There’s a lot to think about and prepare for, we get it!
Before You Apply
What are things I should consider before signing up for a course?
Pack weight: Between the group gear, group food, and student’s personal items, packs are a minimum of 40% of the student’s body weight, and no more than 60% of the student’s body weight. For example, a 130 lb student can expect to be carrying a pack averaging around 50-70 lbs. This is not to say that a student will always be carrying a pack at the maximum weight! But at various points throughout the course (e.g., immediately after a re-ration of food), pack weight dramatically increases for a time. We strongly encourage students to train before coming to SROM so that they are able to comfortably and safely carry their packs while on course.
Terrain: depending on the course itinerary, students may be traveling on muddy, rocky, or dusty terrain, and they may be crossing boulder fields, snow fields, or glaciers. Students should be mentally and physically prepared for crossing various types of terrain with their pack.
Altitude: The SROM headquarters in Laramie, Wyoming sits at an altitude of 7,200′ and we frequently program in areas that range from 8,000′ to 12,000′ of elevation. Depending on the course itinerary, students may attempt a peak as high as 13,800′! We strongly encourage students to physically train for altitude by focusing on their cardio fitness as well as their strength training.
Distance per day: Depending on the course itinerary, students will generally be travelling between 3-6 miles per day for shorter courses, and between 5-8 miles per day for longer courses. Again, training before the course is strongly recommended so that students are mentally and physically prepared for the mileage on the trail.
Length of days: Days on the SROM course can be long! Generally students are up at 6 am, and are going strong until 9 or 10 pm.
Remote environments: SROM programs in technical deep wilderness, often at least a day from a trailhead. Our instructors are highly trained for deep wilderness environments, but we also recognize that most of our students have never been in such isolated places. We have found that areas of deep wilderness offer ideal settings for transformation in student lives!
Diverse communities: We have students from a variety of backgrounds on our courses, and we have found that the diversity in our courses can lend to a beautifully authentic community! Students coming from various faith backgrounds bring unique perspectives to their team on course, and it can be a very enriching experience.
How do I know if the gear I’m planning on bringing is sufficient?
Each course packing list contains extensive lists to help guide you as you purchase gear. There are several items that have additional descriptions to help answer questions that you may have when you’re looking to purchase your equipment.
When you arrive for your course, your instructors will help look through each item and give recommendations.
If after looking at your packing list your still not sure about your gear, please contact Customer Support at (307) 755-0642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I let SROM know what gear I want to rent?
When you arrive for your course, your instructors and our support staff will handle group gear issuing as well as individual gear rental. Please see your packing list for specific information on what items are available to rent and the costs of the rental.
Please note that you will be charged for the individual gear rental before you leave for course, and you are additionally financially responsible for any damage to the gear (both group and individual) while out on course.
If you have questions about gear rental, please contact Customer Support at (307) 755-0642 or email@example.com.
How can I check on the balance of my course tuition?
After you pay your $100 application fee, an invoice is created and emailed to you. You can access your most up-to-date balance by clicking on the link included in that email. The online invoice will automatically update as payments are recorded.
If you are unable to access your online invoice, please contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (307) 755-0642 and we will email you an updated invoice link.
What options are available for financial aid?
SROM creates an online donation portal for each enrolled student to streamline donations from friends and family for a student’s tuition. Students can also request additional fundraising resources from Customer Support at email@example.com. If you have not received a link to your online donation portal, please contact our Customer Support department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 307-755-0642.
Many of our students have successfully raised money and financial support to help cover their tuition costs. We encourage students to reach out to their community with fundraising letters to potential supporters (e.g., family, friends, coworkers, churches) requesting prayer and/or financial assistance for their courses, much like raising funds for a missions trip. SROM provides online invoicing and an online donation portal. Email or post the link to the online donation site and remember to include your invoice number! SROM is an amazing discipleship and leadership development experience, and we encourage students to share the vision and mission of their course with their support networks.
SROM also has limited scholarships that are awarded based on financial need. Scholarships do not exceed 40% of course tuition, and in most cases will average 25%. Scholarships are only considered for applicants that complete both the entire course application and scholarship application processes. All scholarship applications are prayerfully considered by the SROM Scholarship Committee, and all applications are reviewed on a “first come, first serve” basis. There is a limited amount available in our Scholarship Fund, and filling out an application is not a guarantee of being awarded a scholarship. LEARN MORE >
What does the cost of a SROM course include?
Food – SROM strives to provide optimal nutrition for students, both to maintain health and to support vigorous physical activity. SROM provides bulk foods, fruits and vegetables, an assortment of teas and hot drinks, a back country cookbook, and a well-stocked spice kit. At the beginning of each course, instructors coach students on using what SROM provides to make gourmet meals while in the backcountry. SROM maintains a backcountry food warehouse at our facility in Laramie, and uses a proprietary food spreadsheet program to calculate amounts of each food type (Protein, Carbs, and healthy Fats) to assemble into well-balanced meals for student food rations.
Permits – Permits are required from federal government agencies in order to provide wilderness courses, backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering on public lands such as National Parks, National Forests, and designated Wilderness Areas. SROM holds Commercial Use Authorization Permits, Priority Use Permits as well as Temporary Use Permits in several different national parks, national forests and wilderness areas, and is permitted to operate in other lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.
Ground Transportation – SROM provides for all ground transportation, including gasoline and vehicle wear and tear, from our facility in Laramie, WY to our programming areas. SROM maintains a fleet of vans and trailers, and each is fully insured and carefully maintained. Please see the Travel Information Sheet for the additional transportation arrangements you may need to make in order to arrive at SROM for your course.
Experienced Instructors – SROM Instructors are dedicated to the mission of SROM. Our instructors are much more than qualified outdoor guides; they are passionate disciples of Christ with a deep heart for mentoring and discipling others. SROM Instructors are also highly technically qualified for their positions, and receive extensive student and peer evaluations after each course they lead, in addition to a verbal debrief with their co-instructor and a SROM Director.
Quality Equipment – SROM equips each course with group gear such as shelters, stoves, cooking equipment, and climbing ropes & select climbing gear. We use equipment from leading manufacturers, including Mountain Safety Research and Black Diamond, and we carefully maintain our gear to keep it in excellent condition.
During the Course
How do I check-in with a student while they are out on a SROM course?
Students are not permitted to bring cell phones into the field. A key part of the wilderness experience is to “unplug” from cell phones, texting, email, social media, etc. Students will not be able to contact or be contacted while out in the field.
With all of our courses in the field, SROM operates with a “no news is good news” policy. Our instructors are equipped with a satellite phone and an emergency location beacon for use in absolutely necessary situations.
Depending on the course, there are opportunities for friends and family to send in letters to students on the field. Longer courses (20 day teen courses and 40/40 courses) necessitate a mid-course resupply, and SROM accommodates small items (letters, items that will fit in an 8.5″ x 11″ mailing envelope) to send in to students in the field. For deadline dates to send items in, please contact Course Management at email@example.com.
Why would a student be evacuated?
- SROM reserves the right to expel any student who demonstrates behavior that is unsafe, disruptive, and/or distracts from the mission of the course.
- SROM expects all students to align themselves with the Behavioral Agreement. Removing a student is determined at the discretion and decision of the instructor team in the field.
- SROM has a 3-strike policy: if there are more than 3 violations of any of the Behavioral Expectations, the student will be subject to expulsion.
- SROM will not tolerate harassment, use of drugs and/or alcohol, theft and/or misuse of property, low motivation, lack of co-operation, and/or disregard of instructors.
- If a student is evacuated for behavioral misconduct, there will be no refund of tuition and the student (and/or parent/legal guardian) will pay all expenses for evacuation, personal food, accommodations, and travel. Evacuation from a course back to SROM headquarters incurs a minimum $300 per day evacuation fee, which does not include any additional costs charged by the independent horse packer with whom SROM contracts.
If a student is not in a medical condition to be able to continue on course, they will be evacuated. Our instructors and staff are highly trained in being able to make the evacuations decisions, with at least one instructor on every course having their Wilderness First Responder.