Higher Challenge Wilderness Adventures

Higher Challenge Wilderness Adventures


Since 1993, Higher Challenge has been offering northern teens unique out-tripping adventures in northern Saskatchewan and western Alberta.

Operated by Northern Canada Evangelical Mission, it is the goal of HCWA to offer camps that stretch the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Higher Challenge canoingIn a program led by trained, experienced Christian leaders, God is presented as a personal God whose plan and purpose for all races, ages and cultures is given in the Bible and demonstrated by His Son, Jesus Christ.

HCWA activities may include backpacking, canoe tripping, white-water paddling, rock climbing and rappel, survival training and lots of other great activities, all done in some of the best country God has made!

  • Higher Challenge camper application form (pdf)
  • Request Higher Challenge summer staff application form. See email contact below.

2019 Schedule

July 2-13
Cost: $400

More About Higher Challenge

Higher Challenge Wilderness Adventures (HCWA) is a not-for-profit wilderness learning seminar operated by the Northern Canada Evangelical Mission (producers of Tribal Trails TV). This organization has been actively involved in sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with Canada’s Aboriginal people for over 60 years.

HCWA has run camps since 1993 and is specifically designed for First Nations young people ages 13-19. With safety as the governing principle, each day’s activities are guaranteed to stretch the whole person physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The qualities of trust, endurance, humility, sensitivity to others, patience, love, self-confidence, initiative, service, leadership, and self-discipline are built into the lives of the team as it learns to function in the wilderness together.

Fear is faced and conquered, and skills are developed as team members find the freedom to try, maybe fail, try again and succeed in a program that is geared to success. HCWA is led by trained, skilled and committed Christian leaders who really care for teens.

Higher Challenge activities may vary according to season or site, but may include things like: backpacking, canoe training, non-technical mountain climbing, rock climbing and rappelling, orienteering, survival skill training, swimming, fishing, cliff jumping, flat and moving water paddling and tripping, rafting and many other outdoor pursuits.

Lifetime skills are taught on our trips and leadership is encouraged. Through feedback and personal evaluation, every meaningful situation in camp is applied to real life – in fact we have a saying: “Life imitates Trails.” In our camps, God is presented as more than just our Creator – He is presented as a personal God who has a plan for all human beings of every race or culture – a plan which is given in the Bible and demonstrated by His Son, Jesus Christ.

HCWA supplies all group gear which includes: canoes and paddles, PFDs, packs, sleeping bags, tents, back-packs, cooking gear, food, first aid and emergency communications.
You are encouraged to sign up early for our camps, as they do often fill up.

Don’t forget to bring…
  • One pair of good hiking or work boots or good runners for walking.
  • One pair of runners
  • 1 or 2 swimsuits
  • Underwear
  • One belt
  • Two long sleeved heavy shirts (preferably flannel, wool or fleece)
  • Two pairs of rugged long pants (canvas or nylon hiking pants – not tight fitting – should not be denim jeans)
  • One wool toque
  • One wool or warm fleece sweater
  • One light nylon windbreaker
  • Four pair of heavy duty wool or cotton socks
  • One towel & face cloth
  • Two handkerchiefs (bandannas)
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen lotion
  • Toothbrush & comb
  • Soap & toothpaste
  • One small Bible (optional)
  • One flashlight with extra batteries (bring lots of batteries please)
  • Light fishing gear (pole, reel & lures) Optional – but if you want to fish, please bring your own gear – don’t depend on others to supply this for you.
  • Camera (Optional)
  • Mosquito repellant & head net
  • Gloves
  • Lightweight (but rugged) rain-gear

You may take your own sleeping bag, but if it is heavy or cumbersome we may suggest that you use ours. Campers will be issued sleeping bags with liners and be expected to use the liners at all times. Make sure your footwear is well broken in. Helmets, PFD’s and other safety equipment for the activities requiring it will be provided by HCWA.

Note: This is the recommended list – if you take these things you will be comfortable. You may use some flexibility when putting these things together, but remember that we have your safety & comfort in mind!

Please don’t bring cell phones, tablets, computers, MP3s or other electronic devices (leaders will confiscate them) drugs (they’re illegal), or watches (you don’t need them). Don’t bring knives, either. Please bring a good attitude, a sense of humor, a good work ethic, and a zest for adventure – these are great things to bring and will make your HCWA experience very rewarding!

For more information, write or call:

Tom Cnossen
RR 2, Site 5, Box 12., Ponoka, AB T4J 1R2
Phone: 403-704-6605
Email: tcnossen53@gmail.com

or Marsden Giesbrecht
Phone: 306-812-8830
Email: marsdenmandyg@gmail.com

(Send all correspondence to Tom Cnossen)