Saturday, September 24, 2022

ANOTHER INCREDIBLE BIOLUMINESCENT ADVENTURE!


31 paddlers soak up the amazing glow of the bioluminescent waters of Tampa Bay! We had a blast last night with the young adult ministry of Calvary Chapel Fellowship as we YAK'd & SUP'd (...& swam... & water blaster war'd) in this fascinating underwater phenomenon called bioluminescence. Every movement in the water triggered what looks like a beautiful blue underwater torch that visually pleases the eye. It's so fascinating... you're eyes just can't get enough of this radioactive looking underwater glow. What an incredible local treasure to be able to experience with such a fun group in a Christ-centered atmosphere. Thank you Jesus! We love you CCF!
 
 
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Thursday, September 22, 2022

NO MOON WEEKEND = PERFECT BIOLUM VIEWING CONDITIONS!


We are running another GLOW Bioluminescence Paddling Tour this Saturday night 7p-11p in the Safety Harbor area. With no moonlight this weekend it will be perfect biolum viewing conditions! Only a few weeks left before this amazing phenomenon fades until next year.

 
 
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Monday, September 19, 2022

A GOOD TIRED! ...A MONTH OF PROGRESS! ....7 BIOLUM TRIPS IN 12 DAYS!

 
Usually when we get back from our summer trips I take a week to do as little as possible then transition to getting caught up on office work & relationships. The office work can really pile up while away for 2-3 months. I never look forward to those "piles" as I call them LOL. However, this year we returned to a wide open door of adventure opportunity right here in our own backyard - bioluminescent paddling tours! One of our top GTDers - Stacy Meunier - discovered this opportunity in July and really pushed for GTD to get involved... and I'm so glad he did! Wow, for so many different reasons, I love these trips! I get giddy like a little kid each time we do one! In fact, we ran 7 tours (big trips & small trips) in 12 days. People love this experience!! And so do I! On tour nights I'm usually getting to bed between 2-3am. But I'm a night owl so I don't mind that. These trips have opened up a huge door for GTD for night paddling trips (bioluminescence tours, full moon paddles, midnight paddles, sunset paddles, etc) and I'm ABSOLUTELY THRILLED about it!! In addition, I've been able to return back to spending quality time with my Mom & Dad since I got back. There have been a lot of family developments over the summer and I look forward to sharing those things in another post. And on top of all that I've had a great friend who has been setting aside 1 day a week to help me work on my house... we have gotten more done in 3 full work days then I've been able to get done in a year so that has been a huge blessing & help!! I've also had some hard deadlines for admin work that I've had to squeeze in along the way. It has been go, go, go since we got back a month ago. I'm tired, but it's a good tired that comes from nonstop satisfying hard work, but you have real progress & new developments from your efforts. Needless to say, my office piles have only gotten bigger since the vast majority of my work has been physical labor, but I'm chipping away at my admin work every few days. Chip, chip, chipping away on the office work as we run through this new door of opportunity God has opened wide for us! We have at least 3 more bioluminescent tours this week, and I can't wait for each one. We were blessed to put tours together for a public group, a singles group, a few awesome families, a dear friend from Costa Rica, and a few other great friends. It has been a great month of progress & new developments! Still behind on many things, but very optimistic about the potential that lies ahead. PTL!!
 
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Sunday, September 18, 2022

IT'S TIME TO "GLOW" THE DISTANCE AGAIN!! ...NEXT PUBLIC GTD BIOLUMINESCENT TOUR THIS SATURDAY NIGHT!

 


Back by super duper popular demand is our newest event >>> GLOW!! 

Register today for our 4 hour bioluminescent paddling tour scheduled for this Saturday night (Sept 24th 7p-11p) in the waters of Tampa Bay.

Cost is $30/person

All details are on our website HERE

Go straight to the Registration Page HERE

Spots will go fast so register asap to lock in your reservation!!
 
Check out all that we offer for this event on our website... including an optional hydro scooter ride thru the bioluminescent waters... if you're brave enough ;) 
 
 
 
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Saturday, September 17, 2022

SHABANG POSTPONED (NEW DATE TBD)

Unfortunately we have to postpone the free new SHABANG event that was originally scheduled for Sat Sept 24th. We've been so busy since returning back from our summer trips that we haven't had enough time to build the website, promote the event, or adequately prepare for all the different aspects involved. Thankfully most people have no idea what event I'm referring to because we had not fully promoted it yet. For those who did know about it and were planning on attending, I'm very sorry for the inconvenience. New date TBD.
 
 
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Friday, September 16, 2022

AUNT SUE - A LIFE WELL LIVED!

 
I was blessed to attend the Life Celebration Service for my amazing Aunt Sue earlier this week in Richmond, VA. She went to be with the Lord just a few weeks before her 93rd birthday. She is THE BEST OF THE BEST! Her joy, her smile, her positivity, her zeal & zest for life, her unconditional love, her ability to see the best in everyone she met, and her unwavering commitment to Jesus is nothing less than legendary to me. It seems like whoever she met she could instantly see your full potential and instantly believed in you and immediately became your biggest fan. She couldn't see your failures or mistakes. She could only see who you were capable of becoming. Everyone needs a Sue Ward in their life! Along with her husband, my Uncle Joe (my Mom's brother who passed away from Alzheimer's about 10 years ago), they raised 6 fantastic boys - which is an amazing legacy & lifetime achievement by itself. In 1988, in my first week of college I tore my ACL the same day I made the cuts for the baseball team. I was devastated. My dream was shattered. It was the last time I ever played baseball. That same week I received a book in the mail from my Aunt & Uncle called "Holy Sweat" by Tim Hansel. It was about a Christian man in California who ran an adventure ministry. That book changed the trajectory of my life. I don't know if an adventure ministry would have ever been on my radar if they would have never sent that book AND if I hadn't blown out my knee to sideline me enough to stop being so physically active and actually sit down and read that book. From their perspective it may have been a kind, loving, & simple caring action to send that book, but it was one of the most significant moments of my life to receive that book. And that sums up Aunt Sue to me... she simply & authentically cared about people... she naturally gave to people her smile, her love, her belief, her emotional support, her infectious joy... it was just naturally who she is and what she does... but to be a recipient of such "simple" caring actions is so significant... it can be the "book in the mail" that changes a person's day, a person's week, a person's perspective, a person's life. I couldn't wait to see her at our family reunions, now I can't wait to see her in Heaven. God has probably already promoted her to head greeter in Heaven. Hers was a life well lived, and now she dances with Jesus... with an even greater joy than she oozed here on earth! You are one in a billion Aunt Sue! Thank you for a life well lived!
 
 
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Monday, August 29, 2022

BASKING IN THE GLOW OF BACK-TO-BACK NIGHTS OF BIOLUMINESCENCE!!

  
Saturday night was nothing less than amazing as we took our second group out on an unforgettable night of paddling and playing in the bioluminescent waters of Tampa Bay! Our bodies glowed like underwater radioactive extras in the upcoming Avatar sequel! As you would expect, our bioluminescent night was full of GLOWING REVIEWS ;) 
 
 
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Saturday, August 27, 2022

BIOLUMIN-EXCELLENCE!!!

 
 We hosted our first ever GTD bioluminescence paddling tour last night with 24 fun-loving adventurers!! It was SPECTACULAR!!! Aaaaaaaaand right here in our own backyard in Tampa Bay!! Many of us were swimming in this spectacular plankton filled phenomenon... we were glowing!! It was like a fascinating scifi movie, but in real life! I would wish this bucket list experience upon everyone. Soooooo stinkin' awesome!! Cool invention God!!!
 
 
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Thursday, August 25, 2022

THANK U!

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We have returned from our summer Adventure Trips in GA, TN, & NC!! They were powerful and extremely impactful... many young people gave their lives to Christ, many rededicated their lives to Christ, and many more were refreshed & renewed as they continue on their journey with Christ. Outdoor adventure ministry is alive and well... it's another branch where God is at work bearing much fruit for His Kingdom & His Glory. Thank you to everyone who partners with this ministry in many various ways - participants, volunteers, donors, prayer warriors, encouragers, staff, phone callers & texters, (the list goes on) - your investment of time, talent, & treasure makes this ministry function... you share in the fruit because you helped buy the seeds, you helped buy the watering hoses, you sowed, you tilled, you watered, and you helped with the harvest. Your personal sacrifices helped pave the way to day after day after day of eternal victories all summer long... for 26 straight years! GTD is functioning at a very high caliber... everyone loves this ministry and the events we offer... they can't wait to come back... I say that to God's glory and to commend & thank you guys who each add your own specialness & unique joy that makes this ministry a great blessing to many people. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I hope to share little blurbs & pics over the next few weeks to help illustrate what I'm writing about right here.
   
Right back at it... We already have 2 more events this weekend!
   
I've had to put a lot of things on the back burner to run our summer events. Now I'm tackling those back burner items one day at a time - 3 months of mail, 3 months of financial entries, 3 months of catching up on texts - phone calls - emails - relationships, years worth of way overdue home improvement projects, etc, etc... and most importantly helping my parents.
   
More updates to come... sorry for many months of rare responses to comments and messages on social media... I literally couldn't keep up with anything more than putting posts up when we had cell phone service. I hope to do a better job as I work to get caught up. =) 
 
 

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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