“There is an unaccountable solace that fierce landscapes offer to the soul.” –Belden Lane
The NDC Wilderness Retreat offers an opportunity to disconnect from the busyness of life, be nourished by the beauty of nature, experience community with other sojourners, and embrace practices that reconnect our souls with God.
This weekend retreat includes a few key elements:
- Backpacking and camping two nights in the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness
- Guided spiritual practices
- Shared meals and intentional conversations
Dates: Leave Denver at 12:30 pm on Friday, June 22; return to Denver by 4 pm on Sunday, June 24
Cost: $75 (for general expenses including gas for transportation, four meals, and group gear)
Registration: limited spots available
How much outdoor experience is required?
Very little. Beginners are welcome (unless you hate the outdoors, which means this isn’t the experience for you). If you’ve never been backpacking, we’ll help you. The only requirements are that you be in good physical health and commit to preparing for the trip ahead of time. We will hike a total of twelve miles with our backpacks (six miles on Friday and six miles on Sunday, with optional day hiking on Saturday).
What about food and equipment?
Let’s start with food. The cost includes dinner on Friday, breakfast and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday. So, don’t worry about these shared meals; we will plan for and purchase food for them. At the trailhead you’ll be given some food and an assignment to help with cooking or cleaning one of our shared meals. You are responsible for your own lunch on Saturday along with snacks while hiking. We’ll give you tips for what works well (hint: Snickers!) For equipment, we will provide a packing list with lots of recommendations. You are responsible for your personal clothes and gear, included these important items: backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tent (shared between two people). If you do not have some of these bigger items, we can help you borrow, rent, or purchase them. We will help you minimize the cost if this is your first backpacking trip. Group gear, such as water filters, stoves, pots, pans, and first aid kits will be provided and you may be asked to carry one of these items.
What is the spiritual element of this trip?
You’ll have to wait and see. 🙂 One element will be inherent in the retreat itself: withdrawal and simplicity. We’ll spend a weekend without internet, emails, and everyday distractions. We’ll also practice times of silence and solitude, both on the trail and at camp. There will be some short readings and guided discussions. Community meals will include intentional space to share stories and reflect on our spiritual journeys. You will also have the opportunity to document our weekend through writing, sketching, photography, or other creative outlets. But don’t worry too much about these elements of the trip. There will be lots of space to simply be in nature.