iCan Bike Camp seeks registrants and volunteers

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Harford County’s bike camp for people with differing abilities is seeking volunteers for this summer’s program. Here are the details provided by the county government:

Volunteers assist campers as they experience the joy of learning to ride a bike at Harford County’s 2018 bike camp for individuals with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of the Harford County government)

Registration Open for Harford County Bike Camp for People with Differing Abilities; Volunteers Needed

BEL AIR, Md., (March 22, 2022) – Registration is open for Harford County’s popular summer camp for people with differing abilities to learn and experience the thrill of bike riding.  Volunteer spotters are needed to assist instructors and serve each rider on a specially adapted bike; no experience is necessary.

The iCan Bike Camp, developed by the nonprofit iCan Shine, will be held Monday, June 27, through Friday, July 1, 2022 at the Churchville Recreation Center, Level Building, 3023 Level Road. 

Participants and volunteers have found the camp to be a life-changing and joyful experience.

Eligible riders must be ages 8 or older and have a differing ability. They must also be able to walk without an assistive device; be able to step side-to-side; be willing and able to wear a bike helmet; and have a parent, caregiver, or friend who will stay on the premises during each day of camp.  All riders will receive a T-shirt and a Medal of Completion at the closing ceremony on the last day of camp.

Riders must pre-register for the same 75-minute daytime slot on each of the five days of camp and will be instructed by trained staff and assisted by two volunteers.  Time slots are available beginning at 8:30 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.  The cost for each camper is $50 and space is limited. Registration forms for participants and volunteers are online at https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/3368/31038/Harford-County-Bike-Camp.

More than 20,000 individuals with disabilities worldwide have learned to ride bikes with iCan Shine since its founding in 2007.  The program uses a fleet of adapted bicycles, a specialized instructional program, and trained staff to teach individuals with disabilities how to ride a bike in a warm and encouraging environment.  Over the course of the five-day camp, the adaptive bike is adjusted gradually to introduce more instability to challenge riders at their own pace.  Volunteer spotters work with the same rider for all five days and experience the joy of giving the gift of bike riding.

This is the fifth year the camp has been offered by Harford County Office of Disability Services and the Department of Parks & Recreation under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman. 

“We are excited to bring back this program for our citizens with differing abilities,” said Rachel Harbin, manager for the Harford County Office of Disability Services.  “The response is overwhelmingly positive for riders, and volunteers find this to be a rewarding and heartfelt experience.” 

For more information, please contact Rachel Harbin, Office of Disability Services at 410-638-3373 or disability@harfordcountymd.gov.