Thursday, July 19, 2018

EVER WONDER???

Ever wonder what we do between trips?

Sometimes we go recon new activity destinations within a 3-hour vicinity of our campsite.

Sometimes we do what we are doing now...
- laundry
- clean & prep for out next group
- make improvements and tend to any equipment maintenance issues (this week we are waterproofing our tent rainflies... have to do this every couple of years /// cleaning & organizing out vehicles /// cleaning & organizing the trailer /// adding solar lights to the kitchen area & showers)
- daily disciplines (working out, eating healthy, hydrating, great daily devotionals, and getting good sleep)
- checking out local things (we just discovered a warehouse supply store for farming equipment / rural living called "Rural King"... it's awesome!!)

Can't wait for our next group to arrive on Saturday!!! It's our 14-ish year of Adventure Trips with The Family Center on Deafness (FCD)!!! What a great tradition that we always look forward to!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

GREAT VOLUNTEERS ARE GAME CHANGERS!

We can't thank our SLAMMED volunteers enough for donating their time, talents, and treasure (they paid their own way to be involved!) to serve others and lighten our workload immensely!!! Having thoughtful, loving, fun, positive, self-sacrificing, capable, self-starting, Godly team players volunteer for 5 days is a game changer in this ministry! Summer is a marathon of labor intensive camp after camp, and these great people make it possible for us to "go the distance". They are our ATP (Answers To Prayer)!! God bless you guys! We already miss you =)

SLAMMED PICS UPLOADED!

Nearly 1000 pictures from our annual SLAMMED Adventure Trip have been uploaded to the GTD online photo album. Click this link to relive the moments! Download all the pics for free =)

SLAMMED PHOTO ALBUM LINK

Monday, July 16, 2018

CAME AS STRANGERS. LEFT AS FAMILY!

How good was this year's 23rd Annual GTD SLAMMED Adventure Trip?

Thirty-five individuals - many of them meeting for the first time - spent 5 days together building camp, working hard, jumping into water from cliffs & bridges, sliding over waterfalls, climbing rocks, rappelling down mountains, rafting whitewater, playing volleyball & camp games, sleeping in tents, singing during van rides, talking with each other, praying & seeking God daily, and so many other things.

Mind you that they did all this for 5 days with almost no access to cell phone or internet coverage.

The big question is, "How did they do?"

They thrived! They grew. They bonded. They discovered. They stretched to new levels. They created new lifelong memories. They made new lifelong friends. They laughed a lot. They overcame. They were refreshed. They were renewed. In the words of one participant, "When we came we didn't know anyone, but we are leaving as a family."

That's not to say that there weren't life threatening situations, flat tires, mishaps, scrapes, bruises, injuries, frustrations, delays, stresses, breakdowns, tears, disagreements, and similar challenges that make us all human. This isn't heaven. But those things were rare and didn't define our experience. They didn't last beyond a moment. They didn't overcome us or keep us stuck. In Christ, we overcame them all... and usually with an attitude of joy and laughter.

This trip was an instant classic! From start to finish God did what only God can do because we invited Him into every part and gave Him the room to work in our lives.

Group events are like an ice sculpture. They're amazing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, special, and a lot of hard work. But they are unique one-of-a-kind works of art created for that one moment in time. Although the ice will melt, the experience and memories will be savored forever.

Now we prepare to sculpt another piece of ice as our next group arrives in a few days.

Thank you Jesus for another God-awesome SLAMMED Adventure Trip!!

SLAMMED 2018

"RAPID RESPONSE"

What was everyone's response to rafting down whitewater rapids???

They loved it!!!!!!!!!

Rafting day on the Ocoee River was so much fun with this enthusiastic group of adventurers!

SLAMMED 2018

Sunday, July 15, 2018

THE INDIAN "ROCKERS"!

We had a great and adventurous day rock climbing & rappelling on Friday with the young adult ministry from First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. Rock on!

SLAMMED 2018

Saturday, July 14, 2018

PRAY HARD; PLAY HARD!

I don't know of a stronger bond possible than the bond of Christ. Brotherhood and sisterhood authentically forged from a shared faith. It's even thicker than blood!

This is our daily devotional time together when we share what God is teaching us before we go play in God's amazing playground. This week we are reading Philippians. Great times =)

SLAMMED 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

THAT'S MY NEPHEW!

Because simply sliding over or jumping off a waterfall isn't enough!

(just add a frisbee to make everything even better!)

Great catch Carson =)

SLAMMED 2018

BABY FALLS!!!

One of the best waterparks ever!!

Thanks God!

SLAMMED 2018

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

THE SLAMMED CREW HAS ARRIVED!

We have 35 campers that have arrived safe and sound to our remote group campsite in TN... 8 miles outside of cell phone range. They just finished setting up camp and eating dinner. Our 23rd Annual SLAMMED Adventure Trip is underway!!!

(Updates will be posted when we have access to cell phone coverage)

LAW BREAKER! ...ROUND HAY BALES OUTLAWED!!

We are back in TN and we came across this law breaker. Round hay bales have been outlawed in TN and 42 other states nationwide. Does anyone know why? 

Answer: Because the cows aren't getting 3 square meals per day!! (Hahahaha! Credit to Dennis McCormick)

JOIN US IN UTAH IN SEPTEMBER... ....FOR A TRIP OF A LIFETIME!!

Join GTD, Pastor Willy & Cheryl Rice, and Calvary Church of Clearwater for a 6 day trip of a lifetime to Zion National Park & Bryce National Park in Utah September 3-8, 2018 (just 2 months away!!).

This is a private trip GTD is running for Calvary that Pastor Willy has graciously allowed GTD to use a few spots to make publicly available to GTD's faithful adventurers.

We will be staying in an incredible oversized rental home at Zion Ponderosa and daily visiting Zion & Bryce National Parks (2 of the top National Parks in the nation).

One of our main (optional) destinations will be the iconic Narrows river hike that is featured in this month's Backpacker Magazine!!

I'm currently in TN running our summer camps so I won't be able to immediately respond to comments or questions, but the cost of the trip is $800/person plus airfare & meals. Your flight has to arrive at Las Vegas International Airport by 11am of Sept 3rd and depart from the same airport the morning of Sept 8th (feel free to extend your personal vacation before and/or after those timeframes).

For more details and to register through Calvary's online registration click here: https://calvary.us/hikeutah/

It's going to be AMAZING!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR!

This is Ken, one of my awesome new neighbors and a fellow brother in Christ. The GTD truck is still up in TN and he thought I was still up there running summer camps so he came over to mow my yard at the new house simply out of the kindness and brotherly love in his heart. When I let him know I was back home he said he still wanted to mow the lawn and not to worry about the lawn when I go back up to TN. Wow, what a guy! My heart is full from such thoughtfulness. Neighborly kindness abounds over here and I hope to be that type of neighbor to my new neighbors in my new hood =)

Friday, July 6, 2018

VOLUNTEERS ARE THE ATP OF ANY MINISTRY!

Within the human body ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) "is the major energy currency of the cell, providing the energy for most of the energy-consuming activities of the cell." Without ATP virtually nothing gets done in the body.

Similarly, volunteers are the spiritual ATP (Answers To Prayers) for ministries (the Body of Christ). Without competent & capable volunteers virtually nothing gets done on a "cellular level" in any ministry.

GTD is so thankful and blessed to have had 8 fantastic volunteers (& 3 staff) over the past 2 weeks to help on our non-stop daily adventures!! 5 of the incredible volunteers are 15 years old (1 Timothy 4:12)!!

Our profound thanks and gratitude for these amazing ATP's (Answers To Prayers)!!!! Thank you Katherine, Katie, Tyler, Lucas, Jackson, Stacy, Jessica, Mark, Laurie, & Carson for your sacrifice, dedication, passion, and hard work that helped turn the vision of a God-awesome summer camp into a reality!! God bless you guys!

I can't wait to do it again!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Boarding Flight

Boarding our cheap flights home ($42 each way!)... it was cheaper to fly home than to drive or even stay in TN camping for the next week between trips. Hoping to see the fireworks from above! Happy 4th!!

THEY CAME. THEY CAMPED. THEY CONQUERED... WITH ZEAL!

We are already savoring a God-awesome instant classic Adventure Trip with the high school youth group from Calvary Chapel Fellowship! Our 5 day adventure with this wonderful group of teenagers ended yesterday, but not before God encouraged, inspired, and impacted in significant ways. The group bonded closely to each other as they grew closer to God and were pushed & stretched beyond their comfort zones to new levels of growth & development in a very short amount of time. That's why we love camp... it's an incubator of accelerated mechanisms of growth. All the unknowns, unexpected challenges, "difficulties", "problems", new experiences, adventurous activities, time in God's Word, time in God's creation, time being pushed outside of your comfort zone, time away from technology & cell phones, time to use your imagination, time away from distractions and drama, time to be free, time to be creative, time to talk and play with others, time to take healthy risks together, time spent in an intentional & healthy environment absent of discouragement, time to cultivate authentic relationships, time to learn new things, time to sweat hard together, time to work hard together... it all adds up in a short amount of time to become a powerful set of mechanisms of growth, bonding, and personal development. We would wish it upon everyone!! But we were honored and blessed to experience it with this incredible group of young people and their leaders who all kept it real and kept the zeal!! Thank you CCF for the honor & privilege of hosting your youth summer camps! Thank you Jesus for all that you do and the ways that you do it! Glory to God!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

SOMETIMES G.T.D. = Giant Thunderstorms Dominate

After a full night of thunderstorms (and very little sleep) our rock climbing day had to be cancelled yesterday. Carson and I drove out to our climbing spot to see if there was any possible way to pull it off, but the dense fog blocked any sunshine from being able to dry the wet rocks and the trail was too slippery (I fell a few times while hiking towards our climbing routes). So we switched to PLAN B (a delicious breakfast at a restaurant called "The Rusty Bike", Ultimate frisbee, team sports, another awesome visit to Goats On The Roof, hiking to incredible waterfalls, swimming, an outdoor movie, wonderful praise & worship, and our nightly Impact Point around the campfire). This group turned a "let down" into a "launching ground" of fun times and lifelong memories as they rolled with the punches. It was a great day!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

UNFORGETTABLE DAY!

We had a God-awesome day in "God's natural waterpark" at Turtleback Falls & Rainbow Falls with the high school youth group from Calvary Chapel Fellowship. Sliding, jumping, hiking, and swimming... the students loved every moment of it... and so did we! We ended the night with campfire praise and a message from Titus 2 about self-control. It was an unforgettable day! Glory to God =)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A COMPLETE DAY!

Any day at Goats On The Roof is a GREAT DAY, but when it's combined with stuffed pancakes, inner tubing, volleyball, swimming, and Biblical lessons from Titus 1... well that's a whole other level of greatness! Praising God for a fantastic youth group and wonderful volunteers =)

NEXT!

2 days after leaving with the middle school youth group Jairus Hodges, the youth pastor from Calvary Chapel Fellowship, turned right around and drove back up 600 miles with 19 people from the high school youth group for another GTD Adventure Trip! This guy is amazing!! As he likes to say, "Keep it REAL! Keep it ZEAL!" We are honored and blessed to host back to back camps for CCF!! Can't wait for what lies ahead! And we are so thankful for a great group of hard working volunteers!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

RELISHING AN AMAZING AQUA ADVENTURE!!

Yesterday we embarked on one of our favorite aqua adventures to Turtleback Falls & Rainbow Falls for waterfall sliding and cliff jumping... the kids LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!