Wilderness Trips

 

Boys & Girls Entering Grades 6-12

Camp Susque's Wilderness Adventure Trips take the classic Susque experience to a whole new level! Climbing mountains, paddling lakes and rivers, and sleeping under the stars is just the beginning! 

These trips are intentionally designed to challenge and stretch each camper physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Physical challenges include classic outdoor activities such as hiking and canoeing, and also take time to delve into more complex motor skills, such as how to climb a rock face, skillfully use a knife or properly light a fire. Mental challenges come in the form of carefully crafted or spontaneous teamwork and group decision moments that naturally occur on the trail or water. One of the popular social development activities, "Hotseat," enables campers to share as much or as little as they want about who they are and how they got there. Because we are a Christian camp, the opportunity for spiritual challenges and growth is inherent in our programming and approach to the Trips. We place the responsibility on the campers to prepare and present evening chapels, come up with discussion questions, and spend quiet time with God each morning. 

In addition to the challenging aspects of the trips, we throw in a whole lot of fun! Each trip is led by experienced Susque staff. A leader-to-camper ratio of 1:4 enables close relationships to form as leaders guide and mentor the campers in all aspects of the trip, from canoeing strokes to preparing for chapel. Sleeping under the stars, conquering challenges, and cooking your own meals often quickly creates a sense of community that few campers have felt before. Many of our Wilderness Trip campers return to do Wilderness Trips again and again because they find the spiritual growth and community so rare.

Each trip is co-ed, led by stringently screened and trained co-ed leaders. For campers entering grades 6-8, we have the West Rim Excursion and the Delaware River Run. Both are shorter trips designed to give campers a taste of the Trip Program. Campers entering grades 9-12 have three hefty Trips to pick from: the New River Gorge Experience, the Chesapeake Challenge, and the Adirondack Adventure.

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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!

 

Parent Testimonials

"Camp Susque is an excellent venue where children learn new skills, make great friends, and enjoy God's creations. We've sent four kids to Susque for a number of years [including for Wilderness Trips] and it has always been a positive experience and an individual highlight in the summer of each of our children."

"My son attended the Chesapeake Challenge. After not talking to him the whole week I was somewhat anxious to hear what he thought of the experience. His first words to me were 'Mom, it was amazing...better than I ever could have imagined!!' "

"My daughter had a wonderful time on the trip! She thought it was the best week she has ever spent."

"My daughter came back knowing Christ as her Savior. She has learned not to worry about the little things, and wants to live out of a backpack forever. She learned that material things mean nothing in the world compared to relationships and her love of God."

"My daughter enjoyed the spiritual challenges on the trip (the quiet times, the studies, the singing). It is encouraging for young people to know that there are other young people out there striving to follow Christ. Living in a rural area (as we do) and attending a small church, it is easy to feel as if you are the only believer around. I believe this aspect was encouraging to our daughter. Thank you for offering these Wilderness Trips."

Top 5 Changes Parents see in their Campers after the Trips

  • Better/positive attitude
  • Greater confidence
  • Growth in faith/spending more quiet time with God
  • Deeper appreciation of God as creator
  • Increased leadership skills

West Rim Excursion

Boys & Girls Entering Grades 6-8 | June 23-26, 2021

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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!

Projected Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive at Susque and head to the PA Grand Canyon. Hike 4.5 miles on the West Rim Trail before making camp for the night.
Day 2 Early wake-up and pack-up to prepare for an 8.5 mile hike along the Gorge to the next campsite, situated along a beautiful stream.
Day 3 Hike out of the Gorge. Meet the outfitter shuttle for a day of paddling on Pine Creek. Affer paddling, head back to your last campsite, prepare dinner, and enjoy chapel and hotseat.
Day 4 Wake up, pack up and head back to camp.
Sample Daily Schedule
7:00 Wake-up/Quiet Time
7:30 Pack-up/Breakfast
8:30 Hit the trail!
12:00 Lunch on the trail
3:00 Arrive at next campsite and set up camp
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Chapel/Hotseat
9:00 Sleep

Operation Ohiopyle

 

Boys & Girls Entering Grades 9-12 | July 3-10, 2021

Operation Ohipyle is an exciting week of varied activities including rapelling, backpacking, caving, and white water rafting.  "Trekkers" will spend most of their week in the Ohiopyle region of southwest Pennsylvania with adult leaders trained specifically to lead our Wilderness Adventure Treks.

This trip will feature rock climbing and rapelling at a rock face local to Susque, backpacking for three days on the Laurel Highlands Trail, an afternoon of cave exploration, and a day of white water rafting. The Trip also contains intentional quiet times sitting around the fire, enjoying meals, and discussing life and God in chapel. Responsibility is a key theme to our Wilderness Trips. To further this goal, campers shoulder the bulk of the daily chores, meal preparation, setting up and tearing down camp, as well as leading chapels and developing discussion questions. 

Operation Ohiopyle will test and stretch campers' concepts of community, awareness, restoration, perseverance, and discipline, with the goal of helping them develop life-long skills to make a difference in the world for Christ. 

Operation Ohiopyle Highlights:

  • Whitewater rafting
  • Rock climbing and rapelling
  • Chapels under the stars
  • Hiking and backpacking
  • Caving

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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!

Projected Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive at Susque. Participate in teambuilding games, learn backcountry camping skills, swim test, devotions areound a campfire.
Day 2 Attend Sunday morning chapel in Chapel in the Pines at camp.  Leave camp late morning for "Fern Gulley," a local rock climbing area for climbing and rapelling.  Cook lunch and dinner over a fire and return to camp to pack backpacks and evening chapel.
Day 3 Leave camp early in the morning and drive out to Laurel Highlands Trail in southwest PA.  Put on packs and hike 4-5 miles in the afternoon to first campsite for dinner, chapel, and campfire conversation.
Day 4 Eat a hearty breakfast and step off for a day of hiking.  Nearly 10 miles to go today!  Tonight will be spent at a second campsite on the trail.
Day 5 Last day of hiking.  4-5 morning miles will take the Trekkers into Ohiopyle State Park.  In the afternoon, cool off in a local swimming hole.
Day 6 After a more relaxed start to the morning, trekkers will drive to Laurel Cavern to explore the lower, undeveloped, regions of the cave with a professional guide.  
Day 7 Rafting day!! Today will be spent on the water rafting the Lower Youghiogheny river navigating through class II to IV rapids assisted by professional rafting guides.  After lunch on the river and the last few rapids, Trekkers will load up the vehicles and return to camp by mid evening.
Day 8 Attend the Closing Chapel and depart from Susque for a good rest well earned.
Sample Daily Schedule
7:00 Wake-up/Quiet Time
7:30 Pack-up the campsite
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Hike
12:00 Lunch on the trail
12:30 Hike
3:00 Arrive at site
4:00 Leadership activities
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Chapel
8:00 Hotseat
10:00 Bedtime

Delaware River Run

Boys & Girls Entering Grades 6-8 | August 11-14, 2021

The Delaware River Run is our second trip geared right towards middle-school-age campers. It takes place about two hours away in the scenic Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area. 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, specifically our Chesapeake and Adirondack Trips. Campers will spend a majority of their time canoeing on the Delaware River as they travel through the Water Gap region. The Trip features "backcountry" camping, zero light pollution, hikes to vistas, and lots of swimming!

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. 

Delaware River Run Highlights:

  • Canoeing on the mighty Delaware River
  • Deep, starlit skies
  • Breathtaking vistas overlooking the Delaware Water Gap
  • Enjoying a cool dip as you swim along the border of two states
  • Cooking your own food over the 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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!

Projected Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive at Susque and head out to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Camp for the night. Enjoy your first "home-cooked meal," first chapel message, and first round of Hotseat.
Day 2 Set out on canoes towards your next campsite. On the way, learn the ins and outs of canoeing through fun games and exciting activities.
Day 3 Paddle and enjoy the dramatic, changing scenery. Arrive at your next campsite around lunch and set out for an afternoon hike through the wilderness.
Day 4 Arrive at your final destination. Load up the canoes and head back to Camp Susque.
Sample Daily Schedule
7:00 Wake-up/Quiet Time
7:30 Pack-up/Breakfast
8:30 Hit the watery trail!
12:00 Lunch 
3:00 Arrive at next campsite and set up camp
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Chapel/Hotseat
9:00 Sleep

Chesapeake Challenge

 

Boys & Girls Entering Grades 9-12 | July 17-24, 2021

We like to call the Chesapeake Challenge the "eye opener." This Trip takes place on the wide and wonderful Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The week-long trip is led by experienced Susque staff members trained specifically in leading Wilderness Trips.

The Trip has a sense of increasing anticipation as campers travel down expanding rivers and bays towards the great salty Bay itself. Not only will campers experience vast rivers and expansive coast lines, but they will be able to soak in the laid-back coastal atmosphere. The Trip takes place in tandem sea kayaks, giving campers the chance to try both their paddling and teamwork skills. They will be able to feel the heartbeat of the Bay as they navigate through some of the world's most ecologically diverse tidal zones and estuaries. 

Coastal sunsets provide a great backdrop for meals around the fire and chapels under the stars. Campers are intentionally given the responsibility of performing key tasks such as daily chores, meal preparation, setting up and tearing down camp, leading chapels and developing discussion questions. Leaders assist in guiding conversations about the intersection of faith and life as the group lives in community and conquers the challenges of sea kayaking.

Community, awareness, restoration, perseverance, and discipline are themes woven throughout the Chesapeake Challenge, with the goal of helping campers develop life-long skills to make a difference in the world for Christ!

Chesapeake Challenge Highlights:

  • Tandem sea kayaking
  • Explore the rivers and coves of the Chesapeake Bay
  • Enjoy the aroma of the salty sea air
  • View stunning coastal sunsets
  • Paddle through historic waters
  • Getting to know the tree-tops during a high-ropes adventure at GoApe

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 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We look forward to working with you to make sure the trip experience is safe, fun, and successful!

Projected Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive at Susque. Participate in teambuilding games, do a shake-down, eat dinner, pack the vehicles, and go to bed early.
Day 2 Early wake-up and drive to the Chesapeake Bay. Meet the sea kayak outfitter and receive training on and practice with sea kayaks. Head to the first campsite and set up camp.
Day 3 Pack up and leave after breakfast. Feel the first pull of the tides as you navigate along the rivers of the Chesapeake. Stop for lunch along the way. Arrive at your campsite during the afternoon.
Day 4 Kayak through ever-changing scenery as you continue your trek to the great Bay. Enjoy historic areas and spot unique birds and water animals. 
Day 5 Work with your team to kayak your longest distance yet! See increasingly coastal scenes as you continue to descend towards the ever-widening, salty Bay. Make camp, enjoy a good dinner, and settle in for a good Chapel under the soft night sky. 
Day 6 Enjoy your final day of kayaking and a dip in the Chesapeake! Savor the reward of a job well done. Enjoy your final night on the Chesapeake with one last campfire.
Day 7 Wake up and drive back to Camp Susque. Arrive back in the mid-afternoon. Clean up and prepare for one final Chapel together as a Wilderness Trip team.
Day 8 Attend the Closing Chapel and depart from Susque for a good rest well earned.
Sample Daily Schedule
7:00 Wake-up/Quiet Time
7:30 Pack-up the campsite
8:00 Breakfast
8:30 Kayak
10:30 Snack break/Explore
12:00 Lunch
3:00 Arrive at campsite
3:30 Kayak games
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Chapel
8:00 Hotseat
10:00 Bedtime
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Revelation 4:11