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New Info -

You will not need biodegradable soap, unless you just want to bring it.

You will not need thermal underwear, as long as you bring a long sleeve shirt, some pants, and a jacket.

Both of these things are listed in the things to bring list below.

Hey Everyone -


We're so glad you can join us this year at Trek.  We are really looking forward to a great faith-building experience and a great time of growth in our relationships with Jesus.


There is A LOT of information on this page. A whole lot.  Probably more than you want.  But we hope it is helpful.

Travel Info:

Meet at 4:00am on Thursday, July 6, for departure.  Yep 4:00am.  It's early, but it will be worth it.  Set an extra alarm or have a friend call you to make sure you don't miss it. 

We'll spend the night at a church in Pueblo, Colorado, then go to the Salida/Buena Vista area on July 7.

We'll return very late on Friday night (it will likely be on Saturday morning in the early hours of the morning) on July 14/15.

(all of this is tentative...but this is the current plan)

The Schedule:

Thursday - Travel to Pueblo, stay overnight in a church, guys in one room, girls in another

Friday - Travel to Salida, go rafting (Independent Whitewater, half day Browns canyon),
                   shower, eat supper

Saturday - Worship, lunch, check in at Trek at 1:00pm

Sunday thru Thursday - on the mountain

Thursday afternoon - off the mountain, shower, banquet and closing devo

Friday - Travel home

Things you need, in addition to the things you pack:


   1. Team Ascend Forms -

You can download the Team Ascend Medical Release, Participant Agreement, and Code of Conduct form here:  Med Release/Agreement/Code of Conduct  You'll need to print these (let us know if you do not have a printer and we can send these to you) and bring them with you on the morning we leave.  They need to be ready to hand to us on that morning at check-in.

   2. Memory Verse page -

The verses you need to know are: John 1:12 and Colossians 3:1-4.  John 1:12 may not be one you already have memorized, but if you've been coming to our church at all, Colossians 3:1-4 should be mostly or completely memorized already.  You can click here to go to the online submission page.  Do this by July 5.   


   3. Bible Study -

Go to the YouVersion Bible App and look for the "On Calvary's Hill" plan by Max Lucado.  Go through all 7 days (at any pace you want to) and make sure you really take time to comprehend the devotional thoughts and Scriptures.   Do this by July 5.  Once you have completed the Bible study, click here  to go to the online submission page and let us know you finished:

   4. Service Hours -

We are asking everyone to complete 5 service hours before going to Trek.  The reason behind this is that you will be doing a lot of serving and making sacrifices while at Trek.  You'll be serving the entire time we are on the mountain by helping others in your group (serving each other, carrying each others gear when needed, cooking for each other, helping with things around camp, etc.)  Okay, but if you do not do these hours, we're still going to let you come to Trek.  It's just a request, not an absolute requirement.  Click here to go to the online submission page and let us know what you did for your service hours.  


   5.  Whitewater Rafting Waiver -

We will go whitewater rafting on Friday, July 7.  You will need a waiver for this.  Please complete it prior to our trip so we do not have to deal with them on the trip.  Here is a link to the waiver:

   6.  Final payment - due July 1.

The full amount for Trek is $375.  (We know this is a lot, and again, we want you to know we're trying to keep costs as low as possible.)  Most people have paid the $100 deposit, but not the full $375.  If you need to know how much is owed, email dyan (at) amchurch (dot) net.  Also let us know if you need extra time to pay.  It's not a problem at all.

Packing Lists and Packing Information:

Okay, so, you're going to have some things for before we go on the mountain, some things while we're on the mountain, and some things for after we come off the mountain.  We'll give you all three lists, and then tell you how to pack your stuff.

Before the mountain (Thursday through Saturday):


Clothes (shorts, shirts, socks, etc.)

Sleeping bag and pillow

Sleeping pad or air mattress (we'll be staying at a church)


Toiletries (including everything you need for a shower)

Flip flops or shower shoes (optional)

Swimsuit or clothes to wear when when rafting


Water shoes, sandals or anything to wear on the river (must hold the front and
     back of your foot, so no flip-flops)

Blanket or pillow for the bus (optional)

On the mountain (Sunday through Thursday):


2-3 short sleeve shirts

1 Long sleeve shirt

2 pair of modest shorts

Warm pants (jeans not recommended!)

Underwear (this is plural)

Thermal underwear

Two pair of heavy socks for hiking

Two pair of normal socks

Coat or jacket


Beanie or warm hat

Rain gear - jacket and pants   (Scotch guard can be used to make things waterproof)

Hiking boots or good tennis shoes

Tennis shoes (as a backup in case your hiking boots/shoes get wet)

Sandals for wearing around camp (optional)



Notebook & pen (small & lightweight - even a few notecards and a ziplock would work)

Daypack for summit climb (this can be any kind of school backpack)

Two plastic durable water bottles - around one quart each

Headlamp (or flashlight if you do not have a headlamp

Whistle (for safety)

Bowl and fork and spoon

Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher recommended)

Toothbrush and toothpaste


Roll of toilet paper in ziplock bag

Biodegradable soap

Recommended Items:

small towel and toiletry items you will need on the mountain

Small pocket knife (must be a folding knife, not fixed blade)

Insect Repellent

Lip balm

Ziplock bags to pack your clothing in and a few extra Ziplocks as well

Any band-aids or personal first-aid things you want


Extra batteries for flashlight or camera


Powdered drink mix

What not to bring (as listed by the Trek people):

Knives with blades more than 3 inches or fixed blade knives

Electronics of any kind, except for cameras

Thin rain gear (emergency ponchos will not provide enough protection)

Any kind of tobacco, vaping, non-prescribed drugs, illegal drugs, alcohol or anything else similar to this

Things they provide:

Backpacking sleeping bag


Thermal pad to sleep on

All of the food and cooking equipment you need


After the mountain (Thursday through Saturday):

When we get off the mountain on Thursday, we will turn in our equipment and shower and then put on clothes for the final devo.  We'll stay the night at the Trek basecamp and then head home on Friday morning.  We will also need clothes for the ride home.  The list below reflects the things you'll need:

Clothes for Thursday afternoon and Friday

Shower stuff (including a towel)




How to Pack:

You will need to pack in two bags. Here is what should go in each bag:

Bag #1 - Overnight bag/suitcase with these things:

-Clothes and toiletries for Thurs night, along with a sleeping bag and pillow.

-Clothes for Friday. Specifically, clothes and tennis shoes for a morning workout...clothes or swimsuit for river rafting...and clothes to wear after our showers on Saturday.

...okay, here are some specifics about river rafting. We will go rafting on the Arkansas river on Saturday after lunch. You will want some kind of clothing which can get wet or a swimsuit.  You will likely want to wear your river clothes on the bus from Pueblo to Salida. (2 hour ride)  You will also want sunscreen.

-Stuff for a shower...this includes a towel. (We'll shower after the river rafting)

-Clothes for Sat morning.

Bag #2 - Suitcase/big bag with these things:

-Everything you'll need for the mountain (all of the things listed above)

-Everything you'll need for after the mountain.  This includes: clothes for Thurs evening (after we get down from the mountain), shower stuff, modest swimsuit (we may get to swim after we get off the mountain), clothes for Friday (on the way home.)

(We have put a lot of additional notes about packing and things to bring further down on this page,)





Although Trek is an expensive 9 days, we work really hard to keep this trip as cheap we can.  You can personally save money by not buying something at every gas station and by eating less expensive meals or drinking water at food stops.  All of our meals on the mountain are already paid for.  You will need to pay for some meals while traveling. 


In order to save your family some money, we'll be buying some breakfast and lunch meals in advance and providing the meal for you. There will be 7 meals we will provide while traveling. There will be 4 additional meals you will need to pay for, all but one of these will be fast food meals.

Students will need money for 4 meals while traveling. Here are the meals:

Before the mountain:

Thursday breakfast - (you may want to eat something before we meet - we will also have some breakfast food for the group at our first stop)

Lunch - fast food - provided

Supper - Raton, New Mexico - fast food - students pay

Friday breakfast - provided

Lunch - provided

Supper - restaurant - students pay  (possibly Mo Burrito in Salida, if you want to check it out online)

Saturday - breakfast - provided

Lunch - provided

After the mountain:

Friday - breakfast - provided

Lunch - fast food - students pay

Supper - fast food - students pay

Again, bring money for 4 meals at restaurants. 

Extra things you might want to bring money for (these ere optional); souvenirs from Colorado or Trek, picture of your group rafting, money for snacks/drinks at rest stops, etc.

Are You In Shape?

Please, please, please, be in shape for Trek.  Make no mistake, Trek is AWESOME, but If you haven't been getting in shape, it's time to really get after it, PLEASE do not come without spending some time building up your endurance and strength. If you do not exercise, you will be letting yourself and your backpacking group down. So go take a long, fast walk, or jog. Or go find some stairs and go up and down for a long time. Or put some heavy stuff in backpack and go take a long walk.  At PLANET FITNESS teens can exercise for free this summer.  They have 3 stair machines and plenty of bicycles and treadmills to use, if you'd like.  Don't go on the easy setting, but really get your heart rate up.  Try to go 30+ minutes on any of these to build endurance.  If you're not in good shape, build up to more than 30, going even an hour or more on these with your heart rate up.

On the Bus:

Since the trip to Colorado is a wee bit longer than other trips we generally take in the bus, we suggest bringing cards, games, your Bible, books, etc., to play/read. We'll have some movies to watch on the bus.  You're welcome to bring DVD's for the group, but they must have ZERO profanity and be clean enough that you would not feel uncomfortable with any movie content if your grandma was watching it with us.  Please do not bring any music devices or earbuds. 

If you would like to bring an electronic gaming device (Switch, etc.) you can.  No earbuds please.  Please, no games with violence.  And know that our bus will sit at the base of a mountain for the week...and while we have never had any security issues, there is always a chance that someone could break into it and steal our stuff.  Just know that before you bring a gaming device.

Please leave iPads and other electronic tablets at home. 


Cell Phones and Electronics:

Just a reminder that all cell phones will be put in a cell phone box in the bus.  This is not to keep you from talking to your parents, but to keep everyone from being on their phone and un-social while we are together.  We will pass out phones once before we go on the mountain and once afterward for you to call family.  We will probably have envelopes ready for everyone to put your phones in when you check-in on Thursday morning. 

If you need to talk to your parents at anytime before we go on the mountain or after we come off the mountain, you can use Monty's phone anytime.  Parents can also call to Monty's phone anytime to talk to their son/daughter.



Altitude Sickness Information:

Traveling to high elevation can sometimes lead to altitude sickness. We will do our best to help everyone get acclimated easily to the altitude. Because carbonated drinks and caffeine can contribute to altitude sickness, we'll ask you to not drink carbonated drinks or caffeine from the time we leave College Station until the time we get off the mountain.

If you have experienced altitude sickness before and want to get some altitude medicine from your doctor (it requires a prescription) you can.  If you want more info about Altitude Sickness, you can read about it here:

            Colorado Altitude Research Institute Information


Extra Info about Service Hours:

Service hours can be backdated to January.

If you need help earning service hours, let us know. 

Service hours are encouraged, but we're not going to make this a deal-breaker for you to go on this trip. 

A link to the service hours form can be found near the top of this webpage.

Extra Info about Packing and Traveling...which is not listed in the Packing list above:

Extra things on trail:

These are things not listed on the packing list but might be helpful while at Trek: Wet wipes (these come in many varieties; hand wipes, body wipes, personal wipes, face wipes, etc.), foot powder, snacks (possible snack ideas: beef jerky, trail mix, granola bars, raisins, etc.), 2-3 extra ziplock bags (for trash or items you want to keep dry), anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.

Important Things to know:

-The items listed on the packing list include the clothing you'll wear the day we go on the mountain. For example: the packing list suggests 2-3 short sleeve shirts and 2 pair of shorts. If you wear shorts and a shirt the day we go on the mountain, your backpack will only have 2 shirts and 1 pair of shorts in it.  We'll help you know what to put in your pack when you're there, so don't worry if this doesn't make sense. 

-One of the keys of staying warm at Trek is dressing in layers.  There may be a time you are wearing most of you clothes (if we happen to have some pretty cold weather.)  But when hiking, you'll likely start off in long sleeves and pants, and then after we hike a few minutes, you'll take those off and just be wearing shorts and a tshirt.  If you have those on in layers, it's easy to take the warmer clothes on and off.

-Hiking boots of tennis shoes?: Either way is fine. We have used both and they both work good. 

Advantages of hiking boots: 1) they usually stay dryer in rain or in walking through water, 2) grip/tread is usually a little better, 3) usually a little more durable than tennis shoes

Advantages of tennis shoes: 1) you don't have to buy hiking boots.

If you get hiking boots, make sure you wear them some to break them in.  In the past, Academy has had some hiking boots for around $30.  They may be higher with inflataion.  Reasonably priced boots are do not have to buy an expensive pair.  

If you bring tennis shoes, make sure you bring an extra pair.

-A coat or a jacket?:  It's hard to know what the weather will be like, but if you are a cold natured person, you will want a bigger jacket. If you are not cold natured, a lighter jacket will likely work fine.  If you bring a waterproof jacket (or if you scotch guard your jacket) this might be helpful for times we run into rain but it's not hard enough to get our rain gear out.

-For long pants, do not bring jeans.  Jeans are usually not light-weight and are especially uncomfortable when wet.  Any kind of other pants should be fine. 

-Long underwear - if you get cold easily, you might want these, but probably not needed unless you get cold easily.

-Travel pillow — this is helpful on the mountain. If you'd rather use a rolled up t-shirt or towel, that's fine...but it's not very soft.

Wal-mart usually has small pillows for less than $5. Other travel pillows can be found in many places.

-On the packing list a Bible with preferably OT and NT is listed. Both OT and NT are always needed. so, bring a Bible with both, And the smaller the Bible, the less it will weigh.

-Lotions or deodorants with high concentration of perfume will attract bugs.  Don't bring these. 

-You might consider putting Scotch Guard on your outer layer of clothing and hiking boots. Scotch Guard can be found in the laundry care section at Walmart (near the laundry detergent.)

-Gallon size ziplock bags can be really helpful when packing your backpack. If you pack in ziplocks before you leave home, you can just transfer your ziplocks to the backpack without having to make decisions about what to put in your pack. Ziplocks also keep all of your clothes dry in case your backpack gets wet.

-For the biodegradable soap, some years we do not use this at all.  You won't need much, and you might be able to share with someone.  (If you want to share sunscreen or bug spray with someone in order to save weight in your pack, you can find someone to share with.)

-When we arrive, we will be transferring our things from our bags to the backpacks. (They provide the packs.) It will save us time when we get there if you will have your stuff separated according to what you need for the mountain and what you need for the trip home. Again, ziplock baggies work really well — especially if you will pack all of your "backpack stuff" into the ziplock baggies before we go to Colorado. Then you can just grab the baggies and put them in pack and "walla" you're done.

-When thinking about the items you are bringing, give extra consideration to weight, for instance, don't bring more toothpaste than you need...bring a light-weight bowl...give consideration to the weight of deodorant, bug spray, sunscreen, flashlight, etc.

-There is a daypack listed in the participant handbook. Any school backpack is good for this.  You will need this for the day we attempt the summit.

-Flashlights - let's talk about this for a second.  Every year we have someone who gets on the moutain and does not have a flashlight...even though we talk about it and remind everyone over and over.  You do not want this to be you.  Here's why: it's really dark on the mountain.  There are no street lights.  There may not be any moonlight.  And trying to find things in your backpack at night, or getting from your backpack to your tent at night can be really difficult.  So bring a flashlight. 



If you are still confused about packing, here is a quick review:

-Everything you'll need on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning should be put in a small bag that will be packed separately from the rest of your stuff. You'll need your sleeping bag and pillow the first two nights as well.

All of the stuff you'll need on the mountain and after we are off the mountain will go in a different bag.  We will not get these things out until Saturday when we check-in at Trek. Basically, everything you need for the mountain (including everything for your backpack) and everything you need after we are off the mountain will be in the bag which we do not get out of the trailer until Saturday when we check-in at Trek.

Here are some questions other families have asked, which might be helpful to you:

What about the rain pants?  I don't have those.  Okay, so you can buy some rain pants if you want, but you can also just scotch guard some lightweight pants and bring them.  The biggest need for rain pants is if we have to hike in the rain. 

What if I have food allergies?  Talk to Monty and Heather as soon as possible.

Another helpful idea: there are no mirrors at the campsites.  If you want a mirror to see your face, bring a small one.

Do the Trek people tell students how to organize their backpacks?  Yes, either the Trek guides or I will go over all of that with students when backpacks are distributed.  But here is something to know: most of the backpacks we will be using have a big compartment on the top and a smaller compartment on the bottom.  All of your stuff goes in the smaller compartment.  The stuff they give us (meals, cooking equipment, etc.) goes on the top compartment.  In other words, the space you have is not unlimited.  Keep this in mind as you pack.

When students get off the mountain, do they need another swimsuit and change of clothes?  It can be the same swimsuit they use for the river, if they want. Or two different ones. We will use the swimsuit for rafting on Friday (7/7).  And then we MAY swim (on 7/13) after we get off the mountain. So it just depends on whether they want the same swimsuit both times (which is what many do) or two different swimsuits. And there will be enough time for swimsuits to dry out and be put back in the gear that stays at basecamp when we go on the mountain.

Okay, like we said, there is a lot of info here.  We've tried to be really detailed to help you know all of the details. 

If you have questions, let us know.  We're here to help!

This is the bus we'll be taking to Trek.  If you are planning to not pick up your trash or if you're planning to drop food on the floor and not pick it up, you need to find another ride to Colorado.  Nice bus.  Clean bus.  Happy trip.  
Screen Shot 2023-06-14 at 4.42.17 PM.png

Summer T-shirts:

If you do not have our youth group summer t-shirt yet you can get one anytime.  They are in the Youth Cafe on a table by the windows.  Money can be placed in the Youth Box. (lockbox in the wall in the Youth Cafe near the HS room door)  Shirts are  $7 each. 

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