Volunteers Needed for Spring Vacation Bike Camp in Groton

Great Opportunity for Students to Help Children with Special Needs Learn to Bike


Volunteers are needed during April school vacation week, April 15 -19, to assist at a learn-to-bike camp at Lawrence Academy in Groton for children with special needs. Emerson Hospital’s Clough Family Center for Rehabilitative and Sports Therapies is hosting the fifth annual camp, called iCan Shine, which is open to children who are at least eight years old who have special needs and are able to walk without an assistive device. Trained counselors and volunteer spotters will work with campers throughout the week to teach them how to ride a conventional bike. 

Volunteer Requirements
Volunteers need to be at least fourteen years old and be available for one or two 75 minute bike sessions each day Monday through Friday during April school vacation week. All sessions are held at the indoor hockey rink at Lawrence Academy, 26 Powder House Road, Groton, Massachusetts. The session times are: 8:30 am – 9:45 am; 10:05 am – 11:20 am; 11:40 am – 12:55 pm; 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm; and 3:35 – 4:50 pm. Volunteers will be trained by professional counselors and we request they attend the same session(s) each day so they can provide continuity for the campers.  Volunteers will earn community service hours, a t-shirt, a certificate from Emerson Hospital, and the incredible feeling of satisfaction knowing they helped children learn to bike.  

“Riding a bike is one of the most exciting developmental milestones - it gives people a wonderful outlet for exercise and freedom, and is an activity that families can enjoy together,” says Mary Evans, PT, Pediatric and Neurologic Specialist, Emerson Hospital. “Each year, our volunteers have an extremely positive and memorable experience as they play a key role in helping children learn to bike.  The progress the campers make is due to the passion of our volunteers.“

The camp is run by iCan Shine, a national non-profit organization that teaches individuals with special needs to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle.  Using adapted bicycle equipment, trained professionals, including pediatric physical therapists from Emerson Hospital, along with student volunteers, work closely with each camper to help them meet their goals of biking. With 75 minutes of daily instruction over five consecutive days, more than 80% of campers learn to ride independently, and nearly all campers make great progress towards biking on their own. 

For more information and to register as a volunteer, please visit: http://icanshine.org/ican-bike-groton-ma/ or email Mary Evans, PT at icanshinebike_rehab@emersonhosp.org.  Sponsors of this year’s bike camp are: Lawrence Academy, Spring Hill Suites, Hilton Garden Inn Devens, Bay State Apparel, Cataldo Gift and Garden Shop, and Goodale’s Bike store of Nashua. 

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