Since the Colorado Outdoor Education Center’s founding in 1948, women in organizational leadership roles have enabled our programs in outdoor and experiential education to thrive. From a rich history of summer camping for young boys, it was Laura Sanborn who advocated for the equally empowering experience of an outside adventure for girls and young women.
Today our team is mentored by Jane Sanborn, who has sought to further pioneer the camping industry for youth. Alongside Jane our organization touts an amazingly talented roster of women from across the camping and outdoor industries.
Here’s to celebrating the women leading our organizations at Sanborn Western Camps, High Trails Ranch, and The Nature Place!
Director of Development, COEC Officer and Board Member
Jane began her career as a counselor at High Trails and has worked with the camps and COEC since graduating from Colorado College with a degree in English and Education. She served as the Director/Program Director at High Trails from 1970-1999, and was Executive Director of COEC from 2006-2017. Jane is active in the American Camp Association and has served in many leadership roles. Currently she is the Program Chair of the ACA National Conference.
Executive Director, Colorado Outdoor Education Center
Elizabeth came to camp in 2002 as a counselor. She also taught at HTOEC for a number of seasons. In 2003 she joined the COEC Staff as Sanborn Junior Director and became High Trails Director with Ariella Rogge in 2013. Elizabeth sits on the Local Council of Leaders for the ACA, Rocky Mountain, and is co-author (with Jane) of “101 Nature Activities”. Elizabeth graduated from Benedictine College with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in Business.
Office Manager, Photographer, Water Sports Supervisor
Jessie began her career at camp as a counselor in 2006 and returned each subsequent summer, taking on more responsibilities each year, including those of Camp Photographer and Supervisor of Canoeing and River trips. She joined the year-round staff in 2013 as Marketing Director for the camps. Jessie has a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Special Education and taught for 4 years before joining the COEC full-time staff.
Expeditions and Operations Director, Sanborn Western Camps
After 18 years as a camper and staff member at other camps, Anne joined the High Trails summer staff in 2015 as Outcamp Coordinator. She returned in 2016 as Assistant Counselor and Kitchen Coordinator, instructed for the HTOEC program, and joined our year-round staff. Anne graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Education and Recreation Management.
Director, Sanborn Western Camps
Ariella began her career at Sanborn when she was twelve. After five years as a camper and five years as a staff member she continued her work with young people as a high school teacher. She and her family returned to camp in 2001 and she became Program Director at High Trails. In 2013, she became Director. Ariella received a B.A. in English from Colorado College and is a certified secondary English educator and WEMT. She has been active in developing Outcomes-Based Research for the ACA and often presents at conferences.
Assistant Director, High Trails
Emily has known about Sanborn for as long as she can remember. Her years as a camper at High Trails gave her a passion for working with youth in the outdoors and facilitating life-changing experiences for a variety of young people. She spent four years as an HT staff member and recently joined the COEC staff in 2019 as the In-Camp Coordinator & Staff Liaison for High Trails. Emily is also the Co-Leader of Emerging Professionals in Camping through ACA, Rocky Mountain. She graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in Sociology, minors in dance and environmental issues, and is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.
In-Camp Program Coordinator, High Trails
Krista is a long time camper who has been working in summer camps since she was seventeen years old. Her first summer at High Trails was in 2016 and she returned in 2022 as the year round In-Camp Program Director. She has held many roles at camp including, Barn Director, Pilates Instructor, Adventure Staff, Art Barn Fairy, Registrar, Program Director and more. Krista graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Recreation Management: Outdoor Experiential Education and a minor in Business. She sits on the Local Council of Leaders for the ACA, Rocky Mountain, as chairperson of the Emerging Professionals In Camping and is an ambassador for the NASA GLOBE Goes to Camp program.
In-Camp Coordinator & Staff Liaison, Big Spring
Jill joined our team at Big Spring in the spring of 2021. Before Sanborn, she spent eight summers working for an overnight camp in the Sierra Nevadas of California, where she counseled, directed their high school leadership program, and served as their program director. Jill also worked as a counselor for a day camp in Southern California. In the off-seasons, she has worked for various after-school programs for both elementary and middle school students, volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club, and worked as an ESL kindergarten teacher in Thailand. Jill graduated from California State University, Chico with a BA in History and minor in International Studies. Jill has certifications in Lifeguarding, CPR and First Aid.
Director, The Nature Place, Education & Conference Center
Martie grew up in the rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania. She has been in the Outdoor Education industry for over 10 years with 6 of those spent at Colorado Outdoor Education Center. In her time here she has played a variety of roles. These have been leading horse-pack trips, developed and implemented programs at Big Spring Ranch for Boys (COEC’s summer camp), facilitated team building, led hikes at The Nature Place and filled many other roles.
Decidedly outdoorsy, she loves playing and teaching sports, cycling, and rock climbing. With a passion for experiential education. She enjoys taking students of all ages through team-building and leadership development experiences. Martie particularly enjoys helping teams maximize a sense of ownership and encouraging transformation through innovation and creativity.