Ariella Rogge: Parent and Proponent at @SanbornCamps
Ariella Rogge is in an enviable spot: she works in two very open spaces—nature and social media. She is Program Director/Associate Director for Sanborn Western Camps, which operates under the umbrella of the Colorado Outdoor Education Center, a non-profit educational institution that aims to help both children and adults connect with and learn through nature. Ariella's passion is working with youth, and that's what ties those two spaces together for her.
More specifically, her background is in educating teenagers. Spending her young summers at Sanborn's sleep-away camps every year, then her older summers as a staff member, gave her a strong desire to get a degree in secondary education. This propelled a career teaching high school, first, then directing and marketing programs back at Sanborn. Technically, she helps kids sign up for camp activities and trips, coordinates their schedules, helps generate and implement new programs, matches up the interests of the staff members with the those of the campers, and markets Sanborn through Facebook and Twitter (@sanborncamps). More than that, though, she is an advocate for getting children away from screens and out in nature, for encouraging them to play freely in it and reconnect with it, as a means for them to grow physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally.
She is also, more importantly, the mother of two boys, ages 6 and 2. She is on, as she puts it, "the journey of Human Being Facilitation/Creation/Motivation/Inspiration/Frustration/Celebration known as Parenthood." She is passionate about their development as well and getting them out into "the natural world" on a regular basis. Sometimes they resist, but when they do go up in the mountains, they all "feel freer." Because she has learned the best development techniques at Sanborn, she feels she is a much better parent. Ariella blogs frequently about her experiences at blog.sanbornwesterncamps.com
In addition, she writes on other people's blogs about leadership, children, and the nature movement. She says has found that being involved in the social media space as a representative of Sanborn and the COEC, is effective because it helps:
- keep their community of current, past, and future campers engaged,
- share information consistently
- be transparent to the public and to the large network of camps throughout the country
Where does she hope involvement in the social media space will get her? More involvement in the nature space. She's shooting, with other American Camp Association camps, for 20 million campers at 20,000 camps by the year 2020. Lofty goal? Maybe. But then again, in the mountains, she does live closer to the stars.