ADAPTIVE ADVENTURES

Freedom through Mobility

Lakewood, CO   |  www.adaptiveadventures.org

Mission

Mission: To provide progressive outdoor sports opportunities to improve quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families. Vision: That all individuals with physical disabilities have access to participation in outdoor sports regardless of their location, equipment needs and economic status.

Ruling year info

1999

Executive Director

Chelsea Elder

Main address

1315 Nelson St Unit 1

Lakewood, CO 80215 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-1512653

NTEE code info

Recreational and Sporting Camps (Day, Overnight, etc.) (N20)

Other Recreation, Sports, or Leisure Activities N.E.C. (N99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (N01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Adaptive Adventures believes all people, regardless of their physical location and what their physical ability may be, should have the opportunity to experience the freedom and joy that comes with human powered outdoor activities and all the benefits they brings. Often individuals with physical disabilities are told or believe it is not possible for them to participate in outdoor sports due to perceived barriers of physical limitation. This issue is compounded when adaptive sports programs do not exist in their area. Adaptive Adventures meets individuals where they are physicalOur motto is “Freedom through mobility”.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Adaptive Adventures Military Operations Cycling Program

Adaptive Adventures Military Operations Cycling Program provides ongoing structured multi-week progressions in Colorado and Illinois. Veterans progress in their skills while enjoying the camaraderie of riding with other veterans.

Adaptive Adventures also provides a mobile cycling program, traveling thousands of miles per year to provide multi-day clinics at VA Medical Centers across the country. Adaptive Adventures travels with a fully loaded cycling trailer with a variety of adaptive cycles and sets up directly in VA parking lots to serve veterans and their families.

During the multi-day traveling clinics, veterans are provided the opportunity to try a variety of bikes and be properly fitted for an adaptive cycle to fit their needs. Veterans are taken through the basics of bike maintenance, road safety and nutrition, hydration and wellness for cyclists. Veterans then participate in a series of group rides with a closing graduation ride.

Adaptive Adventures seeks to serve the most underserved communities with the realization that the veterans served would most likely not be exposed to adaptive cycling or have the opportunity to be fitted for a proper cycle otherwise.

Population(s) Served

Adaptive Adventures is the national leader in adaptive cycling serving youth, adults, active military and veterans through a variety of program types such as one day experiential programs, single-day community rides, multi-day clinics and challenge rides.

A well-rounded fleet of hand cycles, recumbent foot pedaled trikes, tandems and traditional bikes coupled with a variety of adaptive equipment allow us to modify our cycles and give anybody a cycling experience that they will not forget.

Our Colorado and Illinois programs boast the largest adaptive cycling programs in their respective states and our national outreach is growing every year. The core of our program lies in our expert team of dedicated staff and volunteers along with our fully equipped trailer that give us the ability to travel anywhere and set up our mobile cycling clinics. Have cycles, will travel!

Adaptive Adventures is honored to be the lead organizer and provider of cycling programs for the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego, California. Adaptive Adventures participates in the Bicycle Tour of Colorado – a 7 day cycling adventure in the incredible Colorado Rockies – as well as a variety of other community rides that allow our cycling participants to integrate into a great community of like-minded cyclist.

Cycling is a a lifelong sport, we hope that you will join us and share the fun, excitement, challenges, and social interaction that is Adaptive Adventures cycling.

Adaptive bicycles lined up

Adaptive Adventures partners with rehab hospitals, military hospitals and VA medical centers across the country to provide opportunities for people to try our wide variety of adaptive cycles, learn basic bike maintenance and road safety, with the goal of cycling independently. The video above is from a three-day custom cycling clinic with the El Paso VA Medical Center.

Population(s) Served

Rock climbing is and has been a growing recreational sport for many reasons: health and fitness, strength training, flexibility, balance, and adventure. Climbing also requires mental strategies of planning, anticipation, and focus. Climbing is inherently a social activity that encourages like minded people to come together and form a community sharing experiences, stories, success, and challenges.

Adaptive rock climbing is no different! More systems are being developed to assist people with all sorts of abilities to experience the joys of climbing. Amputees can learn to use their prosthetics in a way to help propel them up the rock face. Paras and quads can use handlebar-style "ascenders" to grip a rope and ratchet themselves up. There are even different climbing harnesses with extra wide strapping and padding to help with pressure issues for those of us that don't have feeling. This is one of many sports that, depending on your ability level, you might not even need any adaptive equipment at all.

We offer indoor climbing clubs, outdoor climbing experiences and trips, custom veteran's series, adaptive climbing trainings and portable climbing wall services for adaptive events.

Population(s) Served

Adaptive Adventures provides ongoing climbing clubs to serve individuals and their families at climbing gyms in Chicago, IL; Boulder, CO; Grand Junction, CO; Golden, CO; Englewood, CO; Denver, CO and Fort Collins, CO.

Additionally Adaptive Adventures provides a traveling adaptive climbing training and clinic program. Adaptive Adventures partners with climbing gyms, VA Medical Centers, veteran service organizations, park and rec districts and other adaptive sports organizations providing adaptive climbing training and clinics to build sustainable adaptive climbing programs in underserved areas.

The Adaptive Adventures Military Operations program also provides outdoor climbing experiences and trips for veterans interested in expanding their skills.

Adaptive Adventures is proud to provide consistent indoor climbing programs to serve the VA Inpatient PTSD Unit at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. The program allows veterans to focus on learning to climb while being reintegrated into the chaotic environment of a busy climbing gym, helping the veteran to temporarily forget about their trauma and focus on getting to the top of the wall.

Adaptive Adventures is proud to also provide climbing at many national veterans events such as the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic and National Veterans TEE Tournament.

Population(s) Served

Adaptive skiing uses specialized equipment and/or training to allow people (with disabilities) to experience the benefits of skiing. Skiing and snowboarding provide a sense of freedom that is difficult to duplicate in other sports. Skiing is a fantastic sport for people with physical disabilities or visual impairments in that it helps to develop balance, fitness, confidence, motivation, and social skills. Simply put - Skiing is Skiing!

The primary methods for adaptive skiing and riding are stand-up, sit-down, snowboarding, and ski bike. Stand up skiing includes 2-track, 3-track, and 4-track, while sit skiing includes bi-ski, dual-ski, and monoski.

Adaptive Adventures provides day lessons, clinics and multi-day camps from beginner to expert skiers and snowboarders across the country.

The Adaptive Adventures All Mountain Ski and Ride program provides week long ski opportunities to all levels of ski and riders. These camps provide a fun, social environment for adaptive skiers and riders to improve their skills and meet new friends in the process. Adaptive Adventures partners to provide camp opportunities in Keystone, CO; Grand Targhee, WY; Jackson Hole, WY and Banff, Canada. Adaptive Adventures partners with other adaptive sport organizations around the country to provide opportunities at Whitetail, PA; Beech Mountain, NC; Seven Oaks, IA; Snowmass, CO, Breckenridge, CO; Red Lodge, MT, Vail, CO and Lee Canyon, NV.

Population(s) Served

The Midwest Ski and Ride program provides individuals residing in Wisconsin, Illinois and the surrounding states an opportunity to learn to ski through weekly ski lessons. Adaptive Adventures works in partnerships with local mountains including Wilmot Mountain, WI; Alpine Valley, WI; Cascade Mountain, WI; The Mountain Top at Grand Geneva, WI; Seven Oaks Recreation Area, IA, and Spirit Mountain, MN. Our overall goal is to introduce participants to snow sports in a safe, fun, and learning environment.

Population(s) Served

Stars of Tomorrow Youth Ski and Snowboard Camps provide youth with physical disabilities a fun, multi-day snowsports camp. Beginning skiers are encouraged to learn about and try suitable adaptive equipment, the first step towards being an independent skier. Intermediate skiers are given the opportunity to progress in their skiing abilities and work towards becoming an all mountain skier. These camps are provided in partnership with the Keystone Adaptive Center in beautiful Keystone, CO. Families are welcome to participate together. These camps provide affordable lodging, family style meals and plenty of apres ski activities.

Population(s) Served

Adaptive Adventures Dragon Boat Teams have been growing in size and success since 2014, including owning the USA Dragon Boat Club Champion Title. Adaptive Adventures provides teams out of our office locations in Colorado and Illinois, but also partners to provide teams across the United States. Adaptive Adventures is passionate about bringing dragon boat to clubs across the nation by providing trainings, collaboration and best practices for training, equipment and community building.

Our "Team Blue" has consistently finished within the top ranks nationally, with several medals in hand against able body teams. We once joked against an elite 'able bodied' team that we managed to podium against, that we are " 'standing here with all our 68 limbs and 20 heartbeats ahead of you (out of 80 possible- 20 people per boat)." Everyone laughed.. and they began to train harder.

We are Team Blue!

Much of our competition has years more experience, and no disabilities present, but none with more heart and drive than Team Blue! Check our calendar for postings for Team Blue Denver, Team Blue Chicago, Team Blue Phoenix, Team Blue Sarasota and Team Blue Puerto Rico.

Dragon Boat racing creates an inclusive environment where people of all fitness levels and abilities can unite as a team and have fun! It focuses on working as a team to achieve one common goal, the finish line. Outside of competitions, Dragon Boat teams provide a community where you can find commitment, encouragement, and support.

We provide the instruction, gear, boat, plenty of enthusiasm, and a community of participants and volunteers to create a team like no other.

Population(s) Served

Kayaking and paddle boarding 'aka' SUP, is a versatile outdoor recreational activity that encourages physical fitness, nature exploration, and adventure. Kayaking and paddle boarding provides opportunities for a wide range of personal interests from the serenity of gliding across a smooth lake, or exploring a meandering stream, to the thrill of paddling a whitewater river. Kayaking or paddle boarding is a great way to spend an afternoon, a day, or longer with family and friends. Imagine gliding across a glassy section of water, with towering red sandstone and granite walls as part of our houseboat expeditions, or a fun after work session in a local lake on your favorite (...or soon to be) craft, with your family or friends.

Increasingly, people with disabilities are discovering kayaking as a recreational activity. Using standard and/or adapted equipment, many people with disabilities can kayak on a "level paddling field" with their non-disabled peers. For many participants minimal adaptations are necessary to enjoy kayaking. For others, the increasing varieties of adaptations available are making kayaking accessible for even more participants.

Adaptive Adventures provides multi-day river and camping trips to individuals seeking to expand their skills and experience a paddlesports adventure.

Population(s) Served

Water-skiing and wakeboarding are popular forms of physical exercise, exhilaration, and social interaction practiced around the world. Adaptive water-ski equipment offers a unique opportunity for individuals with mobility, visual, or other impairments to experience the joys and benefits of water sports. Utilizing the latest in adaptive equipment, tournament quality tow boats and individual instruction, Adaptive Adventures creates an atmosphere that promotes independence and success no matter what the physical limitation might be.

Adaptive water-skiing is a relatively new and growing sport, it lacks exposure and availability in certain regions of the country. In countless cities and towns around the country the freedom and physical benefits of water sports should be available to all individuals regardless of Ability or disAbility. Creating water sports opportunities for individuals from all abilities and walks of life is what Adaptive Adventures is all about.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique participants served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2,900 unique individuals with physical disabilities served (Does not include additional 2,000+ served in national events where personal information is not collected)

Number of programs provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of miles traveled with equipment trailers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of participant days served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of states program provided in

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of states participants served in

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

-To improve quality of life for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities through year-round participation in adaptive sports
-To offer engaging programs that encourage socialization, family participation and inclusive community integration
-To provide cutting edge adaptive equipment and sport specific skill development to promote independence
-To engage and train, committed and diverse volunteers, staff and board members to increase the capacity and quality of programs
-To serve underserved areas through the Adaptive Adventures mobile program throughout the country

Adaptive Adventures is uniquely positioned as the only mobile adaptive sports program in the country, allowing us to serve the most underserved communities and to meet people where they are. Adaptive Adventures mobile program utilizes over 15 equipment trailers, traveling to over 25 states per year. Adaptive Adventures utilizes a progressive program model for the beginner to advanced participant, a small but mighty organizational structure, a proven outreach plan and effective administrative support team. All Adaptive Adventures programs are designed to be scalable and sustainable. Adaptive Adventures has proven success in delivering skiing, climbing, cycling, kayaking, dragon boat racing and waterskiing in several regions is a testimony to our ability to efficiently manage expansion. We believe in FREEDOM through Mobility for our participants and in our program structure.

Adaptive Adventures collaborates with over 150 community partners across the country including; rehab hospitals, park districts, VA medical centers, military hospitals, veteran service organizations and other adaptive sports programs. This collaboration allows for the greatest participation, utilization of resources and inclusive community building.

In addition, Adaptive Adventures maintains one of the largest inventories of adaptive equipment in alpine skiing, cycling, and kayaking in the Chicago area and throughout the Midwest, as well as the largest adaptive cycling and kayaking equipment inventory in Denver. To maintain high quality programming, it is essential to continue to purchase cutting edge equipment in all core sports. Technology is constantly advancing and Adaptive Adventures recognizes the importance of having the highest quality equipment available for the diversity of participants served. This equipment is necessary to maximize the opportunity for a successful experience. In the case that an adaptive piece of equipment does not exist, Adaptive Adventures staff team utilizes out-of-the-box thinking and strategies to develop a solution, many times partnering with the Colorado School of Mines Engineering program.

Adaptive Adventures programming is offered to participants and their families free of charge or significantly subsidized. Adaptive Adventures believes cost should never be a barrier to someone's participation in quality outdoor adaptive sport opportunities.

Since inception in 1999, Adaptive Adventures continues to grow and expand as a leader in the adaptive sports industry. Adaptive Adventures utilizes the unique mobile program model, a highly experienced staff team, a vast network of community partners and volunteers to accomplish the organizational goals.

Adaptive Adventures utilizes a combination of ongoing local and regional opportunities along with our adventure camps to provide a robust combination of programming for children, adults and veterans with physical disabilities and their families. Adaptive Adventures focuses on increasing independence through beginning to advanced opportunities in all offered sports. Single day programs, multi-day programs, week long camps, specialized clinics and multi-week progression programs are offered to ensure an opportunity for all to reach their greatest potential in their desired sports.

Each year, Adaptive Adventures assess the needs of various communities of the country, identifying underserved areas of opportunity to make a great impact and help grow adaptive sports in the selected community. Adaptive Adventures utilizes an extensive outreach plan to ensure success in the planning of a program in a new community. Adaptive Adventures works with local organizations, outfitters, bike shops, park and rec districts, climbing gyms, rehab hospitals and more to ensure the greatest impact, providing training to all interested parties. Adaptive Adventures then provides ongoing support, training and various equipment to help establish sustainable programming.

The Adaptive Adventures staff team and Board of Directors is made up of a diverse group of professionals, many with physical disabilities themselves, caregivers of individuals with physical disabilities or with family members with physical disabilities. This staff makeup allows for greater understanding and connection between the staff and participants, as many of the staff themselves were inpatients after a traumatic injury. Many Adaptive Adventures staff members serve as peer mentors at Craig Hospital in Denver, CO, visiting new inpatients, giving them hope and inviting them out to programming.

Adaptive Adventures offers extensive volunteer training opportunities and sport specific skill trainings. Adaptive Adventures believes strongly in supporting volunteers to reach their own level of satisfaction in their desired sports. Adaptive Adventures helps volunteers reach their goals by offering a wide variety of trainings, as well as, support for certifications and continuing education. Adaptive Adventures is a partner with PsychArmor nationally offering training specifically targeted towards working with veterans and their families. Adaptive Adventures also partners with several rehab hospitals to provide trainings on transferring, working with individuals with spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and visual impairments.

Since 1999, Adaptive Adventures has served over 100,000 individuals and their family members from all 50 states. Adaptive Adventures is proud to have served the adaptive community for 20 years.

In 2019, Adaptive Adventures served over 2,900 unique participants in over 5,850 participation days. Additionally, Adaptive Adventures provided over 600 program opportunities across 34 states, serving individuals from 42 states. Adaptive Adventures traveled over 65,000 miles with equipment trailers to provide programs in cycling, climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, waterskiing, wake boarding, skiing, dragon boat racing, scuba, rafting and sailing.

Adaptive Adventures served a total of 35 VA Medical Centers in the 2018/2019 program season.

Adaptive Adventures has been very fortunate to develop a strong national presence at some of the largest general adaptive and disabled veteran adaptive sports events around the country. Adaptive Adventures staff serves in various leadership and supporting roles at the Hartford Ski Spectacular, the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, the National Veterans TEE Tournament, the Valor Games and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. Adaptive Adventures’ staff also provides these same roles at local and regional events such as Tomah Hero Games in Tomah, WI; Bike the Drive in Chicago, IL; Beyond the Water Beach Party in Chicago, IL, Adaptive Climbing Expo in Chicago, IL; the Vail Veterans Clinics in Vail, CO; the Beech Mountain Ski Week in Banner Elk, NC; The Adaptive Sports Iowa Learn to Ski Days in Boone, IA; Mono Ski Madness in Duluth, MN; Ski for Light in Deadwood, SD; the Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing.

Financials

ADAPTIVE ADVENTURES
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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ADAPTIVE ADVENTURES

Board of directors
as of 4/13/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Leonard Tschida

Don Godshaw

Owner/Travelon

Leonard Tschida

Retired Operator/UPS

Jim Fetherman

Owner/Cen-Tex-Lock and Pop-a-Lock

Gary Verrazono

Disabled Post 9/11 Veteran

Jun Suh

Accountant/CPA Private Practice

Ronald Servis

Owner/Attorney at Law Ronald W. Servis Law Firm

Jeff Galowitsh

Disabled Vietnam Veteran

Larry Knauer

Retired Aerospace Executive/Aerospace Services Consulting

Honey Hendesi, PhD, M.D. Hendesi

Researcher/CU Anschutz Medical Campus

David Ortiz

Program Director and Jr. Vice President/VFW Post 1

Steve McCarley

International Account Manager/Airgroup Corporation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/04/2019

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.