Several BCHS Students Taking on Summer Field Studies

Maddie Barbar

This Summer, some BCHS juniors and seniors will be attending the Summer Fields studies (SFS)  program from June 14th to June 27th. This program will tentatively take place in Colorado with a base camp in Chris Park. Students will get to explore the San Juan mountains, Capitol Reef, Mesa Verde, Arches, and Canyonlands National Parks. In their exploration they’ll also have chances to go rock climbing, rafting, and mountaineering. 

The program describes themselves as, “one part academics, one part adventure, one part retreat.” Students will learn about their faith within nature, and be able to reflect on their journey as a person of God. Junior Kaitlyn Stehlik will be going to SFS this year, “Overall I want to push myself to try something out of my comfort zone. It truly looks like an amazing experience that I’ve heard only good things about.” Many students have decided to join in this experience- Roncalli and Cardinal Ritter students will be attending with BCHS. 

According to Roncalli’s website, the summer field studies, “teaches students to respect themselves, to become leaders, and to work to achieve their dreams.” The program has been offered through Roncalli for almost 39 years. Over the years, over 3,000 students have participated in this outdoor retreat. Junior Ruby Mason will be attending the field studies this summer, “I am so excited to meet new people and push my limits of rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater rafting, and not showering for a week.” 

With the pandemic, SFS was canceled in 2020. For the 2021 program, safety protocols will be taken to ensure a safe trip, and students are excited to finally be able to attend. “After the difficult year we’ve had I’ve felt as though I’ve missed out on a lot by being quarantined in my house for close to 3 months and other experiences being taken away because of the pandemic,” said Stehlik. SFS will be a chance for BCHS students to regain that sense of community that was hindered during coronavirus. 

Bishop Chatard has participated in this program for many years with both Roncalli and Cardinal Ritter high schools. Stehlik said, “I’m most looking forward to meeting new people and making life changing memories. I really think this will help my mental health and change my perspective in life for the better!” Many students have walked away from this program with life-changing experiences because the program is designed to challenge students to ponder their faith while having fun in the outdoors. 

Chatard students have decided to go to summer field studies in order to gain lasting memories. “When I was a freshman they showed the SFS video at mass, and I have wanted to go ever since. Now that i’m a junior i’m so excited to go camping for two weeks,” said Mason about finally being able to attend. The SFS program is a unique opportunity that BCHS takes part in each year, many juniors and seniors are encouraged to attend so that they may grow in their faith.