Recreational Activities

You need not be an athlete for your body and mind to benefit from movement and exercise. They are important parts of staying happy and healthy -- whatever your functional capabilities.

NDAD has sponsored recreation activities for people with disabilities over its existence. The most notable is adaptive water-skiing, a central activity in NDAD’s annual Escape to the Lake summer event in North Dakota.

NDAD also provides activity camperships or scholarships for individuals, provided that the activity is related to his or her disability. Examples include, but are not limited to, Camp Grassick, Camp Sioux and Escape to the Lake, as well as swimming lessons.

NDAD sometimes sponsors other recreational endeavors around the state for people with special needs. These events provide a wide range of opportunities, from exercise and artistic expression to social connections. Contact NDAD at (800) 532-NDAD to learn about such activities.
Endless Possibilities In Cycling spin class -- 2014
Class instructor Karen Lauer has a pre-class word with cyclist Andrea image
Class instructor Karen Lauer has a pre-class word with cyclist Andrea Rushford.
Class instructor Karen Lauer has a pre-class word with cyclist Andrea Rushford. Andrea Rushford (left) keeps up the cycling workout as class colleague Nick Vejtasa glances down the first row. Mary Jo Esslinger gets most of herself into the stationary cycling class at Choice Health & Fitness. Andrea Rushford. The front row at the Endless Possibilities in Cycling course is filled on this early November evening. (Foreground to background: Erin Baumann, Mary Jo Esslinger, Kevin Ryan, Conner Ryan, Terry Tiseth, Andrea Rushford Nick Vejtasa and Robert Johnson.
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One way that NDAD has helped to expand recreational opportunities for people with disabilities is its sponsorship of the two-year-old Endless Opportunities in Cycling (EPIC) spin class for people with special needs. EPIC began in September 2014 at Grand Forks' Choice Health & Fitness and continues to attract a steady group of participants, according to class instructor / leader Karen Lauer. The half-hour class -- held Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m., with doors opening 15 minutes prior -- gradually has gained new participants, but there's room for plenty more, Lauer says. Cyclists pedal with some lively music -- some of it picked by Lauer, but much of it by special request from participants. The class is open to participants 14 years old and older who are able to ride a bike independently. Support staff is welcome to the class to help make sure the rides go smoothly, and a selection of assistants from UND are there to provide a hand, too. PHOTOS: Mike Brue, NDAD


Karen Schelinder
Karen Schelinder followed a path of helping others, ever since she served as a Lutheran church parish worker in the 1960s. When someone sought help, her philosophy had been simple. “There’s a reason they need it,” said Schelinder, told NDAD in an early 2013 interview. Karen died the following year at age 66.   In the ...
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