Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register?

If you are signing up for an open-enrollment course that is posted on our website, there will be a registration link included with the course information. A deposit will typically be required with registration. If you are signing up for a trip through your school, parish, youth group, etc. please contact your trip coordinator for instructions on how to register.

When is payment due?

A deposit is typically required with registration to confirm your spot and final payment is typically due two weeks prior to your course start date.

Is my deposit nonrefundable?

Yes, your deposit is nonrefundable. However, we may be willing to consider refunds on a case by case basis in extenuating circumstances. Please contact the COR office to be considered for a refund.

What is your cancellation policy?

For cancellations between 30 and 14 days prior to the course, you will be responsible for 50% of the total course fee. Cancelling within 14 days of the course will require full payment of the course fee.

How do I get to the trip?

Once you are registered for a trip, you will receive an email at least 1-2 months prior to your trip with details regarding travel logistics. Course participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the designated location for pick-up and drop-off. For most of our courses, this location is the Denver airport, though you may also have the option to meet the group at the wilderness location or other designated location if you are driving rather than flying to the trip. Your COR instructors or a member of our support staff will pick you up in one of our program vehicles and drive you to the wilderness locations.

Are there bathrooms?

Typically, if you are on a multi-day backpacking or river trip, you will not have access to bathroom facilities for the majority of the trip. At the beginning of your course, our instructors will go through how to go to the bathroom in the woods while maintaining comfort, hygiene, and privacy. For multi-adventure trips consisting of day trips to each activity, you will typically stay at a campground with pit toilets. All courses will be provided with the opportunity for showers at the end of their course prior to their travel home.

If there are no bathroom facilities, do you provide or should I bring toilet paper? We do not provide, nor do we recommend bringing toilet paper on our backcountry courses. Other ways to maintain good hygiene will be taught by the instructors. If you do decide to bring toilet paper, come prepared to carry your used toilet paper out with you, according to the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles.

Where do we sleep?

Unless otherwise specified (e.g. the COR Ranch) all of our trips are camping trips. You will spend each night sleeping in tents or under tarps under the stars. Tents are provided and sleeping bags and sleeping pads are available from our equipment center. The tents provided typically sleep 4-6 participants. Male and female participants will have separate tents.

What’s the food like?

Unlike many programs that use dehydrated “just add water” meals on their wilderness trips, we provide real ingredients that you and fellow course participants will use to cook your own meals over a camp stove. Breakfast options may include oatmeal, pancakes, granola, bacon, and bagels. Lunch is generally eaten on the trail and may include deli wraps, pretzels and peanut butter, fruit, trail mix, granola bars, or power balls. Dinner options include macaroni and cheese, pizza, alfredo pasta, beans and rice, potato soup, and stir-fry. We can accommodate most common dietary restrictions, including gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, vegetarian, etc. You will be asked to specify these needs and the severity of any food allergies upon registration.

Is my trip co-ed?

Unless otherwise specified, all of our courses are co-ed.

How much weight will we be carrying?

On a typical week-long backpacking trip you will carry 40-60 lbs. The weight of your pack will vary depending on the length of the trip. On trips of two weeks or longer, there will be a re-ration of food mid-trip in order to keep the pack weight manageable.

Will there be a priest?

We do our best to ensure that there is a priest on all of our open-enrollment courses and when a contract course is not able to bring their own chaplain we are happy to help recruit a priest for these trips as well. We cannot guarantee that a priest will be present for the entirety of the course, but we always ensure that the group is able to attend Sunday Mass either on Sunday itself or Saturday evening and that time for daily prayer both as a group and individually is provided.

Is this course a retreat?

COR trips are not your typical retreat that might take place at a church or a retreat center. However, we fully believe that each course provides participants with the opportunity to encounter God in a radically renewing way. Our courses are similar to a traditional retreat in that they offer plenty of opportunities for prayer and reflection, and provide an intense step away from the distractions of technology and routine. Each course includes time for daily personal and communal prayer, reflections facilitated by missionary instructors, and the presence of the Sacraments and Adoration whenever possible. However, COR takes this prayerful atmosphere, removed from the distractions of technology, a step further. We believe that God desires to meet each of our participants not only through dedicated prayer, but also in the experiences of life-changing community and transformative adventure. For this reason, COR courses often provide a unique opportunity for individuals who otherwise may not be interested or able to attend a structured retreat format.

Do I need experience?

No prior experience with camping or any of our adventure activities is required for participation in a COR course. Our professional instructors will teach you everything you need to know to participate in each activity safely and not only survive, but thrive in each wilderness environment.

Do I need to exercise to prepare for the trip?

Although you do not need to be a superstar athlete to participate in our courses, we do encourage some basic conditioning prior to your trip, especially if you are coming from a sedentary life-style and/or lower elevations.

What do I need to bring?

All you need to bring is clothing, proper shoes, and basic toiletries and we provide the rest! Personal items such as backpacks, sleeping bags, extra layers, and rain protection are available for your use at no additional charge. A gear reservation form must be submitted at least two weeks prior to your course – a packing list and the link to the reservation form will be provided after registration. COR provides all food, camping gear (such as tents, camp stoves, etc.) and technical gear for each activity.

What kind of hiking boot do I need?

If your trip involves 3 or fewer days of backpacking, you should be fine with a supportive hiking shoe (not trail-running shoes). However, if you are coming on a week-long trip that is entirely backpacking, we highly recommend investing in durable backpacking boots with a proven sole (such as Vibram®) and ¼-¾ shank (a shank is a hard, often metal, shaft inserted into the sole to prevent flexing). High top (at least ankle height) backpacking boots, designed with extra support and durability are required to handle more than just body weight for extended trips. Recommended brands and models are:

  • Asolo: Power Matic series; TPS series; Power Light series; Matrix series; Energy series
  • Garmont: Dakota; Synchro Plus; Cypress, FC Eco 4.0
  • La Sportiva: Thunder II; Cascade
  • Lowa: Tahoe; Tibet; Banff; Pingora; Mauira
  • Montrail: Feather Peak
  • Oboz: Wind River
  • Scarpa: Mustang; Barun; Nepal Pro; SL M3; Escape
  • Vasque: St Elias; Wasatch; Bitterroot; Summit; Sundowner; Clarion; Breeze; Taku

Is there anything I can’t bring?

We do not allow guns, alcohol, or knives over 6 inches on our courses unless otherwise specified in the course information.