Outdoor adventure for kids with autism | AspenTimes.com

Outdoor adventure for kids with autism

Mark Fox

Volunteers have developed personal relationships with many of the autistic children taking part in Challenge Aspen's Adventure Camp. (Mark Fox/Aspen Times Weekly)

This past week, Challenge Aspen hosted its third annual Outdoor Adventure Camp for children with autism.The children rode horses with Maroon Bells Outfitters, went fishing at Burlingame Pond on Snowmass Mountain, spent an afternoon at the Red Brick Recreation Center, rode the new Silver Queen Gondola on Aspen Mountain, and enjoyed an evening with their families and friends at the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt.

The eight children in this most recent camp came from as far away as California and as nearby as Basalt. Several have attended the camps in the past and have established relationships with the Challenge Aspen volunteers and mentors. Those personal connections are especially important with autistic children.

“Everything we do with these children keeps them active,” said Sarah Lloyd Williams, managing program director for Challenge Aspen. “They have a lot of energy and they need to be stimulated.”

Autism is an increasingly common disability, Williams said, so the nonprofit intends to offer more programming to answer the growing need. The organization has scheduled three adventure camps for next summer. Thanks in part to Challenge Aspen’s year-round programs, four families with autistic children have relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley, she added.For more information, contact Williams at (970) 923-0578.For additional photos see the Aspen Times Weekly

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