Students de-stress out West

Summer field studies allows group of Roncalli kids to spend two weeks out in the wilderness exploring God's creation


Huffing and puffing, senior Harrison Sisk climbed down the Bright Angel Trail contemplating every moment of the last 17 years of his life. Out of all of these moments, the biggest one on his mind was the fact that another camper had accidently took his food supply for the week. Everything he planned on eating was now a six hour drive away. He was hot, tired, and most definitely hungry – but he still considers it one of the best experiences of his life. 

Summer is seen as a time for relaxation and enjoyment for most Roncalli students, but that was far from reality for a group of juniors and seniors who found themselves trekking the entire Grand Canyon last June. This thirteen mile hike can last anywhere from eight to nine hours, not only taking a toll on the human body physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. 

“You grow even closer with your friends than you thought possible,” Andrew Gangstad, another senior on Summer Field Studies said. 

Summer field studies is a two week program offered to juniors and seniors which focuses on leadership and personal responsibility out west. Students are able to camp, cook, swim, and climb in a completely different environment from what Indianapolis provides. Along with all of these different activities, mass is said everyday to grow in ones understanding of the Catholic faith. 

“It is truly amazing how just a change scenery can not only benefit your personal relationship with God, but your overall well-being. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is wanting to gain more perspective on the world around them. This trip made such a positive impact on my life and is one that I will never forget,” Gangstand said.