The "Lose the Training Wheels" camp has an 80 percent success rate.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
- August 9, 2012
|Jen Holen, Basin Electric charitable giving coordinator,
helps camper Taylor Celley learn to ride bike.
Eleven Basin Electric volunteers helped kids with disabilities this week learn how to ride a bike. The “Lose the Training Wheels” camp was brought to Bismarck for the first time Aug. 6-10 by Designer Genes North Dakota, a Down syndrome support network. The camp is held to help campers feel a sense of independence by learning to ride bike.
“It was an opportunity that our community could definitely benefit from. It’s an activity that would allow the campers some independence. It’s a lifelong fitness activity they can do forever and something they can do with their peers and families,” said Heather Lundeen, camp director.
“Lose the Training Wheels” provides specially designed bikes retro-fitted with rollers in the back to provide stability. As the riders become more proficient, they graduate rollers, working their way up to riding a two-wheeler bike.
Two volunteers helped each rider per session. Cathy Persinger, travel coordinator at Basin Electric Headquarters, was a spotter at the camp this week and kept her camper focused and motivated.
“The smile on the children’s faces just warms your soul. Then seeing the smiles on the parent’s faces is incredible. Even watching my co-workers working with the kids has just made it an all around great week,” Persinger said. “I just feel good when I leave here, and it even gives you the chance to get a little bit of exercise before you go back to the office.”
The camp has an 80 percent success rate. Designer Genes North Dakota hopes that with more time and practice, all 32 campers will be riders in the community.
“We hope they are able to reap the benefits of bike riding. But even more so, we hope that they gain self esteem and self confidence,” Lundeen said.