BODY - Wilderness Activities

Rock Climbing and Rappelling

Scenic Overlook"The Chicken Head" Climb"The Flake" Climb"The Chicken Head"  Climb

What is the purpose of this activity?
1. A fun and exciting activity
2. Allowing youth to face fears and conquer them with the encouragement of the others in the group
3. To learn about trusting God as we trust in the rope systems
4. Allowing youth to see that they can often achieve much more than they think they could.

Do I have to climb or rappel?
We never force people to climb or rappel. Our theory is that if we remove the pressure then most people will probably decide to give it a try. This seems to work well. Supporters are essential on this day so all spectators or participants who are waiting will be encouraging those who are on the rock.

How high are the climbs and rappels?
The height of climbs can range from 25 to 70 feet and the height of rappels can range from 40 to 120 feet. (You may choose not to tell your youth this information.)

What if it rains?
Climbing and rappelling is a fair weather activity only. Usually, if it does rain we can go caving or hiking that day, and try climbing the next fair day.


On the TrailNothing But Smiles!Near The EdgeGroup DynamicsPreparing for the Trail

What is the purpose of this activity? This is the most effective tool we have for teaching a group to cooperate as a team, and think of those who aren't as physically strong as themselves. There is something about having all your needs on your back, and being away from vehicles and other people that really challenges us. Sitting around the campfire in the evening, with sore feet and sore muscles, singing praises to God who created the beautiful environment we just spent the day in - what could be better. Of course the picture is sometimes of the group hiding under a tarpaulin in the rain, with wet boots, wet sleeping bags, and someone forgot the brown sugar for the oatmeal. Whatever happens, this is a learning experience for any group.

What if someone in my group can't keep up?
We hike at the pace of the slowest person. We usually split into groups of no more than 10 for hiking, so that each group can keep together, and we all meet at certain spots along the way. If someone is struggling we will usually give them the lead of a group, and put a more energetic youth behind them with the specific responsibility of helping them out, and keeping the rest of the group off their heels. This is a great experience for many young people. I have often seen one youth who has reached the end drop their pack, and go and take the pack of someone still struggling to get there. Now that's servanthood!


Even if you do not plan to cave, this is our main wet weather activity, so plan to do it anyway.

What is the purpose of this activity?
This is a fun adventure into an environment with a really different sort of beauty. There are a lot of parallels to life from the caving experience. The value of light is never thought of until you are without it, and this is often true of our lives with Christ - the light.

Do I have to squeeze through tiny tunnels?
Not usually. The caves we use usually have large caverns. Sometimes you will need to go through a hole into another room. If ever there is a place that all your group could not fit through, this will be a voluntary detour for those who want to try it, and the group will go another way. The ground in the caves is very rocky and slippery, and someone with knee or back problems should consult a physician before going.

What should the group wear?
As I said, the ground in the caves is rocky and slippery. Stable footwear is needed with ankle support and good traction. Whatever clothes people are wearing will get totally muddy - so old clothes are best. The temperature in the cave is generally 56 degrees, pretty cold, so warm clothes are essential. One of my youth gets claustrophobic, should they not go? A lot of youth say that they are claustrophobic when really they are just scared of an unknown experience. Many youth find that it's not nearly as scary as they envisioned, and they forget their fear after a few minutes. If anyone gets really scared while in the cave one of our staff or your adults will take them outside to wait until the rest of the group have finished. I would recommend that you reassure the youth, encourage them, and let them know that they don't have to do it if they don't want to.

White Water Rafting

What is the purpose of this activity?
This is generally more of a fun activity than a challenge, though some youth face tremendous fears of the water. Usually this is a time to relax and laugh, splash water on each other, and feel the adrenaline of the rapids.

How long is the trip?
The actual time spent at the rafting company is about three-five hours. Unfortunately the rafting is often quite a drive from where you will have been staying, so get your drivers prepared for that. When it's all said and done the trip takes most of the day. Scheduling Rafting Please let us know as soon as possible if you want to do rafting for your activity. You can cancel the rafting booking up to two weeks before, without being liable to the rafting company for the full cost of your group. We usually schedule the rafting as the last activity of the week; the climax of the week. You have the option of leaving that afternoon after rafting if you would prefer, rather than leaving the next morning. If you would like to do this let us know, and we can schedule you an early rafting trip. Tipping: Their policy: "If you like the ride, you can tip the guide"