News from camp: July 15, 2019

We’re three days in and off and running! Opening day was a beautiful Colorado blue-sky day and was a fantastic welcome to camp. Seeing everyone arrive from all across the country and beyond is always so fun and exciting. As everyone jumped into activities across camp - from games in the field to the gaga pit and from crafts at the art barn to BETs (basic equestrian training) at the barns - camp came to life. Old friendships were rekindled and new ones have begun. After the opening dinner in the lodge, the campers spent the evening connecting with their units and cabinsides, beginning to lay the foundation for their living group communities for the summer.

Sunday and Monday were filled with First Few Day activities for the campers to get comfortable around camp and kick off the fun in big ways. Early morning hikes, orientation (and first rides) at the barns, lots of splashing and fun at the pools and hikes to A-bluff, the crystal beds and copper mines were just some of what was on the schedule. Sunday night’s opening campfire’s were held inside at the lodge (BS) and Heisler Hall (HT) due to some rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of everyone, as the skits and songs were as fun and loud as ever.

High Trails and Big Spring will head out on the first campouts of the season this week - the cabinside and unit overnights. While everyone loves being around camp with their friends, getting out to go camping is very exciting and is a huge piece of camp. Exploring the property and being with your living group for a night or two lays the foundation for the summer ahead. It’s a great chance to learn or refresh your memory about the skills needed for all of the future trips of the summer. Packing a backpack, setting up the tent, cooking together, and using the map and compass are just a few of these skills. Also, friendships built around the cabin or tent are strengthened on this first trip. These relationships often turn into the lifelong friendships of camp.

The end of the week will bring the first of many allday trips on and off the ranch. Horse, mountain bike and climbing all days are scheduled as well as trips to the South Platte River for tubing, Eleven Mile Reservoir for canoeing and to the high ropes course for challenging and fun team building adventures. The junior campers will float down the river, explore the bluffs of camp, have some great horse rides, and set out to explore the crystal beds.

The weekend will bring us all back together for Saturday Specials and fun afternoon activities ahead of our first Saturday night social, when both camps will get together for our weekly, dance and games (there might even be ice cream!). It’s a fun time for friends, cousins and siblings from across the camps to get together and see each other.

Our photographers have posted pictures from the first couple of days of camp and will be putting the unit and cabinside photos up soon. They are continuing to capture wonderful new photos from all across camp, and as usual, they will be available for viewing early Monday morning through the CampInTouch portal. For more news of camp, you can follow ‘Sanborn Western Camps’ on Facebook and SanbornCamps on Instagram. We would love to have parents, friends, and family follow our posts about camp events, trips and activities. Until next week…

Back to Blog
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.