Letter from the Executive Director

For over 70 years, we have observed the positive impact that a summer at Sanborn Western Camps has on our campers.
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For over 70 years, we have heard from parents that their children return home with more resilience, additional independence, and enhanced self-esteem. For over 70 years our campers have told us that camp feels like another “home” and that the friendships they made here and their memories of climbing mountains, riding horses, and singing around campfires have created memories which last a lifetime.

And now, the research is pouring in to support what our camp families have always known. Camp is good for young people because it provides an opportunity to practice social skills in a safe, supportive community. Camp is good for young people because it allows them to connect with the natural world in ways that reduce stress, enhance creativity, and provide a sense of belonging. Camp is good for young people because it provides activities and challenges which enhance physical and emotional health.

While research is showing that a connection with the natural world is essential for positive youth development, other research shows that the amount of time U.S. children spend outside has declined by 50 percent in the last two decades alone. Here on our 6000 acres in the Colorado mountains, we hike, camp-out, ride horses and live within the natural world. We “unplug” for a time and make real connections with friends, nurturing adult leaders, and the world around us.

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Research has also shown that social and emotional skills are more important than academic skills for success in life. Here at camp young people practice teamwork skills while climbing mountains, backpacking and camping out together. They learn leadership skills through our trips and our special programs. They gain responsibility, tolerance and an appreciation for the importance of communication by living together with other campers and staff from many places.

Camp is our life. Our leadership team has more than 150 years of collective experience at Sanborn Camps and we are committed to providing the program, the facilities, and the leadership which will make a term at Big Spring, High Trails, or Sanborn Junior a highlight in the life of each child who joins us.

We look forward to making a positive impact in your child’s life.


Elizabeth Marable

Executive Director