A note from Maman on the Trail:
Meet Michael, Aaron, Joshua and Chase, humans of the outdoors, and the folks behind G.G.C. (Guys Going Camping) Southeast. These guys live South Carolina and get outdoors together in fellowship and service, just the 4 of them and with others. Here is their story…
On their time outdoors…
We usually take day trips every week, and we try to go on extended trips, and bring others, once a month. We are lucky to have a unique National Park nearby in the Congaree Swamp and various state parks. We enjoy a nice hike along the Chattooga River in the upstate of South Carolina.
For shorter trips, we generally decide on a park and trail and then advertise on social media. We take those hiking that show up. Sometimes we provide lunch and/or prizes, so we have people sign up and this lets us plan for food. We try not to make it too complicated, so the planning is very minimal. Plus, we all have full-time jobs and families, so we have a good deal to balance.
Extended trips take more planning. We usually plan them way in advance. We meet together and plan out all the details. We then advertise on social media and have people sign up. Some trips there are small fees to help us cover supplies, campsite fees, etc.
On creating G.G.C. Southeast…
In March of 2015, the four of us longtime friends went on a kayaking trip and camping trip on Otter Island, SC. While on the island, we discussed the desire to grow a group that could help people enjoy the outdoors. We believed that all too often, people are so consumed with the daily schedule of life, and that being outdoors gives us a chance to disconnect from that and re-energize ourselves to be better leaders in our families, workplaces, and communities.
On what G.G.C. Southeast means…
Our mission is to foster a love of the outdoors by growing a community of outdoor enthusiasts through fellowship and service in the outdoors.
The acronym “G.G.C.” stands for Guys Going Camping. The original idea of G.G.C. Southeast was to create opportunities for men to get outdoors together. While that still remains the focus, we are certainly for helping anyone get outdoors! To achieve our mission, we hope to create monthly opportunities for men to gather outdoors, through Bible studies, or through social gathering events. The “Southeast,” stands for just that. Our original idea was that we would be camping in the southeastern part of the United States. Again, this was the original idea, but by no means a limitation.
Although “Guys” is in our title, our mission is really to connect anyone with the outdoors. We currently have been trying to grow our group and reach out to others. We usually plan various extended hiking/camping/outdoor trips each month. We also provide short day trips for the beginner outdoors enthusiast. We have a goal to eventually reach out to disadvantaged communities to give them outdoor experiences.
On building fellowship among members…
While we would love to be in the outdoors everyday, it’s unrealistic to even try to plan it! Luckily, we believe in building community and fellowship in other places beyond the forests or rivers. Periodically, we hold social gatherings at some of our favorite restaurants/pubs or attend an event together that’s not outdoors related. This provides a more causal, no need for fancy gear, kind of atmosphere to grow friendships, plan the next trips, and enjoy a good time. Even for the beginner, it’s a good way to get to know people before heading out on an adventure with them. While we host these gettogethers periodically, we encourage members to build their own community by planning their own meetups and adding them to the G.G.C. calendar.
A little Q & A…
Q: What is your go-to adventure snack?
A: Homemade beef jerky
Q: What piece of gear do you never leave the house without?
A: Firestarter! We usually go with Ultimate Survival Technologies. We love the company and they have been so helpful to us over the last year.
Q: What is your favourite nature quote, and who said it first?
A: “Real freedom lies in wilderness not civilization.” ~ Charles Lindbergh