The Hero Recharge Program

“This program was life changing!! I walked away feeling so grounded, refreshed, hopeful and connected to others. The staff was beyond amazing and everything exceeded my expectations.”

ParticipantHero Recharge August 2020

On August 21-23, we welcomed an exciting new group to The Nature Place. We partnered with an outstanding organization called First Descents. First Descents, founded in 2001, is newly dedicated to providing adventure-wellness experiences for front line healthcare workers who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hero Recharge program included hiking, mountain biking, yoga, and rock climbing. The healthcare workers were able to relax and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.

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Around the campfire, participants had the opportunity to share and relate as peers working on the frontlines of the most devastating public health crisis of our lifetimes. They were able to process the trauma, grief, and loss associated with their selfless work and focus on much-needed self-care.

First Descents paid the entire cost of the program for participants. They began their work in adventure healing by providing life-changing outdoor adventure for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions. In March, as the pandemic exploded, they leveraged their existing partnerships with hundreds of health care institutions to begin providing a nationwide series of free, trauma-informed outdoor adventure programs for healthcare professionals on the front lines. They have received significant grants from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation and the VF Corporation as well as many smaller gifts from individuals who applaud and support their work.

“The Nature Place and Sanborn staff were amazing; the First Descents crew are unreal. It was exactly what I needed, filled me up, and made me a better human. Keep doing what y’all are doing.”

ParticipantHero Recharge August 2020

It was a privilege for COEC and our Sanborn Western Camps year round staff to be able to work with and help support such an amazing group of healthcare heroes. We are looking forward to partnering with First Descents on many future programs.

“Thank you so much for caring about us!!”

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opportunities for frontline healthcare workersfree outdoor programs for frontline healthcare workersfirst descents programs
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.