Exploring the depths of the Camp Gray marsh is done in the eco-rotation, Marsh Madness.

[Camp Gray] did a great job of incorporating faith in the environmental activities by expressing the importance of what God gave to us through creation. – 7th Grade Teacher

Environmental Stewardship, in contrast with environmental education, places an emphasis on the “why” of environmental science and conservation.  As Christians, we care for creation (the earth, plants, animals, and each other) because we are part of a greater community.  We are children God, who promised Abraham, “I will be your God, and you will be my people.” The focus of the program will be on how we uphold our part of that covenant.

Our Site:

225 acres of varied ecology in the Baraboo Hills including prairies, marshes, oak savannas, pine woodlands, a stream, a pond, and open wetlands.

The Program:

  • For grades 5-8
  • Opportunities to experience wonder and awe in God’s creation
  • Hands-on learning of science concepts like ecosystems, decomposition, the water cycle, botany, and more
  • Fostering healthy relationships in Catholic community – including leadership and team building
  • Integration of care for creation with current environmental and social issues
  • Opportunity for self-reflection and practical ideas to take home
  • A bit of good old camp fun!

During a typical ESP retreat, the class will participate in icebreakers and team building activities, have a picnic lunch, go on an exploratory hike with science, prayer, and games, have choice time, do an evening activity, have a campfire, participate in an environmental vespers. . .and that’s just day one!

On the second or third day the group will participate in a solo hike, hands-on Eco-rotations where science concepts are taught, and a closing program. Some of the Eco-rotations, include:

  • “May the Forest be with You” – teaches about forest ecology and management.
  • “ExStream Hike” – learn about stream ecology and dynamics as well as the water cycle.
  • “Alien Invaders” – teaches about invasive species, why they are a problem and what we can do to control their spread.
  • “Marsh Madness” – learn about the functions of wetland areas and examine the invertebrate life that lives there.
  • “Camp Gray: Survivor” – teaches wilderness survival skills and the “leave no trace” ethic of human interaction with the wild.

These Eco-rotations focus on hands-on, experiential learning and are a favorite part of the students’ experience.

"Hanging out with the cool Camp Gray staff was my favorite part of the retreat!" - ESP retreatant

The Leaders:

  • Faith-filled role models
  • Most with college degrees
  • Trained in retreat leadership
  • Practicing environmental stewardship
  • Missionaries, living in community at Camp Gray


The Price:

For information on pricing for an ESP retreat, please visit our Facilitated Program Price List page, by clicking here.  For more information about the program, pricing, and available dates, contact Camp Gray at 608-356-8200.