Monday, June 30, 2014





Monday, June 23, 2014

Tragically Unchanged

One of the immense tragedies of life is to remain unchanged even after peering into things meant to change us.

(This is actual footage taken from our Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike)



The greatest evidence of faith is a lack of worry.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014


We have about 3 and a half months until The GRAND CANYON Trips. Check out our newest promo video and see exactly why you don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime event. And don't forget to check out the GRAND CANYON event link to get all the details.

Enjoy =)


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lunch w/ a Ministry Partner

Laurie & I enjoyed having lunch with one of our Ministry Partners in Tampa. He likes to stay anonymous so we won't share his name, but we can't hold back expressing how much we appreciate his friendship. We are thankful for the incredible people we've had the privilege of meeting through being involved in ministry.
- DUG <><



We have just over 2 weeks to go until our 19th Annual SLAMMED Adventure Trip. This year we are heading back to a fan favorite - Tellico Plains, TN. Check out our newest promo video and see exactly why this God-awesome event is called SLAMMED. And don't forget to check out the SLAMMED event link to get all the details.

PS: We recommend clicking on the small settings button in the lower right corner (the button that looks like a small star shaped cog) and increasing the quality setting to 720p HD or 1080p HD for the best viewing experience. Enjoy =)


Monday, June 16, 2014

HPD x 6 = HPW. HPW x 4 = HPM =)

AND BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! Already off to another HPD (nerd talk for a "Highly Productive Day"). If I string 6 of these together in a row I will have a HPW ("Highly Productive Week"). I'm on a 4 week roll of HPW's which means I just completed a HPM. I think you know what that stands for. Hardly have time to post the achievements, but looking forward to sharing the progress of the ministry with our supporters, participants & fans. Stay tuned. Thank you Jesus =)
- DUG <><


Saturday, June 14, 2014

GRUNGE-2 Pics Have Been Uploaded. Enjoy =)

Click here to see all the pics from GRUNGE-2.


GRUNGE-2: Small But Great!

Although everyone couldn't make it out today, we had another great caving trip with a bunch of "under" achievers! Praising God for a terrific & safe time =)

Friday, June 13, 2014

GRUNGE-2 is Tomorrow!!

We are all packed up and ready to go for our GRUNGE-2 Caving Trip tomorrow!

Can't wait for another God-awesome underground adventure!!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Elise Rainville

We want to express our deepest sympathies to the family & friends of Elise Rainville who unexpectedly & sadly, at the young age of 23 years old, went to be with Lord 2 days ago. Although we did not have the pleasure of knowing Elise beyond acquaintances, we do know many of her dearest friends who are now experiencing great sadness and grief from this loss along with a steadfast hope that comes from knowing she had placed her life & faith in Jesus. From all of the posts that we've read on Facebook and stories we've heard from her friends it is obvious that she touched and impacted many lives. Elise attended our annual Lake Day nine days ago and spent the afternoon having fun with many of her friends. It was a blessing to have shared that day with her. We are praying for her family & friends. (-Doug & Laurie)

"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants." - Psalm 116:15


Ministry Partner Care Packages Mailed Out

Our first shipment of Ministry Partner Care Packages are being mailed out today. About 20% of our annual revenues come from donations. That's a vital 20%. We couldn't do what we do without faithful supporters. Anyone who donates $100 or more in a calendar year becomes a GTD Ministry Partner.

Here is the letter that we included with the care package:

Dear Ministry Partner(s),

Thank you so much for supporting GTD!  We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness & generosity. Your donations help enable GTD to accomplish our Christ-centered mission of using outdoor recreation to reach out to the lost and spur on those already in the faith. God has been using this ministry to impact lives for over 18 years and we couldn't do it without faithful supporters like you!

It’s hard to believe, but we are only 18 months away from turning 20 years old!! We are not only planning for our 20th anniversary, but more importantly, we are already preparing for the next 20 years. Glory to God!

Even though it is a small token of our gratitude, we are excited to give back to those who give so much to us. Enclosed is a bag of authentic Costa Rican coffee and your GTD Ministry Partner T-shirt!! The shirts were generously donated to our ministry by Chuck Stewart of AxCel Mark Corporation. They are a top-notch Christian owned apparel business that we highly recommend. If you have an apparel need then you will be pleased with the great service & professional quality of AxCel Mark.

Great things are happening at GTD! We are getting so much work done in the office. We are also in the midst of preparing for our summer Adventure Trips to TN & NC and our Mission Trips to Costa Rica. Please follow our daily blog on the new GTD website to read about all the God-awesome things going on. And thank you for praying for us and for the lives God will change this summer.

We hope you love the coffee & T-shirt. Thank you again for your faithful support. It means more to us than we can express in words.

God Bless You,
Doug Garner & Laurie Finger

Monday, June 9, 2014

Caving + Smiley's = SO MUCH FUN!

We had SO MUCH FUN yesterday caving with some of the students from Smiley's Coffeehouse (the Young Adult Ministry of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks). It was part of the SAC (Sunday After Church) events that GTD provides for Smiley's and it was a blast. It was the first time caving for many of them and they couldn't get enough of our underground adventure. We spent more than 3 hours crawling over, under, and through small passageways in a maze of tunnels 25 feet underground. Some of the sections of the cave have names like, "The Meat Grinder", "The Army Crawl Tunnel", "The Birth Canal", and "The Cellar". God created a whole other world of God-awesome adventures just below the earth's surface and we loved every second of our time together playing in His playground!

To see all 374 pictures from our spelunking adventure on GTD's Online Photo Album click here.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

SAC Caving Trip Tomorrow

We are all packed up for our caving trip with Smiley's tomorrow!

It's going to be awesome!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday

2010 Adventure Trip with FCD (Family Center on Deafness) 

Save The Date

Please save the date!  This is GTD's BIGGEST Fundraiser Event of the year and we want you there!  BUT, you don't have to wait to make a donation to the Ministry!  If you'd like to donate in advance and think ahead you can do so through our donation page found HERE.

GTD = Get The Directions

I just completed our newest map for our summer adventure camps in North Carolina. Believe it or not, one of the most labor intensive tasks of planning group camping trips is creating the map & directions. This map took 10 hours to make.

During the early years of GTD we used to use the map & directions as listed by the US Forest Service. Bad idea. Many times the "official directions" by parks departments were (and still are) so vague and confusing that it occasionally resulted in groups getting lost, sometimes for hours at a time, trying to find the campsite. Many of the campsites are outside of cell phone range and don't have addresses because they are in such remote places. That makes calling or finding someone to ask for assistance nearly impossible. I remember one bus driver getting so frustrated by the "official directions" as he drove a charter bus around in circles that he threw the directions in the air while muttering how useless they were. He may or may not have thrown in a curse word or two. By the time he finally found the camp, he was quite flustered.

Since that time I've been making our own maps & directions with detailed descriptions and landmarks. The trip can't start until the group arrives. And if they can't find us or contact us then that means wasted hours of frustration on an unnecessary search & find mission. GTD sometimes means, Get The Directions. Nowadays, we "recon" the campsite before we do the trips and write down helpful information, descriptions, and landmarks that help groups find the camp. We include GPS coordinates, the address of the nearest business, mileage, turn by turn instructions, and landmarks that will be seen along the way (as well as landmarks that will be seen if they drive past their turn). And if the camp is real tricky to find, I go into town hours before the group is scheduled to arrive so that I can be within cell phone range to help guide them in and give them a personal escort to camp. It's a lot of extra work, but every minute of effort saves our participants hours of lost time. And the good news is that once it's done we can use the same map over & over again for years to come.

Here are the "official directions" given by the US Forest Service to a camp we use in TN:
[Take] highway 165 for 6 miles. Turn right onto Forest Development Road 210 (Tellico River Road) for 10 miles. Turn left onto 217 (North River Road). The camp is located 2 miles on the left.
Here are our directions to the same camp based on several groups getting lost from the US Forest Service's directions:
Pay attention to your mileage!! From Hwy 68 in Tellico Plains, TN take Hwy 165 East for 5 miles (Landmark: You will cross a bridge at the 3 mile mark). At mile 5 VEER RIGHT onto Forest Road 210 (This turn is easy to miss. It’s also called “River Rd”. You won’t see a "FR210" sign until after you veer right and drive for 1/10 mile). Take FR210 (“River Rd”) East for approximately 9.5 miles (This is a very scenic narrow curvy road that follows the river the entire drive. Landmark: Bald River Waterfall at 6 mile mark). At approx 9.5 mile mark FR210 crosses a bridge - DON’T CROSS THE BRIDGE!! Turn LEFT just before the bridge onto North River Road (This road is NOT well marked). Take North River Rd approximately 1.75 miles to McNabb Campsite (After 1 mile North River Rd becomes a curvy gravel road that follows the river the entire drive). McNabb Campsite is easy to miss (Just before you cross the 2nd small bridge there will be a small gravel road on the left with a lock gate across the road... This is McNabb). Use the Gate Combo listed in your Trip Organizer to unlock gate (line up numbers, push the lock in, and it will spring open). Open gate, drive thru, CLOSE & LOCK GATE (push lock closed & spin numbers off combo). WELCOME TO CAMP!!!
Sound exhausting? It is, but the results are undeniable when the groups find the camp on their first try! Once they arrive the hardest part is over and the true adventures can begin!  - DUG <><

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Creative Payment Option

Did you know that GTD works with Bill Me Later which is a creative resource and option for you to BUY NOW (your trip to the Grand Canyon) and PAY LATER with no interest for 6th months?  If you're good at budgeting than this could be an option for you.  But we don't want anyone to go into debt to attend one of our trips.
To learn more go to click here.

Volunteers Wanted!


Going The Distance Adventure Ministry is an Outdoor Recreation Ministry that puts together God centered Retreats, Day Trips, Adventure Trips and Mission Trips for youth and adults. If you can answer yes to the questions in the photo, maybe it's time for you to consider becoming a GTD VOLUNTEER!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


If your life has been impacted by GTD please consider partnering with us.  We can't do it alone.  We need your support.

Through our Ministry we are impacting lives, creating lifetime memories for our participants and helping students and adults to deepen their relationship with Christ through God Centered Camping Trips, Retreats, Day Trips, Adventure Trips and Mission Trips.

Ministry Partnerships begin at only $10 a month.

Please consider supporting the work God is doing through Going The Distance Adventure Ministry.

To sign up or learn more about becoming a Monthly Partner please go to this link.

All Monthly Partners will receive a FREE GTD t-shirt when they sign up, thanks to Chuck Stewart of Axel Mark for his generous donation!

SAC Lake Day was a HIT!

Our 2014 Annual SAC Lake Day with Smiley's was a huge hit on Sunday. We had over 75 students join us for a day full of food, fellowship & FUN!! The day included wakeboarding, inner tubing, knee boarding, skiing, kayaking, swimming, corn hole, ping pong, air hockey, billiards, and more. Our profound thanks to the Forte's for opening their home and providing a $75,000 Tige wakeboarding boat for our enjoyment. Our special thanks also goes out to Larry, Adam & Heather for also supplying boats for the day. And mega thanks to Rob, Elissa & GTD for making the whole day happen and to Christina for all of her help with the food & drinks. And last, but certainly not least, we praise God for the entire event, the safety throughout the day, and for holding off the storms until it was time to leave. Seriously, it rained everywhere around us except where we were at. It was a great day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Now Booking 2015 Mission Trips

GTD is booking Costa Rica mission trips for 2015, please share or tag  your Pastors, friends or family in this post who may be interested in signing up.  

You only need 10 participants to book a trip with us!