Within the first few days of camp, all of the campers and staff at Big Spring head out on a “unit overnight” which is an introduction to backpacking and camping with your tent mates and counselors. Beyond learning to properly pack a backpack, campers will also learn Leave No Trace Principles and other sustainable “backcountry basics” camping techniques. Unique field games (marshmallow baseball!), s’mores, shooting stars, nature activities and sleeping in tents or under the stars with new and old friends makes the unit overnight a foundational community building experience for everyone.
Other unique, on-property backpacking trips often include themed activities and games specific to the trip. The Capture the Flag Overnight brings campers together to play a variety of field games all day and into the night—flashlight tag is AWESOME! The Tipi Village and Pioneering Overnights allow campers to experience the “living history” of the West while they make candles and biscuits at the Quick Homestead, or try their hand at shooting bows and arrows and playing Native American agility games at our replica Ute village. The Gourmet Overnight gives campers the opportunity to cook (and eat!) delicious meals in the backcountry after a satisfying day of hiking with their friends.
On-the-ranch backpack trips teach the skills and tone muscles for our more challenging 3-, 4- and 5-day backpacking adventures in Colorado’s high mountain wilderness areas. During the final weeks of each term, campers choose from a wide variety of multi-day excursions into the high country including backpack trips to Elbert-Massive, Antero-Shavano, the Colorado Trail, the Tarryall Mountains, La Plata Peak, Pikes Peak, Mt. Silverheels and more.