People of Sanborn: Mike Mac

Name: Mike Mac

Current Role: Executive Director

Tenure at Sanborn: 1991 (almost 30 years!)

What is your first memory at Sanborn? On his drive to camp before his first summer as a counselor, Mike recalls driving on Highway 24 out of Limon, CO, cresting a hill, and seeing Pikes Peak suddenly appear on the horizon. He was hooked. Once arriving at camp, he remembers folks opening the door to the Big Spring Lodge and the excitement with which they yelled, “Hey! Welcome to camp!”

As for first trip memories, he remembers camping in the valley below Pikes Peak on the long trip and witnessing an incredible lightning storm above them. The members of their trip kind of got to sit back and watch the storm in amazement, knowing they were safe in that valley.

Favorite memory? As we all do, Mike loves his memories of mountain summits, particularly those in the Collegiates where you really feel like you’re in a 360˚ panorama of mountain views. He specifically remembers an epic 5-day climbing Missouri, Oxford, Belford, Columbia, and Harvard and cooking pancakes out of his tent vestibule, or a gorgeous loop in the Tarryalls.

However, he equally appreciates his memories of the impactful quiet moments of camp. Unforgettable stargazing with Laura and Rick was a true highlight, as well as the many Vespers and Opening/Closing campfires he has attended.

Favorite cookie? Mike can’t stray away from the classic, satisfying, equal-parts-sweet-and-salty chocolate chip cookie. The interviewers have to insert their opinions and say this is one of their all-time favorites, too.

Hardest camp trip? He has to say his Buffalo Peaks trip which happened in 4 straight days of rain - it seemed they did everything in the rain: cooking, hiking, sleeping… Except for a break in the rain where they summitted West Buffalo Peak, he recalls it being a very wet experience. As are so many camp trips, this trip was challenging in the moment but, upon reflection and the distance of a few years, Mike remembers it as pretty awesome.

Favorite camp tradition? Without missing a beat, Mike answers this question with the word “Vespers.” Through all of the amazing things that happen at camp, Mike finds Vespers each week impactful for its ability to help us all stop, reflect, and take it all in. We’re able to come together as a community, and he loves seeing the impact of the experience on others who are there with him.

He remembers loving when Rick would speak each week and he’s loved talking for years now, too. Mike’s favorite Vespers are always when people are really dialed into the experience and it starts off on the right foot.

Thanks, Mike, for being our first feature in the “People of Sanborn” segment. Look for more of your favorite faces, as well as some new ones, in our weekly Fun Friday segment. Happy Weekend to all!

-Emily Burnham and Noah Fisher

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Emily Burnham
About Emily Burnham

Emily has worn a variety of hats here at Sanborn over the years. She began as a camper, then worked on staff for four summers while affectionately known as “Edna,” taught as an instructor at High Trails Outdoor Education Center, and now works as the Assistant Director for High Trails. Her favorite things about camp include eating liberal quantities of chippy dippy bars, singing a little bit too loudly at Vespers, and watching campers accomplish incredible feats. She recently graduated with a degree in sociology from Colorado College and now lives at camp, counting down the days until summer each year.