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West Rim Excursion Trek – 2024

Hike, bike and climb the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Hike, bike, and climb the beautiful Pennsylvania Grand Canyon and make new friends while camping under the stars.

The West Rim Excursion is geared right towards middle-school-age campers. It takes place about an hour away in the stunning Pine Creek Gorge, also known as the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. This four-day, three-night trip is led by experienced Susque staff members trained specifically in leading Wilderness Trips.

The Trip is designed as an intro to our week-long, high-school-age Wilderness Trips. A majority of the Trip consists of moderately challenging backpacking along the gorge’s West Rim Trail. The trail, named “Best Hike in Pennsylvania” by Outside Magazine, runs along the top of the Gorge and affords campers spectacular vistas and scenery complete with waterfalls and stream crossings. Elevation change is minimal as the trail winds atop the Allegheny Plateau and passes through a variety of forest types and environments. The Trip concludes with campers getting to head down into the Gorge and try their hand at paddling on beautiful Pine Creek!

In addition to the physical challenges of the Trip, chapels, meals, and campfire time are all geared towards helping campers grasp a sense of community, awareness, and responsibility. Group dynamics are a key focus of our Wilderness Trips. Leaders take the time to guide conversations and help campers think through how they can contribute to Christian love and unity.

West Rim Highlights:

  • Living out of a backpack
  • Exploring a 100-year-old Hemlock grove
  • Breathtaking vistas overlooking the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon
  • Paddling on scenic Pine Creek
  • Enjoying food cooked over an open fire

If this is the first time you are sending a camper to camp or you have any questions, please read our FAQ for Wilderness Trips and don’t hesitate to give us a call (570-998-2151) or email us a question (susque@susque.org). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!


Boys & Girls Grades 6-8

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General Camp Information

Camper Info

Before Camp

  • Acceptance and Participation
    Rules for acceptance and partcipation in the program are the same for everyone regardless of religion, race, color, or national origin. Camp Susque does reserve the right to dismiss any camper who, by administration's judgment, consistently or grossly violates Camp Susque's regulations in a manner detrimental to the good or safety of any persons or property.
  • Waitlist Policy
    If you want to apply for a session that is full, please submit an application form, but do not pay. Your child will be placed on a waiting list and notified when an opening becomes available. At that time you will send in your deposit.
  • Cancellation Policy
    All deposits are non-refundable. Cancellations made 7 days prior to the registered camp date allows for a full refund of any monies paid, minus the non-refundable deposit. After that date, all monies paid are non-refundable.


  1. A health form is required for each camper 2 weeks before their arrival at Susque. A camper physical by a physician is not required to attend camp. However, we do recommend having your camper receive a physical within 6 months prior to their time at camp.
  2. Additional forms may be required depending on the year and session your camper is enrolled. To access these forms, log in to your CampInTouch account.

How Parents & Guardians Can Help Make the Camp Experience Successful

  • Speak positively about the camp experience in the months and weeks before your child's session. Avoid imparting a sense of guilt or sadness with statements such as "I'll be struggling at home without you, but I know you'll have fun." Affirm for them that you are excited for, and not dreading, their special time away.
  • There are many professional resources to assist you and your camper in preparing for camp. For starters, check out the American Camp Association's "Preparing for Camp" blog post.

While at Camp

  • Health Care Information
    Susque takes stringent measures to safeguard and protect your camper from accidents or injuries. However, should one occur, our First-Aid-certified Wilderness Trip Leaders will assess and care for your camper. Advanced medical care is on-call at all times. Health information is confidential and is treated as such to protect the privacy of your camper and your family.
  • For more information, visit our Health & Safety page.
  • No Electronics Policy
    This policy is intended to minimize distractions for all of our campers. If an unapproved electronic device is found with your camper, the device will be confiscated until the end of his or her camping session. Please help us minimize distractions for our campers by not sending electronic devices to camp.

Contact with your Camper while at Susque

Letters, emails, and packages:

  • Due to the nature of the Wilderness Trips, letters, emails, and packages will not be delivered to campers.

Phone Calls & Visits:

  • For legal and practical reasons, we do not permit campers to make or receive phone calls unless in an emergency. If needed, parental concerns can be communicated through our Program Director.
  • Likewise, we do not permit visits to your camper while they are at camp.

Campers Staying Multiple Weeks

  • Campers staying multiple weeks are supervised, fed, and given activities for the hours between sessions on Saturdays. They are also allowed to make phone calls on Saturday between 11-3.
  • If you prefer, campers are allowed to return home or go out for a visit for the few hours on Saturday between their sessions. Campers must be signed out when leaving and signed back in upon their return.
  • Likewise, if you would like to come visit your camper at camp during the time between sessions, you may do so with pre-approval from the Program Directors. Meal tickets are available for purchase if you would like to stay for lunch.
  • Multi-week campers' laundry will be done each week by our Support Staff. 

After Camp

Lost Items

We strongly recommend that you clearly label all of your camper's items with their full name.

  • We are unable to return clothing that is left at camp. Clothing that is left behind is washed and donated. 
  • In the rare event that we can locate a valuable item such as a camera, you must pay the shipping costs to have the item mailed back to you.
  • Common items left at camp:
  • Towels, sweatshirts, jackets, raincoats and ponchos, hats, swim shoes, flashlights, cameras, books.

Food and Lodging


Meals are often the highlight of the day on a Wilderness Trip!

Campers take turns cooking and serving the three meals each day. In addition, a steady supply of trail mix keeps everyone energized! Meal options range from pizza to freeze-dried delicacies. And, of course, each Trip begins with the classic Susque Stew.

Susque strives to provide nutritious, desirable meals that keep campers energized throughout the trip. Each meal is carefully analyzed and selected to provide vitamins, protein, fiber, and carbohydrates so campers are replacing what they burned off during the day. Fruits and vegetables are served at most meals. Additionally, plenty of water is filtered each day and available to campers. We encourage campers to consistently have at least two full water bottles with them.

Beyond the types of food served, we intentionally use group preparation and family-style dining for each meal. This is to promote conversation and group bonding. 

Food Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

Susque handles dozens of food allergies and restrictions every summer. Our Food Service Manager and Wilderness Trip Leaders will work with you and your camper to ensure that he/she will receive all of the proper nutrition needed for the trip. 

To notify us of your camper's food allergy or restriction, you will be provided a place on your camper's health form, due two weeks before your camper's arrival. Our Food Service Manager or a Wilderness Trip Leader may call you for further clarification. If something should change after you submit your health form, we request that Susque be notified within two weeks of your camper's arrival or we cannot guarantee accommodation. Health forms can be accessed by logging into your CampInTouch account.

If you have any questions, feel free to call us (570-998-2151) or email our Food Service Manager directly.


While on the Trip, campers are provided with tents or tarps. Leaders guide and assist with setting up sleeping areas each evening, taking the opportunity to teach useful skills such as knot tying, weather prediction, and "Leave No Trace" environmental ethics.

Some campers choose to bring hammocks while others prefer sleeping bags on the ground. It is important that all campers on the ground bring a sleeping pad to help them stay warm. 

Rustic restroom facilities are provided at each campsite except for those on the West Rim Excursion. Campers on the West Rim will get the privilege of learning how to utilize "Leave No Trace" ethics while taking care of their bathroom needs in the woods.

Packing List

Modesty Statement
At Susque we strive to convey a mindset of Christian modesty. To help accomplish this, we ask that clothing cover undergarments and private areas. Shirts should also be long enough to cover the midriff area.
A Note on Cotton
It is important that your camper bring clothing that helps him/her stay warm and dry. Therefore, we ask you to avoid sending cotton clothing and bedding. This includes jeans, t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts. Quick-dry, wicking fabrics such as polyster, fleece, and wool are best. 

2 lightweight shorts

Underwear Modest Swimwear
Boys: Loose-fitting shorts
Girls: One or two-piece that covers the midriff area

1 pair lightweight pants

Socks for hiking
(Not needed for CC or DRR.)

Hiking boots/shoes that are broken in
(Not needed for CC or DRR.)

2-3 tshirts Warm pajamas and socks Aqua shoes or sandals you can swim in
1 long-sleeved shirt Rain gear Hat that won't blow off easily
1 warm fleece or jacket Clean clothes to be left at Susque for your return  


Personal Items
Towel Toiletries Backpack-big enough to hold all of your stuff. Everything must fit into 1 bag.
Bio-degradable soap & soapbox Non-aerosol bug repellent Ziploc & garbage bags to keep things dry
Toothbrush & toothpaste Sunscreen Pen or pencil
Travel-size deodorant 2 water bottles** Small Notebook
Comb/brush Whistle Bible
Headlamp/ flashlight with batteries Sunglasses Small amount of $ to buy snacks during travel time
Medications* Pocket Knife  

*Medications must be in their original containers, including over-the-counter. These must be turned into the Camp Nurse upon check-in, so have them easily accessible.

**Water bottles are required.

Sleeping Bag Sleeping pad
(Camp can lend this item.)


What Not to Bring
Playing cards Aerosol Cans**
Fireworks Electronics
(Cell phones, personal music devices, tablets,
e-readers, portable game systems)
Flip flops  

**Including deodorant and hair spray.

Health and Safety

Camp Susque is committed to camper safety. To that end, we have set stringent measures in place to guarantee that we have well screened and trained staff. Our activities are regularly examined for safety and quality. Meals are concientiously created with nutrition and variety in mind. Food allergies and dietary restrictions are handled in a professional, discrete manner. 

For more information, check out the sections below.

Staff Screening

  • Camp Susque performs background and sex offender checks on all staff, including year-round, program and support staff. 
  • Each summer staff member must submit an application and references to be considered. Each staff member is also personally interviewed by either our Director or full-time Program Director.
  • Wilderness Trip Leaders must demonstrate a high level of maturity and have the correct technical skills for each trip.

Staff Training

  • Wilderness Trip Leaders are led through a specialized, intensive, week-long training program. This training includes practical skills such as safety techniques for cooking over a fire, medical evacuation protocols, and behind-the-wheel training in our camp vehicles. In addition, the vision and purpose of the Wilderness Trips is thoroughly covered, with specific training to help leaders Biblically build quality, Christ-centered relationships with each camper. All trainings are overseen by our year-round leadership.
  • All staff are specifically trained on recognizing child abuse and avoiding compromising situations.
  • Susque complies with mandated reporting laws to report any suspected abuse to the appropriate agency.
  • Every Wilderness Trip Leader is trained in Red Cross First Aid and CPR.
  • At least one Trip Leader is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
  • For trips involving aquatic activities, at least one Trip Leader is a certified Lifeguard.

Staff Guidelines & Culture

  • Trip leaders meet with the full-time Program Director before and after each trip. This provides opportunities for further training and debriefing.
  • Trip leaders are in constant communication with the full-time Program Director for the duration of the trip.
  • Year-round leadership staff are available to assist via phone (and in person if necessary) in the case of an emergency. 


  • Wilderness Trips have a leader-to-camper ratio of 1:3, with a maximum ratio of 1:4.
  • Campers are supervised at all times by at least one Trip Leader.


  • A health form is due 2 weeks before arrival for each camper. Health forms can be accessed by logging into your CampInTouch account.
  • Medical care is provided by the Wilderness Trip Leaders.
  • If your camper is taking medicine on a regular basis, please note that ALL medicine MUST BE in their original containers, whether prescription or over-the-counter. These medicines must be left with the Camp Nurse upon check-in. The Camp Nurse will pass them on to a pre-selected Wilderness Trip Leader who has training from the Nurse. This leader will be in charge of dispensing medicines as needed or prescribed.
  • Every Wilderness Trip Leader is trained in Red Cross First Aid.
  • At least one Trip Leader is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
  • For trips involving aquatic activities, at least one Trip Leader is a certified Lifeguard.
  • Trip staff plan out and maintain directions and contact information for hospitals and clinics along each trip route.
  • Campers and staff are screened when they arrive for illness.
  • Every attempt to notify parents will be made in the event of illness or injury that requires professional care.
  • Camp Susque does not carry medical insurance on campers, therefore any non-covered expenses incurred while at camp will be billed to the parents.
  • Our medical policies are endorsed by a professional Medical Doctor.


  • We take special care to accommodate most food allergies and dietary preferences.
  • The menu for the week is planned to provide a well-balanced diet to provide enough energy for the vigorous outdoor activities on each trip.
  • Water is always available. Campers are required to have 2 water bottles on every trip.
  • Snacks are provided throughout the day.
  • For more info, see our Food & Lodging page.


  • All program equipment is inspected at the beginning of the season and throughout the season before each use.
  • All activities are supervised by staff at all times.
  • Each activity must be approved by the full-time Program Director.
  • The outfitters for each trip are carefully researched to make sure they will provide the same level of safety and inspection as Camp Susque.

American Camp Association (ACA) Accredited

ACA's accreditation program helps camps meet the expectations of the industry and parents. Because we are ACA-accredited, we have met over 275 standards relating to program quality and camper/staff health and safety. See more at: https://www.acacamps.org


A non-refundable, non-transferable $100 per camper, per week deposit, must accompany your application. Without this deposit, your registration will not be finalized.

Rates below include the $100 deposit. Therefore, if you choose a week of camp that costs $470, that fee includes the $100 deposit, and $370 is due upon your camper's arrival.

Summer 2023 Rates

Super Early Bird

Pay deposit by March 15

Early Bird

Pay deposit by April 30

Standard Bird

Pay deposit after April 30

West Rim/ Delaware River Trips $355 $375 $395
 Adirondack/Ohiopyle Trips $709 $729 $749


Sibling Discount

  • $50 discount for each additional sibling that comes to camp in the same summer. The first child still pays full price.

Referral Discount

  • $75 discount for each first-time camper you refer. Your friend must inform us that you referred them. Your friend still pays full price.

Camp Store Discount

Enrolled campers receive a 15% off coupon to Trail's End, the camp store.

3 Ways to Pay for Camp

  1. Pay in full.
  2. Deposit plan. With the deposit plan, you pay the deposit and the rest is due the day your child comes to camp. You can slowly pay off your balance via your Campwise account or by sending checks.
  3. Automatic monthly payments. Automatic monthly payments start on the first of every month and continue until June 1st. The plan will begin after the deposit of $100 per camper, per week is paid.

Financial Aid

Susque does not want cost to be a barrier for any camper! Please visit our Financial Aid tab for more info. Susque was able to give out over $60,000 in scholarships in 2018.

Arriving and Departing Camp

Arrival Times for Wilderness Trips

West Rim Excursion: Wednesday at 12 PM

Operation Ohiopyle, Chesapeake Challenge, & Adirondack Adventure: Saturdays from 4-5 PM

Delaware River Run: Wednesday at 12 PM

If possible, we suggest that you personally bring your child to camp. This allows you to see the camp's facilities and meet the leadership, your child's counselor and cabin or tent mates.

How Check-in Works

  1. Upon arriving at Susque, you will be directed to park in the field adjacent to the parking lot.
  2. Leave your camper's gear in the car.
  3. Bring any form of payment to settle up your account as well as any camper medication.
  4. Proceed towards Check-in Station #1: the Camp Office. At the Camp Office you will:
    1. Pay off any remaining balances.
    2. Have the opportunity to visit The Trail's End Camp Store.
  5. Proceed towards Check-in Station #2: Photo Station
    1. Here you will get a taste of the week's theme.
    2. Your camper's photo will be taken and added to their CampInTouch account.
  6. Proceed towards Check-in Station #3: Nurse
    1. Here your camper will be screened by a trained staff member or nurse.
    2. Your camper's health form will be reviewed and updated if necessary.
    3. Medications will be dropped off with the camp nurse.
    4. The Food Service Coordinator will be on hand to discuss your child's food allergies and restrictions.
  7. Proceed towards Check-in Station #4: Program Station
    1. Here you will get a bio of your camper's counselor/trek leader.
    2. You will also receive your child's cabin or tent assignment, if applicable.
    3. You will fill out a form notifying us of people who are approved to pick up your child at the end of the week.
  8. From here you may retrieve your camper's gear and proceed towards his/her designated lodging. Rickshaws and Staff-in-Training members are on hand to assist you with your luggage.

Departing from Susque

Departure Times for Summer Youth Camps & Wilderness Trips

Most Summer Youth Camps & Wilderness Trips have a closing program on the Saturday of departure at 9:30 AM.*  Parents are invited to this program.

The Closing Program consists of highlights from the week by camp leadership, a brief overview by the chaplain, a video of the week, and other general info. The Closing Program lasts a half-hour, until approximately 10 AM, at which point parents will be dismissed to pick campers up at their cabins or tents, following instructions from the Director at the closing program.

All campers must depart their lodging area by 11 AM.

*The Delaware River Run will not have a traditional closing program. Pickup is 10:00 AM on Saturday.

How Check-out Works

For safety and legal reasons, Camp Susque follows a strict check-out procedure of releasing campers at the end of the camp session.

This procedure requires that at check-in, parents and guardians accurately designate who is permitted to pick up their child. Anyone who is not listed as a designated pick-up person IS NOT allowed to leave the camping area with the child.

If this situation occurs, Susque will contact the parents and guardians for verbal confirmation that this person is an approved pick-up.  It is therefore imperative that you contact Susque immediately should any pick-up changes occur during the week your child is at camp.

Unique Drop-off and Pick-up Times

Late drop-offs and early pick-ups are subject to pre-approval from our Program Directors. Please contact Susque to discuss your particular situation.

Financial Aid

Camper Scholarships

Susque believes that cost should not prohibit any camper from attending and hearing the good news of Jesus Christ. To make that goal a reality, we offer Camper Scholarships. The Scholarship Fund is maintained through the generous gifts of friends, churches, and foundations who support Camp Susque and its mission.

Scholarships are given on the basis of need, date of application, household size/income and availability of funds.

You will be given the opportunity to apply for a Scholarship when you fill out the Summer Camp & Wilderness Trip Application form. A non-refundable, non-transferable minimum deposit of $100 per child is required for your family to be considered.

Additionally, your Camp Susque account must be in good standing (ie: no remaining balances from previous years or sessions without prior agreement) for your scholarship request to be considered. 

Following the camp season, scholarship recipients are asked to write a short thank you note sharing details of their camp experience for us to share with our contributors.

Please give us a call at (570) 998-2151 or send us an email if we can be of assistance.

Financial Aid FAQ

  • How can I apply for Financial Aid?
    • You will be provided a place on your Summer Camp & Wilderness Trip Application form.
  • Who is eligible for Financial Aid?
    • Everybody
  • How much can I receive in Financial Aid?
    • You can receive a scholarship for one week of camp. You must still pay the required $100 per camper deposit.
  • When will I find out if I have been approved for Financial Aid?
    • Shortly after you submit your Camper Application and deposit.

Wilderness Trips FAQs

Is Camp Susque affiliated with a particular church or denomination?

No. Camp Susque is intentionally a non-denominational camp run by a Board of Directors

Is Camp Susque a non-profit?

Yes. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization.

How do I register?

To sign up your camper, begin by visiting the homepage of our website and
selecting "Login/Register for Camp" in the top right-hand corner. You'll then
be redirected to the landing page of our NEW Camper Registration
software, Campwise. Follow the provided options to register your camper

If you are registering:

  • a new camper (has never been registered for any session at Camp
    Susque), Click “Create New Account” and follow the prompts for each
  • a returning camper who attended a session BEFORE October 1,
    2023 and was not registered for 2023/2024 Winter Camps or Fall
    School of Discovery class since then, please call or email the office
    for instructions on creating your account in Campwise.
  • a returning camper who has been here for a session SINCE
    October 1, 2023, you will enter your Username and Password you
    created when setting up your account in Campwise. Follow the prompts
    to register your camper(s).

Please note that a $100 per week, per camper non-refundable, non-transferable deposit must accompany your camper's application form.

Is the deposit part of the entire cost of camp?

Yes. Once the deposit is paid, your remaining balance is the total cost of that session minus the deposit. (For ex: if your child's session costs $634, you will pay $100 when you enroll, and owe $534 due upon your camper's arrival for that session.)

When is my balance due?

Upon check-in for your camper's session. To expedite your check-in process, however, we suggest you pay it ahead of time.

You can check and pay off your balance by logging in to your CampInTouch account.

What if my child wants to go on a trip that is full?

If you want to apply for a session that is full, please submit an application form, but do not pay. Your child will be placed on a waiting list and notified when an opening becomes available. At that time you will send in your deposit.

What is your cancellation policy?

All deposits are non-refundable. Cancellations made 7 days prior to the registered camp date allows for a full refund of any monies paid, minus the non-refundable deposit. After that date, all monies paid are non-refundable.

What are arrival times?

West Rim Excursion: 12pm on the Wednesday of arrival

New River Gorge Experience, Chesapeake Challenge, & Adirondack Adventure: 4-5pm on Saturdays 

Delaware River Run: 12PM on the Wednesday of arrival

What are departure times?

Closing Program: 9:30AM on the closing Saturday.  Parents are encouraged to attend this program.*

Pick-up Begins: 10:00AM on the closing Saturday

All campers must be picked up by 11AM.

*Delaware River Run will not have a traditional closing program. Pickup is 10:00AM on Saturday.

What does my camper need to bring?

Please click on the Packing List tab on this page. 

What shelter do campers sleep in on a Trip?

Tents or tarp shelters. 

Does my camper need a physical to attend?

No. However, we do recommend having your camper receive a physical within 6 months prior to their time at camp.

What medical care is provided on a Trip?

Medical issues are treated by a First Aid-certified Trip Leader. 

Please click on the Health and Safety Tab on this page for more information.

What if my camper has a food allergy or dietary restriction?

Please click on the Food & Lodging tab on this page.  

Will I get to meet my camper's leaders?

Yes! You will have the opportunity during check-in to meet your camper's Trip Leaders. Brief leader bios will also be given to you during check-in. Discussion with the leaders is always encouraged. Feel free to ask them questions.

Is Camp Susque going to take good care of my camper?

Yes! We understand the great responsibility that you are passing on to us when you drop off your camper. To that end we have developed stringent safety guidelines as well as staff hiring and training procedures to ensure the best experience possible.

For more information, check out our Health & Safety tab on this page. 

Can I send mail or emails to my camper while at camp?

No. Due to the nature of the Trips, mail and emails will not be delivered to your camper.

Can I call or visit my camper while at camp?

No. For both legal and practical reasons, we do not permit campers to make or receive phone colls or receive visitors, except in emergencies. If needed, parental concerns can be communicated through our Program Director.

Is Financial Aid available?

Yes.  Please click on the Financial Aid tab on this page.  

When will you call me?

We will call if your camper needs advanced medical care. We will also call in the event of a serious behavior problem. 

General Camp Info

Mission and Beliefs

Susque's mission, statement of faith and beliefs


How to get to Camp Susque

Camp Map

Interactive map of our buildings and property

Financial Accountability

How we use the gifts and finances entrusted to us.

Board of Directors

Our Leadership

History and Tradition

How Camp Susque came to be

Staff & Employment

Meet the Staff

Meet your year-round staff

Work at Susque

Join the Susque team


For credit & not-for-credit programs available.

Camps & Trips

Summer Youth Camps

For campers entering grades 1-11

Winter Youth Camps

For campers in grades 3-12

Family Camp

Camps for whole families

Wilderness Trips

A camping experience at a whole new level.  Grades 6-12.

Educational Programs

Educational Programs Overview

Special programs and classes throughout the year.

School Field Trips

Field Trips Overview

Unique, interactive and memorable experiences for students.

Susque Podcast

The Susquodcast

A regular podcast dedicated to all things Camp Susque.

Other Programs

Susque Trail Run

Annual 5k through Susque's property

Youth Summit

For Jr and Sr high youth groups

Harvest Festival

Activities for the whole family

Spring Family Weekend

Weekend getaway for intentional family time.

Pastor & Spouse Retreat

A refreshment retreat open to Pastors and their spouses

Work Fellowship Weekend

Sign up for a work weekend to help us gear up for camp season.


Donate to Susque's mission and help create experiences that last a lifetime.


Sign up for a work weekend to help us gear up for camp season.


A list of items that can benefit Susque's mission