Badges & Backpacks’ Board Members, donors, and volunteers recently participated in a Hike & Learn of the Ozark Highlands Trail. The Hike & Learn allowed Badges & Backpacks’ staff to experience a portion of the trail that will serve as our Fall Inaugural Expedition and for volunteers to experience nature therapy.


Our participants started at the beginning of the Ozark Highlands Trail and hiked 19-miles, through sun and rain, to end at White Rock Mountain. Hikers were tired at the end of the 2-day Hike & Learn but left with a feeling of accomplishment. Here is a testimony from one of our First Responder participants:


“I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to join you on the latest hike of the Ozark Highlands Trail. I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I have never been hiking before but the guidance you provided allowed me to take on the challenge and successfully accomplish more than I ever thought I was capable of. I was able to step out of my normal comfort zone and truly experience nature at its finest without all the distractions of normal life. While the trek was difficult at times, it pushed me to limits that I wasn’t sure I could endure. I found an inner peace just hiking with friends with a common goal. I now feel stronger and more self-confident knowing that I can overcome difficult situations, one mile at a time. Since I have returned home from the trip I find myself missing the peace and serenity of the trail.”


We are currently accepting applications for our Fall 2018 Inaugural Ozark Highlands Trail Expedition. Applications will be accepted through July 31st. We invite First Responders, nationwide, to “Find Strength in Nature.” First Responders who participate in our program will be outfitted with all equipment to ensure success on the trail and to have the ability to continue with nature therapy long after the trail has ended. To apply for the 2018 Fall Inaugural Ozark Highlands Trail, please click here.

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