The Redmond School District (RSD) is hosting a Bike for Life camp from July 10 – 14, 2017 at Ridgeview High School.
Bike for Life camps are five-day events, designed to help individuals learn how to ride bikes, including those with special needs, camp facilitator Dianna Hansen explained. In addition to volunteering with Bike for Life, Hansen is the executive director of the Central Oregon Disability Support Network.
“These camps provide the attendees with a valuable life skill and a sense of independence,” Hansen said. “Many of the kids attending may not go on to drive, so having the ability to use a bicycle as transportation is very important for their future education and employment needs.”
Campers are outfitted with specially designed bikes to help support any level of experience, physical disability and intellectual or developmental disability. They are accompanied by two volunteer assistants for one hour and fifteen minutes each day.
Bike for Life is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteers and support from community partners, Hansen said. “We couldn’t operate these camps without the donated time, resources and money of those in our area.”
RSD adapted physical education specialist Amy Nickell said the camp has already proven to be successful in its first year and will go on to be an annual event.
“Based on the outpouring of support from the community, which included enabling 13 of our 16 campers attending this year’s camp on scholarship, we plan to continue hosting a yearly summer camp for this region and serving more kids each year,” Nickell said.
In addition to learning how to ride bikes, the camp provides attendees free bike tune-ups and adjustments for their personal bikes and ensures their helmets are adjusted properly.
Bike for Life camps boasts an 80 percent success rate for its campers learning how to ride successfully on their own and offers a free refresher course the following summer.
This year’s camp was made possible by the following generous community partners: St. Charles Health System, Rotary of Redmond, Central Oregon Disability Support Network, Mid Oregon Credit Union, Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon, VFW, Autism Society of Oregon, Oregon Adaptive Sports, 1st Choice Assistive Care, Albertsons, Food 4 Less, Great Harvest, New York City Subs, Hutch’s Bicycles, Trinity Bicycles and Strider Bikes.