1. How do I choose my activities?
Choosing your activities and trips is one of the greatest parts of camp. At the beginning of the session, you will get a trip sign up sheet that lists all of the trips offered to your age group. Your counselors, friends and ridge leaders can help explain the different trips and then you can rate and choose your top trips on the sheet. The Program Directors at each camp will then return your completed trip sheet a few days later, and all of the dates for your upcoming trips will be written on that, so don't lose it! In-camp activities, like swimming, arts and crafts, and half-day horseback rides will be offered on a daily or weekly basis, so you just check your trip sheet, and if you are in camp, then you sign up for one of the great activities offered on that day!
2. What are the cabins/tents like?
At Big Spring , five boys and a counselor live in a permanent platform tent or in one of our new yurts. Modern shower houses are located nearby. At High Trails, the girls live in modern cabins. Each cabin has two sleeping dorms or cabinsides consisting of ten girls and two counselors. Cabinsides share a full bath and a living room with a rock fireplace. Both the tents and the cabins create a fantastic community to make great friends, share stories of adventures, and give you a place to call "home" while you are at camp. Attractive, well-maintained grounds at the camps blend with aspen groves, native wildflowers and magnificent mountain views to create a unique natural setting.
3. What if I don't know anyone at camp?
Many of our campers DON'T know anyone when they first come to camp, but that doesn't last long. Within the first few days of camp, you will go on an overnight camping experience with the other individuals in your cabin or tent, and then you will have friends for life! Nothing brings people together like roasting marshmallows around a campfire, telling stories on the trail, and sharing a tent. Along with the overnight trip, there will be plenty of fun opportunities (like the Counselor Hunt, Skit Nights, etc.) for community building in the cabin, on your ridge, and in the camp as a whole.
4. What happens if I get homesick?
We all have our days when we are uncomfortable and unsure, and that is why occasional homesickness is understandable and okay. We definitely want you to talk to your counselors, ridge leader or one of the directors and let them know how you are feeling. Our staff has been trained in a variety of techniques to help you through these rough spots, and soon you will be feeling great! As one camper said last summer, "I never get homesick at camp, but I always get camp sick at home."
5. Are the trips really hard?
Because YOU get to choose the trips you go on, they are only as hard as you want them to be. That said, it is important to understand that the camp session, and the trips offered for each age group, are built on a progression: as the summer progresses, the trips offered to your age group become longer and more challenging; and with each consecutive year you attend camp, the trips and programs become longer and more challenging. This way, a 14 year old isn't doing the same trip she did as an 11 year old; and an 11 year old is going on longer hikes as he is getting ready to climb his first mountain. If you are ever worried about a trip, make sure to talk to your counselor, the trip leader, a director or another staff member, we can explain every trip in detail and help you realize that you CAN do it!
6. Can I receive community service while I'm at camp?
Yes. We recognize that most colleges and universities are requiring community service hours as part of college admission. Our SOLE (Sanborn Outdoor Leadership Experience) program has a large community service component. Depending on the trip, campers can earn from 6-24 hours of community service on these SOLE trips (which are offered to campers who have completed 8th and/or 9th grade). Additionally, our Junior Counselor and Outbacker programs give our oldest campers approximately 40+ hours of community service, with potential for much, much more.
7. What exactly are Junior Counselors (JC's), Outbackers and Assistant Counselors (AC's)?
JC's and Outbackers are the oldest campers at camp. They are typically campers who have been asked to return to camp because of their outstanding leadership and camping abilities. These campers will accompany you on your cabinside or unit overnights and all days; they will assist staff on trips and with in-camp activities; they run the stores at each camp; they help lead songs and campfires; and they are great resources and mentors for new campers. Assistant counselors are staff members who consistently help wash dishes and clean the lodge. AC's will also help with in camp program and trips; pack food for trips; help manage our all camp recycling effort; lead activities; run evening programs; twirl spatulas; listen to great music; and will always happily direct you to the cleaning supplies during tent or cabin clean up.
8. When can I get mail?
Mail is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family back home, and getting REAL mail is a fun experience to have at camp. Snail mail is delivered once daily, except on Sundays. Sanborn works with Campminder to offer a one-way email service that allows campers to receive printed emails daily. Packages are delivered once a day, except on Sundays. Mail is distributed and the package list is posted after either lunch or dinner.
9. What can I get at the camp store?
Both Big Spring and High Trails have a camp store. Most of the time, you will have an opportunity to go to the store once a day. The store sells necessity items such as shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, stamps, and flashlights. You may choose to buy Sanborn sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats, and sweatpants there as well. You can also get candy, soda and ice cream (in limited amounts) too! Everyone has an account, so you do NOT need cash for the camp store.
10. The Suggested Outfit List says I shouldn't bring anything valuable, but can I bring my ipod and cell phone since I will need those items in the car/airport and/or on the plane?
You may bring those items, but we will have you turn all of your valuables over to us once you get to camp. Wallets, passports, identification cards, travel money, cell phones, etc. are put into an envelope with your name on it, sealed and stored away from camp until you need it for your return trip home. If you don't need any of these items, we do ask that you do not bring them to camp.