A recent cancer survivor and regular participant of the program, recently said this about the hiking program:
You can walk at whatever pace, and there is always someone to chat with, or you can amble along on your own and marvel at the natural beauty. But you've got good people always available who can really understand what you've been through, yet we don't need to talk about it. We're all here for the same reason, now let's just enjoy the outdoors! It really has helped with my stress and my outlook; I feel more positive after our hikes on Saturday.
Another participant, said the following:
These are the kinds of groups you pray for. Once they get going they can go on indefinitely, and I look forward to my trail to recovery.
Program director Justin Harmon understands that a cancer diagnosis comes with "challenges that affect identity, physical ability, and emotional well-being".
The program is based on the principles of nature-based therapy. It provides opportunities to hike and experience the beauty of nature, and to build relationships with people who are living with similar experiences.
Hikes are offered on a weekly basis with guides from the faculty and graduate students of the Department of Community Therapeutic Recreation at UNCG.
Justin Harmon's research focuses broadly on
health and aging, and specifically on the use of leisure for coping and identity maintenance for people with serious and terminal diseases. He also uses music for improving quality of life, and life course development.