Middle School Student/Parent Wilderness Trips

You are invited to step away from everyday distractions that compete for your time and attention and escape with your kid on a weekend of guided adventure through breathtaking alpine scenery. These weekend trips are an incredible time for mothers, fathers or other caring adults to pursue intentional time with their kids as you meet with Jesus, play, speak encouragement, and make incredible memories together.

These trips are designed for middle school students and their parents or caring mentors! We welcome same or mixed gendered adult-student pairs or trios. We aim for our trips to be accessible and enjoyable for families whether you are first time backpackers or seasoned backcountry enthusiasts. No matter your experience level along the way your guides will help equip you with basic backcountry skills!

On these trips, your group will hike into a basecamp where you will camp for both nights, freeing up the middle day of your trip for an adventure without full packs!


This summer we have trips available for Calvary middle schoolers at all three campuses. 

Erie Campus Trip

July 13-15

Erie & Thornton Campus Trip

July 26-28

Boulder & Thornton Campus Trip

August 2-4


On Calvary Wilderness trips we are more interested in a wilderness journey in community than we are in a specific destination! Your trip guides will select a wilderness area as your trip gets closer based on a variety of factors including weather, trail conditions, fire bans, etc. Once the trip guides have selected a location for your adventures we will let you know!

Trip Kickoff
Meet at 7:30am at the Erie Campus.

Upon arrival your trip guides will spend time checking your personal gear, divvying up group gear and coaching you on how to pack up your backpack!

Trip Return
We will aim to return by 6pm to the Erie Campus.



$170 per person ($340 per pair)

Registration & Refund Policy

Payment is due in full at the time of registration.

Refunds are available until 2 weeks before the trip.

No refunds will be issued for cancellations within 2 weeks of the trip.

If you need to cancel your registration prior to that point a partial refund of $175 per person will be available.

Activity Level

These backpacking trips are beginner friendly, but will likely require some physical preparation in order to maximize your enjoyment of your time in the wilderness. You should be prepared to do the following:

  • Adults: Carry a 35-40 lb pack for 2-3 miles in to your basecamp for the weekend
  • Students: Carry a 20-25 lb pack for 2-3 miles in to your basecamp for the weekend
  • Hike 3-4 miles with a 5-10 lb day pack
  • Complete around 2,000 ft of elevation gain
  • Hike and camp at elevations of 9,000 ft. and up
  • Complete up to 9 miles of total hiking

We understand the physical requirements may be a bit intimidating, but we find most people can train and do great! If you aren’t sure what it looks like to prepare physically, we’ve got you covered. We will send a training plan your way once you register.

Sample Itinerary

On Calvary Wilderness trips our hope is to challenge you to simply be present and not to worry too much about managing time or what is coming next on the schedule–you guide team is on it and has a great trip planned for you and will also adjust their plans to the changing needs of your group! That said, here is a glimpse into what your 3-day trip could look like, though times may vary greatly depending on your group:

Day One

7:30 AM | Trip Kickoff at Erie Campus
9:30 AM | Drive to trailhead
12:00 PM | Lunch: Bagged lunch on the road or at the trailhead
1:00 PM | Hike in to your campsite for the trip
4:00 PM | Get to camp and setup
5:00 PM | Time with God as families 
6:00 PM | Dinner 
7:00 PM | Group Time (could include games, personal sharing, debrief day, worship) 
9:00 PM | Bedtime

Day Two

6:00 AM | Early morning snack & hike to a summit or other destination
8:30 AM | Breakfast on the summit
9:30 AM | Life story sharing between parents and kids
1:00 PM | Lunch: Enjoy lunch back at camp
2:00 PM | Game Time
3:00 PM | Free time
5:30 PM | Time with God as families 
6:30 PM | Dinner
7:00 PM | Group Time (could include games, personal sharing, debrief day, worship)
10:00 PM | Bedtime

Day Three

7:00 AM | Breakfast
8:00 AM | Time with God as families 
9:00 AM | Pack-up and head back to the trailhead
11:00 AM | Time of blessing & encouraging students
12:00 PM | Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a scenic spot on the trail
3:00 PM | Begin drive home
6:00 PM | Arrive back at Calvary’s Erie Campus 

Meeting Place and Time

Trip Kickoff
Meet at 7:30am at the Erie Campus.

Upon arrival your trip guides will spend time checking your personal gear, divvying up group gear and coaching you on how to pack up your backpack!

Trip Return
We will aim to return by 6pm to the Erie Campus.

What's Included

2-3 trained volunteer backpacking guides from Calvary who will facilitate your group’s trip. These guides have training in the following areas:

  • Wilderness First Aid
  • Backcountry Navigation
  • Leave No Trace Priciples
  • Backpacking Basics
  • Wilderness Ministry

Transportation to and from the trailhead

Backpacking gear including:

  • 55-70L Backpack
  • Pack Cover
  • Shared Tents
  • 20-30 Degree Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
  • Inflatable Sleeping Pad
  • Camp Chair
  • Stoves 
  • Cooking Gear
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Safety Whistle
  • Emergency Communication Device 
  • 2 Nalgene Water bottles
  • Water Purification
  • Rain Fly
  • Rope
  • Meals & snacks for your 3-day trip

Note: If you have your own backpacking gear like a pack, sleeping bag or sleeping pad that you would prefer to use, bring it to the trip kickoff and your guides will make sure it looks sufficient for your trip!

What to Bring


Please bring the following non-cotton items:

  • Long underwear/baselayer (top & bottom)
  • Short Sleeved Shirt 
  • 1-2 Pairs of Hiking Shorts and/or Pants
  • Fleece Pants
  • 2-3 Fleece and/or Down Jacket Layers
  • Rain Jacket
  • Lightweight Gloves
  • Fleece Hat
  • Baseball Cap or Sun Hat
  • 2 Pairs of Underwear
  • 2-3 Pairs of Wool Socks
  • Hiking Boots
  • Sandals or Camp Shoes

Other Items:

  • Pen & Small Notebook
  • Small Bible
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Lip Balm
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Headlamp
  • Personal Medications

Optional Items:

  • Wet Wipes
  • Camera
  • Hammock
  • Hiking Poles

Please do not bring many additional items–every little bit of weight adds up! For more details regarding the items on the packing list please see our gear page!

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I be carrying?
Each person will carry a 35-40 lb pack that contains their own clothing and other personal items, backpacking gear (like a sleeping bag, pad, and camp chair), group gear (like tents or cooking gear) & some food for the trip.

Where do we sleep?
Your group will sleep in a combination of 2, 4 or 6 person tents. We will keep families together. Same gender pairs may be grouped together with other same gender pairs. Mixed gender pairs will have their own sleeping spaces. Weather permitting there will also be an opportunity to sleep out under the stars.

What do we eat?
Each participant will carry some food for the group. The trip guides will prepare delicious meals for the group. A sample menu for the day might look like protein pancakes and dried fruit for breakfast, pizza bagels for lunch and burrito bowls for dinner!

What if I have dietary restrictions?
Our goal is to accommodate any dietary restrictions that you might have. Simply note any restrictions or allergies when you register for the trip and we will connect with you before the trip to ensure that we are prepared to accommodate your needs. We will let you know if you need to bring any additional items!

What training do the trip guides have?
All trip guides have a Wilderness First Aid certification. In addition they have gone through training in wilderness navigation, cooking, camping and have been equipped to facilitate Christ-centered experiences and conversations in the back-country.

What communication can my family expect while the trip is out?
Trip guides will have a GPS device that they will use to check in with a predetermined member of our guide team back in the front-country. They will send their location daily as well as some basics about how the trip is going. The front country team will communicate with families in the event of any emergency or change of plans. Otherwise, no news is good news.

What does transportation look like?
Calvary Wilderness trips will use 15 passenger vans to transport groups to and from the trailhead. All drivers will have passed Calvary’s driver check.

Stay in the Loop!

Sign up for the Calvary Wilderness Newsletter here!

Questions? Connect with Lindsay to learn more!