Do you love hearing a good story?
""Jesus’ ability to connect a story to a person’s heart is one reason people flocked to hear his teaching.
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Would you like to use Bible stories to communicate the story of Jesus more effectively to others?
Spend 10 days camping and hiking with 24 college students in the Rocky Mountain National Park while you learn how to connect with people the way Jesus did … through stories!
Mornings and evenings you’ll engage with God as you explore his Word through a set of Bible stories from the life of Christ. In the afternoons, you’ll hit the trails and share the stories you’re learning with fellow hikers. Enjoy campfires and s’mores at night under the stars.
You will use Bible stories in evangelism and discipleship, and you’ll learn skills in leading small groups. You’ll also hear about opportunities to join StoryRunners in our mission to bring God’s word to cultures with little or no Scripture.
We will be tent camping (no overnight backpacking, just day hiking) in Rocky Mountain National Park. You don’t have to be an athlete to participate, but you should be able to hike for a couple of hours in the mountains. Hiking options include everything from an easy stroll around Bear Lake to the short-but-strenous hike to the top of Alpine Ridge (just over 12,000 feet) where the elk herds hang out or a long hike to crystal clear, boulder-strewn Sky Pond, just below the tree line.
Bring your water shoes for whitewater rafting and your appetite for a tasty meal in a Nepali restaurant during our day of outreach in Estes Park.
We’ll provide the tents and the campfires and the meals, but you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, and camping pad (or your hammock if you want to sleep between the trees!). Shuttle service from Denver International Airport to the park is included, but the cost of transportation to Denver is additional.
Questions? Find answers in the FAQs section. Don’t find an answer to your question? Ask us via the contact form below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost for the Rocky Mountain Summer Mission (RMSM)? What does it include?
The cost is $975, which includes campsite rental, tents, all meals except one lunch and while traveling, trail snacks, shuttle from airport to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and back, a meal in Estes Park, and whitewater rafting.
When is the payment deadline?
You need to pay a $100 non-refundable deposit within 2 weeks of your acceptance date. The $875 balance is due July 1.
How do I raise the funds for this trip?
As with all Cru Summer Missions, the StoryRunners staff will coach you on raising support for your expenses. You can explore the MPD website https://mpd.uscm.org/. If you have used a Relay account or Facebook to login the past, you can use that same account.
What about raising support for my other expenses?
If you raise more than the $975 cost of the mission trip, you can be reimbursed after the mission for …
- transportation to and from Rocky Mountain Park (airfare or car mileage @ $.12/mile).
- stamps, envelopes and printing for support letters.
- $100 deposit, if it was paid by you or your parent.
- You CANNOT be reimbursed for shoes, clothing, camping gear, or any other items on the packing list.
Where and when should I arrive/leave?
Arrive in Denver by 2 pm Tuesday, July 25th.
- If you are flying, arrive at Denver International Airport (DEN) no later than 2 pm MDT. You will shuttle from the airport to the Quality Inn & Suites.
- If you are driving, arrive at the Quality Inn & Suites near airport by 2 pm for registration & orientation. (6890 Tower Rd, Denver, CO)
Depart Denver after 2 pm Thursday, August 3rd
- If you are flying, book a flight 2 pm MDT or later from the Denver International Airport (DEN). We will shuttle you to the airport late in the morning. Your flight itinerary must be approved by an RMSM staff before you purchase it.
Where will we stay?
We’ll have a 1-night orientation in a hotel near the airport. We camp for 7 nights in tents (bring your hammock if you have one and prefer to sleep among the trees!) at the Morraine Park Campground located in Ponderosa Pine Forest. We’ll finish with a 1-night debrief at the YMCA of the Rockies.
What are our housing accommodations?
During your stay, you will share accommodations with 3-6 people of the same gender. We’ll be in a hotel room, in tents, and in dormitory-style housing at the YMCA. While we are in RMNP, you will have access to public toilets and sinks, as well as shower stalls that accommodate solar-heated shower bags. However in our RMNP campground there is NO RUNNING WATER in the showers!
What about the weather?
Summer days in July and August often reach the 70’s or 80’s and then drop into the upper 40’s at night. At high elevations, the afternoon may be windy and there is snow all year. Be aware that high elevation, as well as changes in altitude while hiking, will affect you physically. We are camping at 8150 feet but you might hike as high as 12,000 feet. You’ll get tired more easily, and you could experience altitude sickness. You will need to drink a lot of water, so, if you don’t like to drink plain water, bring packets of powdered drink mix to mix with your water.
What should I wear?
You need very warm items for sleeping in unheated tents or in a hammock in the open, and you’ll want a sweatshirt/jacket and jeans/sweat pants in the evenings and mornings. Bring modest clothing (mid-thigh shorts, no low cut tops or spaghetti straps).
You will want shorts for hiking during warm afternoons, but you will also need a sweatshirt/jacket for chillier day hikes and for nights. You may want a lightweight rain poncho (see optional packing items) because it often rains in the afternoon.
What else do I need to pack?
- A sleeping bag rated for 40F, a camping pad/air mattress, pillow, and a flashlight. Including a sheet inside your sleeping bag adds a lot of warmth (night temperature will be 50 or below).
- If you bring a hammock, you still need a pad to put between you and the hammock. Nights are cold! Plus, in case of rain, you’re going to want to sleep on a pad in a tent.
- Other: a 12-day supply of any medications you need (2 extra days in case of travel delays), personal toiletries, towel, washcloth, Bible, journal, money (travel expenses, one lunch during the summer mission, and spending money for Estes Park), hiking boots or good walking shoes, day hike backpack, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, coffee travel mug, 1-liter or larger water bottle or a Camelbak-type larger container for longer hikes, flashlight, sleeping bag & sheet, air mattress, pillow.
- Optional: solar-heated shower bag (We found an inexpensive solar shower bag by Googling ”solar shower bag”), packets of powdered drink mix if you don’t like drinking plain water, rain poncho (you can find them for around $5 at most large sports or outdoors stores), bug spray.
- For whitewater rafting: old athletic shoes or water shoes (NO flipflops), a swimsuit for under your clothes (optional), lightweight wind pants (optional) for chilly weather.
How should I prepare physically for this trip?
There are opportunities for many miles of hiking at high elevation (8,000 – 12,000 feet), but there are also places to walk and to hike that do not require long distances or significant elevation changes. You need to be in good health and able to handle some strenuous physical activity because you’ll be hiking for several hours each day. We suggest that you prepare for the trip by exercising more (cardio, weights, interval training, etc.) between now and July. If you have questions or concerns about your physical health, consult with your doctor.