When was the last time you ran outside with friends? Or jumped over a log? Or went on a search for route markers while twirling and twisting your way through an obstacle course? With spring around the corner SOGO Adventure Running has opened its registration. Kids from ages 3 to 18 are invited to join the fun, navigating their way through the outside world, having a blast and making friends while they are doing it.
I remember first reading about SOGO over 2 years ago. Ever since Felix could walk, he has loved to run. Everywhere. He also loves being outside. I wanted to find something that combined the two in a fun way. Sadly, at that time Felix was only 3 years old and SOGO was only for kids ages 6 and up. So I mentally filed it into the back of my mind for when he was older.
Last year, my prayers were answered as SOGO ran a pilot program for preschool-aged kids and I was able to enrol both the boys. And guess what? They LOVED it!
Running part of an obstacle course
The classes are either an hour long for the smaller kids or an hour and a half for the older ones. During the outdoor class they learn navigation, orienteering, trail running, and how to maneuver around obstacles, and they gain a sense of how to move through nature. The part that I loved was that, besides giving my boys a chance to run around outside with like-minded friends, SOGO taught them skills that translated to other areas as well. Max, who happened to be 1 and a half at the time, improved his fine motor skills by figuring out how to string a bead onto a pipe cleaner because that was one of the stations during an obstacle courses he ran. Until then I had no idea he could even do that. Shortly after I went to the store and bought a bunch of bead crafts for him (which were a lifesaver on the airplane when we went on vacation, but that’s for another time). Felix, who was 4, learned how to read a map because of the orienteering game he played during SOGO squirts. His innate sense of direction is now incredible.
Max punching his card after finding the flag during an orienteering game.
As more and more articles come out about the numerous benefits of outdoor play for kids, not only for their general fitness levels but also for their emotional and mental wellbeing, SOGO Adventure Running is a natural fit. After participating in the SOGO squirts pilot program last year and bearing witness to how much my boys loved going and how the skills they learned translated to so many other areas of their lives, I was first in line to register for the upcoming year. If you have kids who are between the ages of 3-18 years, you definitely should check it out. For more information on SOGO programs click here. See you on the trails!