From archery to wheelchair yoga, whatever your interest, you can find something fun to do near you
When I think of June and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), I think of a great picnic.
Prior to becoming part of the team at PVA Publications, I was president of the PVA Minnesota Chapter, where I’ve been a member since the chapter’s inception in 1993. June was always the month the chapter held its annual picnic. This was a great time to connect with other chapter members and spinal-cord injury/ disease health care professionals from the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System in an informal setting.
The Minnesota Chapter is far from unique in sponsoring similar opportunities for members and guests. Whether it’s picnics, annual membership banquets, tickets to sporting events, bowling, trapshooting, fishing or simply reimbursement for a trip to a favorite restaurant for dinner, PVA’s chapters have a lot to offer.
I took a quick glance at some of the chapters’ event calendars in their newsletters to see what’s happening in the coming months. Here are a few examples:
- The Cal-Diego Chapter offers sailing with Challenged Sailors San Diego. The outings are available in July, August and September.
- The Great Plains Chapter has a full gym and fitness center located in its office with a multitude of programs.
- The Kentucky-Indiana Chapter has a bowling tournament scheduled in August at Kingpin Lanes in Louisville, Ky.
- The Oregon Chapter offers a deep sea fishing outing in July.
- The Vaughan Chapter in Chicago has a boccia ball tournament set for June 11–12.
- The Wisconsin Chapter holds its annual trapshoot in Green Bay, Wis., June 10–12.
I’ve participated in the Wisconsin Chapter trapshoot in the past, and I can tell you that novice shooters are always welcome, and the serious competitors there love introducing someone new to the sport. I can personally attest to this, as the first time I tried trapshooting was at this event.
I didn’t have a gun at the time, so one of the participants let me borrow one. I did so well that I won the low-shooter award. And as a prize, I was given a box of shells and told to go home and practice!
The Wisconsin Chapter also will sponsor a salmon fishing outing on beautiful Lake Michigan in July. I grew up fishing almost every weekend in Minnesota — yes, even in the winter.
Ice fishing isn’t something I’ve done since joining the wheelchair club, and I don’t know of any chapters that offer it. But if you wanted to give it a try, I’m sure there are people at a PVA chapter who would help you.
The Minnesota Chapter has a weeklong fishing event in August this year to be held at Veterans on the Lake Resort in Ely, Minn. The resort’s cabins are wheelchair-accessible, and some even have roll-in showers. I used to spend a week at this resort every summer when I lived up there and may seriously consider a return trip soon to escape the Phoenix area’s notorious 100-plus-degree summer heat.
If trapshooting or fishing aren’t your things, then maybe shooting a little pool will be more your style. Wheelchair billiards tournaments are extremely popular. And if one isn’t happening near you, it may be a good excuse for a road trip.
I apologize if your chapter has an event that you think is outstanding or unique and I didn’t mention it. There’s so much going on, it would be impossible to mention it all in this column.
From archery to wheelchair yoga, whatever your interest, you can find something fun to do near you. We always have a PVA calendar of events in each issue of PN. Make sure to check it out to see if something you’re interested in is happening near you. Better yet, reach out to one of the local PVA chapters and ask what it has happening this summer.
A list of PVA’s chapters and contact information can be found here.
Stay healthy, and enjoy your summer.