AP NEWS

Scout’s service project provides Great Oak with a sensory trail

April 13, 2019

Riders at Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center now are able to ride outside of an arena and experience a trail ride in a safe environment thanks to a local Eagle Scout.

Caleb Morris of Troop 421 decided to help Great Oak after an outreach event where he first heard about the organization.

A sensory trail consists of altering terrain, differing sights and sounds, and an activity station on a wooded path.

These changes of environment challenge students’ balance and stimulate their senses, encouraging them to interact with the world around them.

The sensory trail is behind Great Oak’s indoor arena.

Morris, who has been a scout for nine years, rallied his friends and troop members to build the obstacles at his home before transporting them to Great Oak and installing them along the trail.

His favorite obstacle to build was the tire toss.

“It had so many different parts and involved a lot of team work to build,” Morris said.

The tire toss is one of the five obstacles that he contributed to Great Oak’s sensory trail.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Morris and eight of his friends also installed a basketball hoop, mailbox, gate and wind chimes along the trail.

Working as a team was one of Morris’ favorite parts of his service project.

“It’s cool when people get behind you to help you achieve your goals,” he said.

The sensory trail has been a great addition to Great Oak’s services.

Riders have enjoyed steering their horses through the trail. In addition, parents have enjoyed taking a stroll during their children’s lessons.

Great Oak is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Its mission is to provide equine-assisted activities that promote the physical, emotional and psychological health of individuals with special needs.

Great Oak is currently enrolling students in its program and has three weeks of summer camp on its schedule.

For more information about enrolling a child or volunteering, visit greatoakatrc.org or send an email to nicole@greatoakatrc.org.

Great Oak is at 1123 Edgefield Highway.