During the winter months, the Recreational Therapy Department hosts downhill skiing and cross country skiing with the residents. In order for the residents to be eligible, they must be on a Leader or Guide phase and have positive participation in groups and other scheduled activities. Residents receive training from professional agencies that specialize in helping individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
Many of the kids that attend these outings are given a great opportunity to challenge themselves and try something that they might not have tried otherwise. It can be frustrating to learn but also a very rewarding experience. Some end up enjoying it so much that they want to continue going when they return home, which gives them a healthy recreational skill that they have been able to develop, and they can continue to learn and progress.
One student shared his experience:
“When I first started doing cross country skiing I hated it so much because it was so difficult for me to get the form right. I kept telling the Recreation Therapist about how much this sucked and about how I want to quit because I will most likely never get this right because I snowboard not ski. I kept working and kept working on it mainly because I didn’t want to get in trouble for not participating in the activity. Soon when we got to the trail I was having so much fun because they had these downhill parts that you get going pretty fast on. Afterwards, I was telling the instructors about how much I couldn’t wait to go on the second trip! The best part about these outings are: some people feel like it’s the scenery, some people feel like its just great to be around friends, you know that all very good too, but the best part for me is eating a whole lot of food afterwards!” – CHYC student
Recreation Therapy also takes residents on various outings including sporting events, the arcade, and a gymnastic gymnasium called Airborne.
“I love going to Airborne, because I love to jump and learn how to do new and more tricks on the trampolines and also doing the Ninja Course.”
“One really exciting thing to do is the ropes course. There are three courses, the cargo net, the giant ladder, and the outside course. These each give an exciting physical and social exercise. We each promote and encourage each other positively to do well. These things are very fun for us kids.” – CHYC student