Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp – Hillside, CO
13,500 ft. That was part of the goal, the other part, to grow as a community and experience God in nature and through one another.
We departed at midnight on July 16 and headed towards our first destination, Denver, CO. We stayed at a church overnight to recharge the batteries and prepare for our journey. After a few stops along the way, we arrived at our destination on July 17: Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Hillside, Colorado. Once there, we learned the ropes of what we would need to do to live in the wilderness for a few days. Youth split into tenting groups and practiced setting up and taking down their tents. We learned where to get water, how to go to the bathroom, and how to pack. Once packed, we checked out for the night, and after a short breakfast in the morning, we headed out on-trail.
It was an experience. They warned us, it would be a little more difficult for Midwesterners, and they were right! However, the group hung on, and after a day and a half, we made it to base camp at 10,200 ft. It was gorgeous! At base camp, we spent the next day and a half taking in the beautiful sites, some rain, and some hail. Unfortunately, the weather did not allow us to peak the mountain, but most people were okay with that, and in the end, despite the wet wood, we got a fire going at night and everyone had a great time.
We finished off the week hiking back to camp, reflecting on what we had done. Our last day, we got the opportunity to use the ropes course and go whitewater rafting! Then, we finished the day with some BBQ and one last campfire worship overlooking the valley in the mountains. I think it’s safe to say that, even though the Boundary Waters is beautiful, the group may have found a new favorite destination. Thank you to everyone that helped support the youth so that we could make it out to Colorado. It was definitely an experience we will never forget.