The Sprockids program at Boys and Girls Club is on a roll and off to a great start, taking kids on bikes into the wilderness to stay active, make friends and develop new skills that can carry over into the rest of their lives.
Youth services leader David Faubert said Sprockids is a life skill-building program where kids learn things like teamwork, goal setting and leadership.
They also learn practical skills like maintenance, troubleshooting with their bikes and staying safe.
Kids can bring their own bikes to Boys and Girls Club or can have them provided, and some parents volunteer to help out on the rides.
There is a beginner/intermediate group for ages 9-12 on Monday and an advanced group for 12 and up on Wednesday. “Sprockids is a free, drop-in program,” Faubert said. “Your parents sign a waiver and you can come any day you want.”
“The advanced group bikes on trails at Fox Mountain, Esler and South Lakeside, and the beginner group does some of the easier trails on Fox Mountain, as well as the River Valley,” Faubert said.
“Throughout the season we pace them to see where they’re at — every time we try to challenge them more. The older riders pair up with the younger ones to support and encourage them.”
The group climbs in the Boys and Girls Club van pulling a trailer with the bikes, and heads off every week for great adventures in the Cariboo wilderness, according to Faubert.
This is the second year that Faubert has done the Sprockids program at Boys and Girls Club, and he said that a great side benefit for him personally is a big improvement in his health and his coordination.
“It’s just great to be with kids in nature — we have such great variety in our wilderness here,” he said.
“Sometimes we have a challenge day and ride from the Boys and Girls Club to the site. Our ‘ride guides’ are very experienced,” he added. “Before we hit a steep hill we’ll stop and they’ll give the kids pointers about turning and using their brakes.
“Williams Lake has world-class bike trails — known around the world. This is such a great resource for our community,” he said.
“Special thanks goes to Mark at Red Shred’s for all the support they’ve provided to this program and to kids in our community.”
He also said that the free program, open to all kids, runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the summer and as far into the fall as possible.
“The goal is to keep the kids active, outdoors and engaged. Sprockids also builds socializing skills, and it’s so great to watch the kids take on leadership roles.
The kids get a real sense of achievement at the end of a challenge — they feel really good about themselves,” he continued. “Setting a goal and succeeding is powerful.”
The Sprockids program is in need of used bikes for the younger kids.
For more information about joining the free program, volunteering or donating a bicycle, phone 250-392-5730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bgcwilliamslake.com and follow them on Facebook for upcoming programs.