I just sat down in my reading chair and read your book from cover to cover. It is the first time I really relaxed and read your book. Your writing style embodies who you are, how you think, how you feel, and clearly expresses your love for family and life. It is a wonderful journey. Your story about Jason covers so many paths and you pulled them all together. It should be required reading for Degrees in Outdoor Education. Your book helps define the field of Adventure Education and Wilderness Therapeutic programs.
I did read your ever evolving manuscript many times and discussed parts and chapters endlessly with Nancy. I had difficulty with what you were attempting to accomplish. It seemed you were trying to write a book about Jason, about you, your family, Outdoor Education, and the meaning of life. It seemed too much.
For my part I had just retired from the Wilderness School with mixed emotions. I had so much of my heart and spirit invested. It was as if I gave my child away. And then you wrote your book. It took me back to the meaningful life at the Wilderness School that I seemed to have just walked away from.
Thank God for grand children! My meaningful life continues…..
I am glad you wrote the book (I love it) in many ways; for you and your family, for the out of doors community and the Wilderness School.
Job well done. Keep writing! And if there ever should be a book on the Wilderness School I recommend the author John Hunt.
Best of luck on your new book.
Give my best to Rosemarie and your growing family.
Tom Dyer March 14, 2015
I really enjoyed reading Walking With Jason. I related to the book in three ways. I found it to be part parenting, part adventure, and part grieving. It has motivated me to continue our family’s connection with nature so we can all enjoy the beauty and benefits of nature and people together.
Jody Crane November 29, 2014
My name is Connor. I met you at the adventure conference earlier today and we spoke briefly. I ended up purchasing one of the books and just now am finding myself in a slot of time where I've been able to sit down and read some of it. I'm nearing the section of the book titled "Leading from the Heart", which will likely be my stopping point for tonight, however I found it necessary to send you an email with first impressions, as you suggested, not that I wouldn't be sending this otherwise.
Obviously the impressions were strong enough to motivate me to get online and contact you. I am thoroughly enjoying this reading and after finishing "Painted Toenails (Jason Revealed)" I find myself in awe and riddled with inspiration as I'm just finding myself with a growing passion for climbing in my own life. I hope to keep reading and learning more about Jason's life as I do so. I just have to thank you for this wonderful and sincere documentation of such a passionate life. Its truly something to strive for.
Connor Vranizan November 7, 2014
sorry i havent responded sooner, i was waiting to finish the book. seems like i have too much on my plate, and not enough time to read!
although i'm far from a literary critic, i must say: "WELL DONE!!" I'm impressed with your ability to deliver an informative and entertaining description of what inspired Jason, rather than a pure reflection/lament on his loss. that subtle quality allows your book to reach many people who never knew him, but have a deeper connection in wilderness, using it to therefore support their cause. you should be proud; as it is evident you put an extensive amount of work (and love) into the book.
ive been struggling recently, trying to renovate our house in colorado springs is more than i expected. Just this past week God led me in my devotionals to Haggai 1:1-11 (a book i don't remember ever reading to be honest). I've been reminded that God's house and His work take precedence, will budget accordingly, and be a better steward...i'll make a contribution on the 1st.
thank you for your understanding.
Steve Scheper September 29, 2014
I am a graduate of Stonehill College Class of 1967.
I purchased your book in June after seeing it on Amazon.
The coincidence of your name, Stonehill College and Jason's age compelled me to get the book.
Your son obviously had the same maturity you possessed in college and had his goals well defined.
We have a son, now nearing 40, who shares the same interest in outdoor life of hiking and rock climbing.
He participated in Outward bound in the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest many years back which cemented his own drive as a self starter.
I am glad I could find the book and the connection to your work of sustaining your son's passion.
I am also glad that the timing of the donation may serve to help your young lad find his life compass.
I wish you continued success for you and those young people you are trying to help.
Jim Thompson September 21, 2014
Thanks for sharing Jason and his all-too-brief but inspiring life with me. I enjoyed meeting you at the Paddlefest volunteer dinner. Your book is quite inspirational and a real tribute to Jason's memory! Please accept my donation for the important and life-changing work you have undertaken.
Joe Ewalt May 22, 2014
Thanks for the nice note and thanks for the work you're doing to help kids.
I'm feeling a bit the poor teacher this year, but hope to give at least a little each year to honor the work Jason did, and that so many of my friends are currently doing. Hope you're well.
Mary Beth Burch May 19, 2014
John, Jason would be so proud of your writings. They are expressed in such a thoughtful and personal way in this book. Your avocation and ongoing commitment to the work of supporting youth in transition through outdoor experiential education programs is a wonderful legacy through which Jason and all that he stood for will live on and benefit youth in transition for many generations to come. I also really appreciated the ease with which I was able to use PayPal on the web site to make a recurring monthly donation using either a credit or debit card. I know that every gift, large and small, counts and the recurring PayPal option not only helps to ensure the funds to continue your work but also provides a unique opportunity for all of us to make our own little difference! God bless you and your mission.
Bill White July 11, 2014
Hi Mr. Hunt, I've been meaning to message you....I finished your book this week. I really would love to discuss it in person, but until we have that opportunity I just wanted to share what I took away from it. Honestly I opened the book several times before this week and just didn't know if I had the strength to read what I thought was going to be a sad story. So I put it back on my shelf. I think it was for a reason.... For our third wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, Jason and I went down to the smoky mountains and hiked about 15 miles on the Appalachian trail. It was an incredible few days. I came home and was called to read your book. I think I was meant to have that experience on the AT to get the most out of your book. Although I say that I knew Jason, I think it was more like, I knew he was Amy's brother, extremely handsome and interesting. I never truly knew how Jason viewed the world and more importantly how many people's hearts he touched in such a small time. I loved the book for that reason. I got to see who Jason was and how he lives on in so many special memories. I loved the deep spirituality of your writing. I enjoyed how you brought to the book your life experiences and taught me how to think about things such as empathy, listening and respect. You made me think about being present in the moment. At 34 I do not have the morals and life outlook that Jason did at such a young age. I gained so much from those teachable moments throughout the book. Although I knew you had a foundation to help at-risk youth and I knew you were passionate about keeping this legacy of Jason alive, I truly had no idea how you and your dedication to the foundation impacted these kid's lives. You should be very proud and don't stop! Although you have not yet completed your goal of hiking the AT I honestly have to say that I think this book was your calling. The reason I say that is: had you hiked the AT it would have consumed time and energy yet given you such personal joy and closure. With writing this book you were able to focus on your mission and disseminate that to many others, like myself. I wouldn't have gained from your AT hike and I am so thankful I was able to gain from your book. I have always held a soft spot in my heart for you and think you are an amazing man. You should be extremely proud of your work! Thanks for expanding my thoughts. All my love, Nicole P.s. I love that Chelsea wore pearls!
Nicole Winther Auton 10/20/13
Finished the book. You did a great job capturing the essence of Jason's work, who he was, and the power of therapeutic wilderness programming. I think that many wwc [Warren Wilson College] students will enjoy and connect with what you had to say. It was a really nice balance of sharing your personal journey/perspectives/emotions and overview of what some excellent programs have been doing..
Ed Raiola, Professor Warren Wilson College 9/25/13
...I have been so emotional reading Walking With Jason, that I had to put it down for a little while. I am planning to send you a note in which I will share a few more things with you, along with a donation, but for now -- I want you to know how much I have enjoyed getting to know Jason better and for sharing your journey of grief and healing. I had to put it down because I think with Brittany on the cusp of turning 21, I have been able to put myself into your shoes in a way I never could when he died. Brittany was much younger -- still in elementary school -- and so I guess we fool ourselves into thinking we can protect them when they are young. But now -- the story is different. She is far beyond my protection and it's a "let go and Let God" walk that I go through now. I cannot imagine the heartbreak that you and Aunt Rosemarie have endured all these years.
I especially can identify with the reality of how our children have such independent lives, full of people they interact with that we don't always know about. What a gift of spirit and of heart Jason shared with all who came in contact with. I think he reminds me a bit of my brother, David, in terms of their independence and love for the outdoors. You are a great writer, dad and an amazing advocate. Thanks for sharing a piece of your heart, of your soul and of your hope in the healing of love and memories -- with the world.
Kathy Hunt Siwald, Allen, Texas 9/10/13
Society OF Professional Locksmiths News Blog Entry July 27, 2013
....To bad I had not read this book 50 years ago. It would have helped a lot when it came to interacting with our children and better understanding why people act or react as they do. I am more apt these days to read a Tom Clancy novel than I am "Walking With Jason". To bad! I have been missing a lot.
Sam Sofia, Dallas, TX
...I haven't finished the book yet, but I am very impressed with it. I (LightHeart Gear) has gotten to the point where I'm ready to 'give back' to the trail.... I think I now know where I want my 1% to go, and that's to the Jason Hunt Foundation. ... 30 years as a nurse, I've always worked with people, I've worked with Boy Scouts, I now have a 4H club. I think getting people (youth) into the woods will develop into more people getting out and protecting the planet, - this feels more like finding out why the babies are in the river in the first place!
Also, I'm sorry I never met Jason, it seems the very best are always taken too soon.
Judy Gross, Owner LightHeart Gear, Fletcher NC
John, I am well into your very moving book. I am learning a great deal, not only about experiential education, but about you and your wonderful family.
Richard J. Burke, Founder, Catholic School Management, Madison, CT
After finishing the book Richard wrote and called the book "moving and profound."
It brings me such joy to see his beauthiful smile. - Sarah Bruns
Rosemarie.... I read his book, Walking with Jason, which is far more than a book…..it’s a testament to an incredible life lived by Jason….as well as incredible recollections, perspectives, appreciations, and love as viewed by John and all those who knew this wonderful young man!!!! Thank you for keeping Jason’s drive, spirit and other-centered attitude alive!!!!
Barb Dardy, Retired School Administrator in an e-mail to Rosemarie as formatted.
....I wanted to donate both to help the foundation and get the book, especially after reading the mission statement of the foundation. My girlfriend has been an avid outdoors-woman and worked in wilderness therapy programs across the country and I know it's a cause very close to her heart because of all the beneficial things it can provide. Her birthday is coming up at the beginning of June and I knew this would be a perfect gift for her. She will love reading the book and learning about Jason's experiences in the wilderness as I'm sure they mirror her own and I don't doubt they would have walked together given the chance. Also, her most recent employer in wilderness therapy was forced to close because of a shortage of clientele and I know that she will be happy to hear that the donated money will be used for programs in outdoor experiential education. Sorry for maybe providing too much information but having listened to her stories and shared outdoor experiences with her I know that your foundation is a cause that both of us whole-heartedly support. I'm sorry that it happened through such unfortunate circumstances but I also thank you for building an organization dedicated to this cause. . If there is anything else I can do for you or more information that you need, please let me know. Thanks.
Joe Garay, Portland Oregon
Came home tonight (Friday ) very tired from the week and an 11 hour day to find the book waiting for me. Although I cannot say I have read very much , it is beautiful and "speaks to me" the little I have read
Thank you, blessings and good night
Carol Lewando, Long Beach, MS (6/7/13)
This brings tears to my eyes, what a courageous accomplishment! You are an amazing father and a tenacious individual. Your dream of keeping Jason's sprit alive through this remarkable book and your foundation is a never ending gift of love. Your foot print is forever next to Jason's. From AMAZON.COM From Amazon.com Review: 5 STARS By Nancy - Congratulations John! April 25, 2013
You really did do an amazing job of showing readers like myself Jason's wonderful spirit. It is also a wonderful tribute to the healing power of the wilderness and the field staff experience.
Sandy Newes, PhD, Clear View Psychological Services
I have read a lot of books (average 30 or more a year since junior high) and don’t think I have been impacted any deeper by anything I have ever read.
You have given an incredible look into the realities of being a young idealistic wilderness adventure educator.... In the process of this book's unfolding, you have managed to put the whole field of wilderness treatment on belay.
Anthony Howard, M. S., Co-Founder Sheltered Risks, Inc.
What a great gift and act of love this is for anyone who reads it.
Fr. Thomas Kreidler, Pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish