Weekly Update: July 31, 2022

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As we move into the third week of camp, you can feel the shift in the camp rhythms. The initial nervous, buzzing energy of the early days of the session has been quickly replaced with excitement, possibility and expectation of new trips and fresh activities. Now, with a full week of trips under their belts–including the 5 day SOLE and CORE outdoor leadership and service learning trips for our older campers–everyone realizes they have the competence, and the confidence, to venture into the wilderness. Some weathered significant thunderstorms with hail and rain, some summited their first 14,000 foot mountain, some rode horses in the early morning fog, some tracked and chased Bigfoot, some talked to NASA climate scientists, some hiked up brand new log steps and check-dams they had just built, some went on mud hikes, and most–at some point–fell asleep listening to the rain, awoke to the stars, and watched a sunrise.

Does that mean everyone is comfortable in the woods now? Not at all. It simply means there is a new awareness, a new set of understandings, a different perspective on what a day can look like and how it can feel. It doesn’t have to include a hot shower, or a phone, or even a clean set of clothes, but it can include playing card games in a tent with a group of friends, or washing your hands at a tree with a dromedary bag, or feeling your body’s sudden lightness when you take off your heavy pack after a long hike. The ability to discern the difference between being uncomfortable and being unsafe is important for our kids–and, part of that learning comes from being a little bit wet, a little bit cold, a little bit sore, a little bit tired and a little bit unsure.

High Trails campers will all be heading out on their three, four or five day long trips this week, and there was both excitement and uncertainty today as campers prepped gear, packed backpacks and saddlebags, lined sleeping bags and packs with trash bags, and went over their individual trip itineraries. They will all venture out either tomorrow or Tuesday and return on Thursday or Friday. At Big Spring, there will be even more two-day horse trips, mountain climbs and river adventures, plus many all day climbing, riding, rock scrambling, canoeing and fishing trips. Big Spring campers have two full weeks of trips before their long trips the last week of camp, and many of the campers maximize their days out of camp by hopping on trips with availability and taking full advantage of the breadth of opportunities both in and out of camp. We said goodbye to our third term of Sanborn Junior campers yesterday and are looking forward to welcoming the final Sanborn Junior campers to camp tomorrow. We always love the positive, motivated, end-of-summer energy these new campers bring to our communities.

Each camp’s all community Sunday Rocks felt a little longer tonight. There were more songs, more quotes, and more of a connection to the collective exhalation of the dappled trees, magenta cloud streaked skies, shimmering leaves, floating ravens, and remarkable people who all sat together as a community of individuals–all connected, more deeply, to the rhythms of the natural world.

We all know that August means the end of summer is drawing near, so we hope you, too, can get outside and enjoy a sunrise in the early morning dew, or find a dark sky place to watch the Aquariids meteor shower that is happening now. We cannot wait to hear the stories from the week ahead, and we hope you enjoy hearing a little about last week in the camper letters we uploaded this evening into your Camp InTouch account.

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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.