The Mid-Atlantic Hiking Group's mission is to promote physical, mental, social, spiritual, and emotional wellness through connecting with nature. We are proud to offer, in conjunction with The Institute for Integrative Health, specialized opportunities for those who have served our nation. This partnership is designed to provide social outdoor recreational opportunities that will be positive and beneficial to both the vets we serve and those who have the opportunity to give back and be a part of something larger than themselves.
We believe that while anyone can suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, and other health issues, the experiences faced by many veterans may make them more susceptible to these ailments and that handling these issues is an important step toward improving their well-being. While there are many activities that can alleviate stress, we believe that spending time outdoors in a wilderness setting can be especially therapeutic, particularly when that time is spent with a group of fun and supportive people. Participants will be a part of a study that seeks to answer the question "Does spending time in a wilderness setting help to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, improve energy, or improve one's sense of self-worth?" Thus, this partnership and program is about improving the lives of veterans and assessing the impact of connecting with nature to relieve stress. We believe the answer will be a resounding yes, and we are confident that all who join us will see their lives made greater and more fulfilling! We look forward to helping vets take the first step toward a healthier and happier tomorrow and invite you to join us in our efforts.
Funds raised by the Veterans Hiking for Health campaign will go toward supporting our first Veterans Hike Across Maryland event. This event will be a 5-part hike on the Appalachian Trail across Maryland, covering 41 miles in 6 to 10-mile segments on 5 dates from September 16, 2017, through November 11, 2017. We are committed to ensuring that veterans can participate in these events free of charge! Donations like yours can help make this program a resounding success and ensure that the most vets possible get to take advantage of this opportunity. Some costs associated with the event include providing several hike leaders for each hike, shuttle services from parking lots to the trailheads, T-shirts for the participants, first aid supplies, and a celebration on Veterans Day at Harpers Ferry to give thanks to all of our volunteers and congratulate our vets for their successful completion of the program. A donation of $50 today could buy a vet the experience of a lifetime and a second chance at a healthy and happy life.