This summer, a group of eleven Oakcrest students will embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Along with Dean of Students Meghan Hadley ‘06, these students will head out on a nine-day backpacking adventure with Camp Wojtyla in the Rocky Mountains.
Students will have the chance to hike in either the Indian Peaks Wilderness or the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. After spending some time learning the basics of backpacking, the group will spend 5-6 nights traversing the backcountry. They will have the chance to experience Mass, Adoration and Confession while in the wild. The week will end with a whitewater rafting day on the Arkansas River.
"I decided to go on this trip because I have always loved the outdoors and hiking," Madie '23 says. "Camp Wojtyla sounded like an opportunity I couldn’t miss to appreciate God’s creation and challenge myself through backpacking. I hope to gain a greater appreciation for nature and to grow closer to my fellow backpackers/campers."
Camp Wojtyla is a Catholic outdoor adventure program based in Erie, Colorado that hosts summer camps for pre-teens and teens. Established in 2007, the organization helps campers encounter Christ through adventures in the great outdoors.
Ms. Hadley spearheaded this special trip after members of the Oakcrest class of 2021 individually attended Camp Wojtyla this past summer and had a great experience. Although Camp Wojtyla does not typically partner with schools for trips, the organization was eager to work with Oakcrest after Ms. Hadley reached out to them and suggested a partnership. Three instructors from Camp Wojtyla will accompany Ms. Hadley and the students on their expedition.
Ms. Hadley herself is an experienced backpacker and has hiked the backcountry in parks ranging from Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies to the Wind River Range in Wyoming and the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho (with fellow Oakcrest grad, Katherine Gallagher '04).
“In a world with so much noise, technology, and distraction, I am so excited to get outside with the girls (without cell service!) and do something hard,” Ms. Hadley says. “It is going to be a challenge. There is something very gratifying about standing on a summit and enjoying a vista that you could only have reached on your own two feet!”