Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation received a 2014 RCF Rural Leadership Grant to start a Trailblazers program for junior high students at Bluenose Academy in Lunenburg. Trailblazers is a free, all-outdoors after school program that aims to get kids physically active and connecting to the natural world.
The program leaders report many benefits for the participants besides having the opportunity to access physical activity and fresh air. In addition to heart-pumping running games, Trailblazers offers other physical literacy benefits specific to being active in uneven terrain, such as improvements in agility and balance.
Trailblazers leaders provide healthy snacks to participants which offer additional learning opportunities, like discussions about nutrition or learning to cook over a fire. Through immersion in nature, awareness-raising activities, and magical moments that arise in wild spaces, the youths’ reverence, respect for and understanding of the natural world grows.
Through taking risks and the mastery of skills, Trailblazers participants gain competence and confidence. Participants who complete Trailblazers sessions may have the opportunity to practice their leasdership and wilderness skills by becoming junior leaders at Coastal Actions’ Morton Centre summer nature camps.
VIDEO: Brooke Nodding, Shauna Barry and Clare Kellock of the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation talk about Trailblazers for Junior High Students.