What is the Trailblaze Challenge?
The Trailblaze Challenge is a 28.3 mile hike where participants can tackle the terrain of the Foothills 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 S.C. 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 grant more than 200 wishes this year.
What's included in my hike experience?
- Specialized training program including a workout calendar and bi-weekly group hikes
- Training Clinics: hiking shoes, socks and other trail essentials, hydration and nutrition and cross training
- Support and coaching from experienced hikers and staff
- Hotel accommodations on hike weekend in (3-days/2-nights)
- Trailblaze Challenge shirt for hike weekend
- Trailblaze Challenge bandana for training hikes & hike weekend
- Transportation to and from the trail on hike day
- Friday night dinner party to carb load before the big day
- Trail support at multiple locations throughout your journey, including hydration, snacks, first aid and encouragement
- Saturday evening post-hike celebration to share trail stories
- Sunday post-hike victory breakfast before heading home
- Inspiration through Make-A-Wish wish stories and interactions with wish families
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 75 registrants.
Are guest and pets allowed?
Guests (two-legged and four-legged) are allowed on the first three (shorter) training hikes depending on venue restrictions. After that, we ask that you please not bring guests or pets, and guests and pets are not allowed on the trail for hike weekend.
Is this only for experienced hikers?
Not at all. This is not a race, it's a journey. Trailblaze Challenge is open to novice hikers as well as advanced hikers.
How will I be ready for 28.3 miles? Must I attend training hikes?
Training hikes organized by Make-A-Wish South Carolina are not mandatory but are highly recommended. They will help you build endurance, acclimate to length and elevation of hikes, allow our team to understand your physical endurance levels to build the best experience for you, build camraderie and team spirit with other hikers taking on the challenge, and most of importantly, to learn more about wishes and the profound impact you make by taking on the Challenge. You'll learn more about training hikes during the free information meeting.
I've heard the terms 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. What are those?
1.0 is the original Trailblaze Challenge hike - tackling the Foothills Trail from Whitewater Falls down to Oconee State Park (28.3 miles.) Many hikers choose to take on the Challenge a second time and we call those alumni, "Retreads." 2.0 and 3.0 are consecutive hikes tackling different sections of the Foothills Trail and are ONLY open to alumni who have completed the 1.0 hike due to the difficulty levels of the 2.0 and 3.0 trails. 2.0 and 3.0 are only offered in the fall season.
How will I reach my goals?
Make-A-Wish will support hike participants each 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 bi-weekly group training sessions and informal meet-ups.
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?
Turn your check or cash donations in to your local event coordinator at your local chapter office. They will add it into the system and count it towards your fundraising goal. Make 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 with questions.
How does Make-A-Wish utilize the contributions?
To get more information on how Make-A-Wish uses contributions, please visit our website at wish.org/sc.
How is Make-A-Wish responsibly conducting this program?
Make-A-Wish South Carolina and Trailblaze Challenge practice the principles of Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace information helps public land visitors understand and practice minimum impact skills and ethics.
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