Wilderness Trips

Pioneer Sessions

Pioneer sessions are perfect for campers who are ready for a new challenge. Separate trips for boys and girls emphasize growth in independence and responsibility as well as incredible fun in God’s world.  Pioneer campers will receive an email prior to the trip providing an itinerary and a few more details.

There are two different Pioneer trips to choose from:

South Manitou Island/River Trip
(for boys or girls entering 8th-10th grade in the fall)

This first pioneer trip is designed for campers looking for a fantastic outpost camping experience. Pioneer campers spend the first night at Camp Roger getting to know each other and having fun through group building exercises and an experience on our high ropes course. The boys sleep in a rustic cabin and the girls sleep in a Yurt tent. The first part of their trip is a two-day, two-night canoe trip down the Manistee River. From there they will be transported by ferry to South Manitou Island for a four-day and three-night adventure. Campers will backpack to a group campsite and will explore the island’s many historical and natural features through day hikes. Some previous camping experience is recommended.

North Manitou Island Trip
(for boys or girls entering 9th-11th grade in the fall)

This trip is a great next step for campers who have done the South Manitou/River trip or are just eager for a more rustic wilderness trip. North Manitou trips feature exposure to rugged and more “technical” camping skills including travel camping (instead of using a base camp), filtering water, etc. Similar to the South Manitou/River trip, campers begin the week with a group building and high ropes course experience at Camp Roger. Then they head north and take the ferry across to North Manitou Island. North Manitou campers typically hike a little farther each day and have more responsibility for cooking, setting up camp and water filtration than South Manitou/River campers. It’s a great rustic wilderness experience! Previous camping experience is highly recommended.

Check-in is at Camp Roger between 12:45 pm and 2:00 pm on the day the session begins. Pick-up time is between 9:30 am and 10:30 am on the last day of the session.

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Voyager Sessions

(for boys and girls entering 11th grade in the fall – recent graduates)

Voyager Sessions are twelve-day experiences and the culmination of the Camp Roger program. Voyager trips are a step up in intensity and destination. This summer the Voyager trip will be backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They will also spend a day kayaking along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. A co-ed environment provides an opportunity for staff to intentionally teach and role model Christ-like interactions between group members. Voyager campers will receive solid, tangible leadership training in the areas of leading games, behavior management, dealing with challenging campers, safety rules, and how to lead groups. This training will prepare them to serve alongside our camp counselors during a 4-Day Session when they return to camp.

Campers entering grades 11-12 in the fall and recent graduates are welcome to register. Voyager campers will receive a letter from the tripping director prior to the trip providing an itinerary and a few more details.

Check-in is at Camp Roger between 12:45 pm and 2:00 pm on the day the session begins.  Pick-up time is between 9:30 am and 10:30 am on the last day of the session.

PLEASE NOTE:  Check-in for Voyager 6/7 is between 12:45 pm and 1:30 pm on Thursday, July 19.  (This is different from the opening day for Overnight Camp Session 6.)

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Wilderness Trip Questions

A. There are so many reasons, but here are our top ones: your child will grow in their personal relationship with Christ, they will make new friends and strengthen old friendships, they will be led by awesome Christian role models, they will see part of God’s creation many never get the chance to experience, they will be challenged and learn responsibilty and independence, and they will just have a fun time playing in the outdoors.

The activities vary depending on the trip they choose (see wilderness trip descriptions). Much of the trip is learning to live in the outdoors, hiking from campsite to campsite, setting up camp, cooking, and enjoying each other’s company and conversation. Campers are often given extra responsibilities and expected to really be involved as a contributing member of the group. They do daily devotions together, as well as, experiencing personal God time in his beautiful creation.

Some trips have included mountain biking, canoeing, white water rafting, kayaking, riding a ferry, and a high ropes course. During down time on the trips campers can play games, play cards, go swimming, skip stones, take a night hike and explore coastlines and forests.

The trips are led by two counselors either from our current counseling staff or from former staff members. They are simply awesome and energetic people with a passion for God and his creation. On each trip at least one counselor is life guard and first aid certified (by the American Red Cross) and wilderness first aid ceritfied (by the National Outdoor Leadership School).
While in camp at the beginning and end of the trip, boys sleep in a rustic cabin and the girls sleep in a yurt. When they are out exploring and hiking they most often sleep at campsites which are typically only accessible by hiking to them. At these sites campers sleep in tents that Camp Roger provides.
This does depend on where they are and which trip they are on. In camp and while traveling they will use flush toilets. While hiking and camping, some locations have outhouses (for example on South Manitou Island). In some more remote areas, we teach campers how to go out into the woods and dig a proper latrine.

For breakfast, meals are typically based on pancakes, oatmeal or granola. Lunch is often times something that does not require cooking (heat) such as sandwiches, pita pockets, wraps, or bagels (with additional items such as fruit, chips, sweets, etc.). Dinner varies the most wtih anything from spaghetti, to burgers, and involves a classic camp dessert. In general we try to pack items that will be light and last without refrigeration. Out in the woods everything tastes better!

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