19th Annual Days on the Lake: Bartlett Lake Marina in Carefree, Arizona
With Contributions from Gus LaZear and Jo Crawford
The Days on the Lake program is celebrating its 19th year of adaptive water sports programming. The growth of this one-of-a-kind Arizona program has allowed it to go from Day on the Lake to Days on the Lake. Jo Crawford, Program Coordinator of the Barrow Connection, recognized a need to expand the program and initiated facilitating the program three times over the course of the summer. Days were held in May and June, with the final days scheduled for September 11th and 12th, 2015.
This program allows participants to improve their skills in a variety of adaptive water sports such as water skiing, jet skiing, kayaking and fishing. For those interested in a boat ride around Bartlett Lake, a double decker boat cruises multiple times a day during the event.
The effects of the Days on the Lake program don’t just stop at the lake when the participants leave. Barrow Connection completed a three-year study to explore a variety of areas, including perceived abilities and attitudes, after participants complete the Days on the Lake program. They found that 65-70% of the participants engage in a new activity. These activities included returning to work, school, volunteering and signing up for other recreation/sports classes. This is exciting news, as it continues to show the benefit of having access to adapted sports and recreation and the long-term effects it has on someone’s life.
For many people who have sustained an injury, this program is the first time they are introduced to many of the water sports activities they can do. Days on the Lake has been a springboard for many participants to become more active in their everyday lives, and many leave the event with the feeling of, “If I can do this, I can do anything!”
Days on the Lake encourages people to get out and get active, and has the equipment and trained volunteers to make it happen. The owner of Bartlett Lake Marina, Bryan Church, has also made this program his ministry; he is dedicated to getting everyone out and active! Over the course of the summer, Days on the Lake engages 150 or more individuals in water sports, fishing and boating. As the event motto states, EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO PLAY!
Barrow Connection is a program of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Jo Crawford, MSL, CTRS
The opportunity to play and live an active life is a need we all desire and deserve. Here is just one example of the impact this program has had on its participants:
Bobbie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis twelve years ago and had not participated in any adapted recreation or sports, as she was already busy raising four children under the age of five years old. She had signed up for the May Day on the Lake event, but as she stated, “I chickened out!” The June event came and her daughter told her, “Mom, get in the car! We are going!” Bobbi arrived and was excited and nervous about going water skiing for the first time. Not only did Bobbi water ski for the first time, she also experienced jet skiing and kayaking.
Bobbi came to find me when leaving her first Day on the Lake and said, “I just wanted to tell you that I thought my life was OK. Then I had today and it changed everything! I had no idea until today how much more exciting and fun my life can be. I LOVE Day on the Lake! It has changed my life!”
I never want to hear about anyone staying at home and not doing something because they don’t think they can. This program has proven time and time again that being active is achievable.
Coming in September!
Days on the Lake – Friday, Sept. 11th & Saturday, Sept. 12th | 8am – 3pm
Bartlett Lake Marina in Carefree, Arizona
Fishing • Kayaking • Boating • Jet Skiing • Waterskiing
Open to all and saluting veterans this month!
Register / Resource Link | 1-877-602-4111 or Barrow Connection | 602-406-6280