NEW ENGLAND REGIONAL SKI FOR LIGHT

One very important aim of New England Regional Ski for Light is to make available trips throughout the year for visually-impaired persons.  In the winter, there are cross-country ski and snowshoe outings, whereas in the summer there are canoeing and hiking trips. These
weekend outings usually take place in the mountains of New Hampshire or Vermont.

We also hold day trips which take place within Eastern and Central
Massachusetts. They have included activities such as  swimming, ice
skating, canoeing, tandem biking, nature walks, picnics, and more. We are constantly discovering that visually-impaired people can access an ever widening range of outdoor activities.  New England Regional Ski For Light has been so successful in its mission that both sighted guides and participants have traveled from as far as Virginia and Pennsylvania to join together in our events. With the continued efforts of our participants and contributors, NERSFL has a very bright future.

EVERYONE GAINS THROUGH BEING A PART OF NERSFL

Participants with disabilities and volunteers who act as sighted guides
share the benefits of outdoor recreation and enjoy the congenial,
relaxing and upbeat group atmosphere.  People from all walks of life
share in the experience of the exhilarating out of doors.

An important facet of the NERSFL experience is the opportunity for
persons with visual impairments to gain exposure to new experiences and outdoor recreation skills through the one-on-one assistance of
volunteers.  It is sometimes difficult for people who are blind or have
low vision to learn such activities as cross country skiing or canoeing
through mainstream channels because of the degree of specialized
hands-on instruction needed.  Participation in NERSFL affords an
opportunity to gain this experience, which then can be shared with
sighted friends, family, and other outdoor recreation organizations.

Most of the time, guides already have skills necessary to share with
visually-impaired participants.  What is needed is a willingness to transmit that skill.  In return, they share in the enthusiasm and
excitement that the participant experiences, and perhaps
they learn to perceive their environment differently, no longer taking
anything for granted.  It is also an opportunity to make new friends and
have fun.  The number of guides that sign up for trips determine the
number of participants--the more guides, the more participants.

NERSFL is far more than this, however!  In an atmosphere of equality and sharing of fun, all participants and guides, from age 18 on up, come
together to enjoy the experience to the fullest.  New friendships are
made and self esteem and physical fitness are boosted.

Everyone profits from the NERSFL experience.  Participants with
disabilities and volunteer guides alike learn from one another in both
expected and unexpected ways.  Here's what some NERSFLers have to say.

"I've gotten a lot out of NERSFL.  I've become a good-enough cross
country skier and I'm now able to confidently join in with my sighted
friends when they go skiing or hiking.  Ski for Light brings out the
best in people, and, after, eight years, I still enjoy my trips with
them."

Cindy
 "I've been a guide for New England Regional Ski for Light for almost
10 years. Teaching and describing skiing to visually-impaired skiers has
forced me to think about what I did instinctively, and as a result I've
actually improved my skiing.  Each trip is a rewarding experience.  It is
a good group of people, and I've always had a lot of fun."
Arthur
"Ski For Light (NERSFL) has had a tremendous impact on my life and changed it in ways I could never have foreseen.  It has expanded my horizons well beyond the limits of my vision and I enjoy the many friendships I have made."
Duane
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