Trailblazing Hope Outdoors offers adventure and education
The program has more than tripled the number of participants from 2020 to 2021 and Slider expects this growth to continue. Partnerships with Five Rivers MetroParks, Greene County Parks and Trails, Wright State University Campus Recreation, Athletes in Action, Beaver Creek Wetlands Association, Mike’s Bike Park, RiversEdge Outfitters, and the Miami Valley Orienteering Club have enabled the organization to provide a wide variety of events and experiences, all free.
What started primarily with Greene County students has expanded to include Dayton residents, including DECA Middle students like 11-year-old De’Anthony.
“My son is a gamer but now with Trailblazing Hope Outdoors there is a balance,” Pernell said. “It’s his niche.”
There are plans to expand the organization’s offerings, including its first one-night summer camp at Germantown MetroPark. Camping, fishing and hiking will be just part of the fun for young adventurers.
Do the experience
Trailblazing Hope Outdoors focuses on recreation, education, and conservation through a combination of outdoor programs and adventure experiences.
Outdoor programs vary by season, with this year’s winter program covering Leave No Trace, basic first aid awareness, basic land navigation, connectivity and mindfulness. The spring series will focus on conservation with naturalist-led hikes, a trail clean-up day and a river sweep day.
April’s Trailblazers Adventure Experiences will take them to new heights as they try indoor rock climbing at Wright State for the first three Saturdays, followed by outdoor rock climbing on April 23. They will end the adventure with a trip to Athletes in Action High Ropes Challenge Course in Xénia.
With conservation being one of the guiding principles of the organization, the creation of lifelong outdoor stewards is a priority.
Trailblazing Hope Outdoors has several certified Leave No Trace trainers among its volunteer ranks, teaching best practices to young Trailblazers.
“We want them to understand it’s not just about playing,” Slider said.
They got to work, collecting over 200 pounds of trash last year.
And the learning extends beyond the young participants.
“De’Anthony is exposed to all these different activities, and he can teach us now,” Pernell said.
To learn more about Trailblazing Hope Outdoors, visit www.trailblazinghope.com.