You will learn all of the necessities of outdoor living from our qualified instructors. We teach lessons on everything from bathing and cooking to picking out the best camp spot. In addition, you will learn the skills necessary to lead a group in the outdoors according to the Wilderness Education Association’s (WEA) curriculum. This curriculum requires competence in 6 core areas, including outdoor living, leadership, environmental integration and education. You will have the opportunity to work towards a WEA outdoor leader certification through this course.
While learning how to faithfully live and lead in a wilderness setting, you will also be challenged to grow in the areas of identity, community and spirituality. You’ll receive a course journal that will include various outdoor resources as well as readings about such things as identity, Christlike leadership, worship, redemption, servanthood and the practice of spiritual disciplines. You will participate in Scripture study and reflection through journaling. Finally, you will discuss the life of your community and set goals for your growth together.
A Typical Day on LDW Wyoming
The beauty of LDW is that there is no “typical” day. Each day could turn out completely different from the one before and after it. Regardless, here’s a rough overview of what you might expect from LDW Wyoming. Your Wyoming adventure will begin just north of Pittsburgh, PA where you will spend two days getting to know the other participants and instructors while preparing and packing for the trip. You and the group will then make a cross-country drive to the trailhead near Dubois, Wyoming.
After packing is complete, you will head into the wilderness for “shake down”, a week-long period where you will learn the basics of wilderness living – selecting campsites, setting up tents, navigation, stoves & cooking, bathing & washing, etc. After shake down, you and the group move farther up and into the mountains. As weather and circumstances permit, you will be able to rock climb, learn technical mountaineering skills, and make a summit attempt on a 13,000 ft. peak.
You will typically move camp every few days. On move days, you are up early and on the trail until dinner. When you arrive you will have time to set up camp and cook dinner before the evening meeting. During “in camp” days the instructors, fellow students or you will be teaching lessons on topics including outdoor living skills, leadership, community life, and spirituality, or practicing spiritual disciplines such as praying, Scripture study, and solitude.
A major event in your trip will be your time as Leader of the Day. On that day, you will plan the route, lead the group, and determine how decisions will be made. At the end of the day, you will hear valuable feedback from your peers and instructors on your leadership.
Between all of the backpacking, lessons, and leading, you can expect to build strong relationships with your community through laughing and playing together and working together through the hard things that God requires of everyone who follows Him, but especially of those who are called to leadership positions. You can expect to be both challenged and built up by your community daily!
You will part ways with your fellow backpackers in PA as you reunite with your friends and family for a banquet celebrating your completion of the trip.
About the Wind River Range
The Wind River Range is a beautiful section of mountains in western Wyoming within the larger Rocky Mountain chain. It is known for its rugged, glacier-shaped peaks, valleys, and lakes, which are famous amongst fishermen. Because visitors must traverse significant foothills before witnessing the majesty of the high peaks, the area sees few tourists and retains a pristine, wild air.