Monday, March 20, 2023


Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and checked up on our Dad! We are happy to report that he is doing really good. His cellulitis is gone, swelling is gone, redness is gone, and pain to the touch is gone. His knee replacement surgery was a success and he is receiving physical therapy. He is walking with a walker and making small gains of progress everyday! This guy is The Comeback Kid! PTL!!
He has been at The Vescovi Resort & Spa (aka, my Sister's house) for the past month. Traci, Dave, & Carson have been doing a fantastic job of caring for him while we continue to move forward with preparing a nice place for him at my house. He really looks forward to being more independent and a lot more mobile! This guy never gives up! Way to go Dad!

Sunday, March 19, 2023


We are beyond thrilled and overwhelmed with gratitude for a local grant we received during our annual fundraising season for $10,000 to go towards replacing our aging trailers!! Since we are a mobile ministry trailers are one of our top 3 most important pieces of equipment. Without a trailer we couldn't run most of our events. All of our trailers are 20+ years old and have served us incredibly well. But they are aging and we need to replace them as we gear up for our next 20 years of ministry, and work on our expansion strategy. Well say hello to our newest addition!! This is GTD's "new" 2019 barely used trailer that spent most of its life parked at a house and utilized as a storage container. It's a heavy duty enclosed car hauler and it's in mint condition including new tires! It's 6 ft longer than out current trailer so we can hold a lot more "fun stuff"!! And it's 7 ft tall so Carson & I won't hit our heads anymore haha! Wowww, we are soooooo happy to have received this generous gift!! This is such a big deal for our ministry! I estimate that this trailer will be used to provide God-awesome adventures to over 20,000 people in the years ahead... now that's an impactful use of just a portion of a $10,000 grant! Aaaaaaaaand we still have remaining funds from this grant to go towards more trailers!! Our kayak trailer is rusted out so that's next on the list... especially since we have "new" 2-year old tandem kayaks that were just donated to GTD (from Cocoa Kayaking) in January that are worthy of a new ride :) . It's with hearts overflowing with gratefulness that we say THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH to our local grantor!!!! You just made this ministry stronger, better, and more capable to impact young people's lives (and all ages, but especially the youth) for many many years ahead!!! God bless you!!!!!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

MEGA THANKS to Tabernacle of Tampa Bay and the Zeitler family!!

MEGA THANKS to Tabernacle of Tampa Bay and the Zeitler family for setting aside last Saturday for a volunteer work day & service project day at GTD Central Command (aka my house) including my Dad's renovation project!! They shoveled tons of leaves... moved, stacked, & stored building materials... removed old windows... washed & cleaned backpacking gear... helped us clean up from the last project... and thoroughly blessed me & GTD immensely!! I want to thank Pastor Dan for making outreach and serving others an emphasis of his church and for the wonderful fellowship we were able to enjoy on top of all the productive work. Carson & I spent the next 4 days building upon the work this wonderful group accomplished. Thank you TTB for blessing GTD, my Dad, and my life! You guys rock!! God bless you!

Friday, March 17, 2023


Happy "92nd" Birthday to my Mom in Heaven! I could write a 2000 page novel about how much I love my Mom and praise God for all she did for us throughout my entire life. At least one of those chapters would be about the spiritual influence she had on my life, and how that influence lead me to Jesus (the best "thing" that ever happened to me). As I reflect today on this amazing woman and celebrate her life I wanted to share one of the most important pictures from my life of my Mom and I going to church together when I was a dashing 12 year old heartthrob... this was a regular thing we did together since I was a kid all the way up to her final years... this is probably the single best thing any parent could do for their child. Mom put me in position to learn about God and to fall in love with Jesus... it also introduced me to some of the best and most loving people on this planet... and lead to the most amazing friendships I could ever experience in life... and ultimately lead me to my life's calling. Wow, what an immeasurable impact my Mom made in my life simply by taking me to church and Sunday school every week and living the truth in front of me. I'm forever indebted to my Mom for her selfless love and for "keeping The Main Thing the main thing" as my former pastor used to say. Mom, I miss you, I love you, and I selfishly wish you were here today. BUT, I know that would mean you would be here suffering and continually declining AND more importantly you wouldn't be fully healed and joyfully celebrating in the presence of your Savior. I have great comfort in the fact that you are whole now, overflowing with joy - peace - and love, and that you're enjoying ice cream that doesn't melt (as my friend says). Thank you for leaving a legacy in my life! I love you more ;) 
Today I'm spending the day going to places and restaurants that I often went with my Mom as I celebrate her life :) 
Thank you to all of our family & friends for your amazing support over the past few months. We are in the process of writing many thank you notes, but please know that your support means more to us than we could ever express. As Mom would say, "Love you more!"

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Huge thanks to some awesome dudes & a dudette that launched some major home improvement projects for my Dad a few weeks ago!! Dad is permanently moving in with me and there's lots to get done to create a nice space for him. My overwhelming deepest heartfelt thanks to my fantastic cousin- Dennis, one of my all time best friends- Bryan, his INCREDIBLE 85 year old Dad who we couldn't keep up with- Ron, my fantastic nephew- Carson, and his amazing girlfriend- Lauren for setting aside 4 days to work nonstop at kicking off some big transformational renovations to bless Dad! It will probably take till the end of this year to complete the projects, but this crew launched the momentum, and that's no small thing!! Special thanks to Dennis & Bryan for travelling out-of-state and taking time off from work to make this happen!! You guys are phenomenal men with huge servant hearts! God bless you guys!! We also were deeply touched by others who reached out to want to help fund some of the projects... talk about causing our hearts to overflow with love & joy!! Thank you soooooo much!!! We have continued the projects since Dennis & Bryan returned home and we are making good progress. We will be working on the renovations every week (usually Tues - Sat when I'm not running GTD events) if anyone wants to help. In addition, we are also working on several GTD projects as well as my own personal home improvements along the way. I'm years behind on everything so having some help to jumpstart some major projects and get the ball rolling is bigger to me than I could ever articulate!! I'm beyond grateful!! Thank you guys & gal... and Thank You Jesus!

Monday, March 13, 2023


Last weekend's annual IGNITE Camping Retreat was a blast! We had about 40 people that joined us for some great praise songs around the campfire (huge thanks to Mark Routman!) as well as lots of fun at the climbing tower, zipline, basketball courts, water slide, swimming pool, hot tub, hammock area, outdoor movie night, & fun times around camp! With only 3 weeks to plan it & promote it this year's IGNITE turned out really good! PTL!! Check out the pictures from this event at the following link:
GTD's next Public Event is our FREE Annual Day-Before-Easter LIQUID Kayaking Day Trip on April 8th (a Saturday) in St Petersburg, Florida. It includes a FREE lunch, and we will be using our NEWLY DONATED (from Cocoa Kayaking)TANDEM KAYAKS!!! (See website for details and to register):
Aaaaaaaaaand IGNITE 2024 is already scheduled for next year: April 19-21, 2024! Our venue is already booked, website built, and registrations are already open!! This is a perfect opportunity to go ahead and book your rooms and suites if you are going to opt for hotel style rooms instead of tent camping or bunkhouses! For more details and to register for this event at the current price click on the following website:
Thank you to all of our supporters, donors, prayer warriors, volunteers, and encouragers that help make these events possible for free or at an incredible price!! We have survived so much over the past 5 years and we have so much more ministry ahead of us! Thank You Jesus!!
Going The Distance Adventure Ministry 
Celebrating 27 years of God-awesome fun!

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Possible Blood Clot!

Dad is headed to the ER for a possible blood clot in the same leg he just had his knee replacement surgery. Please keep him in your prayers!
UPDATE: No blood clot PTL, but being admitted to Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater for possible infection. HUGE thanks to Carson & Lauren for all their help today!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


Dad is scheduled for knee replacement surgery at 7.30a on Wed Feb 22nd (today). Please keep him in your prayers as he is considered high risk. He is concerned that they will cancel his surgery last minute like they did back in December. He hasn't been able to walk since Oct 1st and he wants to walk again so badly. Traci is taking him to the hospital. They have to be there by 5.30a (ouch!). I've got an amazing cousin and dear friend who have both come from out of state to help me (more like me helping them) to make some renovations and home improvements at my house for Dad for when he returns to my house. He will either be doing his rehab in a rehab facility or at Traci's house. If you want to help me with some construction projects for Dad call or text me. We are already off to a fast start. Much thanks to the friend who helped me prep for these projects over the past week! I'm so blessed to have really awesome people in my life. Thanks for your prayers for Dad!

Monday, February 20, 2023


I may be worn down, healing from injuries, and years behind on almost everything, BUT I'm still in the fight. I've been working like a crazy man to not only get caught up with our Public Events for the first half of 2023... I'm also now "AHEAD OF THE GAME" by having the first 4 Public Events for next year (2024) already planned out, website pages built, and early registration opened!! Humble bat flip! Walk-off homerun! Kneel at homeplate and give all glory to God!
Watch out world, I just may be staging a comeback!
Here's the lineup for our upcoming events. Join us on an imminent GTD adventure, and if you like long range planning then start penciling in some God-awesome outdoor GTD adventures for 2024 too =)
For details about each adventure click on our blogsite link and scroll down to find our upcoming Public Events on the left side menu. Click the event link and find a God-awesome GTD adventure that's calling your name... Enjoy!
THIS YEAR: 2023 Public Events (so far)
SWAMP THING (Feb 4-5, 2023)
IGNITE Retreat (March 3-5, 2023)
LIQUID Kayaking Trek (April 8, 2023)
SIDEWINDER S-U-P Trek (May 6, 2023)
SLAMMED (TN) (June 21-25, 2023)
NEXT YEAR: 2024 Public Events (so far)
SWAMP THING (Feb 3-4, 2024)
LIQUID Kayaking Trek (March 30, 2024)
IGNITE Camping Retreat (April 19-21, 2024)
SIDEWINDER S-U-P Trek (May 4, 2024)
*This year is dedicated to the greatest woman I've ever known >>> my Mom "Birddog"! As Mom would say, "Love you MORE!" ;)
God-Awesome Adventures Since 1996 :) 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


I was blessed and honored to represent GTD on CTN's TV show Bay Focus! The Host - Darlene Greenlee - always makes it fun and Christ focused. I was also very happy that CTN Network Marketing Director Chris Yates joined me for the interview. Chris and his family participated on our Fall Retreat last October and his son participated on Swamp Thing last week. I was very touched to hear how God blessed the Yates family through our ministry!

We taped the 14-minute interview last week and it airs on Wednesday, February 15th, at 11:30 a.m. and again on Thursday, February 16th, at 7:00 p.m. on CTN/WCLF-TV....CTN also posts it on their social media sites starting on Wednesday, Feb 15th.
Check it out if you can! I may have a face for radio, but I've got a heart for TV haha!
Watch it on TV or online at:

Monday, February 13, 2023

"These Boots Are Made For Walking"... THE HOF HIKES 6 MILES WITH A BROKEN FOOT... IN THE SWAMP!!

One of my favorite highlights from last weekend's swamp adventure was watching my good friend Josh Hofstede ("The Hof") hike over 6 miles through the swamp and mud WITH A BROKEN FOOT while wearing an orthopedic boot! This hike is hard enough for 2 healthy uninjured feet so it takes some real moxie to trudge the distance 4 weeks after breaking your foot and while wearing a heavy orthopedic boot! And he did it all with a smile on his face and an unbridled enthusiasm for adventure! You've got to love this guy!

Friday, February 10, 2023


One of the most frequent GTD questions I receive is, "Are you guys doing IGNITE again this year?" I'm happy to report that IGNITE is officially ON! 
With all that has transpired over the past 4 months everything went on the back burner, but IGNITE was one of my Mom's favorite events so in the great spirit of BIRDDOG, our annual IGNITE Camping Retreat is ON for 2023! In fact, I was able to schedule it at Word of Life in Hudson, Florida for our original date: March 3-5, 2023 (THAT'S IN 3 WEEKS!!)

I just finished updating the website so click on the following link for details and to register. I hope to see you there BIRDDOG'N IT with me =)

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Quick Pic From Swamp Thing!

We had a phenomenal adventure on our annual Swamp Thing Backpacking Trip last weekend PTL! What a great way to kick off our 27th year!!
(More highlight pictures & videos on the way)

Friday, February 3, 2023


Here's something I never thought I would ever say, SWAMP THING is SOLD OUT! 
Our most unpopular event has been gaining in popularity the past few years. I think this is one of the 7 signs that the rapture is happening soon hahaha!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

GTD = Grind! Those! Deadlines!

With only minutes to spare we got it all done before the stroke of midnight last night!
It has been a full few months of challenges so hitting these deadlines feels really good =)
Thank You Jesus!!
GTD = Getting! Tasks! Done!


I'm overjoyed to share with you that my Mom & some GREAT LAST MINUTE GENEROUS DONORS pushed us past our 100k goal yesterday!! Over the past month several loving people made "Tribute to Ann" donations to Mom's favorite ministry (GTD) in lieu of flowers which is something my Sister and Dad wanted instead of receiving tons of flowers. To our amazement around $2000 came in from family & friends this past month which set us up for yesterday's FANTASTIC FINISH. A few awesome people & 1 fantastic church partner took us on to victory! It was like Mom passed the basketball to some awesome teammates that leaped up to slam dunk it thru the hoop AT THE BUZZER to win the game! We officially finished with $100,947 raised!!! (53.8k in one-time donations & 47.1k in pledges for 2023). NOW THAT'S A GOD-AWESOME WAY TO START THE YEAR!!
I love that one of Mom's last acts was to launch us into our 27th year of ministry! GTD would not exist if it weren’t for Ann Garner! Her influence in my life lead to my salvation at 8 years old and eventually lead to the start of this ministry. She always supported me 1000% and prayed for me as I worked for many years on building GTD. She was my 1st volunteer and continued to help me with admin work till her last few months on this earth. We named our top yearly award after my parents. It’s called the “JAG” (Jerry & Ann Garner) Award and it is presented to the person(s) who most positively impacted this ministry over the course of the past year. Her influence & impact in my life and the life of this ministry can’t be overstated. She will be greatly missed! We are dedicating our 27th year of ministry to Mom and will be finding special ways throughout the year to commemorate her love and impact in the life of GTD. I guess you could call it “The Year of Birddog!” I want to thank all of you for your support of GTD in 2022 & beyond! My Mom was always touched by our amazing supporters so thank you for not only blessing the life of this ministry, but also being a source of blessing and joy to all of us, especially Mom! YEAR 27, HERE WE COME!!!
4-PEAT! This is our 4th year in a row raising 100k+!! Thank You Jesus because You are The Source of all of this!! All glory to God!!

Monday, January 30, 2023

99,022 RAISED!! ...ONLY $978 TO GO! ....LESS THAN 36 HRS LEFT!!

WOWWW! We have THE BEST supporters!! With all that has transpired over the past few months we have had very little time to fundraise during our fundraising season, and yet we are ALMOST THERE!!! Glory to God!
With less than 36 hours remaining to hit our $100k goal by the end of January 31st we are ONLY $978 AWAY from a miraculous finish! 
Thank you to everyone who has given to the cause!! And if there are a few more generous donors out there who want to put us over the top we would love that!! You can make a one-time donation at the link below or sign-up to be a monthly donor over the next 12 months (or both). Everything goes towards hitting the goal!!
I'm rushing to finish our Donation Receipts, Quarterly Report, W2's, & W3 all of which are due by Jan 31st.
Thank you guys for all your love and support!! We can feel the love and prayers!

Check (just let us know that it's on its way so we can add it to the tally): 
Make checks out to "GTD" and send to:
GTD / PO Box 7523 / Seminole, FL 33775

Tuesday, January 24, 2023



A few days ago we had a small family graveside burial service for Mom on the beautiful & sacred grounds of The Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida which is designated for Military Veterans and their Spouses. Mom served our country as the spouse of a serviceman for 15 of Dad's 20 years in the US Air Force. Dad wanted to honor Mom and send her off in style so he reserved a stretch limousine to drive us to Bushnell while Mom's casket was driven in a beautiful white hearse by Taylor Family Funeral Home. Dad also arranged for the quilt that draped Mom's casket to be folded like an American flag and presented to Traci - their firstborn child and my awesome Sister. I wore my Easter dress shirt to represent the resurrection, and Laurie did a fantastic job making a floral arrangement for Mom's casket and burial site. Dave & Carson helped wheel Mom's casket to the pavilion for the short service. It was a really good day and a wonderful final goodbye done in style, dignity, and honor... worthy of the amazing woman Mom is and the legacy she leaves =). See you in Heaven Birddog! Love you more!!
Special thanks to the entire staff at Taylor Family Funeral Home of Pinellas Park for doing such a loving, caring, & expert job helping us every step of the way along this journey. God bless you guys!