Thursday, July 22, 2021

FUNNY STORY:

Yesterday I was sitting on the front porch with my parents. We were all rocking away in rocking chairs in a "pleasant" 94 degrees. My Mom is 90 and I'm 50 (going on 23). One of the neighborhood boys who is 9 years old stopped by to say hi to my parents. He was bored. So I asked him if he had a kickball or something similar. He went home and got a soccer ball. So, just a few feet away from my parents, he and I played a fun little playground game called "Bottle Cap" that I learned a few months ago from ZEAL youth group. Eventually he had to go home (after I soundly defeated him of course - haha). Today I was just inside the glass / screen door watching my Mom rocking away in her rocking chair while I returned some phone calls. The neighborhood boy rode up on his bike and went over to my Mom and asked, "Can your son come out to play?" Baahahahahaha!! My Mom started laughing... she hasn't heard that question in about 40 years!! What a precious kid! That made my day! I don't think I'll ever stop being a kid at heart - hahaha!
 
 
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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

JUST A BRIEF PERSONAL UPDATE...

We are finishing up our 7th month of 24/7 Caregiving with our parents. I was able to run 4 weeks of extraordinary GTD events (glory to God!) in June in NC. Now I'm back in FL and living at my parents' house for at least the month of July so that I can help them with their needs. I've got a fulltime house and dog sitter staying at my house while I'm at my folks so don't even think about trying to steal my Christmas wrapping paper wallpaper! I'm weeks & months behind on things like thank you notes, phone calls, emails, text messages, Facebook Messenger, mail, mailouts, office work, work projects, social media updates, etc, etc. I'm fortunate if I can get 1 personal/work task done each day. This isn't a complaint... just an update about my current limitations. Last week we started phasing in a day each week away from my parents' house to take care of personal/work responsibilities. I hope to slowly get caught up over the next few months. My sincerest apologies to those I haven't been able to respond back to yet... or personally thank... I have so many people to thank for so many things and I'm especially looking forward to expressing my appreciation, love, and gratefulness =) 
 
 
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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

THE FAMILIES THAT PADDLE TOGETHER MAKE FUN MEMORIES TOGETHER!

 
About 10 days ago we were blessed and honored to supply an afternoon of kayaking for my next door neighbor's family reunion. They are a wonderful Vietnamese family from all over the United States. We took 20 family members (which was about half of the family that was in town) kayaking on Long Bayou. They were so much fun! We had a dodgeball style squishy ball war, a kayaking race, and a short tour of the bayou. If you've ever volunteered to work at the current GTD office (aka: my house) then you may have indulged in some delicious egg rolls or lemongrass steak that they've made for us. They are amazing cooks and wonderful people! We had so much fun paddling with them!!
 
 
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Friday, July 16, 2021

I CAN'T EVEN BEGIN TO ARTICULATE MY OVERWHELMING GRATITUDE!!!

Just before we left to run four weeks of Adventure Trips in North Carolina we had a series of Volunteer Work Days throughout the month of May. The response was astounding! I can't even begin to articulate my overwhelming gratitude for the selfless servant-hearted people (some of whom I had never met before) who showed up to help GTD and me to get ready to host some of the best summer camps in our 25 years of ministry! Many of you know that my sister and I are in a season of Caregiving for our parents that is requiring 80+ hours per week from each of us. We are so tired... soooooo exhausted. We needed help from our volunteers in order to pull off an amazing month of camps, but what we received was beyond anything we could have imagined. Selfless servants of God who simply wanted to use their abilities & availability to help the cause. They turned our MAYday of MAYhem in the month of MAY into 4 weeks of aMAYzing grace and accomplishment!! They reorganized our storage container, installed a security gate, inventoried our mobile pantry, repacked our trailer, fortified our trailer door, built a shelf to hold kayak paddles, built 4 new portable showers, relocated and installed a new mailbox, painted countless boards, and helped us pack up everything we needed to be ready to host some of our largest groups ever!! They not only helped us on our way, they launched us into an unprecedented 3 perfect trips in a row (it's rare to have one perfect trip in 5 years!) followed by our most attended and one of our best SLAMMED events ever! Their help lightened our load and filled our hearts. I can't accurately put into words how much their help caused us to succeed. It was a game changer! From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of a grateful ministry, thank you so much selfless servants of God for all that you did to bless us and to be a blessing through us to all the people we served at camp. You impacted a lot of lives for the glory of God!! Thank you so much and God bless you dear friends!!































Tuesday, July 13, 2021

OH MY GOODNESS!! SLAMMED 2021 WAS SOOOOOO GOD-AWESOME!!

  
It was the largest most attended SLAMMED event ever in GTD's 25 year history, and man was it beyond gooood... it truly was GOD-AWESOME! I'm so limited in time right now that I can't elaborate like I want to, but WOW, God blessed us immensely on this year's SLAMMED!! 55 fantastic participants were all-in for 5 days of non-stop focus, freedom, fun, fellowship, & faith (AKA: The 5 F's of GTD) in God's amazing playground and it all culminated into one of our best and most blessed SLAMMED's of all time!! I look forward to sharing all the highlights in the days ahead. A huge thank you to all of our staff and volunteers for their hard work and huge hearts that helped make this event so great! Aaaaaand all of my love and gratefulness to our supporters and prayer warriors that enable this ministry and its impact... you guys are blessing so many lives, including mine!
 
More pictures and highlights to come!
 
Going The Distance Adventure Ministry 
Celebrating 25 years of God-awesome adventures!
 
 
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Saturday, July 10, 2021

IT'S A 3-PEAT!!!...OUR THIRD PERFECT EVENT IN A ROW!!!....THIS TIME IT WAS A TRIP FOR FAMILIES!

 
We have returned to Florida and we have so many good things to report. We spent the past 2 weeks off the grid back in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, and I'm overjoyed to report that we completed our 3rd PERFECT event in a row!!! This time it was with a group of families. The trip for families was organized by two friends (Dan & Ron) for 52 people. We called the event D.A.R.E. (Dan And Ron's Excellent) Adventure for Families. It was flawless (praise God)! The kids LOVED IT! The parents LOVED IT! Our staff & volunteers LOVED IT! In fact, everyone is already planning for D.A.R.E. 2022!! I look forward to sharing all the highlights from this event with you in the days ahead and the cool ways God blessed us all. Thank you to everyone who makes this ministry possible! We have so much to celebrate!
  
Going The Distance Adventure Ministry 
Celebrating 25 years of God-awesome events!
 
 
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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NC BOUND!! ...PRAYING FOR 2 MORE GOD-AWESOME EVENTS!


We kicked off our GTD summer earlier this month with back-to-back perfect adventures, and we are praying to keep that streak going. I was able to come back home for 8 days to help take care of my Mom & Dad. We've been caring for them 24/7 for nearly 6 months. I wish I had more time to share more updates, but we are literally going nonstop racing from one thing to the next with a few breaks here and there. I have so many people to thank as we navigate through this and I look forward to sharing some of the highlights once the Adventure Trips are complete. Right now Carson & I are about to board our flight back to NC. We have 2 more back-to-back adventure camps kicking off this Saturday, and we look forward to all that God is going to do! Thank you to all of our supporters, encouragers, and prayer warriors for lifting us up every step of the way!!
 
 
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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

BACK-TO-BACK PERFECT TRIPS!!...5 DAYS OF FLAWLESS FUN WITH SOUL ADVENTURES!!!

 
Soooooo much to share and so little time!! Our campsite was about 10 miles away from cell phone coverage and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING... as well as incredibly healthy to get kids (and adults) away from technology and into nature (aka: God's playground)!! The past 5 days with the students and leaders from SOUL Adventures in God's amazing creation was spectacular! Except for sleeping, eating, and devotions these kids played & adventured NONSTOP! They couldn't get enough of playing together! No clicks. No arguments. No issues. Just PURE Christ-centered fun!!! I look forward to sharing more pictures and experiences in the days ahead. Our profound thanks to all of our volunteers, staff, donors, supporters, encouragers, prayer warriors, and mighty God for making this ministry and these opportunities possible and so powerful! God bless you all! 
 
 
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Sunday, June 6, 2021

A PERFECT TRIP!!!...CRAMMED 2021 WAS........NOTHING LESS THAN GOD-AWESOME!!


The last few weeks have been nonstop and I haven't had a chance to post any updates. I'm thrilled to kick off the updates with the report of a PERFECT TRIP! Our first-ever CRAMMED Adventure Trip started last Wednesday with 25 incredible people including 3 families with young children. It ended today. The trip could not have gone any better! No hiccups. No errors. No problems of any kind. Absolutely flawless in everything that matters. Glory to God! Within 24 hours we were like one big happy family doing adventures together while chasing after the heart of God. God forged lifelong friendships, unforgettable memories, and authentic spiritual growth over the course of 5 days! In so many ways we didn't want the trip to end. Over the next few days I'll post summaries of the main adventures as well as some of the highlights that made this trip so special. Thank you so much to every volunteer, Ministry Partner, donor, prayer warrior, friend, family member, supporter, and participant that helped kick off our summer camps with this perfect trip! ALL GLORY TO GOD!!!
 
 
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Sunday, May 23, 2021

CON"GRADUATION" CARSON!

CON"GRADUATION" to my amazing nephew on graduating high school!! Carson, way to gooooo! You are gifted & blessed beyond measure and I look forward to watching where God directs your steps in the years ahead =) =) =) 
 
 
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HOMEMADE ICE CREAM, WATERMELON, AAAAAAAAND MANY MANY THANKS TO SEVERAL FANTASTIC VOLUNTEERS!!

Yesterday was another great day of hard work, progress, & delicious calories with 13 FANTASTIC VOLUNTEERS as we prepared for our upcoming summer adventure camps! Many many thanks to Tammy, Jason, the Hofstede family, the Routman family, Traci, Carson, and my Mom & Dad for all of their love-driven hard work!! They turned a day full of potential into a day full of accomplishment! Thank you so so so much for living out your faith in Jesus in such a way that it compels such loving acts of service for others! And special thanks to my parents for making homemade ice cream and bringing a watermelon to the work party! And another special thanks to my awesome neighbors for making homemade egg rolls and Vietnamese lemongrass chicken wings. I can't even begin to articulate how delicious they were!!!! GREAT! DAY!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

THANK YOU TEAM HEBERT!!...CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!!!...MORE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES!!!


Last Saturday the phenomenal Hebert family volunteered at GTD Central Command (aka: my house) while we were running our paddleboarding trip. They came over and constructed a paddleboard rack and painted about 40 trim boards. They did a wonderful job, and I can't tell you how much they blessed my heart and this ministry! Thank you so much Hebert family!!! You guys rock!
  
With 11 days remaining until we head to NC to run our summer camps we still have several projects to complete and I could use some more awesome volunteers!!
  
Below are the dates I have scheduled for Volunteer Work Days. Let me know what dates and times you can help out. 
  
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* SAT May 22 (12:30p - 6:30p)
* MON May 24 (9a - 4p)
* WED May 26 (9a - 4p)
* FRI May 28 (9a - 4p)
* SAT May 22 (12:30p - 6:30p)
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Tasks include several GTD projects and home repair / renovation projects. These include things like: 
   
<> Reorganize our equipment trailer (out with the old; in with the new!) AND finish minor repairs 
<> Detail, organize, & prep trucks 
<> Repair dog box
<> Build 2 more portable showers
<> Install security lights
<> Install security cameras 
<> Install 16 ft rear gate on rollers 
<> Transfer mailbox from side of house to front yard
<> Attach trim boards around windows
<> Caulk around all windows and any openings
<> Painting, painting, & more painting
<> Pressure washing (many things!)
<> Stain & treat wood fencing that will be used around the perimeter of the property to protect our gear
<> Trim trees
<> Finish organizing garage as workshop, laundry area, & fitness area 
<> Build Pergola 
<> Many more things!
  
Hopefully this gives you an idea of the kind of projects I need help with. They range in skill levels from "No specific skills needed" to "Skilled workers needed" and everything in-between. 
   
If you're interested in helping, volunteering, and serving we would love your help! I've got the dates above set aside for Volunteer Work Days if you're able to come out for a few hours on one or some of these. 
  
Also, like Team Hebert you can arrange to come over on other days or times I won't be here... or like Team McCormick you may find that there are projects that you can take home and do on your own timeline.
  
If you're interested and available then let me know however you can... Leave a comment below or private message me or email info@goingthedistance.org or call the GTD Adventure Hotline and leave a voicemail (this is an office phone so it doesn't receive text messages... 727-394-9483) or text me if you have my cellphone number... or build a fire and send me a smoke signal =) 
  
Thank you in advance for your partnership and help in this ministry... many hands make for light work =) 
  
God bless you!


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Monday, May 17, 2021

GTD's FIRST EVER SUP TRIP IN THE BOOKS!...AND WE LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!

  
On Saturday we were thrilled to run our first ever Stand Up Paddleboarding trip with 14 fantastic people and our NEW PADDLEBOARDS!! The weather was perfect! After working on our paddleboarding skills in a protected inlet we braved the open water and skimmed our way over to a nearby island for some beach fun. We are soooooo looking forward to many more paddleboarding events and many years ahead of all kinds of SUP adventures!!
   
As always, we want to thank our small army of AMAZING DONORS who make free trips like this possible and enable the acquisition of new gear!! You guys rock our world and bless a lot of people!
  
And most importantly, we give God all the honor, praise, & glory!!

  
  
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