What is the Trailblaze Challenge?
The Trailblaze Challenge is a 26.6mile hike where participants can tackle the terrain of the Catoctin Trail - all in one amazing day! This is a hike, not a race, and caters to all levels from novice to advanced outdoor enthusiasts. As well as being an extraordinary physical test, the real challenge is to raise much needed funds to grant the wishes of children in the Mid-Atlantic region with critical illnesses. A wish gives children renewed energy and strength, brings families closer together and unites communities. By supporting the Trailblaze Challenge, you will help Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic grant even more wishes this year.

What's included in my hike experience?


  • Group training hikes led by Austere Medical Professionals
  • Suggested training hikes and training plan
  • Online fundraising page
  • Fundraising guide and tools 
  • Coaching and support provided by the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic staff
  • Hotel accomodations on hike weekend (Friday & Saturday)
  • Transportation to and from the hotel and trail on hike day
  • All meals Friday through Saturday during event programs and throughout the hike
  • Trailblaze Challenge duo-dry shirt and hiker swag bag
  • Aid stations at multiple locations along the trail
  • Snack and hydration
  • Wilderness medical support and search & rescue 
  • Enouragement! 

Is there a fee to participate?
Each Trailblazer will be asked to raise a minimum amount of funds to cover their expenses and to help Make-A-Wish continue its mission to grant the wishes of children with critical illnesses. A $100 personal donation is requested at the time of registration and will be credited toward your overall fundraising goal. The Trailblaze Challenge is open to the first 70 registrants.

Are pets allowed?
Pets are allowed on the first few (shorter) training hikes. If you interested in bringing your pet, please check with Sarah Bates prior to the training hike. After that, we ask that you please not bring pets, as pets are not allowed on the trail for hike weekend.

How will I reach my goals?
Make-A-Wish will support all hikers every  step of the way by providing each participant with a personalized fundraising webpage, as well as sponsorship and fundraising materials, tips and advice. Each Trailblazer will be provided with a specialized training program and will be invited to attend monthly group training sessions hosted by Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and informal meetups.

Is my information secure?
Yes. We use industry-standard SSL encryption techniques to make sure that your credit card information, passwords and personal information travel securely over the Internet. There is an encryption engine on our database server so that your data is securely stored.

How is credit card information handled?
Credit card information is not stored in our database. During the donation process, we send donor credit card information to an online processing terminal using a secure connection. The information passed back is an approval or denial of the credit card donation. 

I forgot my username and password. How can I find out what they are?
Remember that your username and password are case sensitive. Click here to find your password. You will receive separate emails with your username and password.

How can I see who has donated to me?
Go to the login section on the site. Enter the username and password that you used when you registered for the event. In your Participant Center, click on "View Progress". You will see Donor Name and dollar amounts in the Donation History section.

How can I view my team's activity?
Log in to the site using your username and password, and then click on the ‘My Team’ tab. This will allow you to view your team roster and the amounts raised by each team member.

What do I do with check or cash donations that I receive?
You will send your check or cash donations with a donation form to Sara Mond at our Bethesda headquarters – 6555 Rock Spring Drive, Suite 280, Bethesda, MD 20817. She will add it into the system and count it towards your fundraising goal. Please be sure to print out the mail in donation form and include it with your cash or check donations.

All of my donors are not showing up on the scroll mechanism. Why?
As your supporters donate to you or your team, they have the option to make their name visible or anonymous in the scroll. Please contact smond@midatlantic.wish.org with questions.

How does Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic utilize the contributions?
To get more information on how Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic uses contributions, please visit our website at https://midatlantic.wish.org.

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