By Jared Marcenaro – Laramie, Wyoming … Hail, cold nights, rocky trails, and high altitude could not stop Campion Academy’s outdoor club from having an unforgettable weekend backpacking trip in the Snowy Range mountains in Wyoming on September 3.

The group of 25 adventure-filled students left campus for a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the trailhead, where they were met with rain and hail.

Reflecting on the exciting beginning of the expedition Jahir, Campion senior, explained, “It was memorable because Mr. Kast started our group on the wrong trail, and when we got onto the right trail it started raining and hailing. But, when that passed, we got to see the beautiful night sky.” Once everyone had set up camp and settled in, they welcomed in the Sabbath with evening worship under the stars.

Sabbath morning began with breakfast and a devotional thought. Then it was off to their next campsite, about six miles away. The hikers enjoyed beautiful views while pushing their physical limits as the trail got steeper and surpassed 11,000 feet in elevation.

“Getting to be in nature was very peaceful. I feel like being out there distracts you from school and any stress you have. You get closer to God, and you have time to talk with friends,” Matthew, Campion junior, said.

When they arrived at the end of their hike, campers settled in and had time to explore or relax.

“One thing I enjoyed was the freedom we had, especially on Saturday because I could wander off on my own time, and it wasn’t restricted to staying at camp or on a trail,” Noah, Campion senior, said.

Students shared what they learned about God throughout the day at a worship closing out the Sabbath. “Seeing the stars makes you realize how small we are but how God still cares for us,” Preston, Campion junior expressed.

Early the following day, a group of ten adventurous club members set off to hike to the summit of Medicine Bow Peak, while the rest of the members opted to sleep in. “I enjoyed the hike on Sunday morning,” said Ekenna, Campion student. “Even though it was really hard, it was awesome going to the summit and looking down on where you just came from and how far you got. It also relates to your spiritual walk, where you need to go through a struggle so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.”

One more hike awaited the students—the hike to the vans and busses to transport them back to campus. Love Pickle, senior, summed up her weekend saying that, “The people and the views made backpacking fun.”

To view a student-produced video recapping the weekend, please click here.

–Jared Marcenaro is a Campion senior; photos by Noah Sturges, Airi Nomura, and Jill Harlow