On August 17, during our 70th Anniversary Reunion, we announced the public phase of our new Sanborn Tomorrow capital campaign. The campaign has two major goals. The first is to help us continue with major renovations to some of our aging facilities. The second is to create a Sanborn Scholarship Endowment.
Over the years we have made a significant effort to maintain our facilities at a high level, as we realize that the condition of our physical plant reflects upon the quality of our programs and the experience of our campers and staff. We are now at the point in our history where some of our oldest, most outdated buildings need to be replaced. The first High Trails cabins, for instance, were built in 1962, and have seen hard use for more than 55 years. Not only do they provide a home for our campers during the summer, but for thousands of students who attend High Trails Outdoor Education Center each fall and spring. Replacing them with new cabins which meet current codes and safety standards is an expensive process which cannot be included in our operational budget without raising our tuition to unreasonable levels.
We also have plans at Big Spring, including a new health center, an expansion of the Big Spring Lodge, and a new program/welcome center. None of our projects will expand the size of Big Spring or High Trails – we are committed to keeping our community small enough for everyone to know each other. And our goal, with all redesigned buildings is to maintain the rustic feel of the camps.
Our current Sandy and Laura Sanborn Scholarship Annual Fund provides tuition assistance to deserving young people who could not otherwise attend Big Spring or High Trails. It also helps low-income students attend the High Trails Outdoor Education Center with their classes. In 2018 we were able to help almost 50 campers attend Big Spring/High Trails and over 100 students attend HTOEC.
However, the current fund does not allow us to plan for the future, as we have consistently provided as much or more financial aid than we have received. The Sanborn Scholarship Fund Endowment will signify our long-term commitment to making the life-enhancing opportunities of camp and outdoor education available to all youth, and will provide the additional funding needed to support our growing pool of applicants.
Please feel free to contact Jane (Jane@sanbornwesterncamps.com) or Jerry (Jerry@sanbornwesterncamps.com) if you have any questions.