for the summer. What I’m looking forward to the most is hiking some 14ers, sleeping under the stars, and hiking all around camp! When I’m not doing outdoors activities, I can usually be found snacking on some chocolate snuggled up with a good book. Get ready for an amazing summer!

Cassidy Rhodes

Hello peeps! My name is Cassidy Rhodes (most people call me Cass). I am so excited to meet all of you this summer! This will be my first time at Sanborn EVER and I just cannot wait. I just finished my freshman year at Colorado State University where I am studying English Education with a minor in Spanish. This past semester I spent a few hours a week talking with international students learning how to speak English. I am lucky enough to call myself a Colorado native. I love hiking and skiing. I am very passionate about people and the outdoors, which is why I am so excited to spend the summer the way I am! I can’t wait to meet all of you and explore the outdoors!

left to right: Gwen Schmidt-Arenales, Allie Almanzar, Grace Stimson

COLUMBINE EAST

Allie Almanzar

Hi, I’m Allie Almanzar, and I’m excited to return to camp this summer as a counselor and rock climbing instructor. When I was a camper, we didn’t have these newfangled staff bios. We found out who our counselors were on the first day of camp. Oh, how times have changed. In reality, High Trails has stayed much the same—from puppy chow to Vespers to fifteen passenger vans—but everyone at camp constantly strives for growth and improvement. It’s something I love about camp.

I attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, and I’m currently pursuing a B.A. in English. During the school year, I split my time between consuming excessive amounts of literature and improving my skills as a ski instructor and volunteer ski patroller at Arizona Snowbowl. I do a fair bit of rock climbing as well. Nothing about climbing has come easily for me, but I love the sport. Climbing has taught me the value of effort and calculated risk. In our culture, we put a high premium talent, but you can’t fake effort. In life, perseverance often makes itself necessary. I want my campers to learn to try hard. Climbing teaches you to dig deep, to gain self-knowledge, and to apply that knowledge—that power—to any situation. This summer, I want to help my girls seek out challenges. And I want to keep them safe and make them laugh while they are doing it, as my counselors did for me.

Gwen Schmidt-Arenales

Hi everyone! My name is Gwen Schmidt-Arenales and this will be my second summer on staff at Sanborn. I was a camper for 6 summers and I cannot wait to be back in the fresh Colorado mountain air! I’m a sophomore at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR majoring in French studies and will be studying in France all of next year. I love to do all things outdoors, which can be challenging in Portland, but I’ve learned that a rain jacket and a good attitude go a long way! I am beyond excited to be back in the Rocky Mountains doing my favorite things surrounded by the most wonderful people! I’m looking forward to summiting 14ers, canoeing, rock climbing, spending time with the horses, watching the sunrise/set and so many more fun activities! This summer is going to be unforgettable, can’t wait to meet you all!

Grace Stimson

“Hi my name is Grace Stimson and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am beyond thrilled and excited to be able to spend my 5thsummer at Sanborn. Sanborn is such a magical place and I can’t wait to see old friends and make tons of new friends. I just finished my freshman year at Middlebury College in Vermont, where I plan to major in economics with a classics minor. I have missed Sanborn and look forward to a fabulous summer! A little bit more about me…..I love sports….I have been swimming for 14 years and swim on the Middlebury swim team…so waking up at 3am to start to summit a mountain will be almost as early as waking up to go to swim practice every morning! I have lots of energy in the morning but don’t worry, I won’t sing too many songs as we all wake up to start to climb….just four or five. My camp favorites are mountain climbing, backpacking and of course eating all the yummy food each day! I love waking up to Sanborn’s fabulous breakfasts…and most of all I love the amazing food we make on long trips. Often we get very creative at the end of the week long trip – and who knows what dessert treat will end up on the breakfast menu. I hope everyone is looking forward to their summer experience at Sanborn as much as I am; my four summers as a camper were my best summers ever and I made lifelong friends! I can’t wait to see everyone in just a few weeks!

left to right: Elise Mann, Grace Stimson, Rachael McNamara

COLUMBINE WEST

Elise Mann

Hi ya’ll! My name is Elise and I’m a camp newbie this summer. Born, raised, and recently relocated back to Denver, I love being outdoors and in the sunshine (albeit with lots of sunscreen). In 2015, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and it permanently changed my relationship with my feet. I studied political science at UW-Madison (Go Badgers!), spent a few years working in D.C., and will start my graduate studies at the Korbel School at DU this fall. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the summer than adventuring with all of you, eating s’mores, and wearing colorful outfits before I’m back in the library 24/7. See you soon!

Rachael McNamara

Hey friends! My name is Rachael, and I am so excited to kick off my eighth year at Sanborn and second year on staff! Sanborn truly is my favorite place in the world (Disneyland is a close second). I am originally from Dallas, Texas, and have spent the past two years out in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California studying theater and cinematic arts. When I am not in the theater or behind the camera, you can find me knitting, playing the ukulele, or driving along the Pacific Coast Highway. As much as I love the west coast, I am ready to say goodbye to the Santa Monica Mountains and hello to the Rockies! I am stoked to hit the trails this summer and get back to the fresh mountain air. I am looking forward to climbing mountains, dressing up in crazy costumes, jamming out to music, exploring the Colorado backcountry, and cooking up some delicious food around a campfire. I cannot wait to meet all of you, and to embark on all of the adventures I know this summer will bring!

Top to Bottom: Maureen Beran, Ellie Richarson, Sophie Leiter

GOLD HUT EAST

Maureen Beran

*coming soon*

Sophie Leiter

My name is Sophie and I’m from Vermont, but that probably won’t come up again. I’m a sophomore Environmental  Geology major at Middlebury College with a primary interest in high alpine and glacial geology. This will be my second summer at camp. My favorite things in life are fine soft cheeses, the Boston Red Sox, and adventure hammocking. I’m also a devoted co-parent to a champion show horse, Robocop. I’ve been ski patrolling at the Middlebury Snow Bowl for two years and I also train leaders for my school’s wilderness orientation trips. I’m currently a co-president of the Middlebury Mountain Club but will be stepping down to study climate change in the Arctic in Iceland this fall. I’m excited to see some familiar faces and meet some new friends this summer!

Ellie Richardson

Hi everyone! My name is Ellie Richardson and I am beyond ecstatic to spend this coming summer at High Trails as an AC! I spent a whopping 8 summers as a camper and have, quite literally, been counting down the days until I can come back (there’s an app for that). A little about myself: I am a rising sophomore studying education and English at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and before that, I graduated from MICDS in St. Louis, Missouri. When I’m not studying (or eating BBQ) at Rhodes, I work with community service organizations, I am a nanny, and I am a tour guide. To practice my tour guide skills I plan on only hiking backwards the entire summer (just kidding, don’t do that it is very dangerous). I could not be more excited to spend my entire summer exploring Sanborn’s beautiful property on foot and hoof. But more importantly, I cannot wait to spend my summer with the amazing campers and staff at Sanborn!

GOLD HUT WEST (photo coming soon)

Randi Presas

Hi there! This is my first summer at High Trails and I hope to bring witty jokes and silly puns to this years camp experience. I recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BS in General Biology in March and later that month I took a trip to Germany for a few weeks. I love wearing tie dye and rock climbing, and doing both at the same time makes my heart sing. I’m looking forward to getting terrible tan lines and daily adventures with all of you!

Katelyn Faubel

Hi everyone! My name’s Katelyn and this is my first summer at camp and I’m so excited to be here! I go to Syracuse Univeristy in Upstate New York where I study International Relations and Newspaper and Online Journalism. I am SUPER excited to be the Riding Specialist at High Trails who will be helping the wranglers with programs and trail rides while being a counselor for an awesome group of girls! I love learning about campers stories and what they’re favorite things to do are. While I’ll be at the barn helping a lot of campers with their horses, I am totally down to learn about all of the different programs campers do all day. I can’t wait to meet all of the campers in a few short weeks!

Rachel Katz

Hey hi hey! My name is Rachel Katz and I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was a camper at High Trails for seven years, and I am so so excited for my first summer on staff. I just finished my freshman year at Northwestern University in Chicago where I’m studying Industrial Engineering, Economics, and Spanish. I love spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and pretty much everything about the outdoors. During the past two summers I haven’t been at Sanborn, I did a month-long sea kayaking course with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Petersburg, Alaska and worked at my local outdoors store. I can’t wait to finally be back at my home away from home this summer and am really looking forward to climbing more 14ers, riding some of my favorite horses, and, most of all, getting to know my wonderful campers and fellow staff members! See y’all soon!

Clockwise from 12:00: Nell Davis, cade beck, Avery Katz, Angie Epifano

ASPEN

cade beck

Hello! My name is cade beck and this will be my third summer on staff and my seventh year as part of the Sanborn family. I graduated a year ago from Whitman College with a degree in History and I have spent the past year traveling around the United States and seeing family while working as a gymnastics coach and starting a career in technical theatre. I love to read, dance in the rain (sprinklers work too), hike in skirts, and hug people. I am incredibly excited to be back at camp this year and climb some breathtaking mountains with some fabulous campers! See you soon!

Nell Davis

Hi everyone!  My name is Nell Davis, and this will be my first summer at High Trails.  I was lucky enough to spend ten days at Sanborn a few winters ago for a college class, and I loved it then, but I can’t wait to be there in the summer!  I graduated from Williams College last spring, with majors in Geology and Art History, and I’m now in graduate school in Idaho, studying Natural Resources and Environmental Education.  My program alternates weeks of teaching outdoor science to sixth graders with weeks of taking graduate classes, which is awesome.  I’ve always loved being outdoors, especially when I’m hiking, biking, or cross country skiing (I actually received my first pair of skis the day I was born), so I’m looking forward to being at High Trails! I grew up in Vermont, and it’s been a great transition to living with bigger mountains out West.  I can’t wait to climb some of those mountains, get better acquainted with the ranch, and meet all the campers this summer!

Angie Epifano

Hey y’all! My name is Angie and I’m excited to spend my first summer at Sanborn! I grew up in the South, but I’m currently finishing up my BA in Art History at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. I’ve worked at several camps across the US, but never in Colorado, so I’m excited to share the mountains with y’all this summer. Some fun facts about me: I’m an avid long distance runner, I have a massive sweet tooth, and I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones right now. I’m most excited to hit the trails and rivers with y’all this summer, as well as get out onto one of my favorite places, the archery range.

Avery Katz

Hi! I’m Avery Katz, and I am beyond excited to start my third year on staff at Sanborn Western Camps! After coming to Sanborn as a camper for 6 years, I knew I wanted to stay in the Colorado Mountains for as long as possible. I was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota which is known for its incredible music and art scene, 1,000 lakes, tons of snow and cold, and a state full of “Minnesota Nice” people. I go to school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and am going to begin my senior year this upcoming fall, which I really cannot believe. I’m majoring in Psychology and minoring in Community Action and Social change, so I take many classes that are paired with field work, such as working in Washtenaw county prisons or local nonprofit organizations. I also enjoy playing piano, dancing like a goofball, attending all types of music concerts, getting lost in the Nichols Arboretum, and ordering late night cookies with my friends. This past semester I studied abroad in Aix en Provence, France and absolutely adored it. I enjoy traveling and going on new adventures -not to mention the food in France cannot be beat. I am extremely excited to be in the Colorado Mountains once again and see new sights while being surrounded by some of the most inspiring people I know. Can’t wait for another fantastic summer!

left to right: Cara Mackesey, Megan Blackburn, Ellen Cromack, Val Peterson

RIDGE LEADERS

Ellen Cromack

Hi! My name is Ellen Cromack and I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. This past May I graduated from Western State Colorado University in Gunnison, Colorado with a degree in Psychology. I was a camper at High Trails for nine years and am now on staff for my third summer! I’m so excited to be turning to High Trails for a summer full of exciting adventure and happy memories! Whenever I think of camp, I think of singing Good Old Mountain Dew at Sunday lunch while banging on the tables. Sanborn has helped me form some of the strongest and most important friendships of my life. During the summer I hope to climb many mountains, tube the river and go horseback riding to the Top of the World!

Val Peterson

Hello again! My name is Val and I’m so excited so spend my summer with wonderful friends at High Trails! I live in the lovely Lawrence, KS during the non-summer months where I work with kiddos in both foster care and special education. When I’m not at work, I love to watercolor and do yoga. I also like to peruse the Humane Society website and look the pups I would love to adopt (aka all of them). I can’t wait to spend some time outdoors at camp and show off my moves at the camp dances!

Cara Mackesey

Hola, hola! I cannot express how stoked I am for my third summer at High Trails. I am so looking forward to hanging in hammocks, sleeping under stars, and canoeing with a crazy, cool, crew of campers! Originally, I am from Wisconsin where, when it´s not snowing, I´m a big fan of climbing the bluffs near my University, going for long runs, jamming to One Direction, and playing my ukulele. I study both Recreation Management and Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This winter I was lucky enough to ditch the snow and study in Costa Rica for four and a half months. Don´t worry, Sanborn is still my favorite place to be! Can´t wait to climb as many mountains as possible, create unforgettable memories, and to have all of the insane adventures I know this summer will bring!

Meghan Blackburn

As an accidental model in a German Coca-Cola ad, I think I have found my passion in life–appearing in obscure ads in other countries. Actually, it’s just a picture of me cliff jumping in Yellow National Park and my true passion is really adventure (and pizza). Therefore, I cannot wait to begin my new adventure at Sanborn. From Idaho, to Oregon, to Colorado, I think it’s safe to say I’m very excited for my second summer in Colorado, and at camp! I am currently a Senior at Colorado State University, studying Food Science & Nutrition. I thoroughly enjoy cooking, running, hiking, and laughing at my own jokes. Get ready for a great summer!!

left to right: Krista White, Carly Holthaus, Anne Shingler, Erica Wilkins

KAHUNAS

Carly Holthaus, outcamp

Carly Holthaus enjoys long, not-romantic walks on the beach or just laying there like a beached whale for hours on end. Also horseback rides at sunset. Scratch that, not so crazy about horses. But sunsets are great. Also she’s more of a mountain girl. She enjoys virgin strawberry daiquiris, pizza, and vespers on sunday. She spent one season at High Trails as counselor & a short stint as an organic farmer until returning to Sanborn, now with California Outdoor Education Instructor under her belt. She attended Bellarmine University, in Louisville, Kentucky, & studied both Spanish & Environmental Studies in addition to multiple study abroad experiences. She’s stoked for the 14ers, art barn, gorp, hammock hanging, & all the mountain mommas.

Krista White, art barn

Hey y’all! This summer will be my 13th summer working in summer camps and my first with High Trails. I recently moved to Boulder, Colorado with my husband Phil and dog Miles and this will be my first summer in the Rockies. I am a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a BS in Recreation Management concentrating in outdoor experiential education and summer camp management. My favorite things to do at camp include dressing in costume, singing camp songs, and making camp magical. I am very excited to be bringing a Makerspace to High Trails this summer as the Arts and Crafts Coordinator. I cannot wait to see what projects my campers create this summer. Anything is possible!

Erica Wilkins, photographer

Hi Hi! My name is Erica Wilkins – This is my 3rd summer at High Trials :) I attended West Virginia University (Mountain Mama) for my B.S. in Agricultural Biochemistry and my M. Ed in Secondary Science. I have graduated and I currently work at Knox Middle School in North Carolina. Go Panthers! I am a 7th grade science teacher and I love finding each day to be completely different than the day before. I am a Capricorn – I am lactose intolerant (new discovery) – I have a cat named (Jon) Snow Princess – and people watching IS a hobby. I am very excited for camp! I cannot wait for the food, festivities, friendly faces and the serenity of the Colorado Mountains.

Anne Shingler, kitchen coordinator

Howdy Y’all! My name is Anne Shingler, and I am STOKED for my first summer at Sanborn. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Recreation Management focused on Youth Development because I won’t to work in camps forever! I am super lucky to spend my winters in Breckenridge, CO, but I am definitely looking forward to hiking weather. I love to do puzzles, play guitar, and laugh a lot. I CANNOT wait to meet everyone and start making a positive impact!

left to right: Annie McDevitt, Robin Graney, Becca Brown, Tawny Reagan, Kendra Shehy

WRANGLERS
Annie McDevitt

Hi everyone! My name is Annie McDevitt and this will be my third summer on staff and 7th summer at Sanborn. I just graduated from St. Lawrence University with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies and I cannot think of a better way to spend my first post-grad summer than at Sanborn!  Some fun facts about me are that I am a cat enthusiast, a Sia super-fan, and my spirit animal is a goat. I can’t wait to go on trail rides and pack trips with all the wonderful horses and campers this summer!!

Kendra Shehy

Hello! My name is Kendra Shehy; I recently graduated from the College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio) with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Early Childhood Education. I am beyond excited to return to Sanborn for my second summer on staff! I was a Ponderosa counselor during my first summer (2013) and this summer I am excited to live out my cowgirl dreams again as a wrangler.

Robin Graney

I am from a little town in Western Massachusetts and this is my first time in Colorado or at High Trails. I have been working with horses at a therapeutic riding stable for the past nine years. I am now going to school at Mount Holyoke for Neuroscience. While there I have ridden for both the western and dressage teams. I love coffee and dancing in that order and have been learning tango for about a year now and am loving it. I will be helping teach a tango class at my college this coming fall. I am so excited to be working and riding at camp and exploring the outdoors with everyone.

Tawny Reagan

Howdy y’all! My name is Tawny and this will be my first year at Sanborn and I could not be more excited! I am a Coloradan through and through. I just graduated from Colorado State University (GO RAMS!) where I studied Equine Science and lucky for me I will be a wrangler this summer. I love tying knots more than I care to admit, I am smitten with anything that has fur, and I am a horrible clutz. I am SO excited to explore everything camp has to offer since I am brand new and hopefully some of you can come along with me!

Becca Brown

Hi! My name is Becca and I am super stoked for my first summer at Sanborn! I’m looking forward to the upcoming adventures as a wrangler at High Trails. I grew up in Plant City, Florida but now live in Tallahassee while attending the Florida State University (Go Noles) majoring in Exceptional Student Education. I have a puppy that I adore named Koda and when I’m not at the stables I’m either out exploring Tallahassee or at the beach. I can’t wait for the endless hikes, trail rides, and camp shenanigans that will be shared at High Trails.

left to right: Katie Roberts, Katie Metz, Gitta Polson

NURSES

Katie Roberts

Hey everyone! My name is Katie Roberts, and I’m so excited to be a camp nurse at High Trails this summer. I hail from New Haven, Connecticut, where I am getting my masters degree in pediatric nursing at Yale University. Before realizing that I wanted to be a nurse, I got my BA in English from Brown University, worked at a non-profit organization in Mexico, and taught special education at at school near Boston, Massachusetts. This will be my first summer at High Trails, although definitely not my first rodeo at a summer camp- I spent many a summer as a counselor at a camp in Northern Wisconsin, where I grew up. Besides removing splinters and handing out ice packs, I love running, baking cookies (and eating them), and reading. I am super excited to meet all the wonderful campers and counselors!

Birgitta Polson

Hi everyone! My name is Birgitta — my family is Swedish, so that’s where my name comes from! This will be my first summer at Sanborn, and I cannot wait!! I got my undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and I am currently working toward my master’s degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In just a little over a year, I will be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. I absolutely love to be outside, and I have a feeling that once I spend three months in Colorado, it will be tough to get me to leave! If I’m not studying or working, you can find me running, dancing, playing the piano, cooking, or scheming about what to bake for dinner with my friends. I grew up in Maine and can’t remember too many times when I wasn’t exploring in the woods around my house or running around in the rain, snow, or sunshine. I don’t usually go for more than one day without eating peanut butter, and I think that freshly baked bread is one of the best things that was ever invented. I’m pretty pumped to take a break from city living this summer and be up in the mountains! I’m so excited to help everyone at High Trails stay safe and healthy, make new friends and learn to sing and play all the best camp songs!!”

Katie Metz

Hello!!! My name is Katie Metz and I will be the nurse at both High Trails and Big Spring this summer! I am so excited to come back to Sanborn for my second summer after working here 2 years ago. After I left Sanborn, I moved to Denver to work at a Spinal Cord Rehab Nursing Facility which I loved as well. But the mountains were calling me and I can’t wait to get back this summer. If I’m not at work then you could definitely find me in the mountains. I absolutely love to ski and over this past year was lucky enough to travel to 11 ski resorts throughout the west! This summer though I’m hoping to use my new fly fishing gear in the beautiful Colorado Mountains and go on some fun mountain biking trails! I can’t wait to meet all the campers this year at both camps keeping them healthy and safe!

News from Camp: June 1, 2016

June 1st, 2016

The tents stand proudly on HKL ridge.

June is finally here and we are excited for the arrival of campers in less than two weeks. We had a significant amount of moisture in April and May, which has made the Ranch more beautiful than ever.  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 open for business, and fresh paint is being applied in many places.  The flowers are planted, the horses have new shoes, and the swimming pools are full and heating.  We think you will be pleased by the facility improvements we have made over the winter: new paneling, doors, windows and cabinets in the HT Lodge, renovations at the ABC washhouses at Big Spring, and a new yurt for Democrat at Big Spring are just a few of these. Although we are still finishing a few last minute facility projects, we have now turned our attention to staff training.

The senior leadership training spent some time outside practicing our active listening skills.

The leadership staff arrived last week and we conducted a special training for our Senior staff team over the weekend. Almost twenty staff also took a lifeguard training course over the weekend. On Thursday and Friday last week, our rock climbing staff enjoyed a two-day training at our Wild Goat Mountain climbing site, while others completed a riflery instructor course.  Our wranglers have been here for two weeks now and have been busy getting our horses ready for the summer and completing their specialized training.

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 will hold an all-day driver training course and also will conduct First Aid and CPR courses.  Our entire staff of more than 100 will arrive on Thursday.  For the following nine days, we will hold sessions on youth development, outdoor skills, our mission and core values, leadership tools, and health and safety, as well as trainings in our many program areas.

It is always special when our wonderful summer community comes together.  We are looking forward to the mountains we will climb, the horseback trips we will enjoy, the sunsets we will share and the friendships we will make.  We especially anticipate the opportunities we will have to learn more about ourselves, our companions and the natural world.

We again plan to post weekly updates and photos through our Camp-In-Touch community 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!

News from Camp: May 1, 2016

May 2nd, 2016

Olin Gulch has been covered with groups of Pasque Flowers since the middle of April.

May is a busy, exciting month here at camp. In a week or so, the tents will go up along the Big Spring ridges. All the Big Spring buildings will be opened up, cleaned, and prepared for summer. There are some new tent frames and a new yurt on ABC Ridge this year, the ABC washhouses have new plumbing and updated fixtures and floors, and the staff cabins on the hill have been completely renovated.

At High Trails, the cabins and Lodge are already open, but everything will be cleaned and given a fresh coat of paint. In addition we will put up tennis nets, order crafts supplies, and put the final touches on all of our facilities and programs. The Lodge has new paneling, windows, cabinets and countertops-we think the girls will love the new look!

The Mallard Ducks and White Faced Ibis have been fun to see at High Trails Lake this spring!

Maren, Rachel, and Oliver will bring in the horses from the pastures at Fish Creek and get them fixed up with new shoes for all the great rides this summer. There are plenty of things to keep us busy, and everyone is excited about these projects because they mean that a new season of camp is almost here!

The Aspen are showing catkins now and we’ll begin to see the first leaves later in the month; the bluebirds and robins are back, there have been geese and ducks at High Trails Lake, and a herd of deer has been hanging around Big Spring and High Trails. We have had a wonderful amount of moisture during the past two months—the High Trails Lake is filling and the grass is green. We anticipate spectacular wildflowers as we move into summer. The Pasque Flowers have already bloomed; it won’t be long before we begin to see Indian Paintbrush and the spectacular wild Iris in the field in front of the Witcher house. The first hummingbird has been sighted and a couple of porcupines have been seen lumbering along the road at night.

Late this month, we will begin staff training for our ridge leaders and trip leaders. During the Memorial Day weekend (not a holiday here) we will do a leadership training session with our senior leadership team. On Monday and Tuesday, any members of our trip-leading staff who do not have current certification in Wilderness First Aid will take that class taught by instructors from the Wilderness Medicine Institute. On Wednesday, we’ll be providing more first aid instruction and a full day of driver training. On Thursday, June 2, our entire staff will arrive for a 10-day training period before the first campers arrive. And on June 12, first term campers arrive and we’ll be off…

The Canada Geese have been passing through as they migrate North for the summer.

We are still accepting enrollments in some age groups in the Second Term so let us know if you are interested in receiving our brochure and DVD.  Summer—2016 promises to be a fantastic experience for everyone!

This Sanborn Life: Hello, It’s Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2016

Goshawk in a Ponderosa

We felt like we needed to celebrate Earth Day in a new and different way this year. While people all over the country are picking up trash, volunteering at their local parks, and raising awareness about the importance of conservation, preservation and stewardship, we wanted to simply share some day-to-day moments of wonder that can happen for everyone all over the world if one can slow down, be present and become a keen observer of the world around you. We would love to hear about YOUR Earth Day events, experiences and lessons, too!
Note: All of these events describe (mostly) real events that have happened to camp staff, on camp property or in and around Teller County within the last 24-72 hours. (We also really like Ira Glass and This American Life)
Act I–Of Mice and Spring

Squeak. Squeak. Squeak…Squeak. Squeak. Squeak.
(Mouse Translation: Happy Spring! It has been sunny and warm, then it got cold and snowy.)
Squeakie, squeak-squeak-squeak.
(Mouse Translation: So we all decided to go into our friends’ houses at Sanborn. They are warm and dry.)
Squeak, squeak. Squeak squeak squeak.

Abert (ninja) squirrels are a year round friend

(Mouse Translation: Besides, it’s Earth Day, and we think it is important that they don’t forget about us…so we are going to head indoors to remind them to get outside.)

Act II–Goshawk Haiku

Slate grey black-brown-dark
Sits low in Ponderosas
Wants to eat the squirrel.

Act III–Vulture Queens

Voice on the Radio: We have just had a report of an accident off of Highway 24, just west of Florissant. The driver said she drove off of the road after seeing a large vulture perched on top of a fence post with full outspread wings, apparently drying itself after eating in/on/through one of the very large snowdrifts remaining from last weekend’s snowstorm. The driver said the vulture appeared to be “frozen in a commanding position–as though it was about to direct an orchestra or is channeling Isis (the goddess).”

Evening Grosbeak

Act IV–Bird Nerds Unite!

In everyday conversations around the globe, when questions arise people raise their phones horizontally to their lips and say, “Hey, Siri…”

Around here, we just call Jerry. Jerry is sort of like the old KU Info line you could call to find out the name of the author of that book about the rabbits that form a society, but there are bad rabbits, and it has water in the title or something…but Jerry is better than KU info because he knows what you are talking about when you burst into the office and excitedly say, “Jerry! There was this cool bird at the feeder yesterday and it was a big, medium-sized, yellowish orange with black and white and…” “Oh! You saw an evening grosbeak! They are spectacular!”

After a while, you just find yourself talking about the birds you’ve seen not only to Jerry, but to everyone else:
“Hey! Did you see the kingfishers down in Florissant this morning on the powerline–so cool!”
“I saw a Golden eagle outside of Divide yesterday–those things are so big!”
“The bluebirds are back! The bluebirds are back!”
“I saw a whole flock of red-winged blackbirds yesterday, and heard them calling by the pond this morning!”
“Look at the junco building its nest above our office window!”

And, of course, Jane yelling from her desk, “Hey you turkeys!” (the entire office goes immediately silent)
“What’s wrong, Jane?” says a timid voice.
“No! I’m talking to the REAL turkeys outside of my window, come look!”

Act V–Can We Go With You?

Of all the megafauna on the ranch, the most ubiquitous are the mule deer and elk. Elk are generally a little harder to spot, though there were eight hanging out by Strawberry Fields this morning. But the mule deer? They are kind of like our local street corner thugs…except they have huge doe eyes, enormous ears, and tend to spring off into the woods with the slightest provocation.

Mule Deer (and cats) are Unafraid

But this morning was different.

Jane Sanborn, mind fully churning at 5:30am, opened the door to her apartment and was both startled and amused to find twenty eyes looking back at her from a distance of about 10-15 feet.

The deer looked at her, Jane looked at the deer.

Jane spoke to the deer, “Good morning, deer. How are you, deer? Beautiful day, deer!” But still, the deer did not move. Finally, with 34 unwritten emails spinning in her mind, Jane walked out of the door, walked past the deer, to her car, got in, slammed the door, and drove away.

The deer looked on.

Act VI–Bob, Cat, Bobcat

The nicest thing about spring mornings at camp is the sun. In the dark months of December, when the sun had barely started to rise by 7, it is hard to remember that April soon arrives with its ever brighter 6:15-6:30am arrival. It is mostly hard to remember because the cat doesn’t yowl in December. The cat just sleeps.

But with the arrival of April, the energy and early morning prowly enthusiasm of our cat intensifies with ever-earlier cries, howls, and meows of “Out! Out! Out” (these caterwaulings are only interrupted by the sudden arrival of spring mice in the kitchen which causes a different sort of sleep disturbing mayhem). So, at promptly 6:07am this morning, I fed my cat to a bobcat.

It was not a deliberate act, and one–fortunately–I was able to remedy by sprinting outside and speaking firmly to the shockingly large bobcat walking through our (his) front yard. I think I said something really terrifying like, “Okay, big bobcat, keep on walking…that’s right, get a move on, buddy” all while trying to see where my also largish (for different reasons) cat had gone. The Australian shepherd sized bobcat was fairly nonplussed by my approach and simply kept sauntering. Our largish, often loudish, cat had chosen two, tried and true animal defense mechanisms: 1. Fluff himself out to racoon-like proportions; 2. freeze and practice invisibility.

It was only after the raccoon cat was safely stored underneath a bed did the whole family look around and say, “That was AWESOME!”

Happy Earth Day from ALL of your friends
(furred, feathered, slimy, scaly or human)
at Sanborn Western Camps

The Thrill of Horseback Riding

April 7th, 2016

When riding a horse, I feel connected.

Trees blurring past, the thunder of hooves.  I held tight to the reins, remembering to keep my heels down.  Fourteen hundred pounds of power galloping through the forest.  Horseback riding is a mystical, powerful adventure.

When riding a horse, I feel connected.  It’s a mixture of love, fear, and respect.  Humans and horses have a long history together, a productive relationship that has lasted centuries.  Before machines, horses were the machine, they were a power that helped pull our civilization together.  Before cars, horses carried us across the land.  When we ride horses in this modern world, it’s a timeless event.  And Sanborn Western Camps is one of the best places to ride.

At Sanborn, one of our many goals is to foster a sense of wonder in every camper.  We work to inspire a connection with nature.  And one of the many ways to achieve that connection is to swing up into a saddle and ride a horse.

I gazed into the huge marble eyes.

There is something therapeutic about horseback riding.  Studies have shown that we truly connect with the animal.  Brain waves slow.  We even change our breathing to match up with the horse.  The slightest movement, a turn, the twitch of a muscle, it’s all communication.  The horse understands without words.  If a camper is stressed, the horse can sense that.  If a camper is relaxed, the horse relaxes as well.  It’s a feedback loop, animal to animal, a real time relationship.

Many years ago when I was a camper at Sanborn, I was afraid of horses.  I pretended I didn’t care, but the truth is I was scared.  The staff was ready for this.  The counselors and wranglers gently encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and give horseback riding a try.  So I did.

I thought we would jump right on a horse and ride, but the process was much more intricate.  The wranglers first taught me how to care for the animal, to understand it, to lead the horse gently, to speak to it.  They showed me how to brush the horse, tracing the contours of its power.  I began to relax and forget my fear.  I began to feel a sense of wonder.

I gazed into the huge marble eyes.  I ran my hands along the sway of the horse’s back and wondered if a Ute boy or a young trapper did the same with his horse two hundred years ago, right where I was standing.

We learned to saddle and bridle, tightening buckles, bringing all tack to the perfect length.

We learned to saddle and bridle, tightening buckles, bringing all tack to the perfect length.  Then, with mud on my rented boots, I swung up into the saddle.  We rode slowly, ambling away from the Big Spring barn.  That sunny afternoon, I went on my first ride.  And I’ve never looked back.

When we ride, we develop all kinds of skills.  Horseback riding is a two-way process.  You can’t just sit back and do nothing, you must interact with the animal with physical and verbal cues.  As a result, riding develops subtle communication skills.  Riding also develops balance and coordination.  Your core gets a workout, and you must stay focused on where your body is in space.  After a long ride, the next day you can truly feel it, aches in muscles you didn’t know you had.

At camp we do all kinds of rides, from half-day trail rides to five day pack trips deep into the Rockies.  It’s a range of fun that fits perfectly with the range of campers.  My favorites are the long trips, adventures that are unmatched.  We ride deep into rugged country, places where only horses can take us.  We sleep under the stars and rise before dawn to care for the herd.  It’s a unique experience that you can only find at a place like Sanborn.

In our modern chaotic world, it’s important to find ways to relax.  Horseback riding can do that.  Horses are a direct bond with nature that we can all share.  When you ride a horse, you find both companionship and solitude at the same time.

Any chance I can get, I’ll take a horseback ride.  The rasp of an old saddle, the musk of the animal, the joy of a slow walk through an aspen grove.  The world looks better from the back of a horse.  The Ute Indians of the Rockies once said, “The way to heaven is on horseback.”  I think they might be right.

- M. Huffman -