Global Eco Adventures fighting childhood obesity
Aimed at fighting childhood obesity, the six-month program will provide academic and applied knowledge of outdoor activities to 24 adolescents (grades nine–12), inspiring in them a passion for the environment and – as a result – reshaping the priorities of the children, their families, and the broader community through awareness.
“We believe that the problem of childhood obesity is simply not talked about – much less addressed – because of the stigma associated with it,” says GEA founder and pres. Tom Mullikin, who is also pres. and founding partner of the Camden-based Mullikin Law Firm. “But it is nevertheless a killer, and with our state ranking 7th in the U.S. in terms of obesity, we have to not only talk about it, but stem the tide of this growing threat to our public health through education, the eradication of destructive sedentary habits, and the creation of new exciting – even self-esteem building – lifestyle changes. That’s where GEA, members of our law firm, and our sponsoring partners come in.”
Selected from among S.C. Middle Schools, the students will participate in a variety of hikes and activities at national and state parks; sparking interest and building an awareness of the various activities for healthy recreation and resources available to students and their families in S.C. at no cost. CFET will also feature monthly classroom sessions on everything from exercise and the environment to nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, confidence building, physical strength and stamina development. The program will culminate in a hike up Mt. Mitchell; at 6,684 feet, the highest summit on the east coast of the U.S.
“We want our students to experience and appreciate our state’s beautiful natural resources, involve them in, teach them about it, and stir within them a passion for ecology and the environment,” says Mullikin. “In this way we are accomplishing three things. We are reversing sedentary behavior. We are building self-esteem. And we are enabling a newfound appreciation for the natural world.”
Sponsors of the CFET program so far are the Congaree National Park, Sesquicentennial State Park, the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept., the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, The Backpacker, Wade Culler Roofing and others.
Global Eco Adventures (GEA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Visit GEA at http://globalecoadventures.org.