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STRIDE Announces Recreational Camping Weekend for Veterans with Disabilities



Local veterans with disabilities from the Wounded Warrior program at STRIDE Adaptive Sports are getting back in the saddle – literally and figuratively – for a much needed weekend of fun and healing with their family.

Seventeen veteran participants and their families will spend this Friday through Sunday at the STRIDE Center for Outdoor Recreation and Education (SCORE), an 86 acre campground in Chatham with miles of trails, ponds and streams, a competitive archery range, 3 different camping areas, and a large pavilion/main lodge. It’s part of a collaborative effort with Warfighter Sports of Move United to get combat-injured veterans back to play as the state reopens after pandemic closures.

Activities will include adaptive horseback riding at High & Mighty Horse Ranch, tent camping, archery, a service dog educator to help deepen the bond between soldier and service dog, and campfire music played by a fellow veteran. As Mary Ellen Whitney, STRIDE Founder/CEO explains, recreation therapy is known to improve the mood and life of veterans with disabilities acquired during combat.

“There’s research that adaptive sports and recreation significantly lower the amounts of tension, depression and anger that veterans with disabilities experience,” said Whitney. “Warfighter Sports has funded STRIDE with a grant so we can get our veterans back at it and experiencing these benefits. We have a huge campground that is more than adequate to have fun while practicing social distancing, and we’re really excited to put this amazing venue back to good use.”

According to STRIDE Program Director, Megan Evans, STRIDE holds two big veteran weekends every year – one in the winter, and one in the summer or fall. “We were fortunate enough to hold our winter weekend before the COVID epidemic hit,” said Evans. “Now we are excited to get into the second half of our program. STRIDE believes adaptive sports is a year-round lifestyle, and we do everything we can to make this lifestyle available for our local veterans.”

More information about STRIDE’s Wounded Warrior program and its 17 other adaptive sports and recreation programs is available at https://www.stride.org or by contacting Megan Evans, STRIDE Program Director, at 518-598-1279, [email protected].

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