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STAR, Inc. and Waypoint Adventure now partnering to offer an outdoor adventure series to youths and young adults with disabilities!

  STAR Offers Local Rock Climbing, Kayaking, and Hiking Adventures for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

      

STAR, Inc. Lighting the Way and Waypoint Adventures partner to offer a 4-part series of outdoor adventures around Southwestern CT for youth and young adults with disabilities. The series will begin with Indoor Rock Climbing at Rock Climb Fairfield in Fairfield on June 9; continue with two sessions of Kayaking at Weed Beach in Darien on Saturday, August 11; and finish with a half-day Hike on Saturday, October 13.  These adventures are designed to be fun and safe for all participants and allow participants to enjoy an adventure that might otherwise be inaccessible.

“We’re thrilled to partner with STAR, Inc. again this year to offer more life transforming adventure programs in southern CT! We had such a great turn out last year at the adaptive kayaking day on Weed Beach and the thought of expanding into rock climbing and hiking this year is really exciting! Many people don’t know this but, to us, Waypoint Adventure’s programs are about more than just having fun. They’re about positive individual and group development, building social and character skills, forming teams and transforming people’s views of themselves and their abilities. Last year, following the program, one young lady wrote us to say thank you. She said, ‘It was an amazing time kayaking with you guys today! You inspired me and showed me what I CAN do despite my disability. Thank you!’ As soon as I read this I thought to myself, “mission accomplished,” says Adam Combs, Co-Founder, Waypoint Adventure.

This is the second year that STAR, Inc. and Waypoint have worked together to offer programs in this area. A crucial piece to the success of this adventure program is a corps of volunteers who play a large role in making these experiences positive, impactful and fun. Those interested in volunteering are required to take a brief training course and should please contact Jennifer Thompson at STAR, Inc. jthompson@starct.org.

Katie Banzhaf, STAR Executive Director, endorses the program, “These classes are a great way for our two organizations to work together to offer typically inaccessible adventures to local participants. We are thrilled that The STAR Foundation has underwritten a generous grant to help with program costs that will make this adventure series financially accessible for all participants.  These classes are always so much fun. I’m not sure who enjoys the classes more, the volunteers or participants,”

Waypoint Adventure, based in Lexington, MA, is a non-profit educational organization that uses quality experiential and adventure-based programs to transform the lives of individuals with disabilities. They work with school groups, social service organizations, families and individuals to offer custom designed adventure programs that meet their goals and objectives.  Waypoint’s vision is that all people, regardless of ability, will have opportunities for adventure, and through them realize their personal value, strengths and abilities. The challenge faced and support discovered in these experiences will help people become stronger individuals and community members. The mission of Waypoint Adventure is to challenge youth and adults with disabilities to discover their purpose, talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. For more information visit www.waypointadventure.com

STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way is a not–for-profit organization established in 1952 to serve individuals of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as providing support services to their families. STAR creates opportunities for individuals to live full lives with independence, freedom of choice and personal growth by providing support, services and advocacy. STAR’s customized employment program for people with I/DD leads the state in job placements and hours worked. Likewise, STAR’s birth to three program continues to exceed state and local average results with 100% of the children reducing the gap, and 93% caught up in developmental milestones. Headquartered in Norwalk and with new offices in 15 Cross Street, Norwalk and 111 Elm Street, New Canaan, STAR annually serves over 600 individuals from birth through their senior years in Fairfield County. They aim to inform and encourage the community to recognize and appreciate the value of all individuals.

For more information about STAR, Inc., Lighting the Way, or to volunteer or donate, visit www.starct.org

To participate or volunteer, email jthompson@starct.org

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