Successfully Navigating the T.R.A.I.L.

The On the T.R.A.I.L. to Diabetes Prevention program is well on its way in its fifth year of implementation in Native Boys & Girls Clubs across the county and everyone is eager to start off this grant year off on the right foot! Infusing culture and traditional lifestyles has been a top priority for Clubs implementing T.R.A.I.L., especially when it comes to physical activity portions of the program’s curriculum. At the Boys & Girls Club of Darlington in El Reno, Oklahoma, traditional Native dancers volunteered to teach youth several dances in conjunction with their physical activity requirements. Once participants learned each dance, the Club hosted a Pow-Wow and invited staff from their local public schools to enjoy the performances! Woodland Boys & Girls Club in Neopit, Wisconsin, has also found harmony in combining physical activity and local culture. Traditional Menominee games such as lacrosse and Snow Snake (a traditional winter team sport that involves throwing carved poles, or “snakes,” through snow troughs as far as possible to win points) are being incorporated into the curriculum. The Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley in Mesa, Arizona will also be teaching and hosting traditional Native games as part of their T.R.A.I.L. program. Examples will include toka, a traditional women’s game that is similar to hockey, and a male equivalent called songivu'l, which more closely resembles soccer. Healthy food choices have also been a focal point for the Clubs.

When it comes to healthy food choices, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County Schools in Stilwell, Oklahoma, has already seen youth increase their knowledge about food groups and healthier eating choices. At their recent Glow-A-Thon kick-off event, new participants and their families were highly interested in the information provided about the program and its benefits. Other Clubs have enjoyed incorporating healthy food choices into their repertoire of snacks. Refreshing fruit smoothies have been a huge hit at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona. They host “Tasty Tuesday” food demonstrations and nutrition classes, where youth get to learn how to make new healthy treats each week. Additionally, during their recent “Day for Kids” event, a Boys & Girls Clubs of America initiative, participants had the opportunity to make fruit smoothies using a bike powered blender! Families and youth were also able to participate in Zumba exercises, games, and enjoy a water slide. Community health partners were in attendance, and were invited to set up a booth to provide health information and screenings to attendees.

All in all, it seems like everyone sure is off to a successful start to the grant year! To learn more about T.R.A.I.L. and everything the program has to offer, click here!