News from Camp: Session 1: June 24, 2018

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It was another _____-filled week at camp! [insert noun here!] To list everything we did would take up most of this post, so I’ll leave it as a fill-in-the-blank! Needless to say, it was another week of wonderful hikes, rides, campouts and much more. We also had some big ‘Firsts’ of the summer, as we reached the summits of five different Fourteeners this week, including the tallest in the state, Mt. Elbert! Our 5-day SOLE and CORE trips returned with great stories of accomplishment for the trips they completed, the skills they strengthened and the service they performed. Both The JC’s and Outbackers also had a service component as part of their trips. Over the course of the week, our campers and staff put in over 1000 hours of service on the trails of B-Bluff, Mt. Oxford, Mt. Belford and in Springer Gulch, near 11-Mile Reservoir!

The weekend was full of its usual reconnecting and catching up as everyone was back together after the week of trips. The carnival on Saturday was a big success! Hundreds of cotton candy swirls were whipped up along with sno-cones and popcorn. The games of skill and goofiness arranged all across the Big Spring Field were very popular, as always, and the old-school fire truck made its appearance to spray everyone in range and cool them off after an afternoon under sunny skies.

Today we said goodbye to our first group of Sanborn Junior Campers. They had a fantastic two weeks of camp and will be missed by everyone at Big Spring and High Trails. On Tuesday, however, we get to welcome a new group of Juniors into the community. They bring such a fun energy to camp. For many, it is their first overnight camp experience and they are excited, and a bit nervous, about the adventures and fun ahead. Almost half of the campers at Big Spring and HIgh Trails experienced their first Sanborn Summer in the Junior program!

Today was also a big prep day for the girls as they prepared to head out on their long trips Monday and Tuesday. Fifteen 3-, 4-, and 5- day trips will head out with plans to summit ten different mountains, cover many miles of trail on horseback, explore natural art on Pikes Picasso, and circumnavigate 11-Mile Reservoir on a canoe and paddle sports adventure. Certainly a lot is in store for them, and through these long trips the mission of camp is carried out in profound ways. A small group adventure with challenges, comradery, opportunities to put skills to use and the time to be together in the outdoors, is precisely why we do what we do. What an amazing opportunity to learn about yourself, others around you, and the natural world while taking it all in with awe and wonder! We look forward to hearing the stories of their many accomplishments when they return at the end of the week.

While the boys’ long trips will begin in a week, they certainly won’t just be sitting around waiting for them to arrive! Several 2-day mountain climbs, including La Plata and Ouray, are planned, along with river overnights and Lone Vigils, our very popular version of a solo campout experience. They will also be exploring the history all around Cripple Creek. One trip will venture 1000 feet down on the Molly Kathleen hard rock mine tour and another will explore the techniques and equipment of modern mining. Other museums and sites will bring Colorado’s history alive for those on the trip. With High Trails out hiking, riding and boating all across the region, it’s a great week to take over camp with LARPing adventures. These Live Action Role Play trips are great fun and full of creativity as the boys will explore the worlds of Harry Potter and Lord of the the Rings.

As we come to the midpoint of the month-long session, the boys and girls are hitting their strides and are very excited for the upcoming week and all that it has in store. We will post photos from the past week on CampinTouch tomorrow morning. Keep watching our Facebook page and Instagram feed too, as we will share a few highlights throughout the 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.