First Descents hero program

Healthcare Workers to Receive Free Outdoor Adventures From CO Nonprofit

First Descents will provide free overnight expeditions with a variety of activities to those ‘on the frontlines.’

Colorado-based nonprofit First Descents has provided outdoor programming and experiences for thousands of people with serious health conditions over the years. Thanks to a partnership with the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, the organization has created a new program for healthcare and frontline workers.

The nationwide program, called HERO RECHARGE, is a series of free programming for workers who have been fighting against COVID-19.

“Doctors, nurses, and first responders are on the frontlines of the most devastating health crisis of our generation,” said Ryan O’Donoghue, executive director of First Descents.

“Our goal is to address this trauma through unforgettable outdoor adventures that will nurture supportive peer relationships and give these heroes the respite and renewal they deserve.”

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HERO RECHARGE will offer overnight programs, including rock climbing, rafting, yoga, and more. The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation will provide all lodging, gear, outfitter instruction, and food free of charge.

In other words, it’s an opportunity for healthcare workers to heal and recharge in the outdoors. The programming will also focus on wellness: to combat traumatic stress and anxiety workers have experienced.

HERO Programming Details

First Descents hopes to launch the program in late summer or early fall. (Start dates could shift depending on public health directives.) Some programming is open to both healthcare workers and their families.

If you’re a healthcare professional, check out the application here.

If you aren’t a healthcare worker, you can donate to the program. It’s time to give thanks, give back, and get outside.

Mary Murphy
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Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, CO office. Her outdoor interests span from climbing to landscape photography to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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