~ by Peggy Stokes, Residential Water Specialist
One of my favorite forms of water is as ice crystals, on a 20 degree slope.
About 5 years ago, as my circle of skiing friends was shrinking, I looked for another outlet that would fulfill a desire to continue skiing and incorporate my enjoyment of community service. I was fortunate to find the Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and Sports program just 20 minutes from my house.
CMARS serves children and adults with a variety of disabilities. My job is to assist ski lessons that require various adaptations – from tethers to control speed and direction, to sit down apparatus. I am genuinely inspired by the students and gratified to see them making progress towards their personal goals. Even some of the students who are not verbal or have difficulty speaking are able to express the joy and sense of accomplishment they feel by participating.
Part of what makes CMARS so appealing to me is the thoughtful leadership, the tremendously co-operative group of volunteers and the appreciative students. Together, we are building community. Kind of like Secondwind employees and customers!
The CMARS (Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and Sports) program brings people with disabilities together with family and friends in a range of accessible recreational and sport activities including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cycling, paddling and hiking. Crotched Mountain’s Nationally-Certified Recreational Therapists and over 60 trained volunteers provide over 1,400 hours annually of accessible recreation experiences for people of all abilities. All CMARS activities are open to the public and to people of all abilities, including children and adults with developmental disabilities or autism, who have experienced stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury, or who have decreased mobility due to arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy or other conditions.