This summer, we had the pleasure of working with 31 year-old Fred Cordray. Born with a chromosomal abnormality, Fred is non-verbal and has developmental delay, using an iPad to communicate, along with gestures and sounds. After he attended a few of our summer programs, we had the chance to ask his mom Judith and our hiking and archery program coordinator Laurel a few questions about his experience with Achieve Tahoe.
Achieve Tahoe: What activities did Fred participate in with Achieve Tahoe?
Judith (Fred’s Mom): Fred has done archery and hiking. We were hoping to get in one of the Sierra Summer Sports classes but did not – hopefully next summer!
Achieve Tahoe: What was his favorite Achieve Tahoe activity? Why?
Judith: I think Fred liked hiking the best – he LOVES to hike, and since he was the only one hiking, he had Laurel all to himself. He had a great time.
Laurel (Hiking and Archery Coordinator): Fred really loved the bingo card we did on the hike. He eagerly looked to find all the items, which included everything from a bird flying to a purple flower. We ended up hiking 8 miles in Tahoe Meadows!
Achieve Tahoe: Laurel, what was Fred’s experience at archery?
Laurel: Fred participated in archery with us last summer, and I definitely noticed he had improved over the year! He hit the target multiple times this year and I was really proud of him.
Achieve Tahoe: Judith, how did you hear about Achieve Tahoe?
Judith: It’s interesting that you asked how we learned about Achieve Tahoe. We moved [to Reno] from the east in 2010, and Fred was in high school at the time. One of his Special Education teachers organized an outing to go skiing for the entire class, with Achieve Tahoe. It was an amazing experience, and we were so impressed with the staff. They were kind, careful, professional, and wonderful at adapting to all of the individual students’ needs. I came away saying, I want to know more about this organization!! At the time, winter sports were the only thing offered – at least to my recollection – so it wasn’t until we started hearing about the summer program that we began planning to participate in the activities. (It being a bit easier to get up the hill when there’s no snow!)
Achieve Tahoe: How does accessible outdoor recreation influence your family?
Judith: While Fred is active in Special Olympics and competes in nearly all of their sports here in Reno, getting up to Tahoe and seeing a different perspective, different scenery, different people, has been a wonderful opportunity. Getting outdoors and enjoying the beautiful surroundings around Lake Tahoe is a real treat. Particularly when you live in the city.
Thank you Judith, Laurel, and Frederick for sharing your experience with the Achieve Tahoe community! We look forward to seeing you all out and recreating again soon.