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We’re still adding sessions and presenters!  …  full list and schedule up soon

We thought we’d give you this sneak peek before the early bird rate disappears!




  • Mindful West Virginia. In two years, Mindful WV has exploded into a statewide organization that has trained 500+ teachers to weave yoga and mindfulness through the day. It all started with a Try This minigrant!  Find out how you can join with other West Virginians who are helping lower stress in schools, prisons, first responder units, wherever!


  • What’s Your Healthy High? Misti Shambler created a Hampshire County running program for people in recovery. Katie Johnson gets teens active in Fayette County. Physical activity lowers the risk of all kinds of bad things, research tells us. Get the  and brainstorm with people who are doing great stuff in their areas.


  • Leveraging Your Funds. Saturday only. A Try This minigrant isn’t big, but that doesn’t stop our champion leveragers! They take their minigrants to the county commission and say, “Will you match it?” They ask a local business, “Can we use your bulldozer?” Get ideas about ways to leverage a small minigrant into a much bigger pile of dollars.


  • Open your waterfront to paddling and boating: Paddling is booming in WV. So is kayak fishing! And stand-up paddleboards. We know of two towns that are holding kayak festivals! Hear from towns that have opened up their waterfronts to a lot of fun and healthy activity.


  • Cooking healthy on a shoestring with little time: Is that possible in an age of packaged food? These people say yes! But how? Cooking with Dollar Store ingredients, cooking batches in advance, buying in season, canning … lots of ideas in this session. Come with your own ideas!


  • Stress relief without meds: No-cost ways to lower your blood pressure … and help beat depression, chronic disease, drug relapse, etc.  Stress is a leading cause of it all. Aila Accad will teach you a variety of instant stress-busters that help you handle stressful situations more easily.


  • Build it, and they will come: Recreation / youth center/field of dreams/ Dreaming of a recreation center or playing field for your community? These people have done it, step by step, in small towns and rural areas! Their stories will inspire you and give you ideas and resources.


  • Creative workplace wellness: Must be Friday. You don’t need a fancy program to have a healthier workplace. Instead, learn how to use what you’ve got creatively. Learn from small WV organizations that have achieved big gains in the health of their workers without a big budget.


  • Taking care of your temple. Does your church help people take care of the bodies God gave them? Offer a safe place to exercise? Brainstorm ways to make your church an even healthier place Hear from people who are helping their churches offer healthier food and activities that make it easier for people to live active lives.


  • Community Gardening. A community garden is a great minigrant project People all over the state grow part of their food in community gardens. Many also give produce to soup kitchens and pantries. These presenters can tell you about common roadblocks, and they’ll leave you with creative ideas, resources and some philosophy.


  • Exercise, for people who have trouble getting around. Let’s find ways to make it easier for disabled and elderly people to be physically active. Come to this session and leave with new creative ideas.


  • This healthy activity makes money! Town after town is finding that paddling, biking, yoga running, trails and a wide variety of healthy activity makes money! So does healthy food! Hear from a variety of West Virginians who are making money promoting healthy activity.


  • FARMacy! Healthcare professionals and community people collaborating. Doctors prescribing healthy food! Cabin Creek Health Systems created farmers markets at their clinics and are getting exciting results/data with their patients! Community Care is going into its second year at Rock Cave. Want to get this going? These guys can tell you how.


  • Healthy Food Pantries. A nuts and bolts workshop. How can we make food pantry food as healthy as possible? How can pantries help people develop their ability to put together healthier food on a budget? Hear from people who are making it happen. This will be a brainstorming session too. Bring your own ideas and questions.  


  • Make a big difference with Type 2 diabetes. How can you put together – and maintain – a local diabetes support group that lasts for years? How can you organize a diabetes coalition in your county? Hear from a doctor who has had great success with the low-carb diet. Hear effective ways to supply that information and support.


  • Hydroponics: A great way to teach kids (and adults) to grow healthy food and make money too! Wheeling and Spencer are doing it. A Parkersburg food pantry is doing it! Your church or Senior Center could do it! David McCutcheon and students


  • Active, trauma-informed schools, step by step. Two outstanding WV principals tell how they have used physical activity, healthy food and mindfulness/yoga as building blocks in their schools to create a healthy atmosphere that helps reduce child stress, behavior problems, suspensions and absences. Hear about new developments from the legislature that promote mindful schools.


  • Build youth resilience with cross-country running. Friday only Ryan McCarthy – an Eastern Panhandle doctor, is passionate about middle-school cross-country running. David McCutcheon helped organize a soccer league in Spencer that involves hundreds of kids. Both see big gains in resilience and confidence. These two guys will give you great tips and Ryan will give you a how-to book!


  • Community Conversations. C.J. Rylands has led the community conversation in Buckhannon every week for years. Step by step, they have built a more beautiful, people-friendly community. This is a one-hour master class. Find out how you can start a conversation in your community.


  • School anti-drug programs that promote physical activity and mindfulness. State law requires schools to provide a prevention program. Some promote physical activity in addition to mindfulness. Some don’t. How to find the programs that do? Check out 3 programs, ncluding the Pax Good Behavior Game! Upshur and Lewis counties are getting great results with it.


  • Ready for long-range healthy-community planning? Have you created several healthy projects? Are you ready to make a long-range community plan or build an organization? Get ideas from the best. Greenbrier County has created an amazing program we can all learn from. Active Southern West Virginia has made a big difference in thousands of lives.


  • Grantwriting 101. Never written a grant? Or just written one or two?  Want to learn?  This session is for you. Come away knowing what to do before you start writing (important!) and what funders are looking for. Tip: Read the $$ square on the Try This Web site (, and you’ll be well-prepared.


  • If kids grow it, they want to eat it. School gardens are growing all over the state! Teachers are weaving gardening into the classroom day: math, science, etc. Churches and afterschool programs are creating hightunnel greenhouses. This one-stop workshop is packed with plenty of practical ways to do the same and plan your gardening program  


  • Get your story out to the world. The people involved in your project know how wonderful it is. But do other people don’t know about it?  How can you let them know? .Kate Long worked as a writing coach for 30+ years. Evan Young shows teens how to use video to tell stories. They’re glad to help you tell yours.


  • Learning in the Garden. This hands-on kids’ gardening session takes place in the beautiful Buckhannon community garden, behind the Performance Hall (see map in program). Learn activities you can take home! Find out how the Buckhannon garden supports the food pantry. Ask a volunteer for directions


  • Run for office, promote a healthier community: Instead of trying to convince your local officials to take healthy steps, why not run for office and do it yourself? Some of these presenters are new to office, and some will report back on years in office. They’ll give you tips and help you think about it.


  • Off the couches and off the street! Afterschool! Iceland’s teen substance abuse statistics dropped dramatically after they created their Planet Youth program. One major reason: country-wide afterschool programs that get kids active. These presenters are doing it!


  • Create a rocking school wellness council …The law requires school wellness councils on the county level and encourages them on the school level. Learn how you can join in and help move your school toward healthy food and activity.


  • Personal Wellness –. If you want to help your community be healthy, why not be healthy yourself? Two wonderful health and wellness coaches from different generations give you insight and inspiration.


  • Create a dynamite youth group. These West Virginia youth and their sponsors will inspire and move you. Kids are involved in group leadership, providing a healthy alternative to drugs, promoting mindfulness, and getting great results. Come with your questions or ready to talk about what you’re doing!


  • Brand your town healthy. Two 2020 Healthy People/Healthy Places award-winners talk about the step-by-step approach to creating a healthier community. The Placemaking coordinator of the Food and Farm Coalition adds other examples. If you’d like to make a plan for how your community can win next year, this is your session.


  • Feeding hungry people: FRIDAY ONLY. Mountaineer Food Bank can supply food. Nourishing Networks can help build a team to connect the food with people. Grow Appalachia can help you teach people how to raise part of their food. And Andy Pense can tell you how the Office of Child Nutrition can help.


  • Supercharge your running program: A 5K once a month. Weston people heard Williamson people talk at Try This about the way their monthly 5Ks get people doing daily runs to improve their best time on the 5K. Weston decided to try it. Big success! If you’d like to help people build a running habit, come to this one


  • Build trails and get people on them! West Virginia builds and connects miles of trails to promote biking, hiking, walking, running.  Water trails are set up to promote paddling. How do we let people know they’re there? How do we get funding? These people know how!


  • Cooking healthy for large groups: Changing the food culture. College, church, grade school, these three presenters each serve hundreds of West Virginians at a time. They all aim to improve the diet of West Virginians. How do you do that on a big scale? And how do you use it as a teaching experience?


  • Open your waterfront to paddling and boating: Paddling is booming in WV. So is kayak fishing! What better form of physical activity can there be? Hear from towns that have opened up their waterfronts to a lot of fun and healthy activity.



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