It was a friendly competition between sisters Kaylyn and Kimberly Nuño as both “galloped their horse” around the obstacle course setup inside the community center of the Goshen Village II Apartments complex where both live.
From Aug. 6-10, children who live in housing operated by Self-Help Enterprises were treated to a Cowboy Day Camp in the towns of Richgrove, Goshen, Parksdale near Madera and Del Rey near Sanger.
“We brought out Cowboy Ted to be involve in various locations throughout Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties,” said Patrick Isherwood, program director with Self-Help enterprises. “We wanted to bring this message of health and wellness to our rural area. A lot of times this message and this platform is not available to rural youth.”
The program was designed to show children how to “find their happy place in a world filled with frustration, fear and disappointment, and turn emotions to positive” according to Cowboy Ted Hallisey, a health educator and media personality who led the programs at each of the four sites early this month.
Hallisey, who was in Goshen on Aug. 7, show children different activities to work on their happy place for mental, physical, and emotional health.
“Self-Help Enterprises wanted to bring a very positive health and fitness message to residents of Goshen,” said Isherwood. “We are working here on Goshen Village to get kids active, to get kids involve.”
“We brought Cowboy Ted out here with an exciting message working with his health and fitness component working with youth, and bringing out elements of health, rodeo and cowboys.” said Isherwood. “We think that message fits well with the residents of rural Goshen.”
Isherwood said during the four-day Cowboy Day Camp, they hope to reach approximately 400 children in the Valley.
Hallisey, who is a graduate of College of Sequoias and Fresno State and served as student body president in 1982-83, said he was happy to be back in the area teaching children different tools to be healthy.
He also has a Master of Education degree in Health PE and Recreation and has taught elementary school and college health and fitness classes. Hallisey also hosted rodeo reports for KNAX radio station in the 90s before moving to Salt Lake City to host programs for several radio stations.
“What are we doing right now is try to teach kids how to feel happy. We tell them go to your happy place, what makes you happy,” Hallisey said, adding “If you are angry, if you are frustrated or if you are disappointed, we all get that.”
“Find a way to reset your brain, so we give them techniques,” he said, techniques such as holding their heart or breathing or use music that would reset their brain, take them away from frustration, desperation and fear and turn them back into smile.
“I use the cowboy persona to get kids attention, then reinforce mainstream health concepts to show kids how to be healthy physically, mentally and emotionally,” Hallisey reported. “We try to bring rural health concepts to Valley kids.”
Hallisey hosted similar programs at properties in Bakersfield, Oildale, Lamont, McFarland and Wasco in April.
Hallisey started Cowboy Ted’s Foundation for Kids with a goal of touching the lives of one million kids in a healthy and positive way. He has visited more than 265,000 kids across the United States.
He said there is eight concepts that teach the kids in his program.
Those concepts include respect others, live a healthy live style, work hard in school, be nice to others, be kind to animals, set goals for yourself, no drugs or alcohol, do a nice thing for another person every day.
“We touch on a mental, physical and emotional health habit for each of these kids and as they start to adopt them, we are finding great results,” he said.