The Trail Blazers program takes 10-12 children aged
8-15 from the housing community of Hillcrest and 3-5 adults out on safe, guided hikes into the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains four times per week on a four week series beginning in June and
ending in July. The next series with 10-12 new children and three to five
new adults begins in July and ends in August, for a total of 20-24 children and 6-10 adults and a total of 30 hiking excursions, plus 4 days of swim tests.
The goals of this project are to help participants develop relationships with the outdoors that will encourage them to continue to pursue these types of healthful experiences beyond the series, to increase participants' levels of fitness and self confidence, and to increase participants' education around the natural world and their swimming ability.
We know that this approach is an effective way to reach these goals based on the body of corroborating research and also because of the experiences of the participants of this series last summer. When we began the series, only two participants (out of 33) had ever been on the hiking trails in the mountains, and most of the participants were lacked confidence about the natural world. By the end of the series all participants had developed a
real love for the outdoors, had become more knowledgeable about local plants and trees, and many had noticeably lost weight. Only three participants were able to swim at a level that might be considered proficient when we began the series, but by the end of the series nearly every single participant had become at least semi-proficient in the water.
Please help us keep this awesome program going. We appreciate your time, energy, and support so very much.
And please check us out online or Facebook as well!