Nonprofits  July 21, 2023

Colorado Youth Outdoors partners with Outdoor Buddies on classes

FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins-based Colorado Youth Outdoors will open its fall Day CORE class Wednesdays starting Aug. 8. Classes run on Wednesdays until Nov. 9 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for sixth to 12th graders.

CYO and nonprofit Outdoor Buddies Inc., also of Fort Collins, will provide personalized, adaptive equipment needed for child and adult participants to enjoy the outdoors while strengthening relationships with each other and the outdoors, the organizations said in a press release.

Colorado Youth Outdoors, 4927 E. County Road 36 in Fort Collins, is a facility that permits outdoor recreational activities such as bow shooting and fishing.

“The partnership with CYO is exciting — everyone benefits from a day spent learning to participate, appreciate, communicate or dedicate yourself,” said Larry Sanford, president of Outdoor Buddies; Sanford also is an instructor at Day CORE.  “We all need that. Each of us benefits from getting outdoors and learning some new skills.” 

Ken Brink, CYO’s lead instructor of the Day CORE class, said the involvement of Outdoor Buddies “opens a new set of options to the Day CORE program. Larry’s optimism and experience makes us feel like we can do amazing things to include people with special needs.”

This is the first year that CYO has partnered with Outdoor Buddies, said Courtney Strouse, programming director for CYO. “Outdoor Buddies helps CYO reach a new demographic of our community that we have not previously been able to serve on a broad scale. We hope that through this partnership, we will be able to reach people who never thought they could engage in traditional outdoor recreation due to physical or mental barriers.”

Sanford, who lost an arm in an electrical accident that changed the trajectory of his life, said, “Not everyone has an advocate. Outdoor Buddies wants to reach as many folks as possible and be there for them. Folks with disabilities or degenerative diseases have to constantly adapt to the world. If they can enjoy a new activity without reinventing the wheel, it’s a pretty cool feeling. This is programming with a purpose for people of all abilities.”

In addition to the Day CORE class partnership with Outdoor Buddies, CYO also offers CORE evening classes from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from Aug. 8-Nov. 9.

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