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Wilderness is a five-day youth minister retreat designed to rest the soul and rejuvenate the spirit. Wilderness 2020 is October 5 - 9 at Bear Trap Ranch in Colorado Springs.


Wilderness is...

• 5 days in the Rocky Mountains • Discussing things that matter most in life and ministry • Rest, solitude and listening to God • Depth of Brotherhood Wilderness is a retreat for youth ministers and youth workers. It’s about digging into the heart of why you do what you do. It's about passion more than programming. It’s about following God’s call on your life and finding the strength to follow His lead.


The Experience

• 5 days in the beautiful wilderness of the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs, Colorado (about an hour and a half from Colorado Springs International Airport). The location is a pristine wilderness with pine forests, mountain streams and meadows, and peaks of 12,000 to 14,000 feet. • Time away from the office, phone, internet and emails, committee meetings, deadlines and pressures of daily responsibilities • Time to be alone in the wilderness, seeking God and His desire for your life and ministry • Rest in the solitude of the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, including opportunities for hiking, fishing or simply discovering a quiet place to think and talk with God • Interactive discussions with others in ministry on issues that matter most • Mountain River Fishing – Bring your own gear and buy a license on your way up. • Log cabins complete with bathrooms and bedding • Great food with special meals, like the Wrangler’s Breakfast (you don’t want to miss this).


The Dynamic

More important than the setting is the dynamic we want to create in small group relationships. Each participant will be assigned to a group of 6-7 other youth ministers with one mentor/facilitator. Your small group will spend time each day working through some important life issues. The mentor’s role will be to lead discussions (not lectures and seminars) about things that matter most.


The Discussions

Mentors/Facilitators – All of our mentors meet the following criteria: • Active in ministry • Have a heart for youth ministry • Understand the importance of one marriage for life • Have life and ministry experience of 6 to 10 years greater than any member of their small group. Mentors/Facilitators will also follow up with each member of their small group in the following year to touch base, encourage and add another layer of accountability to the lives and ministries of those who have attended a week of Wilderness. Spiritual Disciplines – You will be given the opportunity to experience and put into practice many of the following spiritual disciplines: • Prioritizing • Journaling • Prayer • Solitude • Silence • Meditation • Worship • Seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit DISCLAIMER: WILDERNESS is not meant to serve as a counseling center.

Packing List

Things to consider when packing: You will likely be hiking, so bring a good pair of comfy shoes or hiking boots. It can get cold at night so bring some warm clothes. Since we will be at an increased elevation, you will sunburn quicker and get dehydrated faster, so bring a water bottle!

Download the Packing List


Now until May 31 the cost is $475. From June 1 to August 15 the cost is $500. From August 16 to October 5 the cost is $525. DISCOUNT!! Returning Attendees- Receive $25 off when you bring a friend who has never been before. Wilderness registration is now online and you can either pay online with a credit card or by mailing a check.

Registration Opens Soon!

Contact & Travel Info

Travel: If you are planning on driving to Bear Trap Ranch, please aim to arrive between noon and 5 p.m. on Oct. 5. Important: Please plan on arriving somewhere between the hours of noon and 5 p.m. Please plan on leaving Friday, Oct. 9 no later than 3 p.m. For questions contact Nate Karnes or call (417)-781-2273.

Bear Trap Ranch

Again, thanks for what you do – we appreciate it and look forward to our time together in Colorado Springs, CO. If you have any questions please email nate.karnes@ciy.com or call (417) 781-2273.


Monday, Oct. 5

  • 6:00pm
  • 7:00pm
  • 8:00pm
    Discussion Groups
  • 10:00pm

Tuesday-Thursday (Oct. 6-8)

  • 9:30am
    Solo: Journal, pray, read, reflect, meditate
  • Noon
  • 12:30pm
    Free Time (you can go fishing, hiking, take a nap, rest, read, talk, rock climb, disc golf, etc.)
  • 6:00pm
  • 6:45pm
    Worship & Discussion Groups
  • 9:30pm

Friday, Oct. 9

  • 8:00am
    Discussion Groups
  • 10:00am