FOREST HEIGHTS, Md. (DC News Now) — James “Butch” Goodwin started Goombay Adventures more than three decades ago. His organization has helped children in the DMV remain active and focused on good decision-making.

Goodwin also encourages African American adults in their late 40s and older to get off the couch and get moving.

“Our communities have been strapped with diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.” said Goodwin, “We continue to encourage and push people to get active to enjoy life and improve their health.”

Goodwin says it was tough initially to get people involved in activities that are not considered normal in Black communities.

“It was a big challenge to get people interested in kickball,” said Goodwin. “It was tough to get men and women to sign up for whitewater rafting, but interest continues to grow.”

Katedra Nixon has been with Goombay Adventures for more than a decade. She saw whitewater rafting as a challenge.

“I remember thinking that this is something we don’t normally do, but I wanted to give it a try to show we can do what others do if we are focused,” said Nixon.

Nixon encouraged others to get out of their comfort zones and give Goombay Adventures a try.

“We do so many fun things including hiking, mountain climbing, camping, kickball and many co-ed activities,” said Nixon. “It keeps focused on staying active throughout the year.

Goodwin said he will remain the driving force behind Goombay Adventures.

“We have to get people to try new things,” said Goodwin. “This keeps them excited and engaged and getting healthier — both mentally and physically.”