Trainer Spotlight: Sam Lenson, UMaine
One of the amazing things about BOKS is that our trainers come from all walks of life, bringing a wide range of experiences to the programs that they run. One of these trainers, Sam Lenson, brings a fresh perspective to BOKS in his community by involving students and athletes from his alma mater, The University of Maine, in his program. Sam is an active member of our Trainer Facebook Community, so we were excited to catch up with him and feature him as this month’s Trainer Spotlight:
Sam started the BOKS program in his community this Fall while working on his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Maine, after completing a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education (K-12).
“In pursuit of my graduate degree, I found myself missing the in-person interaction with kids that I got to experience during my undergraduate studies,” Sam told us.
After hearing about the BOKS program from his family in Natick, Massachusetts, Sam decided that if he could bring BOKS to a nearby school, he could exercise his passion, continue his hands-on learning, and give back to the community surrounding his university.
Sam reached out and met with the curriculum coordinator for his local public–school to get their support and begin the BOKS curriculum. Since then, Sam has worked to grow the BOKS program. He now has every student at his local K-2 school enrolled in BOKS.
Sam thought his collegiate peers would experience the same joy and learning he did at his school, so he recruited a handful of students from a Family Interactions undergraduate class to accompany him on school trips. Soon, Sam had a team of dedicated volunteers who, despite the early wake up call, love visiting the school and sharing their love of fitness with the kids.
“The wonderful volunteers I have make it such an enjoyable experience for the kids to come to school every day. This program would not be possible without them,” said Sam.
But UMaine’s involvement with BOKS didn’t stop there. Sam had the innovative idea to include current student-athletes from UMaine in the BOKS program.
Students from the cheer squad, hockey team, football team and sorority organizations have become mini-celebrities to the kids participating in BOKS and set a great example when it comes to the importance of physical activity on our daily lives.
“Regardless of where you are, all kids need to be active. They’re not getting enough activity during the day. If you have an opportunity to impact student’s lives through teaching them functional fitness that they can use for the rest of their lives, that was motivation for me to do something,” added Sam.
Getting involved as a BOKS trainer in college is a wonderful way to expand your own learning about youth fitness and development and make a positive impact on your community. Sam and his volunteers found that 3 morning visits per week fit perfectly into their schedules and enjoy getting some time off campus. For more information on becoming a BOKS trainer, please visit our website here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!