GET ACTIVE: Trailblazing Hope Outdoors inspires Dayton area youth to climb to new heights

Snowboarding, ice skating, climbing, pedaling, and paddling – the Hines kids have done it all.

“They come home tired and they had a good time,” mom Angelina Hines said. “As a mom, that’s the best feeling.”

Hines’ children, who range in age from 10 to 15, are regular participants in Trailblazing Hope Outdoors wide range of programs. The local nonprofit organization, that began in the fall of 2020, provides free outdoor recreation and education for Miami Valley youth.

“They get to experience the outdoors and learn things they probably wouldn’t have,” Hines said. “They are in a positive, safe environment and having fun.”

The Dayton mom has seen the positive impact on all her children.

“My oldest son is very adventurous kid, he’s my daredevil, he’s not scared of anything,” Hines said with a smile. “My youngest son has ADHD, so he gets to move and learn which is really good for him.”



These stories are music to Jonathan Slider’s ears. The Trailblazing Hope Outdoors founder and executive director created the organization to “to empower youth through access to the restorative beauty and challenge of nature while fostering their physical, intellectual, social and spiritual development.”

Slider and his core group of volunteers provide between 35-45 experiences a year for kids in fifth through 12th-grade. Winter meant snow tubing and ice skating and the spring series kicked off with riding adventures at Mike’s Bike Park.

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The program will soon climb to new heights as the Trailblazers will be heading to Wright State University for indoor and outdoor climbing and rappelling. Starting with the 26-foot indoor rock wall at the Wright State Student Union, the participants can learn the basics and build their confidence before testing their skills on the 51-foot outdoor tower.

While the learning is geared to the young Trailblazers, Slider has also learned plenty from the program’s eager and excited participants.

“The cool thing is being able to learn and understand the kids’ perception of riding a mountain bike or climbing a tower and seeing a kid falling in love with something,” he said.



Slider has gained a whole new perspective on the program as his own daughter is now old enough to participate.

“There was a moment last fall when she was struggling and got off her bike and ended up walking the trail,” he said. “And another time we went, and she said, ‘Dad, can we stay longer?’ It’s cool to have those moments as a parent.”

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Trailblazing Hope Outdoors has worked predominantly with youth in Greene and Montgomery County but is hoping to expand its reach to include local youth organizations. The programs are open to all adventure seekers in middle school through high school.

For more information, visit or Trailblazing Hope Outdoors on Facebook.

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