Example Site Message: Click to Edit/Replace Text

Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

Open Doors Outdoors 

Opening doors of hearts, minds and bodies in the outdoors!

ODO Multi-Distance Farm Run

Early registration is now OPEN! Few new additions: 5K, 5 Mile Ruck, (weight to be announced shortly) and a 10 Mile Run (2 loops of 5 Mile course). Because of your participation we were able to raise $7700 last race to support our Veterans, their families and young people. If you'd like to be a sponsor, please reach out, WE NEED YOU! We are super excited to see everybody the Saturday after Thanksgiving ready to run and enjoying a Hops on the Hill Beer (included in the registration fee)!

2019: Mission Accomplished

In 2019, ODO's participants and volunteers finished 34 hikes and accumulated over 85,000 feet of elevation gain. That's comparable to climbing from the Base Camp on Mount Everest to its summit almost eight times! Our hopes are to double that number going in 2020! 

We couldn't have taken one step without your amazing support. Thank you!

ODO Mission

To take Veterans, their families and young people into the outdoors for re-connection, healthy activity and healing.  

ODO Photo Gallery

The Outdoors are healing and restoring lives

Time outdoors changes people’s nervous systems,” says UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner, “It is as effective as any PTSD intervention we have.”

“We hope to make public lands part of a common healthcare prescription,” Stacy Bare, Sierra Club Outdoors director. 

“We found that nature decreases the trauma response, improves cognitive function, and promotes healing,” Razani says. “Our study showed that park visits increase resilience in children. It doesn’t take away the adversity in their lives but it buffers stress. Hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate normalize in nature.” Nooshin Razani is a pediatrician and director of the Center for Nature and Health at Children’s Hospital Oakland in California.

COVID

 

To all of our friends in the great ODO community:  


I wanted to take a few moments to share with you some of the efforts the ODO team is undertaking during this crazy time to protect the health and well being of our veterans and staff.  Covid has impacted everything this year, and ODO is no exception.  We had to put our early 2020 planned missions on hold, while the states grappled with slowing the spread of the virus.  Thankfully, many of our sponsors, and many of you continued to support us.  We were able to restart our missions in June, and so far we've successfully executed more than a dozen missions.   
We've made some changes to our usual mission planning and execution in order to protect our folks, their families and the greater communities which host our operations. 


These changes include the following: 
- Mask wearing when in enclosed spaces or in close proximity to people- Social distancing of at least six feet when in enclosed or outdoor spaces

- Clients provide their own transportation

- Clients provide their own food, or purchase en route

- Health and temperature checks prior to starting missions

- Wiping down equipment provided by ODO and providing hand sanitizer


While we've taken these precautions, there have been instances when social distancing and mask wearing were not adhered to, as shown in some of our popular social media posts showing veterans completing summit hikes and other missions.  Going forward, if not part of a "family unit", mask wearing will be mandatory for such photo opportunities.  


I'm reminded of a quote from General Norman Schwartzkopf, Jr.  "The truth of the matter is you always know the right thing to do.  The hard part is doing it."  Like you, we've struggled with what is the right thing to do during this time.  In the end, we've come to the conclusion that taking these steps will help to keep people healthy and should also help to stem the anxiety many people have about participating in group activities - we want to continue to running missions and helping as many veterans as we can.  In brief, we think it is better to take these precautions than not to take them and risk people getting sick.  

In the service of others.
Davey Edwards   

Reviews


What a great experience with Open Doors Outdoors. I was able to participate on several hikes with a group of our teens and these hikes came with expertise and a whole lot more I wasn’t expecting. I am a religious affairs airmen in the Air Force and we talk about Comprehensive Fitness, meaning how can we be mentally fit, spiritually fit, physically fit, and socially fit. Davey Edwards and the Open Doors Outdoors organization has created an experience that helps people encompass all four legs of comprehensive fitness. Being outdoors is medicine in itself. Some of these hikes were not easy but Davey Edwards did not rush you, he stood by you, encouraging you and giving positive reinforcement the whole time. It was a great time to reflect on who you are as an individual and a member of a team. I learned that even when my body is saying no I can’t go any further, my mind can be made up to finish the course strong and proud. As a youth leader it was awesome to watch our teens finish the hike with pride and it was also great to hear their feedback on how much slowing down life and getting outdoors gave them new perspective on what truly matters and is important in life, taking time to hike up and down a mountain gives you a lot of time to reflect. I am hoping that sometime in the near future I can take some of my airmen on a Open Doors Outdoors journey.

-Jessica Chenery (US Air Force)


Open Arms Open Hearts. After a recent hike with some fellow Vets I can personally attest to the therapeutic benefits experienced while 'out and about' with ODO. My service dog Annie and I were well received and Davey was very accommodating to us both. Always making sure we both were comfortable and safe. Solid commitment to Veterans, Youths and Canines. :-) We are looking forward to future outings. Blessings.  

-Jeffrey Bizzarro (US Army)


The founder of Open Doors, Davey, met with me about partnering with Crossroads Student Ministry. I immediately loved his vision and mission. I was also drawn to Davey’s enthusiasm and passion for lifting up others.

We took a total of three hikes with our group we called, “expedition hike”. The teenagers and parents who joined absolutely loved the experience of getting away for the day and just being out in God’s creation. Davey was an amazing host and truly watched over our team.

If your looking for an organization that cares about veterans and building parent/teenager relationships, this is the place to connect.

-Sterling Key (Youth Minister / Crossroads Community Cathedral)


My son and I have been on a few hikes with ODO, and each one has been thoroughly enjoyable. It’s great getting back out into the woods and connecting on a different level. My wife Giselle Beloff and I are grateful to have met and befriended Davey Edwards. He’s a caring soul who places others above himself and this will benefit many people for years to come. It’s great to see a Veteran helping other Veterans in such a simple yet rewarding way. 

-Chris Beloff (Army National Guard)


Davey from Open Doors Outdoors came to Veterans Base Camp and presented his program to the Veterans that live and volunteer at Base Camp. Davey was enthusiastic, genuine and easy to understand when he shared his mission to help veterans to experience healing through the camaraderie on the hike, the beauty of nature and the physiological benefits that exercise has on our nervous systems. The hike was well planned, Davey is great with communicating all that we needed to know for the hike and everyone agreed they can't wait for the next one!  

-Cindy Archibald (Director / Veterans Base Camp) 

ODO Operations

Operation: Case Mountain 

Tallest mountain in Manchester, Connecticut 

Elevation: 744'
Round Trip: 2.8 Miles
Mountain range: The Manchester Mountains

Leave Base: 0800
Arrive Trail head: 0830
Summit: 0930
Return Trail head: 1000
Return to base: 1030


Operation: Mount Greylock

Tallest mountain in Massachusetts

Elevation: 3,491′
Round Trip: 4.8 Miles
Mountain range: The Berkshires Mountains

Leave Base: 0800

Arrive Trail head: 1000

Summit: 1145

Return Trail head: 1245

Return to base: 1500

Operation: Mount Monadnock

Most climbed mountain in North America

Elevation: 3,166′
Round Trip: 4 Miles
Location: Jaffrey, New Hampshire

Leave Base: 0800
Arrive Trail head: 1000
Summit: 1145
Return Trail head: 1245
Return to base: 1500

Operation: White Mountains

Tallest mountains in New Hampshire

Elevation: 4000′ +
Round Trip: 7.9 Miles
Location: Gorham, New Hampshire


Leave Base: Night Before 
Arrive Trail head: 0700  
Summit: 1100 
Return Trail head: 1600
Return to base: 2100


How Can You Help?

The cost for all four trips is $1690 per participant which includes a final overnight hike in the White Mountains. Donations pay 100% of the costs for all program participants. Participants will be provided guided adventures, transportation to and from locations and all meals.

You can help in a couple ways:

  1. You can give a one-time donation or a monthly commitment of any size to go towards expenses.
  2. You can sponsor a Veteran(s) or young person(s)  for all four adventures!
  3. You can approach your employer or others on our behalf for donations.

Board of Directors

Brenden Healy

Controller

Code name: Tax Man

Father of 5 and committed to his community. Brenden is a Tax Partner at Whittlesey and loves spending time outdoors with his wife and kids. His financial expertise and commitment to helping others will take ODO and it's participants into adventures for many years to come!

Ray Long

Advocacy / Vice Chairman

Code Name: Ray Man
Father of two wonderful girls and husband to the incomparable Carolyn, Ray is a long-time hiker, runner and triathlete with a passion for travel, the outdoors and the environment. Ray’s day job is Senior Vice President for external affairs at Clearway Energy Group, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the United States, where he is responsible for public policy and advocacy. When Ray is not working or running, he’s usually traveling with his family. 

Al Chin

Preventive Safety 

Codename:  Mr. Prepared

Al is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the ArmyNational Guard. He serves as the Preventive Medicine Officer, keeping his troops safe in all environments and combat ready. He has faithfully served our country for 27 years and "absolutely enjoys helping his military comrades." Al works full time as a Quality Assurance Supervisor with Defense Contract Management Agency. He is a family man with a lovely wife and two very energetic children. His favorite family time is spent outdoors playing sports and family golf.

Jessica Chenery

Team Welfare / Secretary

Codename:  The Chaplain

Jessica is proudly currently serving as a Master Sargent in the 103 AW CT Air National Guard. She was deployed overseas as the Superintendent of Chapel Operations for the 103 AW United Arab Emirates in 2017. She loves her husband Jerry, being a mom, serving her church and managing her coffee shop in Glastonbury, Connecticut named "A Cup of Joy Coffee and Tea". She also enjoys hiking and traveling with her family!

Matthew Mund

Activities and Fitness 

Code Name: Fit Man

Matt is a proud father of 2 and resides in Glastonbury CT with his wife Megan. He owns mission FITNESS where the goal is to help each member find their path to their best self. Through commitment, hard work, consistency, healthy lifestyle and a motivating support system all of us can achieve whatever we set our minds to.  He recently did 3144 pull-ups in 12 hours to raise money for Veterans.

Ernie Vigue 

Accounting / Treasurer

Code Name: Money Man

As a manager at Bloom Shapiro, Ernie has over 20 years of professional experience in the non-profit sector, including reviewing and preparing financial statements; preparing budgets and forecasts; grant reporting; and developing financial policies and procedures.

Ernie is passionate about all things fitness and outdoor related. He'd also be lost without his wife and best friend, Dawn.

Davey Edwards

Founder / Chairman

Codename: Jarhead

Served proudly in the United States Marine Corps and worked as a Mortgage Banker for 12 years. A father of 3 amazing children and an ultra runner. Davey has run across the entire state of Connecticut in 41 hours, completed the Tahoe 200 Mile Endurance Run, multiple other 50 to 100 mile foot races and has accumulated over a 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT). His passions are his faith, family and sharing the outdoor life! Wilderness First Aid Certified (WFA)

Volunteers 

This organization would be at a loss to serve without our volunteers who share their experiences and passion for life with others.

Matt Freiman

Matt is a Combat Veteran having served in Afghanistan and is passionate about helping Veterans. Loves training and running ultra marathons with his wife and being in the outdoors!

Cindy Driscoll

Cindy is a Speech Pathologist and has been hiking since she was a kid and has conquered mountains all across New York, California, Oregon and Washington. She lives in Glastonbury with her husband and 4 kids. Loves hiking because the mountains feel like "home" no matter where they stand!

Mark Guasta

Mark was the superintendent at Hartford Detention Center with the Judicial Department. He retired after 21 years with the State of Connecticut and now sells personal and business insurance. He lives in Glastonbury with his wife Tina and three children. He enjoys hiking with the family and playing golf with friends.

Patrick Harrington

Patrick is a US Marine and is our first ODO participant to complete our program and be invited on board as a volunteer. He served five years as a 0621 and deployed twice with Battalion Landing Team 3/6, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Pat's passions include weight training, hiking and harassing his sister every chance he gets. Welcome aboard!

Amy Edwards

Amy is an educator in the endurance world and within the public school system. As a teacher with her Master's in Education and as a multi-sport coach, she loves helping others pursue their dreams, embracing  the learning process. 

 Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

Kona Lee is a gentle Labrador Retriever that will be present at any adventure will she will be helpful to all participants!

The Bridge of ODO

A bridge is intended to form a connection between two things. The bridge of ODO was originally built around 1780 and is hidden on a back road in an old farming community. The locals say when you cross that bridge something beautiful happens... and it does. Crossing over you shift from a busy, cluttered place into a place where your mind is opened to an old way of life, a natural way of life. Whether wading through a brook or climbing the tallest mountain in New England, Open Doors Outdoors will help take participants over "bridges" in nature that will open doors in their hearts, minds and bodies. These bridges will help them recharge and regroup to head back to their life with a new found peace and confidence.

ODO Vision

The vision of this non profit is to help Veterans, their families and young people get "unstuck" by exposing them to the outdoors. The founder, Davey Edwards, is a Marine Veteran. Dealing with trauma is not an easy thing for anyone to do. During one of the more challenging times in his life he was encouraged to complete a program provided by the VA and has never regretted that decision. In addition, he has always been amazed by the power of getting outdoors and how that has helped to clear his mind, help him refocus and ultimately restore a sense of confidence. Always looking for opportunities to give back and to help people get back on their feet, Davey established Open Doors Outdoors. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, charitable organization it was founded with the mission to share outdoor adventures with Veterans, their families and young people. Open Doors Outdoors (ODO) will bring Veterans in the area on hiking "operations" throughout New England, take young people exploring local woodlands while learning about wildlife and bring families together for a time of sharing in the outdoors. Through events like these, ODO seeks to help folks to find some peace, refocus, be challenged and have a lot of fun in the process. We will be providing our dedicated group of donors with periodic newsletters and access to our closed-group Facebook page. We want you to be part of our family and to share in the experience you are helping to create for others. 

ODO Corporate Supporters

  TruNorth Construction

We build homes based on QUALITY and HONESTY, but the the most Important thing we build is RELATIONSHIPS.

Go Gear Direct

Introducing GoGearDirect: The gateway between those who make great things and those who want to pack great things.

   NOVO Precision

Novo is a progressive supply chain partner with world class engineering and continuous improvement capabilities.

  mission FITNESS

mission FITNESS was founded in 2008 on the principle of helping people be the best version of themselves. 

Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.  

We offer the financial strength and stability that comes with being part of the world's preeminent insurance and reinsurance brand.   

Partners

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Putting philanthropy into action to create lasting solutions that result in vibrant communities within the Greater Hartford region.

The Peter P. Monaco Jr., Detachment 40 of the Marine Corps League

Detachment 40 endeavors to honor the sacrifices of those who serve honorably by enhancing their lives and the lives of their families, both at home and abroad.

HelpVet.Net

We help Veterans, Active Military and their Families with Discounts, Benefits, Resources, Programs, Jobs & More.

Do you have any questions? Is there a Veteran or young person that you'd like to sponsor?

Please let us know. 

Hike 1= Case Mountain, Manchester, Connecticut

Hike 2= Talcott Mountain, Simsbury, Connecticut 

Hike 3= Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, New Hampshire

White Mountains Hikes will vary based on weather