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Paddle Boarding, Camping, Skiing: New and Expanded Programs for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 70 K
Funding amount
1. Title: Paddle Boarding, Camping, Skiing: New and Expanded Programs for Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

2. Brief Project Description
BOEC is working to provide new and enhanced services for our participants. Specifically we want to build a new paddle board program, enhance access to our existing kayak program, create a new accessible camping option, and expand our ski program with the ability to serve more individuals in bi/mono skis. Finally, one of our key needs is on match funding to purchase a new 4 wheel drive full-size van to provide safe transportation to and from our program sites.

3. Expected outcomes
BOEC will have new opportunities for individuals with SCI to engage in and continue to develop their independence and physical and emotional well-being through experiences in the outdoors. Participants will apply their new skills confidently in their life, home, community, and work environments.

For example, BOEC will increase participation in paddling activity by providing the opportunity to learn how to paddle board in a safe and supportive environment. This includes falling in love with being out on the open water, in control of their own craft, building freedom and independence. Once these participants gain confidence in their skills and ability to guide the paddle board on their own, the possibilities for them to continue paddling are endless. They will be able to join us on additional programs and continue to enhance their skills. Individuals with an SCI can demonstrate to paddle board rental organizations that they have the necessary skills to rent the craft and then paddle on their own local lakes. The wonderful thing about paddle boarding is that individuals can purchase fairly in-expensive, inflatable paddle boards that can be easily transported (no need for roof racks and loading and unloading larger and heavier canoes or kayaks). This makes it relatively easy for those who are interested in continuing with the sport to do so.

4. Relevance to Neilsen Foundation Mission, including categories
One of the signature aspects or Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center programs is our goal to encourage participants to develop life skills, self-confidence, and self-efficacy while participating in outdoor adventures. We use a challenge by choice model where participants can stretch their boundaries in a safe and supportive environment. Our Scott Griffith Lodge provides accommodations for up to 50 people with accessible bathrooms and kitchen. We have adaptive cooking tools and engage participants in meal preparation, serving, and clean-up. Our program staff are prepared to encourage individuals to ‘try first’ and then ask for assistance. Participants explore the natural environment though participation in outdoor recreational activities with individuals who have similar physical challenges. Participants leave with new confidence and skills to be able live more independently.
(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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