FAR OUT IV
Holy Owned and Operated’s premier Middle School Catholic Camp wildlife adventure! It is a retreat and camping experience that your 11-13 year old will remember for a lifetime!
Join us in the Davis Mountains Texas State Park for a week of prayer, worship, hiking, exploring, discovering, and delving into the questions of faith and reason and how they are compatible. Rooted firmly in Magisterial Catholic Church teaching, we help Middle Schoolers understand the truth that counters what they hear from society today: both faith AND reason are necessary and essential to a full life—God made it so.
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” – Pope St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio
During this critical age when youth have their faith, morals, and virtue challenged from every angle by peers, culture, media, teachers and their own honest questions, FAR OUT is a critical key to reinforcing what these kids have been brought up in – the family and Church – before they go into the tumultuous and confusing world of teenage life where they are constantly pressured into forsaking the very tools that will help them thrive: Faith and Reason.
Slots Remaining (Out of 20)
Not enough slots left for your youth group?
Submit the interest form below the deposit selections.
We typically add extra tour weeks based on interest.
YOUTH MINISTER EXCLUSIVE REGISTRATION ENDS APRIL 1st!
Open to Holy Owned and Operated Subscribers and the Public in:
June 13-17, 2022
(Other dates released for large groups and as needed for demand)
Start planning now for an amazing adventure this summer!
Fort Davis Historic Site
Balmorhea Natural Spring
The Marfa Lights
5 days/4 nights
FREE/priest or deacon
(willing to offer Sacraments/Ministerial Needs)
About the Tour
FAR OUT IV: Faith and Reason Outdoor Unity Tour
What’s the big deal about the Big Bang? Do you believe in UFOs? Life on other planets? Evolution? Global warming? Fossil fuel use? How does all this relate to being Catholic? Aren’t they separate, incompatible? Darwinism and Religion? Church and State? Faith and Reason?
Here’s what the Catholic Church says in the YouCat:
Is there a contradiction between faith and science?
There is no insoluble contradiction between faith and science, because there cannot be two kinds of truth. There is not one truth of faith that is in competition with another truth of science. There is only one truth, to which both faith and scientific reason refer. God intended reason, with which we can recognize the rational structures of the world, just as he intended faith. That is why the Christian faith demands and promotes the (natural) sciences. Faith exists so that we might know things that are not apparent to reason yet are real above and beyond reason. Faith reminds science that it is supposed to serve creation and not set itself up in place of God. Science must respect human dignity instead of violating it. (YOUCAT question 23)
Come on this retreat and we will delve into this to help you to know how they are all connected and why the Catholic Church says that faith and reason are not only compatible, but necessary for each other!
All current 6-8 graders are welcome to apply.
Check out below to see what’s on the tour!
Tent Camp in Davis Mountains State Park
Experience Mass at Sunrise like this and wonder at the universe
Based in the Davis Mountains for five days, you can’t help but experience God and the universe and want to know how it all works together. Each day is filled with excursions exploring our Faith and Man’s place in the world, culminating in a new appreciation for how Faith and Reason work together to reveal the awesome splendor of God!
Swim at the Natural Spring at Balmorhea
Settlers, adventurers, outlaws and Catholic missionaries stopped at this natural spring in the high desert hundreds of years ago. Don’t just imagine what it was like to come across an oasis in the wilderness – feel it and enjoy the cool water on a hot summer day and a picnic while learning how God provides for us just as He did the Israelites in the desert.
Water is essential to life, and this backdrop gives us great opportunity to discuss how important and precious life is, and how reason grants us the faculties to know that, not just feel it.
Marfa Mystery Lights
Everyone agrees it’s a mystery to be reckoned with. While the source of the mystery lights is still a point of contention, by most reports, they are whimsical and friendly; other witnesses maintain that they are ever distant and aloof; and some sources claim they zoom across the plains at terrifying speed, only to whip back around and dissolve before hitting the dumbstruck viewer. The cynics will tell you that this is just the atmospheric reflections of cars and campfires at night. The mystics will tell you that’s hooey. The truth is, we just don’t know.
But we do know God gives us mysteries to help us know Him, and after a night looking for these phenomena this discussion and questions about life and the world around us explode into conversations lasting a lifetime. What are these mysterious lights? Why are they here?
There’s only one way to find out for yourself.
Star Party at McDonald Observatory!
The McDonald Observatory is our destination for a night of stargazing and planet watching through many telescopes setup across the mountaintop. Each telescope has an astronomer who answers questions and points out things you’ve never seen with the naked eye. It’s a night of seeing the depths of the universe and wondering at it while recognizing how important you must be if God made all of this and loves you intimately!
From this vantage point of how small we are yet how unique we are and made for this specific time and place, we explore how God has a specific purpose for us in the here and now, and how do we discern that vocation with faith and reason from God’s nudging with all of the sources of information He is providing in the world around us.
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Set in the rugged beauty of the Davis Mountains of west Texas, Fort Davis is one of America’s best surviving examples of an Indian Wars frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails.
Fort Davis is important in understanding the presence of African Americans in the West and in the frontier military because the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, all-black regiments established after the Civil War, were stationed at the post.
From the science of Newton in weaponry and warfare to the just war principles of our Catholic faith, Fort Davis gives us opportunities for discussions of physics and morality and how cultures interacting can create great discoveries and terrible conflicts.
The FAR OUT™ Experience
A FAR OUT™ Camper experiences the wide outdoors of the West Texas Mountains and Desert, old military outpost exploration, natural spring oasis swimming, the cosmos from a mountaintop observatory, and the unknown and mysterious dancing lights that only God knows what they truly are! Five days and four nights of tent camping and outdoor cooking with faith-filled discussions, Mass, and a lot of science. Melding Faith and Reason together as the two wings of Truth Pope Saint John Paul II so beautifully described, you will see how Faith and Reason are truly united and not counter to each other.
With lively talks, hands on demonstrations and experiences, hikes, silent watching, watchful listening, and soaking up all that God has to offer through Nature to learn how the Truths of Faith and Reason never conflict, this week will give you lifelong memories and a firm foundation in your relationship with The Lord so you can navigate the difficult path of the teenage years and beyond.
A FAR OUT™ Chaperone gets twice what the FAR OUT™ camper gets!
- First, the chaperone experiences the wide outdoors of the West Texas Mountains and Desert, old military outpost exploration, natural spring oasis swimming, the cosmos from a mountaintop observatory, and the unknown and mysterious dancing lights that only God knows what they truly are! Five days and four nights of tent camping and outdoor cooking with faith-filled discussions, Mass, and a lot of science. Melding Faith and Reason together as the two wings of Truth Pope Saint John Paul II so beautifully described, you will see how Faith and Reason are truly united and not counter to each other. With lively talks, hands on demonstrations and experiences, hikes, silent watching, watchful listening, and soaking up all that God has to offer through Nature to learn how the Truths of Faith and Reason never conflict, this week will give you lifelong memories and a firm foundation in your relationship with The Lord so you can navigate the difficult path and vocations of adulthood.
- Second, by guiding and mentoring, through small-group discussion, example, and work, the chaperone receives countless indescribable Graces from God.
Reserve Your Guaranteed Spot Now!
We are excited to offer this opportunity for the youth in your life! We want to know more about you and for you to get to know us so we can all be confident that this retreat is the right fit for your youth. Within 48 hours of receiving your deposit(s), Beth or Kristofer will contact you personally for a brief conversation to understand the needs of your youth and dynamics of your group. If we mutually decide this is a great fit, we will then email you a packet of information (youth and chaperone registration forms and the usual waivers and permission slips, as well as adult information for chaperones and a timeline for registration deadlines) and a private link on our web site where you can complete the registration process and make one or multiple payments. And, yes, if during our conversation we all decide it is not a fit, we will refund your deposit completely!
Click to Open Chaperone Requirements:
All groups MUST provide chaperones! FAR OUT Chaperones are not provided by HOO, and FAR OUT Staff do not act as chaperones!
- Chaperones must be either the parish representative (i.e. pastor, youth minister, assigned volunteer/staff member), or a parent/legal guardian of an attending youth.
- Chaperones must be 21 years of age or older and hold a valid Driver License.
- Chaperones must be registered and compliant with their Diocesan Safe Environment policies and provide proof of compliance two weeks prior to camp arrival.
- Chaperones must be willing and able to participate in the activities planned for the retreat including small group participation, hiking, walking, tent camping, cooking, cleaning, etc.
- Chaperones may need to share a tent (based on camp policy, such as maximum tents per site) with another adult chaperone of the same gender whom they may not know ahead of time.
- For individual youths not attending with a group, the chaperone must be a parent or legal guardian.
The number of chaperones required for registered campers is as follows:
- Associated groups (parish youth groups etc.) of youth in this ratio:
- 2 – 5 youths: 2 chaperone
- 6 – 12 youths: 3 chaperones
- 13 – 18 youths: 4 chaperones
- 19+ youths: Group requires a dedicated FAR OUT. Contact us below to inquire
- One (parent or legal guardian only) for individual campers not affiliated with a registering, attending group
- Any number of siblings not affiliated with a registering group may be chaperoned by one parent or legal guardian.
SELECT YOUR NUMBER OF SPOTS AND BEGIN YOUR HOLY OWNED AND OPERATED ADVENTURE, OR ASK QUESTIONS BELOW.
Deposit for one camper on FAR OUT IV. Remaining balance after deposit: $500.00.
This partially-refundable deposit holds one slot for one camper on FAR OUT IV until April 1, 2022. Full payment of the remaining balance of $500 is due by11:59 PM on Friday, April 1, 2022. Deposits are fully refundable if requested within 24 hours of making the deposit. 25% of the deposit is refundable until March 15. We will not refund deposits after March 15. If the remaining balance is not paid by April 1, the slot is opened for another camper.
Deposit for groups of up to seven individuals (at least two chaperones). Balance remaining after deposit varies by group size and make-up.
This NON-REFUNDABLE deposit holds as many slots as you request, up to seven, for campers on FAR OUT IV until March 15, 2022. Full payment of the remaining deposit balances for all campers in your group are due by11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. For example: If you pay this deposit and notify us that you want to reserve 7 total slots, that would normally be $750 in individual camper deposits (five campers and two chaperones). Instead, this option allows you to pay the remaining $400 in deposits by March 15 instead of all at once now. We will contact you by email within 24 hours to get your deposit headcount. If the remaining deposit balance is not paid by March 15, the slots are opened for other groups and campers and the total deposit paid is not refunded. If you have more than seven in your groups, you must purchase a second deposit.
Check out our FAQ or ask away:
Please call 877.465.9696 (877.HOLY.OWN) if you have any questions or any challenges with this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not a Youth Minister. Can I put down a deposit or register before their exclusive period is over?
Yes! We will not stand in the way of God getting you here! We just do not advertise registrations to everyone until we have given Youth Ministers and parish groups an opportunity to make their plans.
Is large group pricing available?
Yes! Groups with ten or more youth campers can be discounted by providing full, non-refundable payment for all campers and chaperones up-front. Those details are provided in the packet.
Can individuals go on FAR OUT™?
Yes! Individuals need a chaperone. Siblings in one family can come with one parent or legal guardian as their chaperone, regardless of number of youth, as long as the youth are in the 11-13 age group. Related non-siblings must have their own parent or legal guardian.
Is the deposit or registration transferrable?
Yes. We trust that you can handle the details of that arrangement within your organization. If it is an individual registration, we can transfer to a new camper with a notarized authorization from the original payer.
What are your COVID policies?
We trust that our campers and chaperones are meeting their diocesan requirements. Holy Owned and Operated does not have any COVID-related requirements. All FAR OUT™ staff are vaccinated. We simply ask that if you are sick you do not attend, much as has been and is required at public schools for illnesses. Masks and social distancing are not required unless expected by venues we visit (masks will be on the official equipment packing list for campers and chaperones). Campers and chaperones are welcome to wear masks and social distance at anytime. Much of our program takes place outdoors, and participation in group discussion and reflection, as well as Mass, is integral to the camper experience.
Explain the age restrictions
Youth who will be 11, 12, or 13 on or before the day camp starts may attend.
What about dietary restrictions?
To accommodate everybody, we provide nutritious meals in a group camping environment. Any allergies should be noted on the registration forms and appropriate precautions and medications are the responsibility of the camper and chaperones. We do not make specific arrangements for individual dietary needs, but campers are invited to bring along any supplemental food or snacks. Our final menu is planned after receiving all registrations, so some taking into account of food needs happens at that tume.
Is travel to and from included in the price?
No. Generally campers and chaperones take a day or two (or more) prior to and after camp to travel. When going from base-camp to any number of sites, up to two hours away, chaperones and staff caravan in staff and personal vehicles. One of the reasons for chaperone registration being considerably less is because of this arrangement, as chaperones will provide for their own fuel and other vehicle expenses (many times reimbursed by the sponsoring parish).
Are scholarships available?
We hope so! We work on this every time and often get donors, but we do not know at this point. Please remember to check with your parish and other local groups (Knights of Columbus, Altar Society, Kiwanis, etc.) for fundraising and scholarship donations.
Can youth bring electronic devices?
Phones are welcome and are expected to be policed by chaperones. They can be used for picture-taking, and youth are given an opportunity halfway through camp to call home. Chaperones are asked to keep phones while youth are in camp and while traveling to and from locations. Mobile phone service/signals are not always available. Youth with medical needs that use phones or whom parents request have their phone with them at all times for emergency purposes are certainly allowed that privilege and are asked to not abuse it. Other devices (tablets, music, games, etc.) are not permitted and will be confiscated until camp is over. They detract from the outdoor experience for campers and distract others from the same.
Are mobility-impaired youth welcome?
Yes! Except for an occasional impromptu hike by small groups, everywhere we go is accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility assistance devices. FAR OUT™ staff are not equipped or trained to help with all of the mobility challenges possible, so we ask that a chaperone the youth is familiar with who knows how to accommodate the movement of the youth attend.
What about deaf or blind campers?
Please come! As with a mobility-impaired camper, we require that a chaperone familiar with the needs of the camper be in attendance. Some staff know some ASL and Kristofer is blind in one eye, so there is no hindrance to others attending.
Explain the Purple Policy
Pink. Blue. No Purple! Part of learning the coexistence of Faith and Reason is understanding each other, which is why FAR OUT™ is co-ed. However, we restrict campers with a no-tolerance policy that boys and girls cannot, individually or in small groups, be alone. Tents, bathrooms, and all other gender-restricted areas are strictly enforced with no members of the opposite sex being allowed. Any violation of this is cause for immediate removal from camp at the camper parent/guardian and/or parish expense. For FAR OUT™ we designate gender by the assigned gender at birth.
That brings up the question of gender identity. So, um...?
As Catholics we are sensitive and compassionate toward the needs of our youth. With heightened awareness in the media, we cannot make a blanket statement, and there is no solution, only trade-offs. In this trade-off, we ask that youth and adults who are experiencing gender identity challenges or who have changed or would like to change the gender God gave them at conception refrain from attending FAR OUT™. We are not equipped to minister to individuals in that situation.
My child/a chaperone is gay. Can they attend?
We do not ask children or chaperones if they are gay or straight, but if they have declared themself homosexual, the Church and Holy Owned and Operated and FAR OUT™ welcome them. They are subject to the same rules as heterosexual or undeclared campers and chaperones. They will be required to have their own tent, as they would not be permitted to tent with the opposite sex or of their same gender. While that situation is not “Purple,” it is still inappropriate and unfair to both the gay camper or chaperone and those they might otherwise tent with. We do require that a chaperone who is familiar with the youth’s situation attend FAR OUT™ and be attentive to the youth’s needs during the week.
I have more questions!
Great! Please use the FAR OUT™ form to ask!