The One Great River Health Trekker Challenge is an innovative, integrated approach to preventing substance abuse and obesity, which are prevalent problems among youth in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana. It was started with a $75,000.00 seed grant, from the Community Foundation of North Louisiana, and further developed, over three years, with funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, as part of their Obesity Prevention Challenge Grant.
The Health Trekker Challenge is an opportunity for high school students to participate in experiential activities, during a six month period, to learn about active living, healthy eating and the avoidance of health risk behaviors. Students participate in fitness assessments, Fitbit challenges, experiential lessons in preparing healthy snacks, mindfulness meditation, and life sports, such as rock wall climbing, hiking and trail running.
Two innovations in the Health Trekker program are technology use in prevention and cross sector collaborations. Students also participate in a capstone, outdoor adventure challenge, in a wilderness setting, during the summer, provided by a professional outfitter. Upon successful completion of the program sequence, students are recognized as a Health Trekker and become near-age, peer leaders for newcomers to the program.
The pilot program was completed in the spring of 2019. One Great River is currently seeking funding for the Health Trekker Challenge