SUMMARYPrior to the Theology of the Body Congress in Ontario, California (September 23-25), Jen Messing will meet you for 5 days of basecamp hiking in Yosemite National Park (see transportation details below).  Participants should have a desire to sharpen their understanding of the Theology of the Body and how to explain it to others; discussions will be started by Jen but fueled by your questions and God’s promptings through our natural surroundings.  Hikes will vary from 5 to 10 miles per day with the option of participating in the Half Dome “cable climb”; we will be accompanied by a priest in order to participate in daily Mass and Eucharistic adoration.  More details follow the registration instructions.


  1.  Read the retreat information below thoroughly!
  2.  Print the registration forms, fill them out, and sign or initial where needed (keep a copy for your records).
  3.  Mail or scan the completed forms  (send scanned forms to: [email protected]).
    • Enclose a deposit or full payment via check OR- pay in full by credit card via EVENTBRITE (link below).
    • Enclose a copy of your medical insurance card.

You may hold a spot on the retreat by sending an email to [email protected], but if your registration materials and payment are not received within one week of your email date, that spot will be opened up to others.

Note that deposits are non-refundable after the registration deadline.  Full payments are due 2 weeks prior to the retreat (date listed on registration forms) and refunds of any fees beyond the deposit are only considered in cases of unforeseeable emergencies.

DETAILS:   print a flyer

LOCATION:  Yosemite National Park, CA

AGE RANGE:  Open to men and women, age 18 and up; limit of 18 participants.

DATES: September 17-21, 2016 (arrival & departure details below)



  • $560  (includes 5 days of food, camping, fees, and transportation from Ontario Airport and/or to the TOB Congress)
  • $520 for Early Bird registration due by June 27
  • $300 deposit due with registration forms July 25 / deadline extended to August 15!
  • Deposit is non-refundable after deadline; refund of remaining fee only in case of emergency.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY:  Moderate to difficult.  Hiking will include trails that are 5-10 miles in length; mountainous trails include flats, rocky terrain, and generally uneven ground with elevation gain.   This is a “basecamp” style trip, meaning that we will be driving to our campsite and setting up there for the duration of our retreat; we will travel to trailheads daily.  NOTE: After placing ourselves in the lottery for the cable climb up Half Dome, we have been awarded permits for 12 of us to participate in this classic 14 mile hike during our stay!

SPECIAL TRAVEL CONSIDERATIONS:  From Friday, September 16 through Thursday morning, September 22 we will have several campsites reserved at Wawona Campground for our group.  You may arrive on either Friday evening or as early as possible on Saturday.  You can (ideally) arrange for departures on Thursday.

  • FLYING & SHUTTLES in the YOSEMITE REGION There are multiple places to research your options; study these 2 pages first: YART shuttle interactive map and travel connections.    Participants may fly into whichever airport they prefer, utilizing the YART shuttle to arrive at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center (or arriving directly at Wawona via the Fresno YART shuttle).  NOTE: landing in San Francisco requires you to utilize the BART system to Richmond, CA, then connecting to YART via Amtrak.  Purchasing the Amtrak ticket will bring you all the way to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center bus stop.  We will then shuttle you to the campground (and back again on Thursday morning the 22nd) via 8 or 15-passenger vans.
  • FLYING & SHUTTLES from the ONTARIO REGION:  If you would like to fly into Ontario, CA (near Los Angeles) in order to attend the Theology of the Body Congress, we will be driving the vans from that airport (ONT) to Yosemite on Friday the 16th and back again on Thursday the 22nd.  Please contact us as soon as possible to indicate that you are interested in utilizing our vans as your shuttle; arrival times will need to be planned for prior to noon on Friday.  Know that we can bring you directly to a hotel or the Ontario Convention Center on Thursday, but we will no longer have the vans to shuttle people on Sunday.
  • It is also an option to fly into the Yosemite region but fly out of the Ontario region; again, we simply need to know your plans.
  • PRIVATE VEHICLES:  we are limited in how many private vehicles can be parked at our site(s), so please contact us as soon as possible with your plans.

ELECTRONICS:  If possible, please do not bring electronic devices; we want you to experience the great outdoors and the great people around you without distraction!  Storing them in the van is problematic due to high temps and weather/terrain/water offer many possibilities for ruining such items.  If you still choose to bring your device or cell phone and you think you will be tempted to use them they can optionally be collected at the start of the retreat with the expectation that they will not be used unless there is an emergency.  (NOTE: the areas we will hike have unreliable phone coverage.)   It is also expected that you will arrange for your absence (out of office replies, etc.) prior to the start of the retreat.

TENTS:  These trips are designed to be “family style” in that we share daily “chores” (meal prep, clean up, etc.), we wait for one another, and we share tent space.  Due to campground regulations surrounding how many people and tents are allowed per site, we have little flexibility with tent arrangements; men and women will be separated unless married and married couples may be asked to share a tent with another married couple.

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