Name: Charles (also known as Chucky, Chucky Apples, Nunzi, Finster)
Current Role: Riding Program Manager at Big Spring
Tenure at Sanborn: Charles was a camper for 7 years, spent 4 years on staff, and now works on our year-round team.
Fun Fact: Charles is our resident crossword expert. You can find him doing the New York Times puzzle almost every day.
What is your first memory at Sanborn?
Charles’s first memory of Sanborn was his move-in day to Crestone on ABC. He recalls the people being really friendly, his counselors seeming nice, and the excitement of being inside of a yurt for the very first time.
In particular, he remembers one of his counselors very vividly - his name was apparently Frank Wetzel, but he was fondly known as “Four Finger Frank” to folks at camp due to one of his hands being quite distinct from the other. Charles remembers really liking Frank - if you’re out there, Frank, say hello!
Charles’s favorite memories of Sanborn have always been on a horse - it’s no wonder he’s been a wrangler for multiple years and now manages the boys’ program. He loved riding up Little Blue for Vespers on Sunday evenings as a camper and continues to find it to be one of his most impactful moments of the summer as a wrangler. He recalls that usually the people who ride to Vespers are those who know each other well and have connected over a similar passion for horses, riding up a beautiful route through Antelope Ridge. Charles says that getting to be out there and watch the sunset has always been powerful for him. He loves that Vespers is an opportunity to set the tone for the whole community.
Though Chuck is not a huge cookie person, he does loves ice cream sandwiches on special days or from the store. The interviewers also find him eating Froozers at lunch often, even in the off-season.
Hardest camp trip?
Charles once led the Black Mountain 5-day horse trip, which is now done by trailering out the horses then riding back from that campsite. On this trip, Charles and his crew rode to that campsite and back from the Sanborn property on their 5-day trip. He recalls some really intense, long days in the saddle and a counselor who was under the weather, but also reflects that it ended up being super cool and rewarding after all the hard work.
Favorite camp tradition?
Charles is partial to such classic traditions as the lodge chant, “Oh, let’s see ____ put a cup on the table…” and other fun chants and songs during meals. He also remembers a song from his time as a camper called “National Embalming School.” A couple of days ago during lunch in the office, Charles and Jerry performed a rendition of this tune for the interviewers. Does anyone else remember this song from days of yore?