Friday, August 25, 2023

3rd surgery in 4 months

Please keep Dad in your prayers this morning... he is going in for his 3rd surgery in 4 months for repositioning of his dialysis stomach port. The port keeps getting blocked. He is worn out from all the surgeries and has been dreading today for the past month, but still he is all "thumbs up". It's supposed to be outpatient surgery so hopefully he will be back home recovering tonight :) 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


"The word 'silly' comes from the old English word 'selig,' and its literal definition is 'to be blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous.'" ~ Zig Ziglar
This is a picture of some of our Staff & Volunteers being silly just before working hard to set-up camp for a 5-day Adventure Trip with one of our church groups this summer :) . 
One of many things I love about this ministry is that we make laughter and fun one of our top priorities!

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


A few weeks ago we ran our biggest Adventure Trip ever for 15 fUntastic families from Calvary Church of Clearwater. They LOVED the trip!! How much did they love it?? Well, if leaving a tip for our workers is any indication of how much they loved it then I think it's safe to say they loved it a WHOLE LOT!! These awesome families combined to leave our crew a $1400 tip!! How generous and cool is that! It took us 10 days to run a 5 day event with all the pre & post event set-up & break-down. We have some of the BEST, big-hearted, self-sacrificing, hard-working, Jesus-loving volunteers on the planet... many times our events are special because of how God works through our volunteers. And, although they are simply there to serve with no thought of receiving any tips, they are very touched by the love & appreciation that the Calvary families are showering down on them! Pictured here are our Staff & Volunteers from this event - mother & daughter dynamic duo Katherine & Katie, 16 year old phenom Riley, goat man Stacy, our newest volunteer poker face Andrew, and old man Doug. These people did a tremendous job turning a 5 day camping trip into a lifelong memory for 75 people! Thank you so much GTD workers!! And thank you so much Calvary Church of Clearwater families!! Lord willing, we are already looking forward to our next Adventure Trip with you in the summer of 2024!

Monday, August 21, 2023


Despite a lackluster bioluminescence glow at Friday night's annual GLOW Bioluminescence Paddling Event in Safety Harbor our crew of 44 people still had a good time enjoying an awesome sunset, a surprisingly wonderful nighttime temperature, a fun nocturnal paddle on Tampa Bay, some healthy exercise, and some good fellowship. 
The bioluminescent plankton were there, but we got on the water a little too early and didn't get to experience the level of darkness needed to really see the amazing bioluminescent bright blue glow. We also had the artificial lights of a nearby sports stadium to contend with till 10pm. The tradeoff to getting started too early was that we got to see an incredible Florida sunset from on top of the Tampa Bay waters!

We put a lot of work into preparing for this event and cleaning up from this event so huge thanks to Jan, Carson, & Lauren with the prep work and Laurie & Dad with the clean-up. All-in-all it took 5 days of work in some pretty brutal heat to run this 4 hour event! We love & cherish our Volunteers & Staff!! Thank you guys!

Aaaaaaaaaand a HUGE THANKS to Cocoa Kayaking for donating 15 AMAZING Perception Rambler Tandem Kayaks (at the beginning of this year) that helped make this fun adventure possible and comfortable!! You guys rock! We love our generous supporting businesses!
Aaaaaaaaand another HUGE THANKS to our PHENOMENAL donors & supporters who make FREE events like this possible!! 40 participants & 4 GTDers were very blessed by this event! We love you guys!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2023


One of many things I love about being a part of this ministry is how much kids can just be kids! (Even older kids-at-heart LOL). This picture was taken on Lake Rabun during our last Adventure Trip with about 45 kids that were part of an event for families. The pastor was playing all kinds of games & challenges on this awesome platform in the lake... it was such a gooood day!! :)  

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


OH MY GOODNESS!! The Men's Ministry (plus 1 awesome woman) from Calvary Church Seminole Campus was PHENOMENAL!!! Teamed up last Saturday with these incredible people, IN ONLY 4 HOURS mind you, we insulated one full side of our 40 ft storage container, insulated the entire top, added framework (still has to be plumbed, level, & squared) for more insulation & future siding, built a mini shed, pressure washed most of the vinyl fencing to be installed, & dried out 2 tents!! They were like professional construction workers!! Plus we had breakfast, devos, lunch, and I made about 10 new friends!! I love the Body of Christ! I love the church! It was a great day of progress in 110 degree "feels like" heat!! Thank you soooooo much Chris, Stacy, & Collin Yates for making this volunteer work day happen!! And thank you Men's Ministry of CCS for surrendering your day to bless GTD!! God bless you new friends!!!

Friday, August 11, 2023


It has taken 3.5 years, but we are finally insulting the GTD Storage Container (shipping container)!! This has become our #1 top work project priority. We needed to do this several years ago, but had to put it on the back burner with all the family health challenges. The inside temperature of this metal container goes well over 125 degrees in the summer heat so up until earlier this year I only stored items in it that were not affected by high temps. When my Dad moved over in the winter I needed to move $20k of our top quality backpacking gear from inside my house into the "Green Monster" (that's the nickname I gave it 20 years ago because all the sides are green and I love baseball). The only way I could allow myself to do this is on the condition that I had to insulate it before summer. Unfortunately we ran out of time and I couldn't get it done before our summer trips started. I can't tell you how sick to my stomach it has made me knowing that all of our great expensive gear has been just sitting inside baking like an oven for the past 3 months. I'm just praying that the there is no damage. This weekend we have a fantastic group of big hearted volunteers coming over to help us clad the outside of the Green Monster with exterior insulation. We had Home Depot deliver all the materials yesterday and Carson and I have been doing 3 days of prep work so the volunteers can hit the ground running when they arrive tomorrow morning. We have attacked all the surface rust with rust remover and rust inhibitors... and applied Henry's Tropi-cool 100% Silicone White Roof Coating to the roof which is designed to reflect about 90% of the sun's heat & UV rays.
As the old saying goes, better late than never! I hope that's actually true in this case!! One of my main responsibilities is maintaining and preserving all of our gear and equipment... trying to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to us, especially as a non-profit. I'll post updates along the way. If you want to work outside in record high temps with no shade then this is a great project to volunteer for haha! Let me know if you want to help finish whatever we don't complete tomorrow... we will be working on it over the next 2 weeks (as well as running events).
A HUGE THANK YOU TO THE WILDER'S who allowed us to use the Green Monster for FREE for many years on their business property... THEN DONATED THE GREEN MONSTER TO GTD ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO!! This thing has been a huge blessing to me & GTD and made managing our "non-climate impacted" equipment soooooo easy & convenient!! Now we are going to make it the ultimate 320 square feet year-round climate controlled storage unit!! Lord willing :)

Monday, August 7, 2023


We returned last week from running a 5-day Adventure Trip in north GA for 15 families from Calvary Church of Clearwater. Ages ranged from 2 to 52. It was our 3rd year in a row hosting Calvary's event for families, and each year it grows in size. This year it increased to 78 people - our biggest 5-day event ever!! I'm so blessed to share that they didn't just have an awesome time, they had a God-awesome time!! 
We ran this event right after returning from a 2-week Mission Trip to Costa Rica so we are waaaaay behind on updates & social media posts so I look forward to sharing a lot more pics and fun stories.
On a side note, several of us got sick during our travels and have been laid up for the past week+. PTL, we are all on the mend now!
Special thanks to Associate Pastor Justin Facenda and his amazing wife Carie for all the love & hard work they poor into their church families and for making this event happen each year! They are the best of the best!!
PS: This picture was taken deep down inside of Tallulah Gorge next to "Sliding Rock"... wow, what an epic unforgettable family adventure this day was!!