1st Session Opening Day: June 10, 2018

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Opening Day of camp is the most exciting day of our year, and we opened 2018 in a big way today! A classic, blue sky Colorado day greeted campers as they arrived at camp. It was with us throughout the day and gave way to a star-filled sky to close out the beginning of our time together. Once again, our tents, cabins, lodges and outdoor spaces are alive with the buzz of camp - laughing, playing, being together and having fun. It’s a wonderful place to be!

As soon as they arrived and unpacked, campers hit the ground running with activities and games across camp . Orientation tours, Gaga, picking up rentals and other gear, 9-square, setting up hammock cities and lots of volleyball were just a few of the things going on. New friends were being made and old ones were reconnecting. After dinner the tent and cabin groups played getting acquainted games and began laying the foundation for this new and developing community. After two weeks or more of staff training, our staff are as excited as the campers to be kicking off the summer.

With the dawn of our first full day at camp, we will really get things going! Early morning hikes, games around camp and visits to the barn are just a few ways the early risers can enjoy the morning. After breakfast, trip sign-ups will begin and hikes around camp will head out. A-bluff, Top of the World, and the Crystal Beds are some of the favorite destinations. We’ll also keep going with our BETs - basic equestrian training - down at the barn to get riders up into a saddle and lay the foundation for a summer of riding. The craft shops will be in full swing and the Junior Campers will participate in a Mountain Odyssey activity to learn and practice their camping and outdoor skills to get them ready for their first campout.

On Wednesday all the girls at High Trails, and the oldest ridge of boys at Big Spring will head out for their first camping trip of the summer. These cabinside and unit trips set the stage for a summer out on the trail, as camping skills are learned and practiced and most every area of our 6000 acres is explored. Hiking out to one of over 30 campsites across the ranch to sleep out under the stars is also a key component of building each camper’s core community at camp. Friendships made in the cabins and units can be some of the strongest ones of camp. On Thursday the remaining boys at Big Spring will hike out on their overnights.

Early in the week each camp will gather to take unit and cabinside photos. These will be posted to our website - so check it out later in the week - as well as printed out and sent home in next week’s counselor letters. These photos will also become the next chapter in our photo notebooks spanning Sanborn’s 70 years of summer fun and adventure. Trip sign-ups will take place too, as the month-long campers will craft their summers by selecting their allday, 2-day and “Long” trips that will form the core of their summer experience. Working with their counselors and senior staff, they will select trips that offer an appropriate level of challenge, variety and fun. Sanborn Junior campers will not select individual trips, as their program is pre-designed to offer a broad range of experiences for everyone, including 2 overnight camping trips, 4 horseback opportunities, fossil and river allday trips, and more.

Our opening campfire evenings will take place Monday night. They are always a lot of fun, with great singing, classic skits and fun times for all. The Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen (BOOM) and GROW STRONG programs will be introduced and the community of camp will develop even more. Other fun evenings are in the works this week with planned all-camp races and events, skit nights and a counselor hunt. We will bring both camps together for the first time on Saturday night for an ice cream social down at Big Spring.

Each Sunday evening we will send an email out to camp families about our activities, and photos of activities from the previous week will be posted to our camp portal by Monday morning. Some opening day photos have been posted, and you can log in here to view them. 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. Until next week…


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Mike MacDonald
About Mike MacDonald

Mike came to Big Spring in 1991 and, after working in a variety of roles from counselor to Program Director, became the Director of Big Spring in 1999. In October 2017, he was appointed Executive Director by the COEC Board of Trustees. Mike has a BS from Centre College and a Master’s Degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University Seattle. He has also been active in the American Camp Association, including serving two terms as President of the Rocky Mountain Region. He is married to Maren MacDonald, who directs the riding program at camp, and they are raising their three children at camp.