Letter to Camp Families

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Dear Friends,

It is with great sorrow that we are writing to let you know that we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 summer camp season of Big Spring, High Trails, and Sanborn Junior.

Coming to this decision has been incredibly challenging for our year-round staff and for our small business, and we know that it is a sad day for you as well. We have been so grateful for your patience as we all monitored and evaluated the information about the virus and hoped for a better outcome. We know that this is the best decision for the well-being of our campers, our staff, and our camp families.

The latest guidelines from the federal government, the CDC, and our own state government have made it clear that to bring campers and staff from multiple places into a camp community based on social interaction and group living would create an environment so regulated that it would not resemble previous summers at Big Spring and High Trails. Our primary objective has always been to create a community of the safest environment possible and, with many factors still unknown about COVID-19, we do not see a path forward for camp this summer.

Sanborn Camps has always been a place of expanded freedom where children can be children, sing, laugh and explore the natural world together. Our community is based on hugs, pats on the back, sitting on a friend’s bed, and helping each other saddle a horse or make it to the top of a mountain. The very essence of our program is incompatible with the limited group sizes and strict form of social distancing which are, for the next few months, the primary methods of slowing the spread of the virus.

We know your camper/s have been asking you questions about camp over the last few weeks. In an attempt to speak directly to some of the new questions campers might have regarding the cancellation, the Sanborn directors have created video messages for campers to help explain the impacts of social distancing on our community and camp programs.

We will be back in 2021! In the meantime, our directors are working on a variety of ways to stay engaged with your campers over the summer through interactive online and social media events. We will continue to serve our mission and our camp families in ways that fit with the realities of our current situation. We will be working throughout the year to evaluate and improve all of our programs so that the Sanborn experience will be better than ever in the summer of 2021.

We will reach out individually to campers who would have been Junior Counselors or Outbackers this summer and will invite them to return in these leadership roles during the summer of 2021. We also will extend scholarship commitments made by the Sanborn Scholarship Committee into next summer. We will open enrollment for 2021 in the late summer and spaces will be protected for all of our 2020 camp families.

Knowing that many people have suddenly found themselves in difficult financial positions, we have modified our deposit refund policy. Please follow this link to view our policy and let us know your preferences on the form which is now available through your CampInTouch account.

You are constantly in our thoughts and we cannot thank you enough for your support and commitment during these difficult times.

Sincerely, Mike MacDonald

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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. 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, an AHA CPR trainer and WEMT. She lives at camp with her husband, two sons, 8 chickens, 2 salamanders, 2 hermit crabs and 1 cat.