Commonly Asked Questions
Why do we choose to do our discipleship experiences in the wilderness?
Scripture says that God’s invisible qualities and eternal power can be seen in and throughout creation. We read many Biblical accounts in which God uses the wilderness as the classroom in which to prepare individuals to lead His people, and we recognize the unique value of that classroom.
Are there any requirements for LDW participants?
LDW is designed for college students. Due to the physical nature of our courses, we also require that participants be in good physical condition or willing and able to participate in a physical training routine during the months prior to the trip.
How did LDW get started?
The Outdoor Leadership Team (OLT) became an official part of the CCO in 1978. In the first ten years of outdoor ministry, OLT sponsored 259 adventure trips for college students in Western PA. In 1995, the campus ministers involved in OLT decided to run a 40-day wilderness leadership and discipleship experience in WY so they could invite students into the richness and learning they found in the OLT community. That year, OLT staff members took 15 college students to WY to explore what it means to live in community, to lead in the way modeled by Christ, and to embrace their identities as image-bearers and children of God. OLT (now known as Experiential Designs or XD) leaders have taken students into the wilderness for an extended trip nearly every summer since that year.
What kinds of medical certifications do your leaders have?
Our head instructors are required to have up-to-date CPR and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certifications. The WFR certification is the recognized industry standard for backcountry trip leaders.
What does my course tuition cover?
Your course tuition covers travel expenses from our equipment room to the start point of your trip and back again, all group gear such as tents and stoves, a variety of personal gear you may need to borrow such as backpacks and sleeping bags, all food during the course of the trip (except during travel to and from the start location), a Thermarest and chair kit for you to keep at the end, the cost of the celebratory banquet at the end of the trip, and all books and reading material. The CCO is a non-profit organization and all tuition costs go directly towards XD summer opportunities program.
What is the student:instructor ratio?
Our optimum trip size is 12-15 students with 4 instructors. We keep the student:instructor ratio 4:1 or smaller.
What kind of fundraising opportunities do you offer for participants?
We strongly believe that the LDW experience will change your life and that you will grow in your ability to be a leader that will influence others for the Kingdom of God. We also believe that your growth in that way is a worthwhile cause for financial investments. We see such investments as investments not only in the lives of our participants, but also in the leadership for the campus, church, marketplace, and broader culture to come. Therefore, we give students the opportunity to ask people in their lives to contribute to the cost of their tuition. All money donated goes directly to the cost of the individual participant’s trip.
Once you are accepted and agree to participate in LDW, you will be sent a detailed “How to Fundraise for LDW” packet. You will also be assigned a fundraising mentor who will walk through fundraising with you, every step of the way.
What is your cancellation policy?
Once you fill out your application and are selected as a participant for this summer, you will be asked to send in a $300 non-refundable deposit. If we have to cancel the trip for some reason, your deposit will be completely refunded. If you withdraw from the course, we will refund all of your payments except your deposit, as long as you inform us of your withdrawal at least a month before the course’s start date.