In Focus: Summer Dreaming

DREAM Adaptive’s watersports program for kids and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities joins forces with veterans

By Greg Lindstrom
Mason Wood fist-bumps volunteer Jeff Carlson while water skiing at Dream Adaptive's summer water sports program. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

McKaynee Powell smiles from ear to ear as friends and volunteers on the dock congratulate her after a successful waterski loop around Echo Lake during DREAM Adaptive’s eighth annual summer watersports camp.

Approximately 160 kids and adults with a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities took part in the event, kayaking, waterskiing and inner tubing at Echo Lake.

“Just being able to be out here and do the things that everybody does makes them feel like they are included,” said Cheri DuBeau Carlson, executive director of DREAM Adaptive. “They get to have fun, and they’re just not different for a while.”

This year, DREAM Adaptive added a fourth day to the camp. Organizers worked with the Kalispell Vet Center to gather a group of 16 veterans and their families enjoy a day on the water.

“It builds a lot of confidence. It lets them know that they can play and have fun independently,” said Carlson. “It’s about inclusive recreation.”

Mason Wood fist-bumps volunteer Jeff Carlson while water skiing at Dream Adaptive's summer water sports program. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon
Mason Wood fist-bumps volunteer Jeff Carlson while water skiing at DREAM Adaptive’s summer water sports program. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

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