If you get the chance to have Brad Cook aka “Old Buzzard” in your life it’ll be an unforgettable experience! His exuberance is contagious. He’s full of knowledge and stories and there’s never a dull moment with “Old Buzz”.
When I read his book I couldn’t put it down! Thanks Brad for becoming like family and caring about everyone.
~ Bridget Noyes aka “Energy” AT Thru-Hiker 2018

“I first met Brad Cook when I was teaching at the same elementary school with him in Brockton, MA. I quickly developed a great respect for the display of concern he showed toward his students. He had a special way of connecting with students who had low self-esteem or behavior issues. Brad could see the potential in these students and became an advocate for them. His passion for health education expanded his career and led him to teach at the Junior High level and coaching cross country and track at Brockton High School. After Brad went to the Junior High our friendship continued because we both shared common interests in running, biking, family, and living a healthy lifestyle. During many of our long runs together, I’ll always remember the stories Brad told me about the students he was mentoring to reach their potential. Brad believed ‘no child should be left behind’.”
~ Bill Kelley (Ret. Brockton Teacher)


I first heard Brad’s compelling story in 2011. His personal pilgrimage from the dark hole of despair to a life of great adventure and happiness is one we should all hear. Brad discovered along the way the teachings of the philosophers and the path to gratification in life. He lives each day trying to follow these principles. After years of prodding by myself and other published authors, he has finally put his amazing journey into print.
~ Ray Anderson, author of The Trail and Sierra


I’ve been a friend of Brad’s for 50+ years, and I can say with certainty that he is the most dedicated and committed person I have ever know when it comes to inspiring young people to live healthier, and to throw away their electronic toys and venture out into Nature. His entire teaching career revolved around that commitment, and every day since his retirement has been dedicated to his family, and to helping kids (and adults) as they throw off the chains of “electronic addiction”, breathe clean air and open themselves up to the mystery and beauty of Nature.
~ Wes Hollis, author of Heartbeats


Mr. Cook was talking about the effects of trauma long before the strategy became a “best practice” in mainstream prevention literature.  He understands the need to build resilience in children, adults, and the community in order to rise above addiction, violence, and poverty.  For Mr. Cook, that resilience can be taught through the mindfulness of being in nature.  Using hiking, canoeing, biking, and exercise, Mr. Cook teaches goal setting, stress management, nutrition, and the importance of a healthy self-esteem.  We were happy to partner with Mr. Cook and Trail Dreams to work with our Juvenile Diversion program.
~ Patrick Nevins, JD (Assistant Director of Grants & Sponsored Projects/Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office)


I most highly recommend Brad Cook! As a fellow teacher, coach, and runner, I have had the opportunity to meet and converse with many of Brad’s former student-athletes. I have heard nothing but the highest praise for a man who not only helped them to be better students or faster runners, but more importantly, better human beings. The enthusiasm, interminable energy level, the genuine care he had for each of them, and the motivational words of wisdom he imparted, made them want to ‘pay it forward’. Many have gone on to successful careers, including some who have followed the same path in education and continue to pass on what they learned from Brad.
~ George Rose, Teacher, Coach, Runner


It’s been quite some time that I have known Coach Cook and he still continues to be an inspiration in my life today. He has always been a caring and passionate person. From the day I met him my junior year at the Brockton High School Track until now with a successful career as a Massachusetts State Trooper he has given me support and guidance throughout everything I have achieved. I have never met someone so determined and persistent as Coach Cook. When I see Coach Cook continuing to excel, he continues to motivate me to never give up on my dreams. Not only has he gone above and beyond in my life and taught me life lessons, but he has inspired so many young kids today as well. Coach Cook’s outgoing and genuine personality has give him an indescribable way to connect with youth.. By staying focused and dreaming big even when the odds may be against you, he has made me realize anything is possible.
~ Robert Morales, MA State Trooper


“I had the great fortune of having Mr. Cook as both a teacher and a coach. In addition to being extremely knowledgeable about health and wellness issues, Coach Cook was always passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles among his students and athletes. His guidance helped me improve not only as a runner and a student, but as a person. He encouraged everyone around him to strive for more, and in doing so, helped a lot of people achieve extraordinary goals. Coach Cook, through the achievement of his life-long dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail, is living proof that if you work hard, and bring passion, focus, and determination to your goals, there is no limit to what you can achieve. It is my sincere hope that he has the opportunity to share his compelling life story with others because from what I’ve heard of it, it is everything from eye-opening to inspiring… I found it very motivational, and I have total confidence that, by sharing this story, he can make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”
~ Michael P Smith, PwC | Assurance – Asset Management (Ret.)


“It is my pleasure to recommend Brad Cook for your consideration. This is an educator of professional ability, a friend, a person of great character and human dignity. He is a unique teacher with a special gift. He is dynamic and captivating as he addressed his classes on current situations and problems that affected students in their existing environment of drugs, depression, stress, and violence. Mr. Cook was creative, communicative, and exciting to listen to in class as he provided opportunistic choices to students to have in mind and make the correct one as they encountered their own critical mundane situations. Brad revelled in his opportunities to help students and set them straight. His caring for kids set him apart as an advocate for their success in life by making wholesome healthful living choices at the time and in the future. He was also a guidance counselor to students to ascertain what was happening in their lives, especially in their neighborhoods and projects. Mr. Cook’s knowledge of health education is outstanding, especially in the areas, which adversely affect young people. His “Trail Dreams” program is dynamic and enlighting and would have awesome results that would benefit all young participants.”
~ Robert Bartlett (Brockton Public Schools…Principal (Ret.)


“I remember preparing for Mr. Cook’s Heath class in the second semester of 7th grade. I realized very shortly why other students were drawn to this man. He had this refreshing attitude on life, and his liveliness in the classroom kept students engaged and inspired. I was fortunate enough to become reunited with him as a coach in my senior year of high school track, and because of his knowledge coupled with his awareness and compassion culminated to everyone’s fullest potential. My proudest moment was when our 4×800 relay team broke the MA state record that qualified us to compete at nationals, but it would not have been possible without the care and support Coach Cook had for us.”
~ Kevin Gill, All-American High School Miler, member of 4X800 MA state record team and Bridgewater State University graduate


“Coach Cook cared more about his athletes than any coach I ever knew. He was always willing to stay later than other coaches to help athletes improve…involved w/ the college application process. Coach was the reason my MA state record 4X800 relay team was able to go to Nationals. He alone raised the funds necessary for us to go to NC to compete. His dedication to helping children and his larger than life personality is appreciated.”
~ Mike Gomes, Harvard University Senior


“Brad Cook is a role model; a person kids and adults can look up to. When it comes to setting and achieving goals, I have never met an individual so determined and passionate about following through on things most important to him. He came to visit our Boys & Girls Club of Brockton members prior to the start of his dream to hike the Appalachian Trail. Brad had to take care of many matters before that daunting task but still dedicated his time to encourage our kids to turn their dreams into reality. His spirit and energy moved our kids and staff. They were excited to come to the Club and track his progress along the trail. Brad is the prime example that, with motivation and direction, anything is possible.”
~ Jay Miller, Assistant Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Brockton, MA


“It was great hearing your story, both informally and in your wonderful presentation. You are an excellent speaker, and your message is so inspiring.”
~ Laurie Potteiger, Information Services Manager, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Harpers Ferry, WV


“… Many of our young people are considered to be “kids at risk” and Brad has the ability to connect with them because he has been at that place himself and also has decades of experience working with kids as a teacher… I would whole-heartedly recommend Brad Cook’s presentation to any group of young people. Brad’s message was much appreciated by all, including staff and I know he got through to some by the discussion that resulted after his presentation.”
~ Stephen Tomasia, DYS Brockton Caseworker


“Brad Cook appeared before our Boyscout Troop in April. His presentation was uplifting, entertaining and enlightening. What a refreshing topic, and one that should be shared with all! He presented in a manner that was both humorous and entertaining, while still getting his message across to the entire audience. That’s a hard combination to achieve, but he did it with style and grace. He would be a huge asset to ANY group who is looking for an amazing, one-of-a-kind speaker. His ability to connect to a variety of personalities, cultures, and ages is a true gift!”
~ Tom North, Scoutmaster, Troop 199

Trail Dreams at the Kingston Public Library. OR How Hiking the Appalachian Trail Turned my Life Around.