Harford County to Offer “iCanBike” Camp August 14 – 18 for People with Disabilities Ages 8+
Harford County’s Office of Disability Services and Department of Parks and Recreation will offer a five-day camp in August for people with disabilities ages eight and older to learn and experience the thrill of bike riding. Volunteer spotters are needed to serve each rider on a specially adapted bike. The “iCanBike” camp, developed by the nonprofit iCanShine, will be held Monday, August 14 through Friday, August 18 at the Churchville Parks and Recreation Level Building at 3023 Level Road in Churchville. Riders must pre-register for the same 75-minute daytime slot on each of the five days and will be instructed by trained staff and assisted by two volunteers. Time slots are available beginning at 8:30 a.m. through 2:15 p.m. The cost for camp is $50; space is limited and registration is available online.
“We are excited to offer this program for the first time in Harford County,” said Rachel Harbin, disabilities coordinator for the Harford County Office of Disability Services. “Community members have been asking for this opportunity and we know that volunteers will find this to be a rewarding and heartwarming experience.”
To qualify, riders must have a differing ability; be able to walk without an assistive device; be able to step side-to-side; be willing and able to wear a bike helmet; and have a parent, caregiver, or friend who will stay on the premises during each day of camp. Camp participants enjoy many benefits including increased self-esteem, positive changes in family dynamics, inclusion opportunities, independent transportation, and improved physical fitness and overall quality of life. All riders will receive a T-shirt and a Medal of Completion at the closing ceremony on the last day of camp.
Volunteer spotters will work with the same rider for each of the five days and experience the joy of giving the gift of riding a bike. Experience is not necessary.
The iCanBike program was designed by iCanShine, an international nonprofit that has taught over 20,000 individuals with disabilities to ride bikes since its founding in 2007. iCanBike uses a fleet of adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and a trained staff to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride a bike in a warm and encouraging environment. Over the course of the five-day camp the adapted bike is adjusted to gradually introduce more instability in an effort to challenge riders at their own individual pace. The week concludes with a celebratory award ceremony.
Registration for participants and volunteers alike is available online at www.harfordcountymd.gov/2232/Harford-County-Bike-Camp.
For more information, please contact Rachel Harbin, Office of Disability Services at 410-638-3373 or [email protected].