KCR: Volunteers break down barriers

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

One of the joys of living in the Okanagan has to be access to the amazing recreational opportunities … but what about for those who face barriers? Thanks to the amazing volunteers and team at CRIS Adaptive Adventures (Community Recreational Initiatives Society), these barriers are broken down, making outdoor adventures accessible for all.

Dannielle Hennig, interim executive director of CRIS Adaptive Adventures, explains that the organization started 20 years serving the Okanagan with a mission to break down barriers to outdoor recreation for people with physical, mental or cognitive or other challenges and disabilities, be they temporary or permanent.

“We facilitate just about every outdoor activity under the sun – we do programs or trips where we offer hiking, paddling, glacier traverses, rock climbing, hunting, ice fishing, you name it, says Danielle. “We offer adaptive equipment rentals outside of our programs as well!”

“Without volunteers we would not be able to do all of the programs that we do,” continues Danielle. “We do require (and provide) fairly extensive training. Volunteering is self-scheduled online for our programs where you get to participate in the activities and directly interact with our clients. There are also opportunities to volunteer outside of programs helping in the office, with equipment maintenance, and much more. We are looking for people who are outdoor enthusiasts and want to make a difference in the community.”

If you are interested in applying, contact Danielle through the CRIS website www.adaptiveadventures.ca or the VolunteerConnector on KCR’s website www.kcr.ca.

“Volunteers are integral to CRIS and without them we could not break down barriers like we do,” says Danielle. “As a volunteer you get to go hiking, cycling, kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoeing and more! Not only do volunteers get to explore new trails and areas around the Okanagan but they get to make these opportunities accessible for those who couldn’t necessarily participate on their own.”

“We also host volunteer socials and have a volunteer Facebook group to connect outdoor enthusiasts and link you up with new adventure buddies,” shares Danielle to explain the connection volunteers form with the CRIS team. “Our volunteers often form amazing friendships and this summer we had groups of staff and volunteers embark on their own adventures taking on a sunrise hike at Needle Peak.”

So if you are game for recreation, love the outdoors and want to break down barriers, contact the team at CRIS and start making new adventures.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

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