Total Trek Quest
Interview with Colin Moylan and Vikki Kavanaugh from Arbor Circle
Colin and Vikki, tell me about Total Trek Quest. What is it?
Total Trek Quest (TTQ) is a program for boys age 8 - 11 years old and centers around getting a group of boys and their coaches to learn how to run a 5K. Training starts September 28 and wraps up November 23. Colin Moylan will be running the program in Newaygo County. He recently moved to Big Rapids and is excited to get moving with the students.
Why should parents consider signing up their children for this program?
Not only is it super fun, it helps boys learn about life-long fitness, how to use exercise to cope with stress, and teaches them how to make healthy choices - like age-appropriate strategies for ways to cope with peer pressure regarding substances (like alcohol and vaping). Most importantly, it teaches them about how to set and achieve long-term goals. Running a 5K takes preparation and consistent practice. When students cross the finish line, they have a great sense of personal accomplishment. Learning how to set and achieve goals will carry through to other aspects of their lives.
Is this program like Girls on the Run?
There are some similarities with the programs but they are two different programs run by different organizations.. District Health Department #10 runs the Girls on the Run program for girls in 3rd - 5th grades.
The state has issued a “Safe Start Road Map” for schools to deal with COVID-19. How has this program changed?
Last year, we started the year with 3 schools and 30 boys. The program grew in popularity and we had 50 boys signed up for spring. Then the COVID-19 virus hit and we had to shut down the program.
We tried a virtual program in the summer and learned some ways we could adjust the program this fall. We are not asking our schools to promote or run any parts of the program this fall. They have enough on their plates!
Students can participate this year in a totally virtual program or a hybrid program that gets together once a week (with safety precautions). Parents know that boys are risk-takers and have lots of energy. This program is a great way to help their kids burn off some steam, get healthy, and learn some skills that will stick with them for a lifetime.
Who are the coaches?
Coaches are trained volunteers (usually parents), however, with the changes we have made to go virtual, most coaches will be staff. It has been fun to watch some of the alumni of this program come back when they are older to coach. TTQ alumni make great coaches because they remember many of the lessons and value the relationships they made. Coaches don’t have to be runners. It is great to see coaches new at running get fit with the students. They serve as great role models.
How much does the program cost and how do I sign up my student?
The virtual program costs $35 and the hybrid program costs $45. Scholarships are readily available to offset the cost if a family cannot afford that. We want all students to participate who want to. If you need a scholarship, please contact Rachel Kowalk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Brandon at 616-450-4651 if you have questions or to register.
The mission of Arbor Circle is to transform the lives of children, adults, and families facing mental health, substance use and family concerns in a caring partnership with our clients and diverse community.