WHAT IS TRAIL BLAZERS?
The Trail Blazers program encourages boys and girls ages 7 - 11 to use trail running as a fun way to stay fit for life. We foster lifelong connections to nature and community through running, outdoor exploration and community service. Runners are picked up at their elementary schools and driven to various trails. Throughout our adventure runs we will cover 2 – 3 miles, running uphill, downhill, jumping over fallen trees and ducking under branches!
WHY TRAIL BLAZERS?
Because trail running is good for us! More and more research points to what we know intuitively - nature promotes healthy lives. Across the country, children are spending too much time indoors, increasingly disconnected from their natural environments and communities. The Trail Blazers program helps kids become healthy, engaged citizens who care about the earth and relish the outdoors.
Studies show that children who participate in outdoor programs have:
- Stronger self-esteem and sense of purpose
- Improved focus and more positive student attitudes
- Increased physical activity and confidence
- Deeper commitments to environmental stewardship
WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF TRAIL BLAZERS?
- Structure sessions from a non-competitive approach
- Runners are encouraged to move at their own pace while challenging themselves to improve throughout the session
- Instill a “Leave no trace” mind set
- Provide an all-inclusive approach
- Inspire an ethic of service to the community
HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED WITH TRAIL BLAZERS?
Trail Blazers is led almost exclusively by volunteers. Coaches need NOT be competitive runners (walkers welcome!) We are always in need of interested parties to volunteer as coaches. If you have any interest please contact email@example.com
HOW OLD DOES MY RUNNER HAVE TO BE TO PARTICIPATE?
Boys and girls in 2nd – 5th grade are welcome to participate.
WHERE CAN MY RUNNER PARTICIPATE?
We offer the program at schools across Whatcom County. Due to limited van availability we can only serve two schools each day (Monday – Friday). If you would like to start a team at your school, contact Jen Gallant at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-255-0517.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Registration can be done in person at your local YMCA or online http://www.whatcomymca.org/trail-blazers.html
WHY IS THERE A COST?
GOTR is not your typical sports program. Here’s a glimpse into some of the hard cost items that determine the price of the program:
- Gas and van wear & tear
- Program Supplies, including snacks
- Coach Training and background checks
- Trail Blazers 5K Medals
- Program T-shirt
- Volunteer & Coach Appreciation
- End of session team celebrations
WHY IS THERE A MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM FOR TEAM SIZE?
The minimum participation for a team to run is 8 runners. The maximum number of seats in the YMCA van is 13.
WHY DOES MY SCHOOL NOT HAVE THE PROGRAM?
Due to limited van access we can only have two teams per day. We are working on offering Trailblazers to different schools each season.
CAN MY CHILD PARTICIPATE EVEN IF MY SCHOOL DOES NOT HAVE THE PROGRAM?
Yes. You are welcome to join a team at a nearby school if you can provide transportation to and from the trailhead.
IS THERE FINANCIAL AID AVAILABLE?
Financial aid is available. Please contact Jen at 360-255-0517 or email@example.com