Winter cold has crept into the Ranch even though we still have lots of sunny days. Our snow-covered fields are beautiful and it definitely looks like December around here. The animals which have not gone into hibernation have been pretty active in the center of camp. There are always rabbit tracks in the snow, and we often see deer in the middle of Big Spring and High Trails. The elk have been hanging out at Potts Spring and there are still a few porcupines waddling around in the dusk.
The office is a fun place to be these days as the elves are all busy getting ready for Christmas, preparing gifts, cards and other holiday mailings. We are keeping UPS and the local post office busy!
Plans are well underway for Mike’s and Elizabeth’s trip through the Midwest in January. They look forward to meeting camp families, alums, and those who would like to explore the opportunities at camp. We will be sending a mailing in early January with dates and times for the Midwest trip. This information will also be posted on our website. These fun gatherings are a great way to reconnect with camp friends and also provide an opportunity for families interested in camp to learn more about our programs.
We have big plans for the winter! This is always a time when we can focus on projects designed to improve our programs and facilities. We’ve already planned and submitted our proposed high mountain and horse trips to the Forest Service for the summer of 2017 and can’t wait to share these amazing adventures with our campers next summer. We are also busy dreaming up exciting trips for our new property at the base of Mt. Antero! We will be working on all aspects of our program from crafts to horseback riding to rock climbing to improve and refresh all of our activities.
Our maintenance crew is busy working on projects to improve our facility. In addition to completing a new roof on the High Trails Lodge, they are now working on additional interior renovations at the Lodge. They have also been busy with a major new plumbing project at the STUW Ridge Washhouse and Massive Cabin.
We are also expanding and improving our staff training, using research that is current in youth development. And, of course, hiring the best counselors and program leaders is one of our major winter projects. Some great staff members have already promised to return!
Enrollment for next summer has been flowing in and we are very excited about the communities that are shaping up at Big Spring, High Trails and Sanborn Junior for 2017. Everyone at camp wishes all of our friends the happiest of holiday seasons!