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Team Member Updates

Welcome to the Beauty for Ashes "Moving Mountains" Benefit Hike!  We are excited that you have decided to join us!  This page is for participants only!  Please check out the information below for information and updates pertaining to the hike! 


Important Information


HONOR: We join as a TEAM to climb mountains for the families God entrusts to our care at BFA. Our annual hike is in HONOR of the life of one of our sweet graduates who is in our hearts always...Jessica Grosvalet

Josh Zello - TEAM and hike leader

Cindy Zello - Josh's assistant :) 

Dates: June 20th - 24th

Base Camp: Big Meadows

Arrival: June 20th - 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m (set up camp)

Departure: June 24th - 8:00/9:00 a.m. (break down camp early and head out) *We usually have breakfast together at Big Meadows Lodge on our way out)

Hikes: June 21st, 22nd, 23rd - three 10 mile circuits, moderately difficult, hikes each of these days - early rise, breakfast, lunch and snacks while hiking, yummy dinner at camp when we return. Specific hike details will be provided once we've decided which trails we will take. It would be wise to begin to get in shape for the hikes. :) Josh and I can provide a suggested "training" plan if you need help with this. 

Meals: All meals are provided - breakfast, lunch, dinner and some snacks 

June 22nd: Everyone eats lunch on their way in and Mark Russak always makes his "famous to us" mountain pies - grilled over the fire-grilled cheese, cheese pizza, pepperoni pizza - for dinner and fruit - usually blueberry, cherry, and apple (I think....) for dessert. 

Sites: We have main team sites already reserved at Big Meadows campground in Shenandoah National Park as well as several others surrounding the team sites - bathrooms are all very close and quarter operated showers are not far

Tents: We tent this, so if you have your own tent (or hammock) you would bring that. If not, BFA has several team tents. I would just need to know if you need to use one of ours. We all have tent mates other than those who would prefer sleeping in their hammock or bring a one man tent. BFA does not have one man tents. We have tents for 2 with room. 

Main Gear: You will need good hiking boots or shoes that are well broken in, good socks, back pack, water bladder or bottle, clothing that is suitable for hiking (not crazy expensive stuff), sleeping bag and pad, hiking poles (if you so choose), rain gear. BFA may have some of these items as well as others on the team, so we'd discuss your needs and go from there. 

Other stuff: snacks, quarters for showers, shoes for around camp, toiletries, bug spray, sun block, etc. We will discuss all of this as well. 

Expense: park entrance (I think it is 30.00- carpool if you can), registration is 100.00 - helps with all of the food and supplies, assigned item (everyone will also bring an assigned contribution like - paper towels, napkins, zip lock bags, trash bags, Gatorade, soda bottled water, in park firewood, etc.)

FUNDRAISING GOAL: every year, we try to raise $25,000.00 - each team member does their part to gain sponsors or to personally contribute to this goal. Most of the mothers/children we take in are destitute and have no support outside of what BFA provides for them. It's a huge financial undertaking and the hike provides much-needed, financial resources. I've always imagined raising more than this....who knows, maybe this is the year! 

TEAM: I can't explain what this hike does for each person who participates every year. Maybe it's why the core of the team just keeps coming back! Clearly we love the mission of BFA, but we also love one another. The hike is not easy and there aren't the conveniences that we are all used to (although I think we do pretty well at making it comfortable), AND we push ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. We all come together for a great cause and it outweighs and adds dimension to the difficulty. We are a TEAM! The push physically, mentally, and spiritually translates into the hard that our mothers and their children go through at BFA. They face mountains and ascend/descent them every day! 

*If anyone in this email (besides Mark Russak and Mike Zello) would prefer not to hike but would like to help at the camp with everyday responsibilities and meals, you are more than welcome to join and be a part of the TEAM in this capacity. :) 

Gear List

Participant Gear List

We will be setting the base camp at Big Meadows Campground, so pack for a "pull up" car-style campground.

⍅ 1 suitcase or duffel bag to keep at camp
⍅ 3 pairs of athletic shorts or pants. These will be for hiking - so whatever you are most
comfortable in. However, do not bring sweatpants for hiking.
⍅ 3 short sleeve athletic shirts
⍅ 1 rain jacket or rail shell of some sort (rain pants if you have them/want to use them)
⍅ 1 fleece or heavier jacket for nighttime
⍅ 3 pairs of hiking socks (I highly recommend wool socks in medium cushion)
⍅ 3 pairs of regular socks for camp/sleep if you would like
⍅ 3 sets of athletic undergarments (try as hard as possible to steer clear of cotton)

⍅ 1 pair of hiking boots. If you don't have boots, there may not be time to break a pair in, so whatever
tennis shoes you have that are most comfortable and have the greatest tread, use those. These
hikes have rocks and the concern is your ankles, but if tennis shoes or hiking shoes are what
you have, then you will just take special care while you are hiking.
⍅ Hiking Poles
⍅ 1 pair of camp shoes (keens, sandals, chacos... whatever floats your boat)
⍅ 1 pair of shoe gators if you have them (not necessary if you don't)
⍅ 1-day pack between 25-35 liters (can provide one if you don't have your own)

⍅ 2 Nalgenes,
or a single 2-liter bladder pack (you can also bring two 1-liter plastic bottles from a gas station or
⍅ sleeping bag or blankets (something with a 30-40 degree minimum will suffice)

⍅ sleeping pad
or thick blanket to lay on (null if you are using a hammock) please let us know right away
if you are hammocking - BFA is providing one large 8-person tent for the women on one site and
a couple of others on another site for the men.
⍅ headlamp or flashlight
⍅ a pillow
⍅ 3 one-gallon zip lock bags
⍅ 2 trash bags
⍅ any type of trail snack you prefer for the three-day period (breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be
⍅ toiletries (be sure to store them in the one-gallon zip lock)
⍅ 1 pair of sunglasses (polarized if you have them!)
⍅ 1-2 bandanas or neck gaiters
⍅ 1 brimmed baseball or umbrella-type hat
⍅ if you have contacts, be sure to bring backups or a pair of glasses
⍅ Non-sweet-smelling Essential Oils are totally fine on this trip
⍅ Camp clothes (you can bring whatever you want for this) I recommend something semi-warm.
Think the mid-40s to mid-50s at night.
⍅ 5 bucks in quarters if you want to shower at night
⍅ shower supplies
⍅ a towel

⍅ a bible
⍅ a good book or two (depending on how fast you read), or an E-Reader
⍅ a journal
⍅ a pen
⍅ a camera or cell phone that you want to use for pictures
⍅ Any medicine that may be necessary. We recommend bringing antacids and Advil on
hiking/camping trips. We will have some on hand if you forget.
⍅ A knife for whittling around the campfire. We will have a sharpener if you dull it!

⍅ You may
want to look at investing in a portable charger for your phone. They are super cheap nowadays
and would be a great way to keep your phone going! We will not be able to plug everyone
phones into car outlets throughout the day
⍅ water purifier if you have one (not necessary if you don't)
⍅ feminine products
⍅ cleansing body wipes

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