A series to share #smiles across our community through the achievements of our local youth, brought to you by Rendezvous Dental.

Fremont County Youth do some amazing things. Just recently, two boys from St. Stephens traveled to Spain to represent the U.S. with a youth basketball team. A Riverton baseball team won the State Championship and went to San Jose to compete regionally.

From sports to academics and community leadership, there are endless things to be proud of when we speak about the kids in our local communities.

For the last three years, a group of local Catholic youth has been fundraising in Riverton and Lander with rummage sales and other public events, working toward the goal of making a pilgrimage to Rome, Italy. In late July, they made the trip and returned home safely 10 days later.

The group of youth and adults, blended from different Fremont County Catholic Churches, sent County 10 the following about their trip:

A pilgrimage is a long journey made to a sacred place. Sixteen pilgrims, who had been fundraising for the past three years, returned from their 10-day journey in late July.

From when the pilgrims left to when they returned, they walked 64 miles and climbed 190 floors. They had eight air takeoffs and landings. They traveled in two states and five countries, which used three currencies. They were fortunate to have a guide on the ground who knew Italian and the public transport system.

Highlights of the trip included: Arriving in Assisi to see the ancient castle La Rocca at sunset, visits to many Basilicas and tombs of Saints in Assisi and Rome, meeting with other students from other US states, walking 8-10 miles per day, and visiting St. Peter’s Basilica. They went underground to visit the remains of St. Peter, climbed 551 steps to the top of St. Peter’s dome, toured the largest catacombs of Rome, and attended the Angelus with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square. The pilgrims also visited the Vatican Museums and enjoyed the Sistine Chapel paintings by Michelangelo. Their eyes were raised to the magnificence of the art and architecture intertwined with the history.

The group wishes to thank all who have supported their efforts of large rummage sales, rodeo concessions, craft fairs, patio tomato sales, Tony’s Pizza Benefit Nights and coffee sales over the years. Your continued support is appreciated! A new group is forming to work toward attending World Youth Day, Portugal, in the summer of 2022. Volunteers are needed to support the effort. Teens and adults up to age 39 who are interested in attending may contact Carol Baron at 307-332-5129 or carolbaron91@gmail.com. Like our Facebook page: Lander World Youth Day.

h/t Carol Baron for the picture and information.