Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hiji Falls and Fun Run

My last couple weekends at the Youth Center have been busy and fun. Last weekend I took my Explore Your World Club hiking at Hiji Falls. Some of the kids had a hard time with the hike which I found pretty sad, but it was a great day.

We left the youth center around 11:00, just 5 hours after the big earthquake had hit Okinawa. The night before we had received massive amounts of rain. I know the rain was the main contributor, and I don't know if the earthquake played any role, but there were literally hundreds of salamanders out. Most of them were headed to the creek and we actually saw some mating in the shallow water.

The salamanders were awesome! This was, of course, the day that I didn't bring my good camera. I thought is was going to rain again so I left it home. Oh well, the point and shoot did ok.
Here's the reason we were hiking:

Hiji Falls is beautiful and with the new route the park put in it's not too hard to get to. Here are the kids at the top:

They looked thrilled, don't they? In their defense, Teresa gave them no warning that she was taking the picture.
This past weekend was the grand finale for my Youth Center Running Club. My runs with these kids for the last 9 Tuesdays was by far my favorite time spent at the Youth Center. The base does a 5K every month so we coordinated with them to let the kids run and get recognized.
Here's me modeling the shirts I designed for this event:

I think the shirts came out pretty cute.
We met about 30 minutes before the race so we could stretch and I could give them some last minute pointers (i.e. Don't start too fast!). Here we are before the race:

The really awesome part is that out of the 5 kids that ran the race, 4 of them had parents that ran with them. The one who didn't ran with another kid's dad.

The kids did fantastic. Our all-star finished in 22 minutes and they all finished under 38 minutes! Best of all they finished happy! Woohoo! Mission accomplished.
Here are the kids after the race with our "RUN" brownie. The kids also all got t-shirts and plaques. It was a great program.

I'm thinking that I might like a career (not necessarily paid) in getting kids healthy and happy. Any suggestions from you blog readers on how to make this happen?


Courtney said...

Looks like it was a really great event! I think it is great you want to do more to work with kids and get them healthy. It seems like you are already on the right track with creating and being involved in events like this. Could you create an official program and pitch it to the schools/youth groups? Sounds like you really enjoy it and that passion will show through.
adventures in tri-ing
ps...I'm iffy on those salamanders!!!!

Unknown said...

Love the t-shirts. The youth group is lucky to have you working for them. The children are lucky too.

Anonymous said...

Very cool events - both the hiking and the 5K race. It's great to see kids get involved like that!

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