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         2025 Will's Hope Veterans' Programs 
   
If you are interested in our 2025 programs please contact us by 31 August 2024 so                we can include you in development of our 2025 programs. See note 1.
Note 1: This does not guarantee acceptance but gets you on our radar so you can be included in the process of developing which programs (women, men, prior participants) will run and approximate headcounts

 

2024 Programs for Veterans & Other Qualifying Personnel*
 

Summary of  Will's Hope (WH) Program for Veterans & Other Qualifying Personnel  

Veterans and personnel in other critical vocations have many strengths & capabilities that can be overlooked by society.  This can lead some them to under appreciate their value to society.  Will's Hope (WH) is an opportunity to help individuals frame their life experiences & see their situation in a positive manner while helping energize them for the future. WH is an outdoor educational, growth & self-healing opportunity for participants using the outdoors, nature and Native Americans as self-discovery and self-enabling mechanisms. This immersion program is specifically tailored for individuals affected by PTSD, TBI, depression and other conditions & presented commensurate with the abilities of the group. Programs take place in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE).  Similarly, active duty, first responders, public safety and healthcare personnel can experience PTSD, depression and other potential debilitating conditions.  In 2024, if we have not received sufficient pre-applications from military veterans by 20 January 2024 we are opening slots for the 2024 program to active duty, first responders, public safety and healthcare personnel. 

                                                                      2024 Programs (dates subject to change)

   20 Jan 2024 - Military Veterans - pre-applications due

 

  3 Feb 2024 - Active Duty, First Responders, Public Safety & Healthcare Personnel Pre-Apps Due 

 

  28 Feb 2024 - Applications Due (with medical physical)

  8 Mar 2024 - Orientation 

  9 Mar 2024 - Mandatory Hike in the Colorado Springs area

   

  26 May - 3 June 2024 - Women (the women veterans' program has been cancelled for 2024 - if you are interested in future programs please contact Mark Squire 719-210-5625) 

   

  7 June - 15 June 2024 - Men 

  7 November 2024 - Annual Will's Hope Dinner

   

   Fee for 1st time attending participants is $400 (of this at least $200 

   must be paid by the participant). 

     

   Fee for returning participants is $800 (of this at least $200 

   must be paid by the participant).

      More info:  See documents below or call Mark Squire 719-210-5625

             

Will's Hope is recruiting 5-6 persons for each program.  This immersion program is an opportunity of a lifetime and will offer many benefits to individuals that appreciate the power of the outdoors and its value to humans.  Some of the benefits you may realize are:

  • Learning about a diverse natural world from World Class instructors,

  • Connecting with or reconnecting with nature,

  • Experiencing Native American cultural & historical knowledge that is relevant to veterans,

  • Realizing that your unique experiences are strengths,

  • Observing large mammal wildlife, raptors and other wildlife in their native habitat,

  • Comradery and bonding with others in a small group,

  • Solitude in one of the most beautiful areas in the world,

  • Allowing yourself to be stretched in a positive & meaningful way,

  • Participating in many other outdoor oriented activities,

  • Gaining a deeper appreciation of the diversity and importance of the natural world,

  • Learning in an engaging environment that significantly less than 1% of visitors to the GYE ever have an opportunity to experience. 

  • In summary, the program will provide multiple opportunities for each individual to take advantage of.  It is up to the participant to use the opportunity to help them, in a way that they choose, on their individual journey.​

                       Please scroll towards bottom of this page for important information & PDF documents

 Information for Veterans  & Others* Interested in Attending Will's Hope

*Military veterans interested in attending Will's Hope must submit a pre-application by 20 Jan 2024.  After this date slots will be open to active duty, first responders, public safety and healthcare personnel.

 

  •  Contact Will's Hope and let us know of your interest as soon as possible.  To assist you please review the documents at the bottom of the page and look through the photos/videos for the 2023, 2022 and 2021 veteran programs so you have a good idea of what's involved and what the requirements are for participating in Will's Hope.   To see the 2023, 2022 & 2021 photos please hover the cursor over the Veterans tab at the bottom of this page.  Point of contact is Mark Squire at 719-210-5625 or email us at willshopeinfo@gmail.com,

  • If you are interested in attending/applying there are some pre-requisites/requirements (not all are listed below):

    • Submission of a Pre-Application.   

    • Having a personal hiking program so that you can hike 3 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet - this may be waived in certain specific individual situations.  

    • Complete the full application,

    • Complete a physical signed by a doctor, NP, PA or other qualified medical professional,

    • There maybe several interviews involved,

    • Attend the Orientation - this is mandatory and includes out of state participants,

    • Attend the mandatory hike, 

    • Acceptance for a Will's Hope Program is finalized after all documents are received and accepted by Will's Hope and all other requirements have been met.  This includes submission of the required fees in a timely manner, 

    • Ensure you can afford the time to participate in the 9+ day program.  It is extremely important during the programs that you can avoid distractions, be in the moment or in the present, and participate with your peers in the activities.  For example, excessive use of the phone during program activities negatively impacts you as well as the rest of the group.  Typically, after dinner is when activities start to taper off and downtime is scheduled, which is the best opportunity for making calls.  Similarly, if you have a personal situation that requires a lot of your time during the program - and this is likely going to be a distraction that not only impacts you but impacts the group and it will likely diminish not only what you get out of the program but what your peers get out of the program.  The two previous examples are just examples and there are other unwanted issues that are not conducive to our mission or your success,   

    • Be open to learning about subject matter areas that are new to you - this includes but is not limited to wildlife, natural processes in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (e.g., earthquakes, mass land movement, thermal features, etc.), geology, natural resource conservation, Native American culture, etc.

    • If horse riding is on the schedule there is a weight limit of 250 pounds per person, 

    • You actively participate in scheduled activities,

    • You will be required to self-certify that you can benefit from Will's Hope and have a disability or disabilities - you won't need a diagnosis but if you do have a diagnosis you will need to include that on the Pre-Application/Application,    

  2024 Brochure Will's Hope Programs for Veterans & Other Qualifying Personnel

          2024 Schedule for Men Veterans

 2024 Will's Hope Summary of Programs for Veterans & Other Qualifying Individuals 

 Will's Hope Voluntary Ground Rules for 

   Participation by Military Veterans, Active

       Duty, First Responders, Public Safety,

            Healthcare & Other Participants

         Sample Pre-Application  

     please do not submit an unsolicited

  Pre-Application;  please contact us first 

     Medical Physical

       for Will's Hope  

Point of Contact for the Veterans' Program is Mark Squire 719-210-5625

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