Registration is open for Harford County’s popular summer camp for people with differing abilities ages 8 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, June 22 through Friday, June 26 at the Churchville Recreation Center, 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 fourth year the camp has been offered by the Harford County Office of Disability Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation, with the support of the Local Management Board.
To participate, 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 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 forms are available online.
More than 20,000 individuals with disabilities worldwide have learned to ride bikes through iCan Shine since it was founded 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.
“Volunteers will get to see campers’ smiles grow bigger each day in this life-changing program,” County Executive Glassman said. “We are excited to bring it back this year and spread the joy of riding a bike to citizens with differing abilities.”
Registration for participants and volunteers is online at https://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].