Christikon FAQ2024-03-28T14:03:46-06:00

Frequently Asked Questions

Arriving at Camp – Trails Camps2024-01-16T16:27:33-07:00

When you arrive at Christikon, you will spend the first night at camp, with an orientation to life in the wilderness. You will learn how to set up and take care of your tent and be briefed on safety and low-impact camping practices (water treatment, group hiking, camping in bear country, latrine procedures, health care, etc.). Your group will leave the next morning after completing your pack-out.

Health Screening and Medications Management. You will go through a brief health screening, where one of our staff (under the direction of our Health Care Manager) will go over your Health Form and discuss any special needs you may have. You will need to turn in any medications you bring with you at this time. Following the accreditation standards of the American Camp Association, Christikon must have all medications (including over-the-counter medications you bring) under the control of the Camp Health Manager (or the appropriate counselor when persons are away from camp). Special arrangements are made during health screening with campers who must always carry certain medications with them (e.g. asthma inhalers)

Bus Schedule Information2024-03-28T13:57:04-06:00

Bus Transportation is offered on the first and last days of the session, between Billings and the camp. There are stops also in Laurel, Columbus, and Big Timber.

Camp Store – Canteen2024-01-16T15:53:32-07:00

The canteen has T-shirts, sweatshirts, backpack chairs, water bottles, snacks (candy, fruit, popcorn), beverages, postcards and stamps, maps, etc.

Trails campers will have access to the camp store on the first and last nights at camp.

Camper’s Vehicles2024-01-16T15:39:38-07:00

Any vehicles campers bring to camp must be parked and locked in the Parking Area and not used during the camp session.

Cell Phone Usage2024-01-16T15:45:47-07:00

Though there is no cell reception at Christikon and internet access is not available to campers, we are mindful that most cell phones serve a purpose as a camera, alarm clock, and other benefits. We ask that all campers exhibit appropriate usage of their phones, and not utilize headphones during the day’s activities.

Christikon’s Use of Campers’ Images2024-01-16T16:43:14-07:00

Christikon’s use of campers’ images. Unless Christikon is notified in writing to the contrary, the signature of parent/guardian (or adult advisor signing for self) on the Health Form also constitutes a release of all rights on photos or video recordings of the named camper (or adult advisor) that are taken by Christikon staff, and grants permission for use of these images in promotion, publicity, or other information.

Communication while at Camp2024-01-16T16:51:43-07:00

Contact with “the outside world” is limited while campers are at Christikon.

Mail service is provided to the camp twice a week. Those who send letters to campers should consider both transit times and delivery days.

Because of our location, Christikon has only one telephone line. We ask that parents seek to contact campers only for emergency messages. Campers may not use the Christikon telephone, except for urgent reasons.

Cell phones do not work at Christikon.

E-mail access is not available to youth campers.

Communication while on the trail2024-01-16T15:40:58-07:00

Generally, there is not much contact between camp and trails groups. In the event of an emergency, we can communicate with groups via Garmin GPS devices each group carries with them.

Daily Schedule at On-Site Camp2024-01-16T17:34:49-07:00

The Daily Schedule during a week-long camp session may look something like this:

Morning Afternoon Evening
Arrival Day 4 p.m. Registration
Dinner & Dishes
Orientations
Getting Acquainted
Canteen
Worship at campfire
Day One Breakfast
Worship
Dishes and Staff Mtg.
Bible Study
Lunch & Dishes
Hiking
Canteen
All-camp Games
Dinner & Dishes
Quiet Time
Interest Groups
Canteen
Worship at campfire
Day Two Breakfast & Worship
Dishes & Staff Mtg.
Bible Study
Overnight departures
(one-half of camp)
Lunch & Dishes
Service Projects
Canteen
Interest Groups
Dinner & Dishes
Quiet Time
Folk Dancing
Canteen
Holden Evening Prayer
Day Three Breakfast & Worship
Dishes & Staff Mtg.
Overnight departures
(second half of camp)
1st overnighters return
Canteen
Recreation options
Dinner & Dishes
Folk Dancing
Canteen
Worship: Compline
Day Four Breakfast & Worship
Dishes & Staff Mtg.
Quiet Time
Bible Study
Lunch & Dishes
Service Projects
2nd Overnighters return
Canteen
Interest Groups
Dinner & Dishes
Presentations by
Family Groups
Canteen
Worship at campfire
Day Five Breakfast & Worship
Dishes & Staff Mtg.
Quiet Time
Bible Study
Lunch & Dishes
All-camp games
Canteen
Family Group Time
Dinner & Dishes
Sharing of Gifts
Canteen
Worship at campfire
Departure Day Breakfast & Worship
Camp clean-up
Departures by 9 a.m.

First Day at Onsite Camps2024-01-16T16:41:32-07:00

Registration. When you arrive at Christikon, you will check in at the main Lodge. You will receive your cabin assignment and meet your Counselor, who will take you to your cabin to get settled in.

Health Screening and Medications Management. You will go through a brief health screening, where one of our staff (under the direction of our Health Care Manager) will go over your Health Form and discuss any special needs you may have. You will need to turn in any medications you bring with you to camp. Following the accreditation standards of the American Camp Association, Christikon must have all medications (including over-the-counter meds) under the control of the Camp Health Manager (or your counselor when you are away from camp). Special arrangements are made during health screening with campers who must always carry certain medications with them (e.g. asthma inhalers).

The Canteen Bank. To safeguard any money you bring with you for Canteen purchases, we strongly encourage you to make use of the “Canteen Bank.” During the first Canteen time, you can deposit all cash in the Canteen. During the week, you may draw on it for Canteen purchases; and at the end of the session, any unused cash will be returned to you prior to your departure.

Fishing2024-01-16T15:48:49-07:00

If you fish, you must do so according to the laws of Montana. Montanans under age 12, or non-residents under age 15, may fish on an adult’s license when accompanied by the license-holder. Fishing licenses are required for anyone age 15 and above, or non-resident youth under 15 who wish to fish independently of a licensed adult.

You may get a license online before you come to camp at https://ols.fwp.mt.gov/ or make a purchase at camp using a camp computer/printer and your credit card.

Health Screening & Medications Management2017-12-27T23:23:52-07:00

When you register, the packet of information you receive will include a health form which requires the signature of a parent or guardian, and the signature of a physician. This health form helps us to to provide appropriate medical care when necessary. The form should be mailed to the camp at least three weeks before you arrive at camp.

When you come to Christikon, you will go through a brief health screening, where one of our staff (under the direction of our Health Care Manager) will go over your Health Form with you, and discuss any special needs you may have. You will need to turn in any medications you bring with you to camp. Following the accreditation standards of the American Camp Association, Christikon must have all medications (including non-prescription ones) under the control of the Camp Health Manager (or the appropriate counselor when persons are away from camp). Special arrangements are made during health screening with campers who must carry certain medications with them at all times (e.g. asthma inhalers).

How do I prepare for backpacking?2024-01-16T14:06:51-07:00

You can prepare mentally by praying, planning to share yourself with others, and committing yourself not only to your own needs, but to the needs of others.

Prepare for physical activity. Brisk walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, or other activities that increase your heart rate for a sustained period, are best for preparing you. If you have not been too active recently, start slowly and increase the time you spend on these activities. Try to work up to exercising for at least thirty minutes a day, three or more times a week. Make sure your hiking boots are broken in to avoid blisters on the trail. All will help you be better prepared for hiking in the mountains.

Is backpacking hard work?2024-01-16T14:05:44-07:00

We want you and everyone else to participate in the Christikon life in some of the world’s loveliest country, and to find it a valuable experience in which to participate.

There will be challenges. At the start, you will likely develop sore muscles; you might find your first day or two at higher altitudes contributing to tiredness and even a headache. However, most people do not find this to be a problem. You can expect to do a fair amount of hiking (up to 5-8 hours some days), and you will be carrying between 1/4 and 1/3 of your body weight in your backpack.

Junior high Wayfarers and CreationCare participants hike with packs on usually only the first and last days. Senior high Mountaineers backpackers typically cover more terrain and have routes that include a lay-over day.

Life at Christikon On-Site Camps2024-01-16T16:38:48-07:00

Your Cabin.

At camp, you will share a cabin with 4 to 9 other campers and a counselor. The person you specified as cabin mate in your registration will also be with you in your cabin.

Your Family Group.

You will also be part of a Family Group. During some sessions, your Family Group will be your Cabin Group. At other sessions, your Family Group will be a group of six to eight campers (half male, half female), along with a counselor. Your specified cabin mate will also be with you in the family group. The Family Group is an important element of the Christikon life. Together you will do Bible study, service projects, hiking, meal-time dishes and bath house cleaning, program planning, etc.

The Large Group.

You will also share with the whole camp community for meals, worship, recreation, and other activities. During Interest Groups, you can choose among several options with campers who may not be in your Cabin or Family Group.

The Overnight.

A regular part of camp life in week-long camp sessions is an overnight camping trip away from the main camp. You will hike out with your Family Group, carrying your sleeping bag and necessary supplies. While you are out, you will be sharing in four meals, Bible study, worship, and Quiet Time, as well as other group activities. You return to the camp the next day. The overnight provides a distinct way for Family Group members to become more a part of each other’s lives. It also gives you a chance to experience some of the wilderness surrounding the camp.

The life of faith.

We also hope that camp will help you grow in your faith. You do not have to be a Lutheran to be at Christikon—you do not even have to be a believer, however, faith shapes our life together at Christikon. We worship together at the beginning and end of every day. We take time each day to study the Bible together. We usually have daily Quiet Time, so each of us can have a brief chance to be alone with God. And there are all kinds of unscheduled times where we find ourselves both challenged and deepened.

Food and meal times.

Sharing together in the common life at the meal table is a significant part of the Christikon life. Meals are served “family style.” We try to serve tasty and nutritious meals, even as we try to live within budgets and work in a location where getting supplies to camp is a major undertaking. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know on your health form. We will make every effort to accommodate dietary needs.

Life in the Wilderness – Trails Camps2024-01-16T16:36:26-07:00

What’s in store for you.

While out on the trail, you will be getting to know yourself better, reflecting on your abilities, your goals, and your calling. You will be part of a community where everyone matters. You will become involved more deeply in caring for the Creation by developing a sense of life with minimum impact, and by sharing in trails work and rehabilitation projects.

The life of faith.

We also hope that camp will help you grow in your faith. You do not have to be a Lutheran to be at Christikon—you do not even have to be a believer, however, faith shapes our life together at Christikon. We worship together at the beginning and end of every day. We take time each day to study the Bible together. We usually have daily Quiet Time, so each of us can have a brief chance to be alone with God. And there are all kinds of unscheduled times where we find ourselves both challenged and deepened.

Food and meal times.

Sharing together in the common life during meals is a significant part of the Christikon life. On the trail you will be sharing “family style” in meals that you and others prepare for the whole group. We try to serve tasty and nutritious meals, even though we try to live within budgets and use ingredients that do not weigh too much or take up too much space. There are some limitations on what we can have for meals, but we hope you’ll find the food good for you, and that you’ll participate as graciously as you can in the meals offered. If you have special dietary needs, please let us know on your health form. We will make every effort to accommodate dietary needs, however, we may encourage you to bring your own backpack meals and snacks that fit your needs.

Mail Service2024-01-16T15:44:39-07:00

Mail service is provided to the camp twice a week. Those who send letters to campers should consider both transit times and delivery days. Trails campers will be able to receive mail only on the first and last days of a session. Because of our location, Christikon has only one telephone line.

We ask that parents seek to contact campers only for emergency messages.

Campers may not use the Christikon telephone, except for urgent reasons.

Cell phones do not work at Christikon.

Email access is not available to youth campers.

No Swimming2024-01-16T15:46:38-07:00

No Swimming. The river, lakes, and streams in Christikon’s area are very cold and swift-moving, and we do not have waterfront supervisory staff, so swimming is not permitted in the Christikon program.

Notify Parents/Guardians2024-01-16T16:47:06-07:00

When Christikon Will Notify Parents/Guardians?

A camper’s parent or guardian will be contacted by telephone whenever there is an injury or illness that necessitates a visit to a physician, or when a camper has an illness or displays conduct or behavior that seriously interferes with camp life. If an injury or illness is not life-threatening, contact with parent/guardian may be made after the camper has seen professional medical help, so Christikon can offer more complete information.

Packing for Christikon Trails Camps2024-01-16T16:07:39-07:00

Pack light, be prepared. Take special care as you prepare. You do not want to carry any more than you need. You will be carrying not only your own gear, but food and equipment for the group.

On the other hand, once you are out in the wilderness, you can’t run back home to get something you wish you had taken. And because you may face a wide range of weather conditions, you need to be prepared for both warm and cold, for both wet and dry weather.

As you pack for camp, think carefully: do you really need it? Will you be unprepared without it? Keep in mind the Three Virtues of Trails Gear:

  • lightweight (the pounds add up quickly),
  • low bulk (there’s only so much space in your pack), and
  • multiple use (whenever you can use something for more than one purpose, you’ve saved yourself some weight on the back).

Christikon provides you with a backpack, tent, and gear needed for the group (food, cooking utensils, bear bags, rope, maps, stoves, etc.) You need to provide your own personal gear (see the checklist in the PDF file).

Foot wear. Plan to take care of your feet. They are your only means of locomotion. For most hiking, sneakers or tennis shoes simply cannot provide the support and protection your feet need when you are carrying an additional one-fourth to one-third of your body weight. You will need well-fitting hiking shoes that are already broken in. If you buy new hiking shoes, be sure to wear them for several weeks before you come to camp to avoid blisters. Good foot support and protection are the most important considerations.

You want to have several changes of socks with you. Sometimes hikers wear two sets at a time, a thicker pair over a thinner set. It can help keep your foot from sliding around in your shoe. Wool or synthetic fabrics are better at wicking moisture than cotton.

You will also need sturdy sandals or similar light-but-secure footwear (no flip-flops) for crossing creeks and for use around the campsite.

Sleeping Bag. You want a sleeping bag that is as warm and lightweight as possible, made specifically for backpacking if possible. Look for the temperature ratings to compare between various bags in the same brand and try to avoid bringing bulky sleeping bags if you can.

Sleeping Pad. This can be either closed-cell or open-cell foam. There are some inexpensive ones available, as well as some more elaborate ones (ex. self-inflating). Lightweight and insulating capacity are important considerations.

Clothing. Be prepared for extremes of weather. While we hope you have warm, sunny days, you may have to face a snowstorm. Generally, the nights get cool in the high country, sometimes near or below freezing.

It is best to have clothing that you can layer for better insulation. Wool and synthetic fiber fabrics make excellent choices, while cotton fabrics insulate very little and take a long time to dry. A stocking cap and gloves or mittens are also good to bring along.

A lightweight rain jacket/rain gear is essential. The camp has a limited number of ponchos available; but we do not have enough for everyone, so have your own if possible.

It is good to pack most of your items in small plastic bags, to help protect against wetness. You might also want a large garbage bag to use as a pack cover at night or in the rain.

Insect Repellent. Because mosquitos become quite active in the high country, you will want insect repellent. Some even like to have a hat with mosquito netting

The CreationCare program: backpacking and service2024-01-16T14:38:07-07:00

CreationCare participants will be spending up to eight hours of work days doing trails work and/or site rehabilitation, as arranged with and supervised by personnel of the U.S. Forest Service. Like other trails groups, your first night and last nights will be at the main camp. Your first and last days out on the trail will include travel to the site of your work project. There will likely be one day for hiking and/or getting up into the area high country.

Christikon and the Forest Service will be providing you with cotton work gloves, hard hats (when required), and the necessary tools (and instruction in how to use them safely). For some of the work you do, you will want to have long pants and long sleeves for added protection. Leather work gloves are also good to bring for protecting your hands.

It is hard to know in advance what the weather will be like. But it’s possible you may be working under wet and/or muddy conditions. Try to pack an extra set of work clothes if you can.

What happens when we get to camp?2017-12-27T23:21:26-07:00

When you arrive at Christikon, you will spend the first night at camp, for packing-out and orientation to life in the wilderness. You’ll learn how to set up and take care of your tent (in which you will stay that night). You’ll be briefed on safety and low-impact camping practices (water treatment, group hiking, camping in bear country, latrine procedures, health care, etc.) Your group will leave the next morning after completing your packing-out.

What NOT to take to Camp!2024-01-16T16:16:51-07:00

Do not bring the following items with you to camp:

  • Music players, including Bluetooth speakers. If you bring these to camp, we will keep them safe for you while you are with us and return them to you when you depart.
  • Pets
  • Hunting knives
  • Firearms or ammunition
  • Fireworks or firecrackers (they are illegal)
  • Alcohol, illegal drugs, and smoking or chewing tobacco are not permitted

Also, it is not wise to bring large quantities of snack food on the trail. At the main camp, all personal food must be stored in the canteen. On the trail, all personal food must go in the bear bag when you reach your campsite.

What to take to camp with me – On-Site Camps2024-01-16T17:22:54-07:00

Warm sleeping bag or other bedding. Temperatures can get down to the forties or even thirties at night. If you have a sleeping pad (either closed-cell or open-cell will do), it will be useful on the overnight; but it’s not necessary.

Casual clothing. Camp is informal throughout. Be prepared for either warm or cool weather. Besides warm weather items, include items for cooler weather. You may also want to have a set of old clothes to use during Service Projects.

Warm jacket. Mittens or gloves and a stocking cap may be handy for the overnight, or cold weather.

Comfortable shoes for hiking. Besides sneakers or tennis shoes (which are fine for around camp or on short hikes), it’s best to have something that provides more support and protection for longer hikes and overnights. If you bring hiking boots, make sure you wear them for several weeks at home before you come to camp, so they’re well broken in to avoid blisters.

Socks, underwear, etc. When you hike, it’s sometimes good to wear two pair of socks—a thicker pair over a thinner pair, so your foot doesn’t slide around in your shoe.

Towel and personal toilet articles (soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

Lightweight rain gear. This is important for hikes and overnighting away from camp. The camp has a limited number of ponchos that can be used, but we don’t have enough for everyone, so bring one if you have one.

Bible. Bibles are also available for camper use at camp.

Small flashlight; camera; musical instruments (optional).

Sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Protect yourself! The sunscreen is particularly important.

Other items to consider: A day pack or backpack if you wish. It is not necessary; but if you have one, it could come in handy for hiking or overnighting away from camp. A pencil or pen. Fishing gear (see information on fishing.)

What to take to camp with me – Trails Camps2024-01-16T16:24:40-07:00

Packing Check List (download it in PDF form)

This checklist reflects a common experience of backpackers and should be helpful as you prepare for your time with us at Christikon. We are mindful that individual needs, budgets and preferences may vary, but please use this list as a packing guide.

Basic equipment:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Sneakers or sandals (not “flip-flops”) for stream crossings and walking around the campsite.
  • Sleeping bag and stuff sack
  • Sleeping pad
  • Light rain gear (jacket, poncho, etc.)

Clothing (be prepared for extremes of weather):

  • Socks for hiking
  • UnderwearUpper-body: (shirt, jacket, sweater, sweat shirt, down or fleece vest.)
  • T-shirts are fine for warm weather and are typical hiking wear. But have something for cool nights and nasty weather. Consider combinations: windbreaker & sweater & T-shirt; or rain jacket & sweatshirt & long- sleeved underwear & T-shirt; or jacket & vest & sweater, etc.
  • Hiking shorts. Most people wear shorts much of the time.
  • Long pants for cold weather and to protect against evening mosquitos. Jeans will work, but don’t provide much warmth when they are wet. Some prefer to have wool pants. Some prefer to have lightweight rain pants and use them with long underwear (Remember: multiple use).
  • Gloves or mittens; stocking cap.

Other items:

  • Mosquito repellant. Some like a hat with mosquito netting too.
  • Sunscreen. Very important! At higher elevations you are more likely to get a serious sunburn, even on cloudy days.
  • Small flashlight (perhaps spare batteries)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, soap (biodegradable is best), comb, etc.
  • Small towel, washcloth
  • Kleenex (travel pack), handkerchief, or bandanna

Also consider:

  • Bath towel for showering at camp (you can leave it at camp while you are out on the trail).
  • Camera (most will use their phone)
  • Foot powder
  • Lip protection (Chapstick, etc.)
  • Sunglasses or sun visor or cap
  • Long underwear (polypropylene, fleece, etc.)
  • Pen or pencil (for journaling)
  • Fishing gear (see information on fishing)
  • Plastic bags (see packing considerations)
Where is Christikon Camp?2022-01-22T21:19:59-07:00

Christikon camp is in the National Forest Permit area that is located in the Custer Gallatin National Forest in the state of Montana.

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