Friday, August 12, 2022

We love this group!

 
We love this group! We are on Day 3 of our Adventure Trip with the FUNtastic young adult ministry from Living Word Church of New Port Richey. Today we were at two of our favorite destinations - Turtleback Falls & Rainbow Falls in Sapphire, NC... it wasn't just a good day, it was a God-awesome day!!
 
 
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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Round 4!

 
Here we gooooo! It was so good to be home for a few days to visit the folks, chip away at some admin work, & mow some very tall grass, but it's time to get back to camp. Round 4 of our summer events kicks off in North Carolina tomorrow. Praise God, we are on a fantastic streak of several amazing events in a row. From Florida to Georgia to Costa Rica to Tennessee God has been empowering very impactful trips one after another. Regardless of how physically tired I've been from the past 2 years God keeps coming through big time. Keep us in your prayers as we set out to keep that streak alive in North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest!
 
 
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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Boyz Are Back In Town!

 
PTL, we had an amazing set of Adventure Trips in Tennessee over the past 2 weeks! Carson & I are back home for a few days before we set off to run another Adventure Trip in North Carolina.
 
 
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Friday, July 29, 2022

Several kids asked Jesus into their hearts as others rededicated their lives to Christ (ZEAL ZAMP 2022)

 
Several kids asked Jesus into their hearts as others rededicated their lives to Christ!!! That's what it's all about!!! 
 
Pictured here (in reverse order) is a collage of one of more than a dozen students who got baptized in the lake near camp followed up with a group embrace and a whole lot of love from fellow students
 
This year's ZEAL ZAMP Adventure Trip with the middle school youth group of Calvary Chapel Fellowship was ZEAL-tastic!! 
  
Camp may have ended today, but the journey with Jesus has just begun! Glory to God!!!!!!!
 
 
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Monday, July 25, 2022

GOODBYE FAMILIES! ...HELLO MIDDLE SCHOOLERS!

 
After saying goodbye to the fantastic families of Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater we had just enough time to tidy up each section of camp, buy groceries, get a nice meal, go swimming, play pickleball, and go paddleboarding before welcoming our next group of adventurers - the fun loving middle school youth group (ZEAL) from Calvary Chapel Fellowship of St Petersburg! We can't wait to see all that God does over the next 5 days! WELCOME TO "ZAMP" ZEAL!!
 
 
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FAMILIES BOND THRU ADVENTURE!

 
Our 2nd Annual Adventure Trip with families from Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater was a big hit! It's so incredible how God uses His amazing playground combined with adventure activities as an accelerated bonding mechanism... so much good concentrated closeness in such a short amount of time! It was such a great time that we are already planning next year's event!!
 
 
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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

ON THE GO GO GO!

 
From 10 days of a Mission Trip in Costa Rica to returning home to Florida then 48 hours later leaving for 10 days of Adventure Trips in Tennessee... it's go, go, go-ing the distance! 
 
We just kicked of our 2nd annual Adventure Trip for families from Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater... 60 amazing Moms, Dads, & Kids have arrived for 5 days of God-awesome fun!! Let's build some lifelong family memories while strengthening deeper family bonds!
 
 
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Sunday, July 17, 2022

HIGHLIGHT OF MY DAY...

Highlight of my day >>> I got to visit my Mom before I leave for our next set of events tomorrow morning =)))
 

WE HAVE RETURNED FROM COSTA RICA!!

We have returned from Costa Rica!! WOW!!! Many souls saved and rededicated to Jesus!!!!! Much service work completed!! Much encouragement & joy spread all around!! Many new friends and so many rekindled friendships!! It was more than an awesome time, it was a God-awesome time! It's impossible to quickly sum up all that God did over 15 days thru the ZSOM team, the Costa Rican Church in Fortuna, & the GTD crew. God did soooooo much in that time! Thank you to every prayer warrior, encourager, supporter, donor, volunteer, & staff for every ounce of time, talent, & treasure you've invested in this ministry... this was without a doubt a great investment indeed!! I look forward to the day when we stand before God and see that "ROI" (Return On Investment)!!! Glory to God!! Thank you everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2022

Hola from Costa Rica!

 
Hola from Costa Rica! The ZSOM group from Calvary Chapel Fellowship is on Day 8 of a 15 day mission trip, and they are doing a fantasticO job (understatement)! So much to share about all that God is doing. Laurie, Jen, & Stacy have been doing a perfect job here. I arrived 2 days ago, Laurie & Jen went back to the US yesterday. Keep us all in your prayers as we continue on for the next week =). Pura Vida!!
 
 
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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR FALL RETREAT!!!

 
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR BIGGEST FALL RETREAT EVER!! ONLY $49/PERSON!!! THIS EVENT IS PERFECT FOR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, & CHURCH GROUPS!!
 
Date: Oct 28-30, 2022 (Fri night - Sun afternoon)
 
Location: Doe Lake Group Campground in Ocala National Forest 
 
The Gist: 
 
<> LOCATED ON A 71 ACRE SPRING-FED LAKE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
 
<> PRIVATE BEACH AREA
  
<> UP TO 250 PARTICIPANTS ALLOWED 
 
<> FULL KITCHEN FOR MEAL PREP
 
<> HISTORICALLY RESTORED BEAUTIFUL 1930s DINING HALL
 
<> MODERN RESTROOMS W/ FLUSH TOILETS & WARM SHOWERS
 
<> PADDLEBOARDS, KAYAKS, & CANOES PROVIDED
 
<> OUTDOOR MOVIE / TEAM SPORTS / CAMP GAMES PROVIDED
 
<> NIGHTLY CAMPFIRES WITH PRAISE & WORSHIP
 
<> DAILY DEVOTIONS... GROWING CLOSER TO GOD!
 
<> CHRIST-CENTERED FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENT
 
<> TENT CAMPING PROVIDED BY GTD -or- BRING YOUR OWN TENT
 
<> COTS PROVIDED BY GTD FOR FIRST 60 REGISTERED
 
<> SLEEPING PADS PROVIDED BY GTD FOR 61st+ REGISTERED
 
<> RVs & TOWABLE CAMPERS WELCOME (No Hook-Ups)
 
<> GREAT SPOT FOR HAMMOCK & CAR CAMPING
 
<> BRING YOUR OWN FISHING BOAT (25hp Max)
 
<> BRING YOUR OWN FISHING GEAR & LICENSE
 
<> BRING YOUR OWN HORSE (34 mile equestrian trail)
 
<> 5 MILES AWAY FROM JEEP, ATV, OHV, & DIRT BIKE TRAILS
 
<> 35 MINUTES AWAY FROM GREAT MT BIKING TRAILS
 
<> NEARBY HIKING TRAILS
 
<> SO MUCH MORE!!!
 
In addition, we are going to have a contest to name this new annual event! Win a new 2-wheel cooler full of GTD merchandise!!
 
Bring your family! Bring your friends! Bring your church group!
 
Here's an event that's good on your budget! With the high cost of inflation it's actually less expensive to come on this event than to stay at home! 
 
Grow closer to God! Have fun in God's amazing playground! Build a lifelong memory with your family!
 
  
Let's make this the biggest, brightest, coolest GTD event EVER!!!
 
 
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Sunday, July 3, 2022

22 NEW INFLATABLE PADDLEBOARDS ADDED!!

 
This year GTD added 22 new inflatable paddleboards to our summer adventure camps!! And they are a HUGE HIT!!! Everyone loves them (especially me)!! Thank you Ministry Partners, donors, and supporters for enabling GTD to constantly grow and enhance the camp experience each year!! We love lake day now more than ever!
 
 
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26 YEARS OF SLAMMED!

(click to enlarge)
  
26 years of SLAMMED! Thank you to all of our staff, volunteers, participants, donors, supporters, encouragers, helpers to my parents, & prayer warriors for making SLAMMED 2022 such a great success!! If it weren't for all of you guys I would have been sitting at camp all by myself haha! We had several new first timers and several repeaters as God took us on a wonderful 5 day God-awesome, Christ-centered, Spirit-lead adventure in the Chattahoochee National Forest of northeast Georgia. Pictures, videos, and more blurbs are on the way. Plus, we are already planning SLAMMED 2023 aaaaaaaaaand we CAN'T WAIT!!!
 
 
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Saturday, July 2, 2022

PIVOT!! Praise The Lord!

 
PIVOT!! What a wild and amazing night for the team in Costa Rica! Around 8pm Tropical Storm Bonnie made an abrupt southwestern turn back towards the area our CCF ZSOM mission team just arrived in (La Fortuna de Bagaces - "LFdB"). The 11pm update showed it tracking right for this area. The local people were helping some loved ones off of the mountains. THEN in the final hours TS Bonnie abruptly pivoted to the northwest into Lake Nicaragua and then back southwest and completely around LFdB. Wow, that was WILD! PTL, the team is safe & sound!!! They had heavy rains all night, but were miraculously spared the tropical storm level impacts. It has a supernatural feel to it. Hopefully that pivot into Lake Nicaragua minimized devastation throughout the entire region. We will learn more throughout the next few days. About 6 years ago they had a similar storm that triggered devastating landslides that obliterated homes & businesses and ended some lives throughout the region. Thank you so much for your prayers!!
 
 
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Friday, July 1, 2022

Two of our BEST youth volunteers EVER!

 
Sister & Brother team - Faith & AJ - completed 2 full weeks of hard working volunteer hours on our June Adventure Trips in north Georgia, and I'm thrilled to share that they are 2 of the best teenage volunteers we've ever had! Aaaaaaaaand that's saying a lot because we've had a lot of great ones! They blessed us and our groups more than I could ever articulate. Day after day, hour after hour they rose to each physically demanding challenge with enthusiasm & Christ honoring attitudes while working hard to serve each participant... and getting to join in a lot of the festivities too, of course! They were such an encouragement, blessing, and unending source of laughter, fun, & joy!! Thank you Faith & AJ!!
 
 
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TODAY kicks off our first mission trip back to Costa Rica in 5 years!

 
TODAY kicks off our first mission trip back to Costa Rica in 5 years! GTD is hosting the young adults of ZEAL School of Ministry (ZSOM) from Calvary Chapel Fellowship of St Petersburg for 15 days of outreaches, community service, building projects, evangelism, church interactions, and even a little bit of adventure! Laurie, Jen, & Stacy are running the first half of the trip and I'll switch out with Laurie & Jen next week to run the second half of the trip along with Stacy. Keep this amazing team in your prayers! In fact, they are arriving in Costa Rica in about an hour - just in time for Tropical Storm Bonnie!! Sounds like a regular GTD to me ;) 
  
The red "X" on the picture is the location of our mission base.
 
 
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QUICK UPDATE:

 
QUICK UPDATE:
  
I'm way behind on updates. That's my update LOL!
  
FAMILY UPDATE:
 
Please keep our parents in your prayers. 
 
Mom was diagnosed with COVID several days ago and had to be moved to another rehab center for 10 days. So far her symptoms have been mild PTL! This is the first time that Mom hasn't had daily visitors and possibly the first time she has ever gone a week without seeing her family. 
 
Dad was hospitalized for a few days with a leg infection that has been hard to diagnose. He has returned home, but is in a lot of back & knee pain. He is having a hard time walking with a walker as well as being able to physically get out of bed or stand up from the sofa. He is also lonely since Mom has been in the rehab center for over 2 months and Traci & I are now at the rehab center instead of being at their home.
 
I am getting over a weird summer cold that has lingered for about 10 days since I got back from our first round of adventure camps. Coughing so hard all night to the point of throwing-up. No fever. Tested negative for COVID. Just fatigue, sore throat, and a nagging night-time cough that prevents sleep. It wiped me out, but I'm finally feeling better PTL =)
 
This is a family picture from right before all the sickness. We took Mom to a follow-up visit with the doctor that repaired her broken femur. (Her leg is healing great, and the doctor even thought that her x-ray looked more like a younger person because of the way & rate that it was healing.) After the doctor visit we were all able go out for a late lunch at a local diner. I can't tell you how much Mom was laughing and making us all laugh. She says the funniest things. It was a GREAT family moment that we are still savoring now =) 
 
Special thanks to Tom, Cindy, Diane, and other friends and neighbors that have been helping our parents so much! Our parents (as well as Traci & I) are so blessed with wonderful neighbors, friends, & family!
 
 
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Monday, June 20, 2022

We have returned from 2 non-stop weeks...

 
We have returned from 2 non-stop weeks of back-to-back Adventure Trips in northeast Georgia. God blessed us with 2 phenomenal trips jampacked with God-awesome fun that blessed and impacted a lot of lives! I can't wait to share with you guys some of the pictures, videos, & details over the next few days :)
 
 

Monday, May 23, 2022

SAVE THE DATES!! ...GTD'S PUBLIC EVENT CALENDAR UPDATED THRU MAY 2023!!

 
We are working hard to schedule our monthly PUBLIC EVENTS up to a year in advance to put our God-awesome adventures on your radar... and hopefully on your calendar. Our PUBLIC events are open to anyone who wants to come out and play in God's amazing playground. We try to have at least one different PUBLIC EVENT per month all year long, and we try to do it for FREE or at a greatly reduced rate to be a blessing to those who love to "GTD" (Get The Discount)!
 
Here's what we are looking at for the next 12 months:
 
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"SLAMMED" Adventure Trip in Tiger, GA (June 8-12) ... pretty much sold out, but may be able to squeeze a few more in
 
"REVAMP"... Part of GTD's Summer Mission Project in Pinellas Park, FL (June, July, & Aug)... more info to come!
 
"SHABANG!" Park Day & Cookout >>> recreational kayaking, touring kayaking, paddleboarding, group games, team sports, playground, cookout >>> The Whole "Shabang"!!! (Sept 24)
 
CAMPING RETREAT in Ocala National Forest (FL) >>> we are going to have a contest to name this event... more info to come (Oct 28-30)
 
"ANNUAL BANQUET" in Largo, FL (Nov 15)
 
<<< DEC OFF >>> No PUBLIC EVENTS in Dec as of now (due to Christmas holiday)
 
"SWAMP THING" Everglades Backpacking Trip (Jan 7-8)
 
"PADDLE PROWL" Kayak & Island Camping Adventure in central Florida (Feb 4-5)
 
"IGNITE" Weekend Camping Retreat in Hudson, FL (Mar 3-5)
 
"LIQUID" Kayaking Day Trek in Pinellas County Florida (Apr 8)
 
"SIDEWINDER" SUP Paddleboarding Day Trek in St Petersburg, FL (May 6)
 
***WE ARE ALSO HOPEFUL TO RETURN BACK TO PUBLIC COSTA RICA MISSION TRIPS & ADVENTURES OUT WEST (Grand Canyon, Utah, etc) in 2023***
 
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We have the dates for our PUBLIC EVENTS for the next 12 months so now we will move on to building / updating each link on the website with details, costs, registration, etc. Save the above dates on your calendar so we can go play together!
 
 
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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

SIDEWINDER PADDLEBOARDING TREK WAS QUITE ENJOYABLE!!

 
This past Saturday GTD hosted our 2nd annual SIDEWINDER SUP trek... and we had such an enjoyable time! The weather was perfect! The water temperature was perfect! And the people were okay! Haha, just kidding, they were perfect too!
 
Unfortunately we had 9 participants that had to cancel in the days leading up to the event, but that didn't take away from the 7 paddlers, 2 kids, & 1 goat that came out to play :) 
 
And my incredible Dad came out to prepare a delicious lunch for everyone! Aaaaaaaaand longtime GTDer - Jim Butski - came out to cheer us on & help pack up the gear!
 
It was a really good day and I can't tell how much I thoroughly enjoy paddleboarding!! 
 
Thank you to all our wonderful donors, supporters, and prayer warriors that help make these events happen!
 
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