Friday, April 16, 2021

QUICK UPDATE! ...CRAMMED IS SCHEDULED FOR June 2-6, 2021

 


We sold out on SLAMMED so we invented CRAMMED so that 50 more people could go on a God-awesome GTD adventure this summer! 
  
It's the same Adventure Trip as SLAMMED, but with a different name so you can tell them apart easier. SLAMMED is scheduled for June 30 - July 4, but CRAMMED is scheduled for June 2-6. Both events will be in the same city (Brevard, NC), but at different campgrounds. And both events will be for the same unheard of price of ONLY $25 to celebrate 25 years of ministry!! 
    
Currently we have about 25 people on the SLAMMED Waiting List. This is how it will work. The 50 SLAMMED participants that have already registered will be given a few days to decide if they want to stay with their reservation for SLAMMED or transfer over to CRAMMED. Once that offer expires then we will open up CRAMMED (and any newly available spots for SLAMMED if anyone transferred their trip) to those signed up on the SLAMMED Waiting List in the order that they signed up. After that (around April 25th) we will open any remaining spots up to the general public. Soooooooo the best way to get in line for CRAMMED is to sign up on the SLAMMED Waiting List on this link
  
We hope everyone who wants to go gets to go! It's the first time we've ever run 2 of these public events in one summer... and for a total of 100 people. 
  
It's a great way to celebrate 25 years!!
  
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Going The Distance Adventure Ministry
God-awesome adventures since 1996!
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2 DAYS DOWN AND OFF TO A GOOD START!

Thank you to our most recent volunteers - Josh, his daughter Mia, and our good friend Tom - who put in a lot of hard work & sweat on Wednesday & Thursday as we kicked off 6 weeks of volunteer work efforts over at GTD Central Command (aka: my house) =) 
  
I can't express how much of a blessing this middle-of-the-week crew was! They took time out of their personal lives (and Mia from her spring break) to help get the ball rolling, get the momentum started, and get tasks completed as we prepare for our summer camps in 6 weeks!!
  
As many of you know our family is in the middle of Caregiving for my awesome Mom and I haven't had any time to work on several important projects. So I've got a lot of GTD projects & home improvement work to get done before our summer camps begin. I posted a request on social media for volunteers and we got a good response! (Thank you awesome people!) Each Monday I hope to get the volunteer work schedule posted for the week ahead. There are so many moving parts and layers that we usually can't plan beyond 1 week.
  
Thanks to Josh, Mia, & Tom we were able to remove everything from the GTD storage container (we call it The Green Monster) and seal the floor with EpoxyShield. 
  
Unfortunately, about 12 years ago I left a can of turpentine inside The Green Monster and failed to fully tighten the cap. All of the turpentine evaporated out of the can and into The Green Monster and soaked into anything & everything that was inside the storage container - including the wood floor. Everything was contaminated! I have not been looking forward to this project!!!!
  
Back in November I threw out about 75% of the contaminated and unsalvageable items, but kept the remaining bit hoping to salvage it. I then pressure washed every inch of the interior, especially the wood floor. A little research revealed that vinegar and aeration was all I needed to remove the remaining turpentine. 
  
Everything has been airing out for 4 months. A few weeks ago Carson and Logan began pressure washing some of the plastic storage bins and wiping them down with vinegar. And it worked! The vinegar and airing out neutralized the turpentine!! The smell ("the beast") was defeated!! So I mopped The Green Monster floor with vinegar and let it air out for a couple more weeks. 
  
On Wednesday the crew sealed the floor and then we began the monotonous task of wiping down a ton of storage bins, inflatables, and the remaining contaminated gear with vinegar. And I'm happy to say it worked again!! Vinegar is like a cure-all for many things! 
  
It took several hours to wipe everything down and keep flipping them so they could fully air out & dry out. But it worked great and now we have 50+ plastic storage bins ready to be used. That means we are ready to start moving a ton of GTD gear out of the garage and my house which overflows with GTD stuff to the point that I look like an episode of Hoarders.
  
And, if that wasn't enough, the crew also had time to help me construct another rack to hold kayaks & canoes. We got so much done! Aaaaaand they put us in a great position to build on their progress this weekend. We are assembling another crew of workers for this weekend to pick up where they left off. Let me know if you want to help keep the momentum going!! We will be working 9a - 6p on Saturday & Sunday.
  
Thank you again Josh, Mia, Tom, Dad, Carson, & Logan for getting this ball rolling!! I is forever grateful!!!! God bless you guys!!!!
















Thursday, April 8, 2021

CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS!...I COULD USE YOUR HELP =)....APRIL 17-18 (AND MORE)!!

  
My sister & I have the great honor of helping take care of our parents. I'm averaging about 85 hours per week at my parents' house. It's like I've picked up 2 full time jobs to go with my other full time job. Currently I have about 7 weeks until our summer Adventure Trips begin and I'm way behind on 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 repairing all 3 doors... repair rear flooring... minor exterior repairs... reinforce shelving... stain / paint unfinished wood. 
<> Cut & screw down a new layer of plywood as new flooring in our 8' x 40' storage container in the backyard 
<> Transfer A LOT of GTD gear from the garage, house, & shed to the storage container
<> Organize garage as workshop, laundry area, & fitness area
<> Build 2 more portable showers
<> Build 1 more simple wooden kayak rack
<> Stain & treat wood fencing that will be used around the perimeter of the property to protect our gear
<> Painting, painting, & more painting
<> Pressure washing (many things!)
<> Wash & dry approximately 20 sleeping bags 
<> Remove a kitchen wall and take down the remaining drywall in the kitchen
<> Remove wall insulation & caulk any & all air leaks then reinstall insulation
<> Prep / level old floor and install new flooring
<> Install new kitchen cabinets 
<> 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 weekend of April 17-18 (9a - 6p each day) set aside as a Volunteer Work Weekend if you're able to come out for a few hours. Also, generally speaking, I will have 2 or 3 weekdays each week Mon - Fri (between 9am - 4pm) when I will be working on the same projects listed above and could use a lot of help.
  
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 =) 

10 NEW TANDEM RECREATIONAL KAYAKS!!...THANK YOU SO MUCH GTD DONORS!!!


This is such a huge answer to prayer! We are still blessed beyond measure by our amazing supporters who contributed towards our Annual Fundraiser, stepped up to be Monthly Partners, and/or continue to make sporadic One-Time Donations. God used YOU to provide 10 new tandem kayaks into this ministry that will be used for the next 15+ years to take over 10,000 people on local Christ-centered outings! That's a really BIG DEAL to us!!
  
For 15 years (2004-2019) GTD took over 10,000 people canoeing on our 10 Mohawk Blazer 16 canoes! It was the number 1 activity we provided as a ministry! Those canoes have a lot of mileage on them, but with some needed TLC they can be refurbished to go another 15 years with another 10,000 people. We hope to strategically place them in north GA for future calm river & lake day trips and overnight canoe camping trips as we, Lord willing, expand GTD's footprint and impact to areas we love and are very familiar with. But now is the time to transition our Florida based activities from canoeing to kayaking!
  
We have actually been transitioning away from canoes and over to kayaks for the past 2 years. I've blogged several times about the benefits of kayaks over canoes in the Tampa Bay area which overflows with a lot of open choppy water. I've blogged several times about the increased safety of kayaks in open water, how kayaks are the backbone of our Day Trip Program, how our Day Trip Program is our first line of defense against times of economic crisis, how our Day Trip Program is the first line of offense to invite people into adventures with GTD, how kayaks are the more desired paddling options by the overwhelming majority of people we serve, and many other reasons that kayaks are one of the best investments we could ever make in GTD.
  
I'm beyond thrilled to share that now is that time! About 4 months ago we purchased 4 tandem kayaks. During that time we tested them and loved what we found. They are wide & heavy duty... perfect for beginner to intermediate paddlers, families with small toddlers, and rambunctious youths who love to travel at ramming speed towards one another. They also convert from tandem to individual kayaks by repositioning one of the seats. And at just under 11 ft long they are very versatile to carry on a trailer or in the back of 2 trucks. And on top of all of that they are only $300 per kayak (including 2 free paddles that usually cost $30 each)! That's more affordable than trying to buy preowned tandem kayaks which I've been shopping for over the past 2 years. The only negative is that the seat pads are way too thin and uncomfortable. Not a problem though! That's an easy affordable enhancement we can quickly make.
  
So say hello to our new fleet of 10 tandem recreational kayaks!! Along with our 15 individual recreational kayaks (that we've purchased used over the past 2 years) GTD can now accommodate 35 paddlers for local kayaking Day Trips! That's a lot of ministry opportunities!! And they will literally pay for themselves over the next 12 months!
  
There are so many great things going on in GTD!! We want to profusely thank all of our incredible supporters for investigating in this ministry and literally into tens of thousands of lives!! God bless you all!
  
  
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Going The Distance Adventure Ministry 
Celebrating 25 years of God-awesome adventures!
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Monday, April 5, 2021

ANOTHER SOLD OUT EVENT! PTL!! ...WE HAD A GREAT TIME ON LIQUID!

Our annual Day-Before-Easter free paddling trip (called LIQUID) was full of great people, great weather, and focused on our Great Savior - Jesus!
  
Thank you to everyone who came out to paddle 4 challenging miles from War Veterans Memorial Park to the new Seminole Waterfront Park! We loved our time adventuring together!!
  
Our on-the-water devotions focused on possibly the most famous verse in the Bible - John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not parish, but have everlasting life." Now that's a gift to build a life upon!
  
Aaaaaand my parents and sister got to come enjoy some time at the park watching us!
  
Nearly 90 pictures from our paddling adventure have been uploaded to our online photo album. You can check them out here: 
https://goingthedistance.smugmug.com/2021/2021-Day-Trip-LIQUID-Paddling-Trek
  
Thank you to our participants, volunteers, donors, and staff for making events like this possible!
































Thursday, April 1, 2021

TAKE YOUR MOM TO WORK DAY! ...BIRD DOG BREAKS THE LAW!! ....CAREGIVING & ALZHEIMER'S

I'm caught up on some things. I'm weeks behind on other things. And I'm months behind on many things. One of the things I've tried to do over the past 3 months of Caregiving in order to stay on top of my own responsibilities is to take my Mom to work with me whenever I can. It usually has to be an outdoor project on a day with good weather. In total, I think we were able to pull off 5 or 6 of those days January through March. Just getting her ready & persuading her to go over to my house can be an arduous task in itself... then scrambling to put together the materials & tools for the work projects once we are there all while trying to keep her from wandering around the yard and falling can turn a simple objective into a long complicated process. It sometimes takes me 2 hours of getting everything in place while containing my Mom before we can even start the work project. It's a lot of work to be able to start working. Once everything is ready to go then Birddog loves to work and be purposeful. She loves to help! She's an amazing woman and doesn't like to sit around while everyone else is working. She wants to contribute to the task at hand. With her age, her Alzheimers, and her high risk of falling I'm finding that small repetitive cleaning tasks while sitting seem to be the best. She fixates on it and meticulously cleans in a repetitive manner until she's done. For example, I've asked her to clean an extension cord, a hose, a coaxial cable, and a string of lights. She excelled at it. In fact, I've been so impressed with how great of a job she has done! On the other hand, when I gave her 24 chairs to cut the tags off of, she had a hard time remembering what she was supposed to cut and how much to cut. So that task became a bit labor intensive requiring a lot of oversight. Not to mention that she was breaking the law by removing the tags hahaha! It's all trial and error... living and learning... experimenting and adjusting. None of it is easy. All of it is hard. We are all exhausted. But we are doing the best that we can as we trudge forward... and spending quality time together along the way. Thank you Birddog for all your help!