Registration is open for Harford County’s popular summer camp for people with differing abilities, 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 12 through Friday, July 16 at Harford’s Churchville Recreation Center, Level Building, 3023 Level Road.
Volunteer spotters, ages 15 and older, are needed to assist instructors and serve each rider on a specially adapted bike; no experience is necessary.
This is the fourth year that the camp has been offered by Harford County’s Office of Disability Services and the Department of Parks & Recreation under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman.
Participants and volunteers have found the camp to be a life-changing 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 a face mask; and have a parent, caregiver, or friend who will stay on site every 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 2:00 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 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. Volunteer spotters work with the same rider for all five days.
“We’re excited to bring back this joyful program for our citizens with differing abilities,” County Executive Glassman, said. “Riders and their families love it, and volunteers tell us it’s a memorable and heartfelt experience.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.