Volunteer Spotters Needed July 9 – 13
Registration is now open for Harford County’s popular summer camp for people with disabilities ages eight and older to learn and experience the thrill of bike riding. The “iCan Bike Camp,” developed by the nonprofit iCan Shine, will be held Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13 at the Harford County Parks & Rec facility in Churchville, Level Building, 3023 Level Road. Volunteer spotters are needed to assist instructors and serve each rider on a specially adapted bike; no experience is necessary. This is the second year that the camp has been offered by Harford County Office of Disability Services and the Department of Parks & Rec under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. Last year’s participants and volunteers found the camp to be a life-changing and joyful 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. All riders will receive a T-shirt and a Medal of Completion at the closing ceremony on the last day of camp.
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.
More than 20,000 individuals with disabilities worldwide have learned to ride bikes with iCan Shine since its founding in 2007. The program uses a fleet of adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and 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 adaptive bike is adjusted gradually to introduce more instability to challenge riders at their own pace. Every rider is instructed by trained staff and assisted by two volunteers daily. Volunteer spotters work with the same rider for all five days and experience joy of giving the gift of bike riding.
“We are excited to bring back this popular program,” said Rachel Harbin, manager for the Harford County Office of Disability Services. “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.”
Registration for participants and volunteers is online at http://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].