Rim Special Athletes enjoy summer fun at Lake Arrowhead

Aug 3, 2023 | Sports

Shooting the water canon from the fire boat on Lake Arrowhead during the summer lake program with Rim Special Athletes.


Rim Special Athletes (RSA), a program designed to give children and adults with special needs an opportunity to engage in individual sporting activities, is in full swing during their summer program at Lake Arrowhead for their program members.

RSA has a nice setup at the Arrowhead Lake Association’s Peninsula Park, with floating lily pads to lie or sun on and aqua cycles to pedal around the bay, plus kayaks and floating paddle boards to paddle around the area. The RSA has other water toys for those more independent, including stand-up paddle boards and pedal boats to go out into the lake. This Peninsula Park location with the beach also gives them the opportunity to swim.

RSA, of course, supplies everyone with a floatation device or life vest as safety is their number one concern while they have fun.

However, the water toys that seem to be most popular on these recent hot days are the water squirters, as the kids, parents and everyone else in the area enjoy squirting each other, in fun of course. Fun is the focus as the “kids of RSA,” ranging in age from 10 to older adult, get involved in these activities.  They played in the water, on the beach, rode the toys and had lunch together on the beach. Each family brought lunches, as many of them have specialized diets, and RSA provided the snacks.

Recently, the San Bernardino County Fire boat came to visit the RSA members and took them out on a tour of the lake, including to the center of the lake. There each one got an opportunity to shoot the water canon, a firehose that pulls water from the lake with a nozzle attached to the boat to shoot the water long distances. The fireboat is designed to fight lakefront house fires, so the water stream can be quite strong and go far.

The RSA kids enjoyed shooting it short and long distances, over and over. The fire officials seemed to enjoy watching the kids and adults have fun with the monitor. It is a significant firefighting tool County Fire has for use in the Lake Arrowhead/Big Bear area, so generally the firefighters do not get many opportunities to use the water monitor just for fun.

“It is wonderful that RSA has a good relationship with County Fire and that they have launched their boat on the lake every year for these kids to ride on and enjoy,” said RSA program director Jack Cooperman. “Riding the fire boat is a very special experience.”

Beginning in July, one day a week the adult students from Mountain of Promise have been attending the RSA lake program at Lake Arrowhead. As long as the hot weather holds, they will continue to attend, usually through September and sometimes into October. This provides an opportunity for Mountain of Promise to offer another activity outlet for their students during the hot weather.

Since RSA is a year-round program, it also offers golfing, snow skiing, fishing and year-round virtual yoga classes. RSA had a parade float for their participants to ride on during the Jamboree Days parade in Crestline and they usually walk or ride in the Christmas holiday parade in Blue Jay.

Each activity offers a chance for socialization between the participants and gives them a chance to learn new skills and practice them as often as possible. The old adage “practice makes perfect” has truth behind it.

The Rim Special Athletes Foundation serves individuals of all ages with visual and hearing impairments, amputations, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Down Syndrome and autism, as well as many other cognitive and physical disabilities. Most of these programs are free or greatly discounted through the RSA Foundation.

For more information on the Rim Special Athletes Foundation, or to get involved in their activities, see their website https://rimspecialathletes.org. Contact them directly by email at [email protected].



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