About Us

We are sisters. We are nothing, yet everything alike. We enjoy being together so we thought…why not hike for six months on a trail?

We Neufeld girls were born and raised near Freeman South Dakota…home of Schmeckfest. We both attended Freeman Academy and have been very active in church choirs, Sunday School and committees. We both have a strong faith in God and we believe that He guides every step we take.  Our parents (Ray and Anita) are excited and nervous about us taking this trip. But, we have assured them that we have planned more extensively than Bill Bryson in A Walk in the Woods.

Alison will turn 29 on the trail and has worked as an RN for the past 7 years. She has been bitten by the travel bug which has taken her to far flung places such as New Zealand, Africa, and California. While doing the trail wasn’t exactly a dream of hers, she was easily persuaded by Renee’s extravagant ideas. She has adopted a ‘why not?’ attitude to life, so this fits right in. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Renee turns 32 in February, but often she is told she looks like a college student. Guess that’s what she gets for working with youth. When explaining the trail to others she has been dubbed ‘crazy’. This is not the first time this label has been bestowed. Her goal is to run a marathon in every state, and she has completed 25 plus DC. Renee enjoys working with youth, singing with Alison, volunteering and eating Mary’s (Swan Lake Christian Camp’s cook) food.

Here is why we are doing this trip:

Swan Lake Christian Camp has made a profound impact on countless lives, including our own. Both of us have been involved in Swan Lake all of our lives. First as campers, then counselors and staff. Renee also has served as Program Director at Swan Lake for the past 9 years.
Swan Lake holds camps for kids ages 4-18 during the summer and February and hosts adult and youth retreats throughout the year.
The camp is in the process of fundraising for an addition to their lodge. This will help bolster the ministry that takes place at camp.
It has been a dream of Renee’s to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. As we started making plans we decided to do this as a fundraiser for the Swan Lake building project. This 2,170+ mile adventure will start in April of 2012 and finish in October.
We are excited to give back to the camp as we have been so blessed by it ourselves.
We welcome your contributions both monetarily and through prayer.
All donations will go toward Swan Lake Christian Camp’s building project.
Let’s make a difference for Swan Lake!

We could not do this without your support and prayers.

Thank you!

Renee and Alison


More information in our fundraising letter.

  1. My mom was raised in the Freeman community and went to camp at Swan Lake as a kid. I was raised in Kansas but we had countless family reunions out there growing up. My uncle sent me a link to your blog and I just wanted to say hi and that i have loved reading your blog and hearing about your adventures on the trail. Get it girl(s)! 🙂

    (daughter of Jean Ortman Detrich, granddaughter of Delmar & Maxine Ortman – they attend Salem Zion church.

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