Our 10th annual Washington to Washington trip takes us to Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most picturesque places in America. Capped by Empire Dunes, the area includes forests, lakeshore beaches, and massive sand dunes to explore. We’ll be camping nearby, outside Traverse City, and making day trips to the 17 Blocks screening in Traverse City and to Empire Dunes for hiking and Lake Michigan for swimming. We’ll manage to work in some canoeing, horseback riding, and a whole lot more hopefully!

This trip is a chance for these kids to see animals out in the open rather than at a zoo; to swim in refreshing, crisp, natural water in ponds rather than the local chlorinated, public swimming pool; to help build campfires and cook dinners (and make S’mores!) over the fire rather than making a quick stop at the drive-thru. This is a chance for these kids to hike for hours without ever hearing a honking horn or touching a paved street. We want to offer them a special experience that is altogether new to them, one that just isn’t available where they live.

Want to help these kids explore the Great Outdoors? Visit our fundraising page!

Here’s a look at our 2019 itinerary:

Tuesday, July 30

  • 6:00 – 9:00 pm — Pre-trip Bar-B-Q in D.C.

Wednesday, July 31

  • Leave D.C., driving vans toward Michigan
  • Arrive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
  • Evening Activity — Set up camp, get settled, and cook dinner

Thursday, August 1

  • Morning: horseback riding, canoeing, beach day at Bryant Park in Traverse City
  • Afternoon: 17 BLOCKS screening at Traverse City Film Festival
  • Evening: Games, cooking dinner, and ghost stories

Friday, August 2

  • Morning/Afternoon: Empire Dunes hike and swimming in Lake Michigan
  • Evening: Possibly State Fair, campfire and ghost stories

Saturday, August 3

  • Morning/Afternoon: 3rd Annual Field Day Olympics
  • Evening: Closing Ceremony around the campfire, and present Hiker Awards

Sunday, August 4

  • Morning: Pack up and leave Michigan
  • Afternoon/Evening: Arrive to D.C. and drop of kids

Help this trip become an ongoing reality! Even $1, $5, or $10 makes a difference.