Cycling is one of many activities offered for people of all ages with disabilities in the Community Recreational Initiatives Society’s Adaptive Adventures program. (CRIS photo)

Adaptive recreational program counts Vernon, Lake Country among stops

Adaptive Adventures is part of Community Recreational Initiatives Society’s program

It’s a program for people with disabilities Shelley Buchanan Gilmore wants more people to become aware of.

She is the CEO and general manager of the Community Recreational Initiatives Society which provides an Adaptive Adventures program specifically designed to enable all people regardless of disability to enjoy beautiful outdoor recreation.

“Twenty-five per cent of the Okanagan community faces barriers to outdoor recreation,” said Buchanan Gilmore. “Whether it’s a physical disability, cognitive, sensory, recovering from surgery, short- and long-term disabilities, we’re here to help.

“It’s a misnomer that our program is only for people with significant brain injuries.”

Adaptive Adventure programs include cycling, hiking and kayaking in spring and summer. Winter programs include hiking, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Right now, the program is averaging 10+ trips a week. The program comes to Vernon twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Lake Country facilities are used for kayaking.

“All of our programs vary in location and suit a variety of interests,” said Buchanan Gilmore. “Whether it is an informative hike that you seek or a huge water fight out on the water, Adaptive Adventures programs provide an experience for all to enjoy – no matter their age or ability.”

The trips, she said, are typically two hours long and time-based programs. A safety certified guide is sent out on each trip.

COVID-19 protocols are in place. Participants can wear masks or ask for one, and equipment is cleaned and disinfected, if this helps with their decisions to take part.

CRIS Adaptive Adventures is very active online and with social media. Information on the programs can be found on Facebook (CRIS Adaptive Adventures), Instagram (crisadaptiveadventures) or at

CRIS Adaptive Adventures were the selected winners of $3,000 in an online giveaway earlier this year orchestrated by North Okanagan business Nor-Val Rentals.

READ MORE: Okanagan organizations team up to host outdoor-accessibility event

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Getting people of all ages with disabilities involved in such outdoor recreational pursuits as kayaking is one of the goals of the Community Recreational Initiatives Society’s Adaptive Adventures program. (CRIS photo)

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