By Bentlee Barry – Loveland, Colorado … Students experienced Colorado’s mountainous art, God created, on their annual back packing trip, several of the fifteen students for the first time.

“It was a lot of fun and I definitely would go again. I was going in blind and had no idea what to expect. Using the restroom in the forest was definitely a challenge I had to overcome since I’m from Kansas and there are no mountains,” Jared Marcenaro, Campion junior, said.  “It was cool to see first-hand how huge the mountains really are. I now understand the significance of the phrase that God moves mountains because he really is so strong and powerful.”

The excursion taught the students to adapt to the ever-changing weather conditions in the mountains when their trip had to be quickly rescheduled because of snow, and then the location had to be changed due to a nearby forest fire.

The students hiked some fifteen miles in the vast outdoors, which included visiting Coney Lake in Colorado, camping by a river, and the highlight of the trip, witnessing a moose near camp.

“It was a lot more fun than I expected. The hike was hard, but the view and sense of satisfaction made it worth it. I was exhausted and my legs hurt a lot, but my friends were there and everyone helped each other out,” Airi Nomura, Campion junior, said. “I definitely want to go on another one, but maybe the hike could be a bit shorter and the days a bit longer.”

The experience was memorable for the students and the staff who sponsored the weekend away.

“I love doing outdoor activities and getting away from the rush and stress of life. I am able to grow and reconnect with God, and I love introducing students to that experience as well,” Jill Harlow, backpacking faculty sponsor, said.

–Bentlee Barry is a senior at Campion Academy; photo by Jill Harlow