Partnership: A Place Beyond

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A Place Beyond is an organization created by former/current camp professionals, outdoor educators and NOLS instructors. Their goal is to create a residential living environment for college students who are a) currently engaged in exclusive online learning through their universities or who are b) attending online universities but seeking a small scale, resident life experience with a focus on the outdoors.

Nov. 21, 2020 is APB’s second round deadline for their Spring Semester enrollment. They have program locations at their original site in the Bradshaw Mountains near Prescott, AZ and launching their new site at High Trails here in Florissant! We have been working closely with founder, Ciaran Wiltis, and his team and are really excited about sharing this opportunity with the Sanborn community.

Our mission is to create in-person learning communities where growth and balance are easy. Right now, we’re transforming camps into campuses designed for remote interns and college and graduate participants to explore their personal, academic, and professional potential. Right now, it’s especially nice to live in an in-person community of 40-60 with other folks who want to live conscientiously amid a global pandemic. APB’s expert instructor team has previously worked as outdoor educators at NOLS, Overland, Teton Science School, Alaska Alpine Adventures, and BSA Venture/Eagle Scouts. Instructors also draw on diverse “front country” skills and experiences, ranging from global strategy consulting (Dalberg Advisors), to startups (Pana), to Hollywood TV writing (Showtime), as well as post-college fellowships (Princeton in Asia, Venture for America, Schwarzman Scholars).

Key curriculum elements include:

  • Instructor Mentorship: Mentorship is the lynchpin of our curriculum. Our instructors work with participants one-on-one each week, helping them set personal, academic, and professional goals in the short-term and beyond. Fundamentally, the mentorship role is about modeling healthy and caring friendship. We incorporate and practice debriefing and giving/receiving feedback.

  • In-person Learning Community: So far, we have participants from 37 universities across the U.S., including the University of Washington, Stanford, Brown, Columbia, MIT, Northwestern, Rhode Island College and more. Together, we meet three times a day over meals; study and work across campus (capacity for 70 people on Zoom simultaneously); and rest in our cabins, which are 3 participants to a large cabinside. In the evenings, we host a variety of community events, from instructor and participant-led workshops (e.g. nonviolent communication, self-defense, bread baking, anti-racism) to a weekly assembly. Of course, we also hold games and celebrations, like our themed dance party after we established our masks-off bubble.

  • Guest lecturers: We’re bringing in professionals from different walks of life to be a part of our community. This is less “lecture series” and more “artist-in-residence.” They provide one-on-one mentorship, bring participants into their work, and facilitate one-of-a-kind workshops over a period of a few days up to a month. Because many professionals are now able to work remotely, they can fully immerse in our community without giving up their day job. For this fall, our guest lecturers include a cast member and musical director from the Hamilton U.S. Tour, a Rhodes alumnus/Harvard PhD candidate in experimental education, an award-winning essayist from the New York Times, organizational leaders from McKinsey, IDEO and IBM, and others.

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  • An active campus in the natural world: Our goal is to empower participants to enjoy and explore APB’s wilderness settings and activities safely, as well as challenging themselves with new activities and building healthy routines. We select sites where participants can roll out of bed and immediately go hiking, mountain biking or other activities. For example, at our current site in the Bradshaw Mountains, we have bouldering areas, a frisbee golf course, and hiking and mountain biking trails on-property which extends to the surrounding national forest. Prescott is also situated near some of the premier rock climbing and hiking in Northern Arizona.

  • Wilderness leadership skills and trips: On weekdays, participants and instructors collaborate on group outings with an eye towards more in-depth skill progressions (e.g. single track mountain biking, skiing, fishing, lead climbing). On weekends, we lead overnight and day trips nearby areas of astounding natural beauty.

If you are interested, or have a friend who might be interested, in this experience you can apply to reserve your spot.

As part of the Sanborn family, APB wants to offer the option to “skip-the-line.” Use the code SANBORN for the question, “Are you applying with a referral?” From there, APB will expedite your process as they continue to process applications.

If cost is a concern, A Place Beyond still encourages people to fully apply. Once admitted, APB will work with students one-on-one to help reallocate existing room & board funds, e.g. 529, loans, grants, towards APB. The program also has partial sponsorships available for low-income students.

We are very excited to be a host site for A Place Beyond starting in January 2021!

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Ariella Rogge
About Ariella Rogge

Ariella started her career at Sanborn when she was twelve. After five years of camper and five years of Sanborn staff experience, she continued her work with kids in the high school classroom. Ariella and her family returned to Sanborn in 2001 to take on the Program Director role which she held til 2012. She and Elizabeth Marable became co-directors of High Trails in 2013 and then Ariella became the High Trails Director in 2020. In the fall of 2022 she became the Director of Sanborn Western Camps, overseeing the director teams of both Big Spring and High Trails. She lists mountain golf, Gymkhana, climbing mountains and making Pad Thai in the backcountry as some of her favorite activities at camp. Ariella received a B.A. in English from Colorado College and is a certified secondary English educator,an ACCT Level 2 Ropes Course Technician, an ARC lifeguard and NREMT and WEMT. She lives in Florissant in the summer and in Green Mountain Falls during the school year so she can stay involved with the busy lives of her husband, Matt, and two teenage sons, Lairden and Karsten.