Grow Strong and BOOM

The Grow Strong initiative at High Trails and the BOOM program at Big Spring are central to the camper experience each summer. Both projects are foundational to the growth and development that happens at camp. By providing campers with language to define their actions, behaviors and character traits, Grow Strong and BOOM help campers understand and articulate their camp experiences and continue to grow during and outside of camp.
Grow Strong and BOOM each focus on a variety of descriptive traits and values - traits such as integrity, leadership, responsibility, resilience, and more. Throughout the summer, campers work to embody those values and apply them to their camp adventures as well as their daily lives outside of the summer.
As we all navigate life during the pandemic, we couldn’t think of a better time to reach back to the traits of Grow Strong and BOOM to grow throughout this experience and #FindOurSummerSelves!

At High Trails, GROW STRONG is an acronym that stands for Growing Responsibility in Our World, A Sisterhood Renewing and Transforming Our Never-Ending Growth.


Campers at High Trails are involved with the initiative throughout their time at camp and each year also receive a charm commemorating their participation at the end of the session. Through weekly Silent Trails activities, Vespers, and Closing Campfire, girls discover language to describe how they are growing and recognize their strengths.
Some Grow Strong words that we would apply to life during the pandemic might be resilience, kindness, responsibility, patience, and grit. We're sure there are many more that could apply! As we continue to navigate this challenging time, we hope that you'll think about and share the ways that you're already Growing Strong.

The term “Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen” was coined by the men of the 10th Mountain Division in the 1940’s and certainly applies to many different individuals and groups throughout history. When Sandy Sanborn, an original member of the 10th Mountain Division, and his wife Laura founded this camp, they did so with a passion to make the world a better place. They worked tirelessly to support connections between individuals and with the natural world to foster peace, understanding, and personal growth. Through the BOOM program Big Spring Ranch continues to uphold this vision.


Every Summer here at Big Spring, each member of the Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen chooses for themselves a guiding principle to focus on. Each member will receive a colored bead that corresponds to a guiding principle and will wear this bead as a reminder to embrace growth in this area throughout the summer. Our guiding principles are Courage, Independence, Humility, Cooperation, Adaptability, Respect, Resiliency, Responsibility, Service, Commitment. We use these principles as pillars to help us better understand how to grow from the challenges we each face, and to support each other through that growth.
In addition to selecting one of these principles, each member will receive a red bead symbolizing the Community of the Brotherhood of Outdoorsmen. This bead serves to remind us that we are a part of BOOM by simply being a part of the Big Spring community and that we have an entire community to support us.
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colorado summer campsSanborn Western Campsbrotherhood of outdoorsmenboomgrow strong
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 Program Specialist 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.