Saturday 24th February 2018,
The Transcript

Backpacking, self-discovery in Wyoming

By: Nik Schiff, Transcript Correspondent

William Hayes. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.

William Hayes. Photo courtesy of the OWU website.

This summer, a group of Ohio Wesleyan students will find their spiritual testing ground in the Wyoming wilderness.

Members of the Leadership and Discipleship in the Wilderness (LDW) trip will spend six weeks in the Wind River Mountains beginning June 4.

Since 1995 the trip has been taken ten times; on average about every other summer. It is run by the Coalition for Christian Outreach, a campus ministry at OWU and other schools in the region.

Some activities offered include backpacking, rock climbing and mountaineering. The purpose of the excursion is to learn lifelong lessons through experiences rarely available to the average person, to provide opportunities for personal growth and maturation, and to develop personal faith.

“The potential for these things is huge if students can find the right places and contexts for this learning,” said William Hayes, associate chaplain and director of Wilderness Ministry at OWU.

“The experience of LDW makes it possible for students to learn in ways that are just not possible through campus.”

During the journey, students will receive personal Christian discipleship in the context of a close community, giving them the opportunity to grow in their faith and to make lifelong friends.

“I still keep in touch with some of the people I met whenever I went,” said Haley Barber, class of 2013. Barber attended the trip in 2012. “Having the opportunity to meet new people from different backgrounds was a great experience,” she said.

“My favorite part of the trip was all the nature and wilderness, it was gorgeous,” Barber continued.

The group will be able to rock climb and mountaineer. Mountaineering occurs over snow, ice and glaciers to heights up to 13,000 feet.

“These activities provide physical challenges with potential for failure but with high rewards,” Hayes said.

To date, only two students have applied to participate in this summer’s adventure to Wyoming.

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