I spend a lot of time writing about a place called Wilderness Ranch. Wilderness is a Young Life camp outside of the itty bitty town of Creede, Colorado. Each year, hundreds of high school kids come to Wilderness for week-long backpacking trips through the San Juan mountains. Each trip is given two guides (that’s me!), spends Sunday morning getting ready, (packing packs, getting food together), and then loads up onto a bus or van after lunchtime, ready to spend the next 6 days backpacking through the most incredible terrain these high school students have ever experienced. The week is spent in intense community, pushing each other, hiking together, cooking and eating together, sharing life stories, peaking up to 14,000 foot peaks, rock climbing, diving deep into time with Jesus, and embarking on the greatest adventures imaginable.
I’ve been at Wilderness every summer since 2010. My first stay at The Ranch was for a month long work crew assignment, as a junior in high school. I spent the month working at base camp, and being exposed to the incredible community of people who work there, for the first time. The following summer, I returned with my friends from home, and we went on the trail for a week as campers.
The summer of 2012, I took a break from Wilderness, and was on Summer Staff at a camp called Crooked Creek Ranch. I loved Crooked Creek, but for the entirity of my time there, I talked about Wilderness. I talked about Wilderness so much, that at multiple points, people looked at me, obviously annoyed, and said “why don’t you just go work at Wilderness then?” And so, I did.
I spent the next fall applying to be a guide at Wilderness, and for some crazy reason, they accepted me and let me do it. Guiding is a two summer commitment, and I spent the summers of 2013 and 2014 falling in more and more in love with the mountains and with this incredible ministry. It was the most challenging, terrifying, exhilarating, exhausting, and beautiful thing I have ever done. It has changed me forever.
Words on Wilderness
My words are fun, but they might not answer all of your questions. You can read more official business about Wilderness here.