The excited students gathered at the Fort St. John Community Forest at noon to fuel up for lunch, before hitting the trails for an afternoon walk.
Denise Greer, a teacher at Christian Life School and an organizer of the walk, says it’s important for kids to develop active lifestyles at an early age.
“I think in order to be a completely developed personality you need to have physical fitness, so that’s what we are working towards,” she says. “They start developing habits when they are very young and if they develop an active living habit early in their life, hopefully it will be present when they are adults.”
She believes it’s also important to show the kids how physical fitness can be fun, along with beneficial to their health.
Friday’s walk was the first time the school has walked the trails as a whole, but athletic challenges are something the school embraces annually.
Over the past six years, teachers and students have also held a running challenge, where the school sets a certain distance as a goal, and tries to walk that amount in a certain amount of time.
This year, the goal is to collectively walk 22,300 miles around Fort St. John, which is equal to the distance around the world.
Previously, the students have walked other specific distances, such as around Canada, the length of Africa, and from Fort St. John to the southern tip of South Africa.
Friday’s walk is the official “kick off” of the school’s annual walking challenge.