The Bishop England Trek is a high adventure Catholic leadership program for Catholic Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members situated on the Foot Hills Trail in the Upstate of South Carolina. The program brings Catholic youth from the Province of Atlanta together with selected priests, religious and seminarians for 5 days of backpacking in the context of a vocation retreat.
Dates and Itinerary
The 2018 Bishop England Trek begins on Sunday, June 10, 2018 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the participants meet, get to know one another, train, have fun and pray. On Monday, they begin their hike from Upper Whitewater Falls, NC, working their way along the Foot Hills Trail over 5 days to Oconee State Park. While hiking and camping, they will experience a program that is designed to encourage the integration of morality, values, spirituality, faith, scripture and vocation in their lives as young Catholic Men and Women. At the conclusion of the trek on Saturday, June, 16, 2018, they will be asked to continue their discernment and if they so desire make an application to attend the St. George Trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in 2019. Participants will also be asked to utilize the leadership skills gained and to become role models for their fellow scouts.
Candidate Qualification / Selection
Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members, ages 14 and above, as of July 1, 2018, having completed the Ad Altari Dei and/or Pope Pius XII Religious Emblem by March 30, 2018 are eligible to complete an application for the Bishop England Trek. Because the program can only accommodate 40 youth, selection will be made based on demonstrated maturity, physical ability, leadership potential, and interest in the life of the Church.
All participants must have the physical health and stamina to backpack on the rigorous mountain trails, covering 5-7 miles per day. No exceptions can be made to these expectations and requirements. An all female crew is planned pending sufficient female registration. Participants will be notified of their selection on or before February 8, 2018.
Trek Preparation / Adult Leadership and Logistics Support / Fees
Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members selected to participate in the Bishop England Trek will be assigned to a Trek Crew comprised of a priest, seminarian and 1 additional adult leader with up to 9 youth. During the months of February – May 2018, the Trek Crew may complete 2 or more weekend hikes / camping outings to prepare for the Bishop England Trek. Adult Leaders will be assigned based on regional locale in relation to the Trek Crew. Final Trek Crews and logistics support assignments will be made by April 30, 2018. The fee for the Bishop England Trek is $200.00.